Lixus – specialised commercial activity in its urban / hinterland embedding (Kreuz)

Milesischer Pithos
One of the installations to produce salted fish at the foot of the settlement hill(c) Kreuz


The project seeks to investigate the specialised infrastructure for commercial fish-salting and its urban integration at Lixus, a harbour town on the Moroccan Atlantic coast about 120 km south of the Strait of Gibraltar in the estuary of the ancient river Loukkos. The site has an unusual history reaching from an early Phoenician settlement down to the Islamic period. Yet one of its most prominent features visible today are the monumental Roman-period installations to produce salted fish (the largest ones known from the Roman world), a culinary specialty exported far into the Roman Mediterranean and adjacent provinces.

Excavated from 1927 to 1931 and then again during the late 1950s, these complexes at the foot of the settlement hill, in a zone connecting river estuary, harbour and adjacent city quarters, not only lack a proper architectural analysis and understanding, but also an examination of its embedding in the city’s fabric.

The project will approach these aspects of the local specialised commercial activity by a comprehensive documentation of the city-area via Lidar. In a second step, a geophysical survey of its immediate surroundings to gain a general understanding of the site’s main settlement features, and, above all, a detailed documentation and analysis of the facilities of fish-salting is planned.