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Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 11th-16th c.
Date of Inscription: 1996
Location: Africa, Mauritania, Oudane, Chinguetti: region de l’Adrar; Tichitt: region du Tagant, Oualata
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Description: Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries for the Sahara crossing caravans; the towns were religious and trading centers that developed into focal points of Islamic culture. They all still sit upon an urban fabric that evolved during the 12th and 16th centuries. It is characteristic to see houses with patios assemble in the area around a mosque with a square minaret, where they sit along narrow streets. These towns exemplify a traditional lifestyle that centers on the nomadic culture of the Western Sahara inhabitants. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  A ksar (Arabic: قصر) is a village consisting of generally attached houses, often having collective granaries and other structures (mosque, bath, oven, shops) widespread among the oasis populations of the Maghreb (northern Africa.) Ksars are sometimes situated in mountain locations to make defense easier; they often are entirely within a single, continuous wall. The building material of the entire structure is normally adobe, or cut stone and adobe. The idea of the ksar as a granary is a confused notion of two things, the granary itself, found within a ksar, and the ksar, which is a village, normally with granaries within it. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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