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In the confusing patchwork of palm plantations, abandoned settlements and desert fringes between Erfoud and Rissani lie the ruins of Sijilmassa. Today, very little remains except a couple of gateways and the outline of a few major buildings. But in its day Sijilmassa was vast and hugely important. A key terminus of trans-Saharan trade routes in gold and salt, caravans of tens of thousands of camels departed and arrived, and gold and coins from the city found their way to Europe. In-fighting bought the city down and imagination is required to see the extent of the city today; but there are numerous, attractive medieval kasbahs (unrelated to Sijilmassa) in the area and plenty for the photographer and amateur historian to enjoy,

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