Antiquity Ksour by Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata
Established in the eleventh and twelfth century to service the caravan that crossed the Sahara, these trade and religion centers became hot spots of Muslim cultur. You have succeeded in maintaining an urban structure that developed between the twelfth and sixteenth century. It illustrates a tradition that focuses on the civilization of nomads in the West Sahara.
Founded in the 11th and 12th centuries to meet the needs of caravans crossing the Sahara, these commercial and religious centers became centers of Islamic cultur. They bear witness to a traditional nomadic lifestyle in Western Sahara. The ancient Ksour (Plural of Ksar, a group of houses made of clay) Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries for the caravans through the Sahara.
The four antique cities, established in the eleventh and twelfth century, were initially used to service the important Caribbean trafficking lanes that began to cross the Sahara. These include excellent settlement specimens and have been a synonym for culturally, socially and economically important aspects of our lives for many years. They became the home of Muslim civilization.
The cities built between the twelfth and sixteenth century form a succession of steps along the trans-Saharan trading routes with a remarkable well-preserved city structure and buildings with courtyards arranged in small alleys around a quadratic miniature-museum. It is a testimony to a tradition that focuses on the civilization of the people of the West Sahara.
Mediaeval cities have a special, protected town' philosophy with small and twisty streets, buildings around inner courts and unique, ornamental rock architectural styles. It also shows excellent models for adapting the city' s living environment to the harsh climate constraints of the deserts, both in terms of building design, land use and agronomy.
Rooted in cities that go back more than seven hundred years, the cities have become an ensemble of cities that testify to the intensive changes associated with the important trades between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and North-South Trans-Saharan Africa. These four cities were wealthy centers radiating an intensive spiritual and artistic lifestyle. Situated on the southerly border of the Saho-Sahelan deserts, these rivers have over the years become mandatory stops for the route of caravans between northern Africa and the rivers of Westafrica, but also for the savannah area.
They are a rare testimony to a rich heritage of naturism and commerce in the deserts. They were wealthy centers in a desertscape that bordered the Maghreb and the large ensemble of the "bilad es-sudan", from which an intensive spiritual and social activity emanated. Old cities are mediaeval cities with an excellent example of the kind of architectonic ensemble that illustrates seven hundred years of mankind's work.
They are a superb example of historical cities and the last preserved testimonies of an initial and ancestral occupation of land, very typical of local civilization and long-distance commerce in a deserted area. Because of these special features, storehouses were constructed to protect their goods, and the cities developed into the shining houses of Muslim civilization and thought.
In the labeled area, all necessary characteristics are included to reflect the outstanding universal value. In recent years, the location of cities and their relation to the deserts, which is indispensable for a better comprehension of their roles, has become fragile, partly due to the pressure to develop. The four cities had maintained their initial shape and material to a remarkable extent at the moment of the epitaph, largely due to the slow decline and emigration of the inhabitants over a long absence of work.
Act 46-2005 on the Conservation of the Material Patrimony provides the legislative frame for the administration and representation of the Ancient Ksour of Mauritania. It is the Ministry of Culture which is in charge of enforcing the legislation for the conservation of culture. Directorate of Patrimony complies with the norms and carries out an assessment of the assets in these cities.
They oversee the work of the National Foundation of Antique Cities operating in these cities and ensure their administration, preservation, presentation as well as socioeconomic work. National Foundation for the Antique Locations has created a frame to be followed by a managerial action once the funds are in place for the antique cities of the site and its buffers.
Socioeconomic changes and the problems of urban drift and desert are true stakes for the conservation of these Saharan beads.