Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/162

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132
Geographical Notice of the Empire of Morocco.
 

the journey; several springs; herds of cattle; flocks of sheep and goats; passed eleven Arab camps—six tombs of saints. From rising ground gained sight of the windings of the river.

Oom-erbegh (mother of herbage), which, rising in the Atlas, separating the provinces of Fās and Tedla, forming the boundary between Temsena and Ducaila, and flowing through deep banks of sandy clay; about one hundred and fifty paces wide here; falls into the sea; on its south-western bank, one mile and a half from its outlet, stands the town

Azamōr.—Its tapia-built walls, a mile and a half in circuit, and crumbling to ruin, are, as it were, machicolated with storks' nests; its defence is a few guns pointed seawards; but a bar of sand across the mouth of the river, almost dry at low water, is its safeguard from any attack except by boats;—and a barrier to trade. The town is dull and lifeless; streets narrow and filthily dirty; provisions, fish, vegetables, and fruit, abundant and good. Population may be three thousand, including Jews. At the south-eastern angle of the town is a suburb containing a mosque and a sanctuary. The county around open; no wood; but well cultivated, and many gardens; soil, fine loam; large plantations of 'hhenna, a field of which, of about six or eight acres, the Kaïd told us was worth to him about 100l annually, producing, by irrigation three crops a year.

Itinerary, 18th day, December 1.

Leaving Azamōr, ascended through a hilly country; soil, light loam; signs of greater cultivation, gardens, &c.; several wells and springs; passed ten Arab camps, two villages, with trees, &c., at seven miles; a fine view of the town bearing west four miles, called

Mazagān[1], situated on a peninsular point projecting north about one mile, and forming the western limit of a sandy bay about one mile and a half, affording a good roadstead for small vessels, the point of Azamōr sheltering it to the north-east. The town well built by the Portuguese, who abandoned it in 1770, and respectably defended towards the sea by several redoubts. It enjoys some little commerce, excellent water, and good supplies. Population, two thousand. about three miles to the south-westward of this place, on the sea-coast, are the ruins called

Tett (signifying, in Arabic, Titus). It has been suggested that it might have been founded by the Carthaginians! Encamped in the valley at the back of the high land forming Cape Blanco.

 

  1. The various names of this town are worth remarking. In 1506, when first built, named by the Portuguese Castillo Real; afterwards Magazān; in 1507, by the Moors owing to the vicinity of a saint's tomb, Burija; in 1769, when besieged by the sultan Sidi Mohammed, Ma'edūma (let it be destroyed); and in 1770, when captured, by imperial proclamation (the New) or Jdeida. This may account for mistakes in nomenclature and position, which we see even in the best charts and maps.