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Volubilis is a proverbial 'lost city in the sand'. Close to the city of Fez, it was a major centre of population and commerce under the Roman Empire, but began to decline in the third century ad. A severe earthquake sealed its fate: it was abandoned and not rediscovered until the 19th century. When McAslan visited Volubilis, reckoned to be the best Roman site in Morocco and one of the most significant anywhere, he was profoundly disappointed - there was no overall sense of history or ...

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