Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Youth, Culture, and Communication Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid emphasized the significance of Morocco’s prehistoric heritage to the world, noting the country’s major archaeological discoveries, including the world’s oldest jewelry and the oldest human DNA from Africa as well as the oldest signs of human presence.
Bensaid noted that this heritage “belongs to all of humanity” regardless of its “Moroccan roots,” and that it is a priority for the ministry to promote Morocco’s rich heritage and introduce it to the public, especially students and young people.
The culture minister made his comments in an interview with the magazine “Science et Avenir – La recherche,” which featured an article on Morocco in its May issue titled “Morocco, an open-air archaeological museum.”
Bensaid, highlighted the significant discovery of the oldest fossil remains of Homo sapiens in Morocco confirming not only the presence of the earliest humans in the North African country 300,000 years ago but also adding to the history of human evolution.
Bensaid further emphasized that the discovery of the oldest nuclear DNA in Morocco, dating back over 15,000 years, suggests that cultural diversity existed in Morocco since ancient times.
He recalled the significant discovery in the Moroccan coastal city of Essaouira, where a set of jewelry dating back 150,000 years was found.
“We are working on establishing several projects to highlight Morocco’s ancient heritage,” the minister said, citing events and exhibitions, book publishing to raise awareness among citizens about the importance of prehistoric heritage and its preservation, and museum establishment to promote knowledge and encourage future generations to preserve this global heritage.
Bensaid’s comments come as Morocco continues to work to preserve and promote its prehistoric sites and artifacts. In January 2023, Rabat’s national zoo hosted an exhibition featuring the 110,000-year-old Atlas Lion fossil recently discovered in Essaouira.