Following early habitation since Palaeolithic times, Morocco’s involvement with the Mediterranean was initially mediated by trade with the Phoenicians in the Classical period. After becoming a part of the Carthaginian empire Morocco’s earliest known independent state arose with the Berber kingdom of Mauretania around 225 BC which then became a client kingdom of the Roman Empire in 33 BC (though this was contested at times by Berber tribes and ended with the Vandal invasion in 429 AD). Following Byzantine rule, Islamic conquest occurred in the 8th century and the indigenous Berber tribes adopted Islam. From the 11th century onwards, a series of Berber dynasties arose. Under the Almoravid dynasty and the Almohad dynasty, Morocco dominated the Maghreb, much of present-day Spain and Portugal, and the western Mediterranean. Moroccan coinage reflects this rich history and the art of Morocco has, throughout history, taken influence from these disparate areas and has been an important centre for Islamic interaction with Europe.

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