Iles Purpuraires

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Iles Purpuraires, with Mogador island in the background seen from the Essaouira citadel.

Iles Purpuraires are a set of small islands off the western coast of Morocco at the bay located at Essaouira. These islands were settled in antiquity by the Phoenicians, chiefly to exploit certain marine resources and as a promontory fort. (Hogan, 2007) Roman occupation of western Morocco beginning in the 2nd century BC continued the use of the islets, principally for manufacture of a royal blue dye from certain marine organisms. Neolithic archaeological studies in this area indicate indigenous peoples of western Morocco fished in this locale circa 3000 to 2000 BC. (Trakadas, 2002)


Coordinates: 31°29′50″N 9°47′12″W / 31.49722°N 9.78667°W / 31.49722; -9.78667