In the Muslim West settlements were constructed either as fortified villages or towns, with both types of habitat sharing specific features derived from the clever adaptation of building materials and techniques to hot, dry environments.
The Town had a complex structure consisting of the town centre indicated by the great mosque
, a citadel or governor's residence, a suq
or market along the main street from which side streets would run, public baths (hammam
), inns (funduq
) and small workshops. The residential area was located within the town walls, while the suburbs lay outside the walls where farms were situated, where livestock markets were held and from where some craftsmen operated.