The site of Volubilis seems to have been occupired by sporadic hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic age. At one point during the late Neolithic, probably on the eve of the Chalcolithic, it probably housed a group of farmers and sheperds. It is unclear when this small settlement was abandoned.
In a late epoch, during the second half of the 2nd century BC, the Mauretanian city of Volubilis was founded by a Moorish community that had already been influenced by the Punics. This is evident due to the combination of the Punic language with Libyan writing in the late 2nd century BC. These same inscriptions tell us that the city had, like other cities influeced by Punic culture, suffets, or rather supreme judges elected by the People’s Council for a fixed term and responsible for overseeing municipal administration.
If on the other hand, the archeological city indicates the inclusion of the city in the Mediterranean trade networks of the 1st century BC, topography and urbanism of the city at this time, however, remain poorly understood, and traces of the older homes are currently identified only near the Tumulus. Around 38 BC, the city was besieged and partly destroyed by the army of the Young Bocchus, whose purpose to annex western Mauretania was supported by the future Emperor Augustus. Under the reign of Juba II, a reign marked by peace and security, the city of Volubilis experienced a significant architectural and urban development which gave economic prosperity. The city was surrounded by a wall whose parts were found in the area of the Tumulus as well as twin temples on high podiums similar to the Greco-Roman temples. At this time there was also a sanctuary (first phase of temple B) of the “Tophet” type dedicated to a deity of fertility and abundance. The temple was visited by the residents of the city and its “chora”.
Like all cities of western Mauretania during that time, Volubilis was exposed to Roman trade which was facilitated by the existence of colonies (Zilil, Banasa, Babba) founded from 33-27 BC by the future Augustus and by the proroman policies of Juba II and Ptolemy. Volubilitans were thus gradually Romanized; some of the notables of the city at that time even received the “civitas romana”. One of them, the famous son of Marcus Valerius Bostar, contributed as prefect of auxiliary forces, alongside the Roman suppression of Aedemon, who revolted after the assassination by order of Emperor Caligula of King Ptolemy.