Abu Abdallah was the first Saadi ruler over southern Morocco beginning in 1509. By 1549, the dynasty’s power extended over the entire country. Marrakech was their capital during most of the first half of the 17th century until the empire ended in 1659. In 1917, a mausoleum of Saadian sultans and their families were unearthed. The highlight of the Saadian Tombs is this Chamber of 12 Pillars. This lavish room is decorated with colorful tilework (zellij) and carved woodwork. In the center are burial chambers made with Carrara marble. The most famous grave is Ahmad al-Mansur’s. The sultan died in 1603.