Moors came from Mauretania, which encompassed areas of the modern-day countries of Algeria and Morocco. They were of mixed Arab and Berber heritage, and they expanded settlements throughout North Africa in later centuries.
Moor was a European word that mostly referred to the indigenous people of North Africa. The ancient Romans used the term Mauri to describe them. The Arabs invaded Berber territory in the seventh century A.D. and converted the population to Islam. The Moors launched an invasion of Spain in 711 and conquered most parts of the Iberian Peninsula. They called the seized lands Al-Andalus, which were composed of Gibraltar, southern France, Portugal and Spain. They also controlled parts of Sicily and southern Italy. Moorish control over the Iberian Peninsula ended in 1492, after Christian armies regained control of the region.