The Abbassia Pluvial was an extended wet and rainy period in the climate history of North Africa. It began c. 120,000 years before the present (ybp), lasted approximately 30,000 years, and ended c. 90,000 ybp. The Abbassia Pluvial spanned the end of the Lower Paleolithic and the start of the Middle Paleolithic eras — an interval that is also sometimes identified as the Achulean (250–90 kybp). As with the subsequent Mousterian Pluvial, the Abbassia was brought about by global climate changes associated with the ice ages and interglacials of the Pleistocene Epoch.
As with the Mousterian Pluvial that followed (c. 50–30 kybp), the Abbassia Pluvial brought wet and fertile conditions to what is now the Sahara Desert, which bloomed with lush vegetation fed by lakes, swamps, and river systems, many of which later disappeared in the drier climate that followed the pluvial. African wildlife now associated with the grasslands and woodlands south of the Sahara penetrated the entire North African region during the Abbassia Pluvial.
Human stone age cultures — notably the Mousterian and Aterian Industries — flourished in Africa during the Abbassia Pluvial. The shift to harsher climate conditions that came with the end of the pluvial may have promoted the emigration of modern Homo sapiens out of Africa and over the rest of the globe.
- Authorities differ on datings for and duration of the Abbassia Pluvial and for the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. The division between the Lower and Middle Paleolithic is not uncommonly set at c. 100,000 ybp.
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