Town and commune
Location of Abalessa commune within Tamanrasset Province
|• PMA Seats||7|
|• Total||74,563 km2 (28,789 sq mi)|
|Elevation||909 m (2,982 ft)|
|• Density||0.12/km2 (0.32/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01 (CET)|
Abalessa is a town and commune in Tamanrasset Province, in southern Algeria, coextensive with the district of the same name. According to the 2008 census it has a population of 9,163 up from 6,484 in 1998, with an annual growth rate of 3.6%. Abalessa is located along the ancient Trans-Saharan trade route, 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of the city of Tamanrasset, the capital of the province. The postcode of the town is 11120.
The former capital of the Ahaggar, Abalessa is famous for the Tin Hinan Tomb. This 1,500 year old monumental grave is dedicated to the Tuareg matriarch Tin Hinan, and vestiges of a Tifinagh inscription have been found on one of its walls. According to Henri Lhote, the edifice may have built on top of an earlier Roman castrum since its architecture is different from the surrounding tombs and similar to that used by the Roman legionaries to construct their desert fortifications.
On 18 October 1927 Byron Khun de Prorok, discovered a vault near Abalessa containing a skeleton, belonging to a woman, and her furniture. In his book Mysterious Sahara: The Land of Gold, of Sand, and of Ruin Khun de Prorok attributed the skeleton to Tin Hinan. Today, the skeleton is on display at the Bardo Museum in Algiers, while the monument where it was discovered continues to be a popular tourist attraction in Abalessa among visitors to the Tamanrasset.
The municipality reaches an average elevation of approximately 909 metres (2,982 ft) above sea level. The main town lies at an elevation of 893 metres (2,930 ft), at the confluence of the two intermittent wadis Oued Rellachene and Oued Iheri. A rocky mountain range, part of the Ahaggar Mountains rises to the west of the town reaching about 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). There is significant vegetation in the river valleys; the area belongs to the West Saharan montane xeric woodlands ecoregion.
The commune is composed of eight localities:
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- "Algeria Communes". Statoids. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Briggs, L. Cabot (February 1957). "A Review of the Physical Anthropology of the Sahara and Its Prehistoric Implications". Man. 56: 20–23. JSTOR 2793877.
- Henri Lhote. "Alla scoperta del Tassili" p. 180-183 ()
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- "Structure relative de la population résidente des ménages ordinaires et collectifs âgée de 6 ans et plus selon le niveau d'instruction et la commune de résidence" (PDF) (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Taux d'analphabétisme et taux d'alphabétisation de la population âgée de 15 ans et plus, selon le sexe et la commune de résidence" (PDF) (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Décret n° 84-365, fixant la composition, la consistance et les limites territoriale des communes. Wilaya de Tamanghasset" (PDF) (in French). Journal officiel de la République Algérienne. 19 December 1984. p. 1496. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2013.