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Town and commune
Location of Abalessa commune within Tamanrasset Province
Location of Abalessa commune within Tamanrasset Province
Abalessa is located in Algeria
Location of Abalessa within Algeria
Coordinates: 22°53′24″N 4°50′50″E / 22.89000°N 4.84722°E / 22.89000; 4.84722Coordinates: 22°53′24″N 4°50′50″E / 22.89000°N 4.84722°E / 22.89000; 4.84722
Country  Algeria
Province Tamanrasset
District Abalessa (coextensive)
 • PMA Seats 7
 • Total 74,563 km2 (28,789 sq mi)
Elevation 909 m (2,982 ft)
Population (2008)[1]
 • Total 9,163
 • Density 0.12/km2 (0.32/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
Postal code 11120
ONS code 1102

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[1] up from 6,484 in 1998,[2] with an annual growth rate of 3.6%.[1] 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 Tomb of Tin Hinan, the queen and mythical ancestor of the Tuareg people. Tin Hinan supposedly arrived in the Ahaggar Mountains area and lived there in the fourth or fifth century AD. However some archeologist -like Henri Llote[3]- think that the tomb was done on the ruins of a Roman castrum built under Augustus: this would be the southernmost presence of Roman remains in Africa.

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.[citation needed]


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.[4] 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 N55A national highway, which branches off from the Trans-Sahara Highway (route N1) at Tit, is the main road through the area, passing just south of Abalessa.


4.6% of the population has a tertiary education, and another 12.4% has completed secondary education.[5] The overall literacy rate is 78.7%, and is 85.4% among males and 70.8% among females.[6]


The commune is composed of eight localities:[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Population: Wilaya de Tamanrasset" (PDF) (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Algeria Communes". Statoids. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Henri Lhote. "Alla scoperta del Tassili" p. 180-183 ([1])
  4. ^ "Africa AMS Topographic Maps - Sahara". University of Texal Libraries. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "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. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "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. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "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 2 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
Neighbouring towns and cities