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As a result, Europeans have often called North Africa the Barbary States or simply Barbary.

(A frequent usage refers to the non-Phoenician and non-Roman inhabitants of classical times, and their language, as Berber.

In ancient historical times much of North Africa was evergreen forest or scrub, and the fauna included such animals as elephants, zebras, and ostriches.

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Even the major rivers, such as the Majardah (Medjerda) and the Chelif, are unnavigable.

Only in northeastern Tunisia is the coastline more favourable, and the main movement of culture and conquest has naturally been from there westward.

In the latter area a date of about 45,000 years ago for the Levalloisian and Mousterian industries has been obtained (at Haua Fteah, Libya).

The tools and a fragmentary human fossil of Neanderthal type are almost identical to those of Palestine.

The coastal strip in the area of Tripoli (Ṭarābulus) in western Libya is an extension of Tunisia’s coastal plain.

To the east some 800 miles (1,300 km) of the Surt Desert separates it from Cyrenaica at the eastern end of modern Libya, which thus has had a substantially different history from that of the Maghrib.

Sahara, the territory whose native peoples were subjects of Carthage, and also as a name for the whole continent.

The Romans applied the name Africa (of Phoenician origin) to their first province in the northern part of Tunisia, as well as to the entire area north of the Sahara and also to the entire continent.

The most commonly accepted definition, and the one used here, includes the three above-mentioned countries as well as Libya but excludes Egypt.

The regions encompassed by both the second and third definitions, however, have also been called Northwest Africa.

Although it was in the mountains that precipitation was highest, the forest there was intractable, and early settlements tended to choose the plains and valleys between or south of the mountains.

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