| North Africa ： ウィキペディア英語版|
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes seven countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia.〔According to UN country classification here: http://millenniumindicators.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm. The disputed territory of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) is mostly administered by Morocco; the Polisario Front claims the territory in militating for the establishment of an independent republic, and exercises limited control over rump border territories.〕 Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and often Mauritania〔Mohamed Branine, Managing Across Cultures: Concepts, Policies and Practices (2011), - p. 437, books.google.com/books?isbn=1849207291: "The Magrebian countries or the Arab countries of western North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia)..."〕 and Western Sahara are the Maghreb, while Egypt and Sudan comprise the Nile Valley (so named after the Nile River, which has two tributaries; the White Nile and Blue Nile). Egypt is a transcontinental country because of the Sinai Peninsula, which geographically lies in West Asia. North Africa also includes a number of Spanish ''possessions'' (Ceuta and Melilla and tiny Spanish islets off the coast of Morocco). The Canary Islands and the Portuguese Madeira Islands, in the North Atlantic Ocean northwest of the African mainland, are sometimes included in considerations of the region.
The distinction between North Africa and much of Sub-Saharan Africa is historically and ecologically significant because of the effective barrier created by the Sahara Desert for much of modern history. From 3500 BCE, following the abrupt desertification of the Sahara due to gradual changes in the Earth's orbit, this barrier has culturally separated the North from the rest of the continent. As the seafaring civilizations of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims and others facilitated communication and migration across the Mediterranean Sea, the cultures of North Africa became much more closely tied to Southwestern Asia and Europe than Sub-Saharan Africa. The Islamic influence in the area is also significant, and North Africa is a major part of the Islamic world.
Some researchers have postulated that North Africa rather than East Africa served as the exit point for the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent in the Out of Africa migration.〔(Was North Africa the Launch Pad for Modern Human Migrations? ) Michael Balter, science 7 January 2011: 331 (6013), 20-23. 〕〔(A Revised Root for the Human Y Chromosomal Phylogenetic Tree: The Origin of Patrilineal Diversity in Africa ). Fulvio Cruciani, Beniamino Trombetta, Andrea Massaia, Giovanni Destro-Bisol, Daniele Sellitto, Rosaria Scozzari, The American Journal of Human Genetics - 19 May 2011〕〔(Earliest evidence of modern human life history in North African early Homo sapiens ), Tanya M. Smith, Paul Tafforeau, Donald J. Reid, Rainer Grün, Stephen Eggins, Mohamed Boutakiout, Jean-Jacques Hublin, PNAS April 10, 2007 vol. 104 no. 15 6128-6133〕
The Atlas Mountains, which extend across much of Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia, are part of the fold mountain system that also runs through much of Southern Europe. They recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, which covers more than 75 percent of the region. The sediments of the Sahara overlie an ancient plateau of crystalline rock, some of which is more than four billion years old.
Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and delta, and the Mediterranean coast are the main sources of fertile farming land. A wide variety of valuable crops including cereals, rice and cotton, and woods such as cedar and cork, are grown. Typical Mediterranean crops, such as olives, figs, dates and citrus fruits, also thrive in these areas. The Nile Valley is particularly fertile, and most of the population in Egypt and Sudan live close to the river. Elsewhere, irrigation is essential to improve crop yields on the desert margins.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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