formerly Timmi,palm grove settlement, the largest of the Touat oasis group, southwestern Algeria, in the Sahara. Adrar's historical name was given it by the local Berber people, the Timmi, who established their ksar (fortified village) here. The modern name is derived from the Berber adrar (“mountain”). The settlement lies between the Erg (sand dunes) Chech and the Grand Erg Occidental near the streambed of the Wadi Messaoud. The Adrar area was historically a strategic point on the trade route between North and West Africa. The settlement's distinctive thick-walled red-wash architecture is characterized by sawtooth crenellation.The French captured Adrar from Moroccan forces in 1900, and in 1962 it became part of independent Algeria. The contemporary town is entered through a monumental gateway and has two main squares and rectangular avenues. The surrounding region consists almost entirely of sand-dune-covered plains. Nearly all of the region's inhabitants live in the vicinity of the Touat oases group, although palm-grove settlements are strung out along the Wadi Messaoud. Pop. (latest est.) mun., 28,495.traditional region of central Mauritania in western Africa. It consists of a low central massif with noticeable cliffs that rise to about 800 feet (240 m). The terrain is arid and almost totally unsuitable for cropping. There is, however, sufficient water at the base of the uplands to support date-palm groves, and during the wetter part of the year there is cultivation of millet, sorghum, melons, and vegetables in gorges. The population of the Adrar (Berber for “mountain”) formerly was nomadic. The major town in the region is Atar. Historic sites include Ouadane, formerly a caravan and gold-trading centre, and Chinguetti, an ancient centre of learning and of Islām.
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