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The name Berber derives from an ancient Egyptian language term meaning "outlander" or variations thereof.

The exonym was later adopted by the Greeks, with a similar connotation.

Other rock art has been observed in Tadrart Acacus in the Libyan desert.

A Neolithic society, marked by domestication and subsistence agriculture, developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean region (the Maghreb) of northern Africa between 60 BC.

In historical times, the Berbers expanded south into the Sahara (displacing earlier populations such as the Azer and Bafour).

Berbers are not an entirely homogeneous ethnicity and they encompass a range of societies and ancestries.

The areas of North Africa that have retained the Berber language and traditions best have been, in general, Morocco and the Hautes Plaines of Algeria (Kabylie, Aurès etc.), most of which in Roman and Ottoman times had remained largely independent.

The Ottomans did penetrate the Kabylie area, and to places the Phoenicians never penetrated, far beyond the coast, where Turkish influence can be seen in food, clothes and music.

The Berbers are the Mauri cited by the Chronicle of 754 during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, to become since the 11th century the catch-all term Moros (in Spanish; Moors in English) on the charters and chronicles of the expanding Christian Iberian kingdoms to refer to the Andalusi, the north Africans, and the Muslims overall.

For the historian Abraham Isaac Laredo the name Amazigh could be derived from the name of the ancestor Mezeg which is the translation of biblical ancestor Dedan son of Sheba in the Targum.

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