Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Ethonym for pre-Arab people of North Africa who speak a language that is a subfamily of the AfroAsiatic language family. The geographic distribution of the Berber language is now fragmented, ranging from the Canary Islands (before AD 1500) to western North Africa to Egypt. Berbers are presumed to be descended from Eurasian peoples who entered North Africa about 15 000 BP.