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The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country.With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa since South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011.By the 2nd century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber kingdoms had emerged.Two of them were established in Numidia, behind the coastal areas controlled by Carthage.Berber civilization was already at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing, trade, and political organization supported several states.

The Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic Wars. As Carthaginian power waned, the influence of Berber leaders in the hinterland grew.

By the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed the single largest element of the Carthaginian army.

In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War.

In the region of Ain Hanech (Saïda Province), early remnants (200,000 BC) of hominid occupation in North Africa were found.

Neanderthal tool makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and Mousterian styles (43,000 BC) similar to those in the Levant.

Neolithic civilization (animal domestication and agriculture) developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean Maghreb perhaps as early as 11,000 BC or as late as between 60 BC.

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