About Bir el Ater

Bir el Ater is a city of approximately 100 000 inhabitants located in extreme eastern Algeria towards the south, near the Tunisian borders and just beyond theSahara, about 87 kilometers south of T├ębessa.

Bir El Ater was the cradle of the Aterian civilization (the term Aterian derives from el-Ater) which was around 40000 - 20000 years BC.

It is now a mining city, located 15 km south of Bir El-Ater. There are deposits of Djebel Onk Phosphates, the largest in Algeria which are extracted and shipped by train to Annaba a port, 300 km north on the Mediterranean or are used locally..

North of Bir el-Ater is a plain. Agriculture flourished in Roman times. Nowadays, the soil is dry and infertile. The vegetation is mainly composed of tufts of alfa . South lies the Djebel Onk, oriented north-east to south-west, it contains mines phosphates.

The landscape becomes more rugged with several peaks and wadis dry digging numerous canyons yellow ocher Continuing towards Negrine , the vegetation becomes more scarce and the ground is made of white clay and pebbles