See also:country and
See also:empire of N.E . Africa lying, chiefly, between 5 0 and 15° N. and 35° and 42° E . It is bounded N. by
See also:Eritrea (
See also:Italian) W .
See also:ion 50 Kilometres it ~
See also:oar en/ .~ .~ . ~ J.ouq -a, : o Rudolf ILugh tit BRITISHg/.E AF FICA . ,,, Bu l / . Rnlra . • :j.KuffEAr ST le Longitude Last 40° of Ureenocic!4 as-h as ar Sennar° (.1 AK/LN., A,, S rttp .,j
See also:Im 24' / IIC ~' ~~_ yf ' o ~~e by the Anglo-
See also:Egyptian Sudan, S. by
See also:British East Africa, S.E. and E. by the British, Italian and French possessions in Somali-
See also:land and on the Red
See also:Sea . The
See also:coast lands held by
See also:powers, which cut off Abyssinia from
See also:access to the sea, vary in width from 40 to 250 miles . The country approaches nearest to the ocean on its N.E. border, where the frontier is
See also:drawn about 40 M. from the coast of the Red Sea . Abyssinia is narrowest in the
See also:north, being here 230 M. across from east to west . It broadens out southward to a width of goo m. along the
See also:line of 90 N., and resembles in shape a triangle with its
See also:apex to the north .
It is divided into Abyssinia proper (i.e .
See also:Amhara, Gojam, &c.),
See also:Kaffa and Galla land—all these
See also:form a
See also:geographical unit—and central
See also:Somaliland with
See also:Harrar . To the S.W . Abyssinia also includes
See also:part of the low country of the
See also:Sobat tributary of the Nile . The
See also:area of the whole state is about 350,000 sq. m., of which Abyssinian Somaliland covers fully a third . (I)
See also:Physical Features.-- Between the valley of the Upper Nile and the low lands which skirt the south-western shores of the Red Sea and the Gulf of
See also:Aden is a region of elevated plateaus from which rise various
See also:mountain ranges . These tablelands and mountains constitute Abyssinia, Shoa, Kaffa and Galla land . On nearly every side the walls of the plateaus rise with considerable abruptness from the plains, constituting
See also:outer mountain chains . The Abyssinian
See also:highlands are thus a clearly marked orographic division . From
See also:Ras Kasar (1'8° N.) to Annesley
See also:Bay (05° N.) the eastern
See also:wall of the
See also:plateau runs parallel to the Red Sea . It then turns due S. and follows closely the line of 400 E. for some 400 M . About 90 N. there is a break in the wally through which the
See also:river Hawash flows eastward .
See also:main range at this point trends S.W., while south of the Hawash valley, which is some 3000 ft. below the level of the mountains, another
See also:massif rises in a
See also:direct line South . This second range sends a chain (the Harrar hills) eastward to the Gulf of Aden . The two chief eastern ranges maintain a parallel course S. by W., with a broad upland valley between—in which valley are a series of lakes—to about 3° N., the outer (eastern) spurs of the plateau still keeping along the line of 40° E . The
See also:southern escarpment of the plateau is highly irregular, but has a general direction N.W. and S.E. from 6° N. to 30 N . It overlooks the depression in which is Lake Rudolf and—east of that lake—southern Somaliland . The western wall of the plateau from 6° N. to 11° N. is well marked and precipitous . North of II° N. the hills turn more to the east and fall more gradually to the plains at their
See also:base . On its
See also:face also the plateau falls in terraces to the level of the eastern Sudam The eastern escarpment is the best defined of these outer ranges . It has a mean height of from 7000 to 8000 ft., and in many places rises almost perpendicularly from the plain . Narrow and deep clefts, through which descend mountain torrents to lose themselves in the sandy
See also:soil of the coast land, afford means of reaching the plateau, or the easier route through the Hawash valley may be chosen . On surmounting this rocky barrier the traveller finds that the encircling rampart rises little above the normal level of the plateau . (2) The aspect of the highlands is most impressive .
The northern portion, lying mainly between Io° and 15° N., consists of a hugemass of Archaean rocks with a mean height of from 7000 to 7500 ft. above the sea, and is flooded in a deep central depression by the
See also:waters of Lake
See also:Tsana . Above the plateau rise several irregular and generally
See also:ill-defined mountain ranges which attain altitudes of from 12,000 to over 15,0oo ft . Many of the mountains are of weird and fantastic shape . Characteristic of the country are the enormous fissures which
See also:divide it, formed in the course of ages by the erosive
See also:action of
See also:water . They are in fact the valleys of the
See also:rivers which, rising on the uplands or mountain sides, have cut their way to the surrounding low-lands . Some of the valleys are of considerable width; in other cases the opposite walls of the gorges are but two or three
See also:hundred yards apart, and fall almost vertically thousands of feet, representing an erosion of hard
See also:rock of many millions of cubic feet . One result of the action of the water has been the formation of numerous isolated
See also:flat-topped hills or small plateaus, known as ambas, with nearly perpendicular sides . The highest peaks are found in the Simen (or Semien) and Gojam ranges . The Simen Mountains lie N.E. of Lake Tsana and culminate in the
See also:peak of Daschan (Dajan), which has an altitude of 15,16o ft . A few miles east and north respectively of Dajan are Mounts Bivat and Abba Jared, whose summits are a few feet only below that of Dajan . In the Chok Mountains in Gojam Agsias Fatra attains a height of 13,600 ft . Parallel with the eastern escarpment are the heights of Baila (12,500 ft.), Abuna Josef (13,780 ft.), and Kollo (14,100 ft.), the last-named being S.W. of
See also:Magdala .
The valley between these hills and the eastern escarpment is one of the longest and most profound chasms in Abyssinia . Between Lake Tsana and the eastern hills are Mounts
See also:Guna (13,800 ft.) and Uara Sahia (13,000 ft.) . The figures given are, however, approximate only . The southern portion of the highlands—the Io° N. roughly marks the division between north and south—has more open tableland than the northern portion and fewer lofty peaks . Though there are a few heights between 20,000 and 12,000 ft., the majority do not exceed 8000 ft . But the general character of the southern regions is the same as in the north—a much-broken hilly plateau . Most of the Abyssinian uplands have a decided slope to the north-west, so that nearly all the large rivers find their way in that direction to the Nile . Such are the Takazze in the north, the Abai in the centre, and the Sobat in the south, and through these three
See also:arteries is discharged about four-fifths of the entire drainage . The
See also:rest is carried off, almost due north by the Khor Baraka, which occasionally reaches the Red Sea south of
See also:Suakin; by the Hawash, which runs out in the saline lacustrine
See also:district near the
See also:head of Tajura Bay; by the Webi Shebeli (Wabi-Shebeyli) and Juba, which flow S.F. through Somaliland, thoughthe Shebeli fails to reach the
See also:Indian Ocean; and by the Omo, the main feeder of the closed
See also:basin of Lake Rudolf . The Takazze, which is the true upper course of the Atbara, has its head-waters in the central tableland; and falls from about 7000 to 2500 ft. in the tremendous
See also:crevasse through which it sweeps
See also:round west, north and west again down to the western terraces, where it passes from Abyssinian to Sudan territory . During the rains the Takazze (i.e. the " Terrible ") rises some 18 ft. above its normal level, and at this
See also:time forms an impassable barrier between the northern and central provinces . In its
See also:lower course the river is known by the Arab name Setit .
The Setit is joined (r4° lo' N., 36° E.) by the Atbara, a river formed by several streams which rise in the mountains W. and N.W. of Lake Tsana . The Gash or Mareb is the most northerly of the Abyssinian rivers which flow towards the Nile valley . Its head-waters rise on the landward side of the eastern escarpment within 5o miles of Annesley Bay on the Red Sea . It reaches the Sudan plains near
See also:Kassala, beyond which place its waters are dissipated in the sandy soil . The Mareb is dry for a
See also:great part of the
See also:year, but like the Takazze is subject to sudden freshets during the rains . Only the
See also:bank of the upper course of the river is in Abyssinian territory, the Mareb here forming the boundary between Eritrea and Abyssinia . (3) The Abai—that is, the upper course of the Blue Nile—has its source near
See also:Mount Denguiza in the Gojam highlands (about 11° N. and 37° E.), and first flows for 70 M. nearly due north to the south side of Lake Tsana . Tsana (q.v.), which stands from 2500 to 3000 ft. below the normal level of the plateau, has somewhat the aspect of a flooded
See also:crater . It has an area of about Iroo sq. m., and a
See also:depth in some parts of 250 ft . At the south-east corner the rim of the crater is, as it were, breached by a deep crevasse through which the Abai escapes, and here develops a great semicircular
See also:bend like that of the Takazze, but in the
See also:reverse direction—east, south and north-west—down to the plains of
See also:Sennar, where it takes the name of
See also:Bahr-el-Azrak or Blue Nile . The Abai has many tributaries . Of these the Bashilo rises near Magdala and drains eastern Amhara; the Jamma rises near
See also:Ankober and drains northern Shoa; the Muger rises near Adis Ababa and drains south-western Shoa; the Didessa, the largest of the Abai's affluents, rises in the Kaffa hills and has a generally S. to N. course; the Yabus runs near the western edge of the plateau escarpment .
All these are perennial rivers . The right-
See also:hand tributaries, rising mostly on the western sides of the plateau, have steep slopes and are generally torrential in character . The Bolassa, however, is perennial, and the Rahad and Dinder are important rivers in
See also:flood-time . In the mountains and plateaus of Kaffa and Galla in the south-west of Abyssinia rise the Baro,
See also:Gelo, Akobo and other of the chief affluents of the Sobat tributary of the Nile . The Akobo, in about 70 50' N. and 33° E., joins the Pibor, which in about 82° N. and 330 20' E. unites with the Baro, the river below the confluence taking the name of Sobat . These rivers descend from the mountains in great falls, and like the other Abyssinian streams are unnavigable in their upper courses . The Baro on reaching the plain becomes, however, a navigable stream affording an open waterway to the Nile .
ABYSS (Gr. as, privative, ,6u6QOs, bottom)
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