Tin Hinan is the name given bi the Tuareg tae a 4t-century wumman o prestige whose monumental tomb is locatit in the Sahara at Abalessa in the Ahaggar or Hoggar region o Algerie. The name means literally "she o the tents", but mey be metaphorically translatit as "mither o the tribe" (or "o us aw") or even "queen o the camp" (the "camp" meybe referrin tae the group o tombs which surroond hers). She is sometimes referred tae as "Queen o the Hoggar", an bi the Tuareg as tamenoukalt which an aa means queen.
The tomb wis opened bi a French airmy team in 1925, an airchaeologists made a mair thorough investigation in 1933. It wis foond tae contain the skeleton o a wumman on a wooden litter, lyin on her back wi her heid facin east. She wis accompanied bi hivy gowd an siller jewellery, some o it adorned wi pearls. On her richt foreairm she wore 7 silver bracelets, an on her left, 7 gowd bracelets. Anither siller bracelet an a gowd ring wur placed wi the body. Remains o a complex piecewirk necklace o gowd an pearls (real an airtificial) wur an aa present.
A number o funerary objects wur an aa foond. These includit a "Venus" statue in Aurignacian style (similar tae the Venus o Hohle Fels), a glass goblet (lost durin Warld War II), an gowd foil which bore the imprint o a Roman coin o Constantine I issued atween 308 an 324 CE. A 4t tae 5t century date is consistent wi carbon datin o the wooden bed an an aa wi the style o pottery an ither tomb furniture. The tomb itsel is constructit in a style that is widespread in the Sahara.
An anthropological study o the remains published in 1968 concluded the skeleton was that of a woman 1.72 to 1.76 metres tall, belonging to a Mediterranean race, who had probably never had children and who was probably lame because of deformation of the lumbar and sacral areas. The body is now in the Bardo Museum in Algiers.
The Tuareg wur well aware that the tomb contained a wumman o prestige an a number o legends aboot her haed lang been in circulation afore the tomb wis opened. Accordin tae ane legend, Tin Hinan wis believed tae hae been a Muslim o the Braber tribe o Berbers who came frae Tafilalt oasis in the Atlas Muntains in the aurie o the modren Morocco accompanied bi a maidservant named Takamat. In this legend, Tin Hinan haed a dochter (or grand-dochter), whose name is Kella, while Takamat haed twa dochters. These childer are said tae be the ancestors o the Tuareg o the Ahaggar. Anither version is that Tin Hinan haed three dochters (who haed totemic names referrin tae desert animals) who wur the tribal ancestors. Her Muslim releegion is anachronistic, as is the statement that Kella wis her dochter or grand-dochter, acause the historical figure an real tribal matriarch Kella lived during the 17t century.
- The material for this article is taken from the paper by Gabriel Camps which critically examines the evidence from the archaeological and historical record.
- Tribal genealogies show male descent until her, after which descent was reckoned in the female line. Camps, p. 516.
- Gabriel Camps, "L'âge du tombeau de Tin Hinan, ancêtre des Touareg du Hoggar". Zephyrus, vol. 25 (1974) 497-516.
- See also Brett, Michael; Elizabeth Fentress The Berbers WileyBlackwell 1997 ISBN 978-0631207672 p. 208 "tin+hinan"#PPA208,M1