The Vitaceae are a family of dicotyledonous flowering plants, with 14 genera and ca 910 known species, including the grapevine and Virginia creeper. The family name is derived from the genus Vitis, the name sometimes appears as Vitidaceae, but Vitaceae is a conserved name and therefore has priority over both Vitidaceae and another name sometimes found in the older literature, Ampelidaceae. In the APG III system onwards, the family is placed in its own order, molecular phylogenetic studies place the Vitales as the most basal clade in the rosids. In the Cronquist system, the family was placed near the family Rhamnaceae in order Rhamnales, most Vitis species have 38 chromosomes, but 40 in subgenus Muscadinia, while Ampelocissus and Ampelopsis have 40 chromosomes and Cissus has 24 chromosomes. The family is important as the berries of Vitis species, commonly known as grapes, are an important fruit crop and. Species of the genus Tetrastigma serve as hosts to parasitic plants in the family Rafflesiaceae, sometimes classified in its own family, Leeaceae, is included in Vitaceae by APG IV and the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website.
These fruits and their dispersed seeds found in the sediments, about 66 million years old. The fossil fruits containing 4 to 6 seeds are similar to extant Vitis. Saski, J. Tomkins, A. J. Alverson, phylogenetic analyses of Vitis based on complete chloroplast genome sequences, effects of taxon sampling and phylogenetic methods on resolving relationships among rosids. Vitaceae at the Angiosperm Phylogeny Web Vitidaceae in L. Watson, the families of flowering plants, illustrations, information retrieval
Cave paintings are painted drawings on cave walls or ceilings, mainly of prehistoric origin, to some 40,000 years ago in Eurasia. The exact purpose of the Paleolithic cave paintings is not known, evidence suggests that they were not merely decorations of living areas since the caves in which they have been found do not have signs of ongoing habitation. They are located in areas of caves that are not easily accessible. Some theories hold that cave paintings may have been a way of communicating with others, the paintings are remarkably similar around the world, with animals being common subjects that give the most impressive images. Humans mainly appear as images of hands, mostly hand stencils made by blowing pigment on a hand held to the wall. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals are at least 35,000 years old and are found in Pettakere cave on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, previously it was believed that the earliest paintings were in Europe. The earliest non-figurative rock art dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago, nearly 340 caves have now been discovered in France and Spain that contain art from prehistoric times.
But subsequent technology has made it possible to date the paintings by sampling the pigment itself, the choice of subject matter can indicate chronology. For instance, the reindeer depicted in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas places the drawings in the last Ice Age. The oldest date given to a cave painting is now a pig that has a minimum age of 35,400 years old at Pettakere cave in Sulawesi. Indonesian and Australian scientists have dated other non-figurative paintings on the walls to be approximately 40,000 years old, the method they used to confirm this was dating the age of the stalactites that formed over the top of the paintings. The art is similar in style and method to that of the Indonesian caves as there were hand stencils and this date coincides with the earliest known evidence for Homo sapiens in Europe. Because of the cave arts age, some scientists have conjectured that the paintings may have made by Neanderthals. The earliest known European figurative cave paintings are those of Chauvet Cave in France and these paintings date to earlier than 30,000 BCE according to radiocarbon dating.
Some researchers believe the drawings are too advanced for this era, the radiocarbon dates from these samples show that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet,35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago. In 2009, cavers discovered drawings in Coliboaia Cave in Romania, an initial dating puts the age of an image in the same range as Chauvet, about 32,000 years old. Some caves probably continued to be painted over a period of thousands of years. This was created roughly between 10,000 and 5,500 years ago, and painted in rock shelters under cliffs or shallow caves, though individual figures are less naturalistic, they are grouped in coherent grouped compositions to a much greater degree
Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes
The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic between 4,300 and 2,200 BC. Declared to be remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction the site, discovered in 1843, the first excavations were undertaken during railway construction in 1867 and intermittent excavations have been carried out up to the present day. The Mines of Spiennes cover some 100 ha of downland four miles south-east of the city of Mons, the site is dotted with millions of scraps of worked flint and numerous mining pits, that Neolithic settlers have gradually turned into vertical mine shafts to depths of over 10 m. Research has illustrated Neolithic techniques for the cutting of the flint and the extraction of large slabs of flint, the nodules were extracted using flint picks. The stones were knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, the SILEXS Interpretive Centre has opened in spring 2015. The rough-outs were exchanged over an area, about 150 km. Polishing strengthens the product, making the axe- or adze-head last longer.
The smooth surface aids the cutting action by lowering friction with the wood, the axes were used initially for forest clearance during the Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes. The site has been compared with Grimes Graves and Cissbury in the United Kingdom, and Krzemionki in Poland, different hard rocks were used for the polished stone axes. Examples include the Langdale axe industry and Tievebulliagh, guillaume, Ph. Lipinski & A. Masson, Les mines de silex néolithiques de la Meuse dans le contexte européen. Musées de la Meuse, Sampigny 1987, F. Gosselin, Un site dexploitation du silex à Spiennes, au lieu-dit Petit-Spiennes. F. Hubert, Une minière néolithique à silex au Camp-à-Cayaux de Spiennes, F. Hubert, Lexploitation préhistorique du silex à Spiennes. Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de lAménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine, R. Shepherd, Prehistoric Mining and Allied Industries. Société de recherches préhistoriques en Hainaut, Minières néolithiques à Spiennes,1997 ICOMOS evaluation Collet, H.
Les mines néolithiques de Spiennes, état des connaissances et perspectives de recherche. Section 10, The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe, actes du XIVème congrès UISPP, Université de Liège, Belgique,2 –8 septembre 2001 H. Collet, A. Hauzeur & J. Lech,2008. The prehistoric flint mining complex at Spiennes on the occasion of its discovery 140 years ago In P. Allard, F. Bostyn, flint mining in Prehistoric Europe, Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Poland, 19–24 September 2006, H. Collet,2014. Les minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes
Spy Cave is located near Spy in the municipality of Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, province of Namur, Belgium above the left bank of the Orneau River. Classified as a premier Wallonian Heritage site of the Walloon Region, the cave consists of numerous small chambers and corridors. Since the first amateur investigations during the late 19th century numerous amateur and professional archaeologists have carried out excavations, the excavation was conducted by Liège, archaeologist Marcel de Puydt and geologist Max Lohest. Paleontologist and zoologist Julien Fraipont published the description in the American Anthropologist journal. The assemblages of the oldest excavations have been mixed, that makes the interpretation of the palaeoenvironment difficult, in addition publications of de Puydt and Fraipoint disagree on the number of layers of knapped flints. The hominid skeletons discovered during the first excavations have been named Spy I, a female, and Spy 2 and these were dated to around 36,000 years BP, although a Bayesian analysis in 2014 concluded that they were probably more than 40,000 years old.
The identification of the remains of a Neanderthal child, Spy VI, was published in 2010, almost 12,000 faunal remains of the Pleistocene were discovered, including mammoth, cave hyena, woolly rhinoceros and cave bear bones. All levels contained mammoth remains, including a number of molars. It has been suggested that the Neanderthal occupants brought mammoth heads to the site and ate the brains, because many of the molars were unworn, these would have been very young or newborn calves, killed in early spring, when plant food would not yet have been available. Evidence of occupation by Upper Paleolithic anatomically modern humans has found at Spy. Pendants and perforated beads made from ivory, presumably by modern humans, were found in the cave. Goyet Caves Media related to Spy Cave at Wikimedia Commons
It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools, probably by Homo habilis initially,2.6 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene around 10,000 BP. The Paleolithic era is followed by the Mesolithic, the date of the Paleolithic–Mesolithic boundary may vary by locality as much as several thousand years. During the Paleolithic period, humans grouped together in small societies such as bands, the Paleolithic is characterized by the use of knapped stone tools, although at the time humans used wood and bone tools. Other organic commodities were adapted for use as tools, including leather and vegetable fibers, due to their nature, surviving artifacts of the Paleolithic era are known as paleoliths. About 50,000 years ago, there was a increase in the diversity of artifacts. For the first time in Africa, bone artifacts and the first art appear in the archaeological record, the first evidence of human fishing is noted, from artifacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa. The new technology generated an explosion of modern humans which is believed to have led to the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Humankind gradually evolved from members of the genus Homo—such as Homo habilis. The climate during the Paleolithic consisted of a set of glacial and interglacial periods in which the climate periodically fluctuated between warm and cool temperatures, by c. 50,000 – c. 40,000 BP, the first humans set foot in Australia. By c. 45,000 BP, humans lived at 61°N latitude in Europe, by c. 30,000 BP, Japan was reached, and by c. 27,000 BP humans were present in Siberia, above the Arctic Circle. At the end of the Upper Paleolithic, a group of humans crossed Beringia, the term Paleolithic was coined by archaeologist John Lubbock in 1865. It derives from Greek, παλαιός, old, and λίθος, stone, human evolution is the part of biological evolution concerning the emergence of anatomically modern humans as a distinct species. The Paleolithic Period coincides almost exactly with the Pleistocene epoch of geologic time and this epoch experienced important geographic and climatic changes that affected human societies.
During the preceding Pliocene, continents had continued to drift from possibly as far as 250 km from their present locations to positions only 70 km from their current location. South America became linked to North America through the Isthmus of Panama, most of Central America formed during the Pliocene to connect the continents of North and South America, allowing fauna from these continents to leave their native habitats and colonize new areas. Africas collision with Asia created the Mediterranean Sea, cutting off the remnants of the Tethys Ocean, climates during the Pliocene became cooler and drier, and seasonal, similar to modern climates. The formation of an Arctic ice cap around 3 million years ago is signaled by a shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic. Mid-latitude glaciation probably began before the end of the epoch, the global cooling that occurred during the Pliocene may have spurred on the disappearance of forests and the spread of grasslands and savannas
Ochre (/ˈoʊkər/ OH-kər, from Greek, ὠχρός, ōkhrós, or ocher, is a natural earth pigment containing hydrated iron oxide, which ranges in color from yellow to deep orange or brown. It is the name of the produced by this pigment. A variant of ochre containing an amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as red ochre. Ochre is a family of pigments, which includes yellow ochre, red ochre, purple ochre, sienna. The major ingredient of all the ochres is iron oxide-hydroxide, known as limonite, which gives them a yellow color. Yellow ochre, FeO·nH 2O, is a hydrated iron hydroxide called gold ochre Red ochre, Fe 2O3, takes its color from the mineral hematite. Purple ochre, is identical to red ochre chemically but of a different hue caused by different light diffraction properties associated with an average particle size. Brown ochre, FeO, is a hydrated iron oxide. Sienna contains both limonite and an amount of manganese oxide, which makes it darker than ochre. Umber pigments contain a proportion of manganese which make them a dark brown.
When natural sienna and umber pigments are heated, they are dehydrated and some of the limonite is transformed into hematite, giving them more reddish colors, called burnt sienna and burnt umber. Ochres are non-toxic, and can be used to make an oil paint that dries quickly, modern ochre pigments often are made using synthetic iron oxide. Pigments which use natural ochre pigments indicate it with the name PY-43 on the label, pieces of ochre engraved with abstract designs have been found at the site of the Blombos Cave in South Africa, dated to around 75,000 years ago. In Wales, the paleolithic burial called the Red Lady of Paviland from its coating of red ochre has been dated to around 33,000 years before present. Paintings of animals made with red and yellow ochre pigments have been found in sites at Pech Merle in France. The cave of Lascaux has an image of a horse colored with yellow estimated to be 17,300 years old. In Ancient Egypt, yellow was associated with gold, which was considered to be eternal, the skin and bones of the gods were believed to be made of gold.
The Egyptians used yellow extensively in tomb painting, though occasionally they used orpiment
Kozarnika or Peshtera Kozarnika is a cave in northwestern Bulgaria that was used as a hunters’ shelter as early as the Lower Paleolithic. It marks an older route of human migration from Africa to Europe via the Balkans. The cave probably keeps the earliest evidence of symbolic behaviour. Kozarnika cave is located 6 km from the town of Belogradchik in northwestern Bulgaria, on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains. It is opened to the south, at 85 m above the valley, with its length of 210 m, the cave is among the small-sized in the Belogradchick karst region. The Kozarnika cave project started in 1984, since 1996, it has been headed by Dr. Prof. Nikolay Sirakov and Dr. Jean-Luc Guadelli. In the ground layers, dated to 1. 6–1, the findings from Middle Paleolithic layers, rather bifacial points, dating from 300, 000–50,000 BP prove presence of hunters’ groups possibly of Homo neanderthalensis. Upper Paleolithic layers consist flint assemblages from the earliest European Gravette complex dating from 43,000 up to 39,000 BP belonging to Homo sapiens sapiens, magura Cave Bacho Kiro cave Sićevo Gorge Peștera cu Oase Vértesszőlős Proto-Indo-Europeans Campanian Ignimbrite Eruption Rincon, Paul
Alnus glutinosa, the common alder, black alder, European alder or just alder, is a species of tree in the family Betulaceae, native to most of Europe, southwest Asia and northern Africa. It thrives in wet locations where its association with the bacterium Frankia alni enables it to grow in poor quality soils and it is a medium size, short-lived tree growing to a height of up to 30 metres. It has short-stalked rounded leaves and separate male and female flower in the form of catkins, the small, rounded fruits are cone-like and the seeds are dispersed by wind and water. The common alder provides food and shelter to wildlife, with a number of insects, lichens and it is a pioneer species, colonising vacant land and forming mixed forests as other trees appear in its wake. Eventually common alder dies out of woodlands because the seedlings need more light than is available on the forest floor and its more usual habitat is forest edges and riverside corridors. The timber has been used in foundations and for manufacture into paper and fibreboard, for smoking foods, for joinery, turnery.
Products of the tree have been used in ethnobotany, providing folk remedies for various ailments, Alnus glutinosa is a tree that thrives in moist soils, and grows under favourable circumstances to a height of 20 to 30 metres and exceptionally up to 37 metres. Young trees have a habit of growth with a main axial stem. The base of the trunk produces adventitious roots which grow down to the soil, the bark of young trees is smooth and greenish-brown while in older trees it is dark grey and fissured. The branches are smooth and somewhat sticky, being scattered with resinous warts, the buds are purplish-brown and have short stalks. Both male and female form in the autumn and remain dormant during the winter. The leaves of the common alder are short-stalked, rounded, up to 10 cm long with a slightly wedge-shaped base and they have a glossy dark green upper surface and paler green underside with rusty-brown hairs in the angles of the veins. As with some trees growing near water, the common alder keeps its leaves longer than do trees in drier situations.
As the Latin name glutinosa implies, the buds and young leaves are sticky with a resinous gum, during the autumn they become dark brown to black in colour, somewhat woody, and superficially similar to small conifer cones. They last through the winter and the winged seeds are mostly scattered the following spring. The seeds are flattened reddish-brown nuts edged with webbing filled with pockets of air and this enables them to float for about a month which allows the seed to disperse widely. Unlike some other species of tree, common alders do not produce shade leaves, the respiration rate of shaded foliage is the same as well-lit leaves but the rate of assimilation is lower. This means that as a tree in woodland grows taller, the lower branches die and soon decay, leaving a small crown and unbranched trunk
Devetàshka cave is a huge karst cave around 7 km east of Letnitsa and 15 km northeast of Lovech, near the village of Devetaki on the east bank of the river Osam, in Bulgaria. The site has continuously occupied by Paleo humans for tens of thousands of years. Devetashka cave is located approximately 2 km from the village of Devetaki, a narrow path by the river lead from the village to the cave. It can be accessed directly via Road 301 along a 400 m long dirt road, the site is 35 m wide and 30 m high at the entrance. The cave widens after around 40 m, forming a hall with an area of 2,400 m2. Earliest traces of human presence back to the Middle Paleolithic around 70,000 years ago. The site contained one of the richest sources of Neolithic cultural artifacts, besides significant archaeological findings, Devetashka cave is provides a habitat for a wide diversity of faunal residents. During the breeding season of mammalian species in the cave from early June to the end of July, thirty-four species of mammals, four of which are included in the Red List and fifteen species of bats are to be found at the Devetashka cave.
Devetashka cave was shown in the action movie The Expendables 2, the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria declared that several activities during filming violated Bulgarias environmental regulations. A contractor hired by The Expendables crew was subsequently fined for trimming the shrubbery in front of the site, after a fatal accident during the filming of a stunt, the production team again clashed with the authorities over damages to the cave. Loud noises, bright lights, crowds of people and fires in close proximity to the cave might have caused the displacement of large numbers of bats from the cave, however, by late 2012, the majority of the bats had returned to the cave. Media related to Devetashka cave at Wikimedia Commons Devetashka Cave
Centro Region, Portugal
The Centro Region is a region in central Portugal, and its capital is Coimbra. Other local cities with major administrative status inside this region are Aveiro, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Covilhã, Figueira da Foz and it is one of seven Regions of Portugal. This is one of the regions of Europe, considered by the European Union for statistical and geographical purposes and its population in 2011 totalled 2,327,026 inhabitants, and its area is 28,462 km². Inhabited by the Lusitanians, an Indo-European people living in the western Iberian Peninsula, the Roman town of Conímbriga, near Coimbra, is among the most noted and well-preserved remains of that period. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Visigoths were the rulers and colonizers from the 5th to the 8th century. In the 8th century the Muslim conquest of Iberia turned the region a Muslim-dominated territory, in the earliest years of the Christian Reconquista, just before the arise of a Portuguese national identity, the region was a battleplace for Muslim Moors and Christian crusaders.
Once the Moors were expelled, the Christian kings and landlords made the region a county and it was integrated into the newly created Condado Portucalensis, the early precursor of the modern nation of Portugal. The modern region matches roughly the boundaries of the older historical Beira Province plus the Oeste in former Estremadura, Beira was an historical province of Portugal and its name was used by the heirs to the Portuguese throne during the monarchy regime, before 1910. The princes were known as the Princes of Beira, along this region’s mountainous border with Spain are a series of fortresses and castles that once protected the country from its many invaders. Over the centuries and Christians, Spaniards and Portuguese have all tried to take these villages, each village has a fascinating tale of its own to tell. All of their valiant efforts paid off, today Portugal boasts the longest-standing border in all of Europe. In these rural villages, ancient rituals and religious festivals remain popular, visitors can sample them and partake in traditional foods such as cheese and mountain honey.
In the fortress town of Almeida, a walk through the cobbled streets can lead a visitor to the ruins of a once mighty 12-pointed fortress here. One of Portugal’s many Pousadas—an historic property turned into an inn—is located in Almeida, in the town of Castelo Rodrigo, a memorial stone marks the place of a fierce battle in 1664, and visitors can view the remains of the castle, its tower and a palace here. The town has a small, Gothic church, just near Castelo Mendo stands a beautiful bridge built by the Romans. Most of the castles in this region of Centro are classified as national monuments. These stone fortresses date back to the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, castles or parts of castles still stand at Alfaiates, Vilar Maior, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Bom, Castelo Rodrigo, Monsanto and Almeida. A 20-castle route has been delineated by the Portugal government, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Rodrigo and the fortified town of Almeida are considered gems among them all
Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, to the west and south it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The Portugal–Spain border is 1,214 kilometres long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union, the republic includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. The territory of modern Portugal has been settled, invaded. The Pre-Celts, Celts and the Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic, in 711 the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Moors, making Portugal part of Muslim Al Andalus. Portugal was born as result of the Christian Reconquista, and in 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the worlds major economic and military powers.
Portugal monopolized the trade during this time, and the Portuguese Empire expanded with military campaigns led in Asia. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories, Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe and a legacy of over 250 million Portuguese speakers today. Portugal is a country with a high-income advanced economy and a high living standard. It is the 5th most peaceful country in the world, maintaining a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government and it has the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other Western European countries like France and Italy. Portugal is a pioneer when it comes to drug decriminalization, as the nation decriminalized the possession of all drugs for use in 2001.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe, the name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale. Other influences include some 5th-century vestiges of Alan settlements, which were found in Alenquer, the region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula. These were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing. Chief among these tribes were the Calaicians or Gallaeci of Northern Portugal, the Lusitanians of central Portugal, the Celtici of Alentejo, a few small, semi-permanent, commercial coastal settlements were founded in the Algarve region by Phoenicians-Carthaginians. Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC, during the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula had been annexed to the Roman Republic.
The Carthaginians, Romes adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies and it suffered a severe setback in 150 BC, when a rebellion began in the north