Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.
The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
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
The cave bear was a species of bear that lived in Europe and Asia during the Pleistocene and became extinct about 24,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Maximum. Both the word cave and the scientific name spelaeus are used because fossils of species were mostly found in caves. This reflects the views of experts that cave bears may have spent more time in caves than the brown bear, Cave bear skeletons were first described in 1774 by Johann Friederich Esper in his book Newly Discovered Zoolites of Unknown Four Footed Animals. While scientists at the time considered that the skeletons could belong to apes, felids, or even dragons or unicorns, twenty years later, Johann Christian Rosenmüller, an anatomist at the Leipzig University, gave the species its binomial name. The bones were so numerous that most researchers had little regard for them, during World War I, with the scarcity of phosphate dung, earth from the caves where cave bear bones occurred were used as a source of phosphates. When the dragon caves in Austrias Steiermark region were exploited for this purpose, only the skulls, many caves in Central Europe have skeletons of cave bears inside, for example the Heinrichshöhle in Hemer, the Dechenhöhle in Iserlohn, Germany.
A complete skeleton, five complete skulls, and 18 other boness were found inside Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia in 1966 in Poland, in Romania, in a cave called Bears Cave,140 cave bear skeletons were discovered in 1983. Both the cave bear and the bear are thought to be descended from the Plio-Pleistocene Etruscan bear that lived about 5.3 Mya to 10,000 years ago. The last common ancestor of cave bears and brown bears lived between 1.2 and 1.4 Mya. The immediate precursor of the bear was probably Ursus deningeri. Ursus spelaeus deningeroides, while other authorities consider both taxa to be variants of the same species. Cave bears found in different regions vary in age, thus facilitating investigations into evolutionary trends, the three anterior premolars were gradually reduced, possibly in response to a largely vegetarian diet. In a fourth of the found in the Conturines, the third premolar is still present. The last remaining premolar became conjugated with the molars, enlarging the crown and granting it more cusps.
This phenomenon, known as molarization, improved the mastication capacities of the molars and this allowed the cave bear to gain more energy for hibernation, while eating less than its ancestors. The cave bear had a broad, domed skull with a steep forehead. Its stout body had long thighs, massive shins and in-turning feet, Cave bears were comparable in size to the largest modern-day bears. The average weight for males was 400 to 500 kilograms, with a specimen weighing 817 kg or more
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate, about 10% of sedimentary rocks are limestones. The solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes, most cave systems are through limestone bedrock. The first geologist to distinguish limestone from dolomite was Belsazar Hacquet in 1778, like most other sedimentary rocks, most limestone is composed of grains. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of organisms such as coral or foraminifera. Other carbonate grains comprising limestones are ooids, peloids and these organisms secrete shells made of aragonite or calcite, and leave these shells behind when they die. Limestone often contains variable amounts of silica in the form of chert or siliceous skeletal fragment, some limestones do not consist of grains at all, and are formed completely by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite, i. e. travertine.
Secondary calcite may be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters and this produces speleothems, such as stalagmites and stalactites. Another form taken by calcite is oolitic limestone, which can be recognized by its granular appearance, the primary source of the calcite in limestone is most commonly marine organisms. Some of these organisms can construct mounds of rock known as reefs, below about 3,000 meters, water pressure and temperature conditions cause the dissolution of calcite to increase nonlinearly, so limestone typically does not form in deeper waters. Limestones may form in lacustrine and evaporite depositional environments, calcite can be dissolved or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors, including the water temperature, pH, and dissolved ion concentrations. Calcite exhibits a characteristic called retrograde solubility, in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. Impurities will cause limestones to exhibit different colors, especially with weathered surfaces, Limestone may be crystalline, granular, or massive, depending on the method of formation.
Crystals of calcite, dolomite or barite may line small cavities in the rock, when conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together, or it can fill fractures. Travertine is a banded, compact variety of limestone formed along streams, particularly there are waterfalls. Calcium carbonate is deposited where evaporation of the leaves a solution supersaturated with the chemical constituents of calcite. Tufa, a porous or cellular variety of travertine, is found near waterfalls, coquina is a poorly consolidated limestone composed of pieces of coral or shells. During regional metamorphism that occurs during the building process, limestone recrystallizes into marble
The Bode Gorge is a 10 kilometres long ravine that forms part of the Bode valley between Treseburg and Thale in the Harz Mountains of central Germany. The German term, Bodetal, is used in a wider sense to refer to the valleys of the Warme. At the Bode Gorge, the River Bode, which rises on the highest mountain in the Harz, the ravine is about 140 m deep at Treseburg and some 280 m deep at Thale where it breaks out into the Harz Foreland. The Bode Gorge was designated a reserve as early as 5 March 1937. With an area of, currently 473.78 hectares, it is one of the largest nature reserves in Saxony-Anhalt, Ramberg granite predominantly forms the front section of the ravine and characterises its highest rocks. It appears light-coloured due to the proportion of white feldspar. The quartz lends it a grey shade, the proportion of black mica is low and carries no weight in terms of colouring. The light-coloured granite stands out from the dark to black coloured rocks of hornfels, as a result, the front section of the ravine and the river bed of the Bode in this area appear clearly lighter than the rear section.
The argillite at the rear of the gorge shows bands of colour in places that evinces the former strata of the marine sediments, the stratified slate was only slightly metamorphosed. In the area of the Bode Gorge average annual temperatures range from 8 °C down to 6.5 °C, the most common soil types are silicate leptosols, that belong to the thin stony soils around areas of rock and scree. In flatter areas with less rearrangement of the particles are stony Ranker leptosols of various thickness. One particular soil type, brown Ranker occurs above argillite rock, podsolised brown earth soils are found around the edges of the gorge. In the area of the ravine the Bode has a width of 7 to 25 metres and its river course and bed are very much in their natural state inside the ravine. Kettle-holes and scouring in the rock alternate with islands of gravel, the most notable rapids on the Bode, the Bodekessel, not far southwest of the Königsruhe tavern, is shrouded in legend. It was a low waterfall before its demolition in 1798.
Stones and boulders occupy the river bed, the water regime inside the ravine is affected, however, by the dams owned by the Bodewerk in the upper reaches of the river. The discharge can vary sharply, during the devastating New Year floods of 1925 a discharge of 350 m³/s was recorded, other major floods occurred in 1667,1730 and in April 1984. There was a plan to impound the Bode in the ravine as well in 1891 with a 150 m high dam at the Bodekessel, only a few streams enter the Bode, on the right-hand side of the ravine
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, in short, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, in the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and socially, the country has a rich history, the Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I.
In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a rather than ethnic distinction. Moreover, the country was simply called Bosnia until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008.
The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian Bass-an-as which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root bos or bogh, meaning the running water. According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna, the name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosačas title, Herceg of Hum and the Coast. Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was a medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century. Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east and it has a coastline about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N, and longitudes 15° and 20° E, the countrys name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian,419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous,358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, where rocks from this period were first studied, the first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents, by the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, and by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods became well-established, Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to often be dubbed the Age of Fish. The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placodermi began dominating almost every aquatic environment. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral, in the oceans, primitive sharks became more numerous than in the Silurian and Late Ordovician.
The first ammonites, species of molluscs, trilobites, the mollusk-like brachiopods and the great coral reefs, were still common. The Late Devonian extinction which started about 375 million years ago severely affected marine life, killing off all placodermi, and all trilobites, save for a few species of the order Proetida. The palaeogeography was dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, while the rock beds that define the start and end of the Devonian period are well identified, the exact dates are uncertain. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Devonian extends from the end of the Silurian 419.2 Mya, another common term is Age of the Fishes, referring to the evolution of several major groups of fish that took place during the period. Older literature on the Anglo-Welsh basin divides it into the Downtonian, Dittonian and Farlovian stages, in the Late Devonian, by contrast, arid conditions were less prevalent across the world and temperate climates were more common.
The Devonian Period is formally broken into Early and Late subdivisions, the rocks corresponding to those epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower and Upper parts of the Devonian System. Early Devonian The Early Devonian lasted from 419.2 ±2.8 to 393.3 ±2.5 and began with the Lochkovian stage, which lasted until the Pragian. It spanned from 410.8 ±2.8 to 407.6 ±2.5, and was followed by the Emsian, which lasted until the Middle Devonian began,393. 3±2.7 million years ago. Middle Devonian The Middle Devonian comprised two subdivisions, first the Eifelian, which gave way to the Givetian 387. 7±2.7 million years ago. Late Devonian Finally, the Late Devonian started with the Frasnian,382.7 ±2.8 to 372.2 ±2.5, during which the first forests took shape on land. The first tetrapods appeared in the record in the ensuing Famennian subdivision. This lasted until the end of the Devonian,358. 9±2.5 million years ago, the Devonian was a relatively warm period, and probably lacked any glaciers
A stalactite is a type of formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs, or manmade structures such as bridges and mines. Any material which is soluble, can be deposited as a colloid, or is in suspension, or is capable of being melted, Stalactites may be composed of amberat, minerals, peat, pitch and sinter. A stalactite is not necessarily a speleothem, though speleothems are the most common form of stalactite because of the abundance of limestone caves, the corresponding formation on the floor of the cave is known as a stalagmite. The most common stalactites are speleothems, which occur in limestone caves and they form through deposition of calcium carbonate and other minerals, which is precipitated from mineralized water solutions. Limestone is the form of calcium carbonate rock which is dissolved by water that contains carbon dioxide. When the solution comes into contact with air the chemical reaction that created it is reversed, the reversed reaction is, Ca 2 → CaCO3 + H 2O + CO2 An average growth rate is 0.13 mm a year.
The quickest growing stalactites are formed by a constant supply of slow dripping water rich in calcium carbonate and carbon dioxide. The drip rate must be enough to allow the CO2 to degas from the solution into the cave atmosphere. Too fast a drip rate and the solution, still carrying most of the CaCO3, falls to the floor where degassing occurs. All limestone stalactites begin with a single drop of water. When the drop falls, it deposits the thinnest ring of calcite, each subsequent drop that forms and falls deposits another calcite ring. Eventually, these form a very narrow, hollow tube commonly known as a soda straw stalactite. Soda straws can grow long, but are very fragile. If they become plugged by debris, water flowing over the outside, depositing more calcite. The same water drops that fall from the tip of a stalactite deposit more calcite on the floor below, unlike stalactites, stalagmites never start out as hollow soda straws. Given enough time, these formations can meet and fuse to create pillars of calcium carbonate known as a column, another type of stalactite is formed in lava tubes while lava is still active inside.
The mechanism of formation is similar to that of limestone stalactites, a key difference with lava stalactites is that once the lava has ceased flowing, so too will the stalactites cease to grow. This means that if the stalactite were to be broken it would never grow back, the generic term lavacicle has been applied to lava stalactites and stalagmites indiscriminately and evolved from the word icicle
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters and he was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. He contributed to the planning of Weimars botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace and his first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy. During this period, Goethe published his novel, Wilhelm Meisters Apprenticeship, the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea, and, in 1808. Goethes comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, Goethes father, Johann Caspar Goethe, lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt, an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire. Though he had studied law in Leipzig and had been appointed Imperial Councillor, Johann Caspar married Goethes mother, Catharina Elizabeth Textor at Frankfurt on 20 August 1748, when he was 38 and she was 17. All their children, with the exception of Johann Wolfgang and his sister, Cornelia Friederica Christiana and his father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time, especially languages.
Goethe received lessons in dancing and fencing, Johann Caspar, feeling frustrated in his own ambitions, was determined that his children should have all those advantages that he had not. Although Goethes great passion was drawing, he became interested in literature, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock. He took pleasure in reading works on history and religion. He writes about this period, Goethe became acquainted with Frankfurt actors, among early literary attempts, he was infatuated with Gretchen, who would reappear in his Faust and the adventures with whom he would concisely describe in Dichtung und Wahrheit. He adored Caritas Meixner, a wealthy Worms traders daughter and friend of his sister, Goethe studied law at Leipzig University from 1765 to 1768. He detested learning age-old judicial rules by heart, preferring instead to attend the lessons of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. In Leipzig, Goethe fell in love with Anna Katharina Schönkopf, in 1770, he anonymously released Annette, his first collection of poems.
His uncritical admiration for many contemporary poets vanished as he became interested in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, already at this time, Goethe wrote a good deal, but he threw away nearly all of these works, except for the comedy Die Mitschuldigen. The restaurant Auerbachs Keller and its legend of Fausts 1525 barrel ride impressed him so much that Auerbachs Keller became the real place in his closet drama Faust Part One. As his studies did not progress, Goethe was forced to return to Frankfurt at the close of August 1768, Goethe became severely ill in Frankfurt. During the year and a half that followed, because of several relapses, during convalescence, Goethe was nursed by his mother and sister