Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent; the island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, verdant landscape of fields and chines. The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes, it has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event held, it has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe. The isle was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies The British Crown was represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995.
The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890, it continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed; until 1995 the island had a governor. The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea. During the last Ice Age, sea levels were lower and the Solent was part of a river flowing south east from current day Poole Harbour towards mid-Channel.
As sea levels rose, the river valley became flooded, the chalk ridge line west of the Needles breached to form the island. The Isle of Wight is first mentioned in writing in Geography by Ptolemy. Bronze Age Britain had large reserves of tin in the areas of Cornwall and Devon and tin is necessary to smelt bronze. At that time the sea level was much lower and carts of tin were brought across the Solent at low tide for export on the Ferriby Boats. Anthony Snodgrass suggests that a shortage of tin, as a part of the Bronze Age Collapse and trade disruptions in the Mediterranean around 1300 BC, forced metalworkers to seek an alternative to bronze. During Iron Age Britain, the Late Iron Age, the Isle of Wight would appear to have been occupied by the Celtic tribe, the Durotriges - as attested by finds of their coins, for example, the South Wight Hoard, the Shalfleet Hoard. South eastern Britain experienced significant immigration, reflected in the genetic makeup of the current residents; as the Iron Age began the value of tin dropped and this greatly changed the economy of the Isle of Wight.
Trade however continued. Julius Caesar reported that the Belgae took the Isle of Wight in about 85 BC, recognised the culture of this general region as "Belgic", but made no reference to Vectis; the Roman historian Suetonius mentions. The Romans built no towns on the island, but the remains of at least seven Roman villas have been found, indicating the prosperity of local agriculture. First-century exports were principally hides, hunting dogs, cattle, silver and iron. Ferriby Boats and Blackfriars Ships were important to the local economy. During the Dark Ages the island was settled by Jutes as the pagan kingdom of Wihtwara under King Arwald. In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla. In 686 Arwald was defeated and the island became the last part of English lands to be converted to Christianity, added to Wessex and becoming part of England under King Alfred the Great, included within the shire of Hampshire, it suffered from Viking raids, was used as a winter base by Viking raiders when they were unable to reach Normandy.
Both Earl Tostig and his brother Harold Godwinson held manors on the island. Starting in AD 449 the 5th and 6th centuries saw groups of Germanic speaking peoples from Northern Europe crossing the English Channel and setting up home. Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum identifies three separate groups of invaders: of these, the Jutes from Denmark settled the Isle of Wight and Kent. From onwards, there are indications that the island had wide trading links, with a port at Bouldnor, evidence of Bronze Age tin trading, finds of Late Iron Age coins; the Norman Conquest of 1066 created the position of Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. Allegiance was sworn to FitzOsbern rather than the king. For nearly 200 years the island
Belle Tout Lighthouse
The Belle Tout Lighthouse is a decommissioned lighthouse and British landmark located at Beachy Head, East Sussex close to the town of Eastbourne. It has been called "Britain's most famous inhabited lighthouse" because of its striking location and use in film and television. In 1999, the Grade II listed building was moved in one piece to prevent it from succumbing to coastal erosion; the cliffs near Beachy Head saw numerous shipwrecks in the 17th and early 18th centuries and a petition to erect a lighthouse started around 1691. The calls were ignored for over 100 years until The Thames, an East Indiaman, crashed into the rocks off Beachy Head; the petition gained momentum with the support of a Captain of the Royal Navy and Trinity House, the official lighthouse authority, agreed to attend to the matter. Having witnessed the incident himself, John'Mad Jack' Fuller, MP for Sussex, used his influence and some of his personal wealth to fund the lighthouse construction; the first Belle Tout lighthouse was a temporary wooden structure that started service on 1 October 1828.
The construction of the permanent granite lighthouse began in 1829 and it became operational on 11 October 1834. The light was provided by a three-sided rotating array of oil lamps, with ten lamps on each side, each lamp mounted within a parabolic reflector, its use of 30 oil lamps meant. The lighthouse was not as successful as had been hoped, with two significant flaws leading to an alternative being sought; the cliff-top location caused problems when sea mists obscured the light reducing the distance that it would reach. Vessels that sailed too to the rocks would not be able to see the light because it was blocked by the edge of the cliff. However, the cliffs of Beachy Head suffered intense coastal erosion over the years and the rocky area started to be covered by the light; the Belle Tout was in service until 2 October 1902, when a new lighthouse was built at the bottom of the cliffs, known at the Beachy Head Lighthouse. Trinity House sold off the building in 1903. One purchaser was Sir James Purves-Stewart, who constructed an access road and upgraded the building.
During the Second World War the building was left empty. It was badly damaged by Canadian artillery fire, although the lighthouse itself was not the target: the guns were firing at wooden silhouettes of tanks which ran up the hill along rails to the east of building; the trace of the railway track is still discernible. After the local council took ownership in 1948, the decision was made to restore the lighthouse because of its historical significance. Building work was carried out under lease in 1956 and the lighthouse was brought up to date with modern amenities. In 1986, the BBC purchased the lease to Belle Tout for the filming of mini-series The Life and Loves of a She-Devil and a year it featured in the James Bond film The Living Daylights. From 1996 the lighthouse was used as a family home and, in 2007, the building was put up for sale again, it now includes large walled gardens. The lighthouse was further immortalised in the song "Belle Tout" by British rock band Subterraneans, in the movie B Monkey starring Asia Argento.
The glass'round room' which once housed the light itself was featured on the popular BBC television show Changing Rooms, wherein it was redesigned by celebrity interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. By 1999 the erosion of the cliffs was threatening the foundations of the building and drastic steps had to be taken to stop it from falling into the sea. On 17 March 1999 in a remarkable feat of engineering work the Belle Tout was moved 17 metres away from the cliff face; the 850-ton lighthouse was moved using a pioneering system of hydraulic jacks which pushed the building along four steel-topped concrete beams that were lubricated with grease, work undertaken by the engineering firm Abbey PynfordThe site should now be safe for many years and has been designed to enable further moves as and when they are required. The "Belle Toute Lighthouse Preservation Trust" was formed in 2007 to bring together a non-profit organisation that could raise the funds to purchase the lighthouse so that it can be opened as a tourist attraction and Bed and Breakfast.
The trust was wound up in May 2008. In January 2010, the lighthouse appeared on Channel 5 in a programme named Build a New Life in the Country; this showed how it was converted into a luxury bed and breakfast. Belle Tout lighthouse had been bought for £500,000 and a further £700,000 was spent restoring it; the original access road was too close to the edge of the cliff. Beachy Head Eastbourne Listed buildings in Eastbourne List of lighthouses in England Channel 5 build a new life in the country Belle Toute Lighthouse Information Resource The Office Belle Tout Lighthouse Unique Bed & Breakfast website
U-boat is an anglicised version of the German word U-Boot, a shortening of Unterseeboot "underseaboat." While the German term refers to any submarine, the English one refers to military submarines operated by Germany in the First and Second World Wars. Although at times they were efficient fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were most used in an economic warfare role and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping; the primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from Canada and other parts of the British Empire, from the United States to the United Kingdom and to the Soviet Union and the Allied territories in the Mediterranean. German submarines destroyed Brazilian merchant ships during World War II, causing Brazil to declare war on the Axis powers in 1944. Austro-Hungarian Navy submarines were known as U-boats; the first submarine built in Germany, the three-man Brandtaucher, sank to the bottom of Kiel harbor on 1 February 1851 during a test dive.
The inventor and engineer Wilhelm Bauer had designed this vessel in 1850, Schweffel & Howaldt constructed it in Kiel. Dredging operations in 1887 rediscovered Brandtaucher. There followed in 1890 the boats WW2, built to a Nordenfelt design. In 1903 the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft dockyard in Kiel completed the first functional German-built submarine, which Krupp sold to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War in April 1904; the SM U-1 was a redesigned Karp-class submarine and only one was built. The Imperial German Navy commissioned it on 14 December 1906, it had a double hull, a Körting kerosene engine, a single torpedo tube. The 50%-larger SM U-2 had two torpedo tubes; the U-19 class of 1912–13 saw the first diesel engine installed in a German navy boat. At the start of World War I in 1914, Germany had 48 submarines of 13 classes in service or under construction. During that war the Imperial German Navy used SM U-1 for training. Retired in 1919, it remains on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
On 5 September 1914, HMS Pathfinder was sunk by SM U-21, the first ship to have been sunk by a submarine using a self-propelled torpedo. On 22 September, U-9 under the command of Otto Weddigen sank the obsolete British warships HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue in a single hour. In the Gallipoli Campaign in early 1915 in the eastern Mediterranean, German U-boats, notably the U-21, prevented close support of allied troops by 18 pre-Dreadnought battleships by sinking two of them. For the first few months of the war, U-boat anticommerce actions observed the "prize rules" of the time, which governed the treatment of enemy civilian ships and their occupants. On 20 October 1914, SM U-17 sank the SS Glitra, off Norway. Surface commerce raiders were proving to be ineffective, on 4 February 1915, the Kaiser assented to the declaration of a war zone in the waters around the British Isles; this was cited as a retaliation for British minefields and shipping blockades. Under the instructions given to U-boat captains, they could sink merchant ships potentially neutral ones, without warning.
In February 1915, a submarine U-6 was rammed and both periscopes were destroyed off Beachy Head by the collier SS Thordis commanded by Captain John Bell RNR after firing a torpedo. On 7 May 1915, SM U-20 sank the liner RMS Lusitania; the sinking claimed 1,198 lives, 128 of them American civilians, the attack of this unarmed civilian ship shocked the Allies. According to the ship's manifest, Lusitania was carrying military cargo, though none of this information was relayed to the citizens of Britain and the United States who thought that the ship contained no ammunition or military weaponry whatsoever and it was an act of brutal murder. Munitions that it carried were thousands of crates full of ammunition for rifles, 3-inch artillery shells, various other standard ammunition used by infantry; the sinking of the Lusitania was used as propaganda against the German Empire and caused greater support for the war effort. A widespread reaction in the U. S was not seen until the sinking of the ferry SS Sussex.
The sinking occurred in 1915 and the United States entered the war in 1917. The initial U. S. response was to threaten to sever diplomatic ties, which persuaded the Germans to issue the Sussex pledge that reimposed restrictions on U-boat activity. The U. S. reiterated its objections to German submarine warfare whenever U. S. civilians died as a result of German attacks, which prompted the Germans to reapply prize rules. This, removed the effectiveness of the U-boat fleet, the Germans sought a decisive surface action, a strategy that culminated in the Battle of Jutland. Although the Germans claimed victory at Jutland, the British Grand Fleet remained in control at sea, it was necessary to return to effective anticommerce warfare by U-boats. Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, Commander in Chief of the High Seas Fleet, pressed for all-out U-boat war, convinced that a high rate of shipping losses would force Britain to seek an early peace before the United States could react effectively; the renewed German campaign was effective, sinking 1.4 million tons of shipping between October 1916 and January 1917.
Despite this, the political situation demanded greater pressure, on 31 January 1917, Germany announced that its U-boats would engage in unrestricted submarine warfare beginning 1 February. On 17 March, German submarines sank three American merchant vessels, the U. S. declared wa
Beachy Head Lighthouse
Beachy Head Lighthouse is a lighthouse located in the English Channel below Beachy Head in East Sussex. It is 43 m in height and became operational in October 1902. In 1900 to 1902 under the direction of Sir Thomas Matthews, the Trinity House Engineer-in-Chief, the lighthouse was built, sited about 165 metres seawards from the base of the cliffs. For the construction, a temporary cable car from the cliff was installed for the transport of workers and stones to an iron ocean platform adjacent to the lighthouse. 3,660 tons of Cornish granite were used in the construction of the tower. For more than 80 years, the red-and-white striped tower was manned by three lighthouse keepers, their job was to maintain the light. It was visible 26 nautical miles out to sea; the lighthouse was automated in 1983 and the keepers withdrawn. In June 2010, Trinity House announced in the five yearly "Aids To Navigation Review" that the light range would be reduced to 8 nmi and the fog signal discontinued. In February 2011, the work was undertaken and light range reduced by the installation of a new LED navigation light system.
The old lens, though no longer in use, was left in situ. The fog signal was discontinued at this time. Trinity House announced in 2011 that it could no longer afford to repaint the distinctive red and white stripes and that it would have to be left to return to its natural granite gray, it stated that because boats now have high tech navigational systems the day marker stripes are no longer essential. However, a sponsored campaign to keep the stripes was launched in October 2011; the required £27,000 was raised. The tower repainting was completed in October using a team including two abseilers. Five coats of paint were applied to the copper lantern at the top and three on each hoop of the tower; the lighthouse was a setting in an episode of The Prisoner called The Girl. List of lighthouses in England Trinity House
Chalk is a soft, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is an ionic salt called calcium carbonate or CaCO3, it forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite shells shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores. Flint is common as bands parallel to the bedding or as nodules embedded in chalk, it is derived from sponge spicules or other siliceous organisms as water is expelled upwards during compaction. Flint is deposited around larger fossils such as Echinoidea which may be silicified. Chalk as seen in Cretaceous deposits of Western Europe is unusual among sedimentary limestones in the thickness of the beds. Most cliffs of chalk have few obvious bedding planes unlike most thick sequences of limestone such as the Carboniferous Limestone or the Jurassic oolitic limestones; this indicates stable conditions over tens of millions of years. Chalk has greater resistance to weathering and slumping than the clays with which it is associated, thus forming tall, steep cliffs where chalk ridges meet the sea.
Chalk hills, known as chalk downland form where bands of chalk reach the surface at an angle, so forming a scarp slope. Because chalk is well jointed it can hold a large volume of ground water, providing a natural reservoir that releases water through dry seasons. Chalk is mined from chalk deposits both above underground. Chalk mining boomed during the Industrial Revolution, due to the need for chalk products such as quicklime and bricks; some abandoned chalk mines remain tourist destinations due to their massive expanse and natural beauty. The Chalk Group is a European stratigraphic unit, it forms the famous White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, England, as well as their counterparts of the Cap Blanc Nez on the other side of the Dover Strait. The Champagne region of France is underlain by chalk deposits, which contain artificial caves used for wine storage; some of the highest chalk cliffs in the world occur at Jasmund National Park in Germany and at Møns Klint in Denmark – both once formed a single island.
Ninety million years ago what is now the chalk downland of Northern Europe was ooze accumulating at the bottom of a great sea. Chalk was one of the earliest rocks made up of microscopic particles to be studied under the microscope, when it was found to be composed entirely of coccoliths, their shells were made of calcite extracted from the rich seawater. As they died, a substantial layer built up over millions of years and, through the weight of overlying sediments became consolidated into rock. Earth movements related to the formation of the Alps raised these former sea-floor deposits above sea level; the chemical composition of chalk is calcium carbonate, with minor amounts of clay. It is formed in the sea by sub-microscopic plankton, which fall to the sea floor and are consolidated and compressed during diagenesis into chalk rock. Most people first encounter the word "chalk" in school where it refers to blackboard chalk, made of mineral chalk, since it crumbles and leaves particles that stick loosely to rough surfaces, allowing it to make writing that can be erased.
Blackboard chalk manufacture now may use mineral chalk, other mineral sources of calcium carbonate, or the mineral gypsum. While gypsum-based blackboard chalk is the lowest cost to produce, thus used in the developing world, calcium-based chalk can be made where the crumbling particles are larger and thus produce less dust, is marketed as "dustless chalk". Colored chalks, pastel chalks, sidewalk chalk, used to draw on sidewalks and driveways, are made of gypsum. Chalk is a source of quicklime by thermal decomposition, or slaked lime following quenching of quicklime with water. In southeast England, deneholes are a notable example of ancient chalk pits; such bell pits may mark the sites of ancient flint mines, where the prime object was to remove flint nodules for stone tool manufacture. The surface remains at Cissbury are one such example, but the most famous is the extensive complex at Grimes Graves in Norfolk. Woodworking joints may be fitted by chalking one of the mating surfaces. A trial fit will leave a chalk mark on the high spots of the corresponding surface.
Chalk transferring to cover the complete surface indicates a good fit. Builder's putty mainly contains chalk as a filler in linseed oil. Chalk may be used for its properties as a base. In agriculture, chalk is used for raising pH in soils with high acidity; the most common forms are CaCO3 and CaO. Small doses of chalk can be used as an antacid. Additionally, the small particles of chalk make it a substance ideal for polishing. For example, toothpaste contains small amounts of chalk, which serves as a mild abrasive. Polishing chalk is chalk prepared with a controlled grain size, for fine polishing of metals. Chalk can be used as fingerprint powder. Several traditional uses of chalk have been replaced by other substances, although the word "chalk" is still applied to the usual replacements. Tailor's chalk is traditionally a hard chalk used to make temporary markings on cloth by tailors, it is now made of talc. Chalk was traditionally used in recreation. In field sports, such as tennis played on grass, powdered chalk was used to mark the boundary lines of the playing field or court.
If a ball hits the line, a cloud of chalk or p
The Chalk Group is the lithostratigraphic unit which contains the Late Cretaceous limestone succession in southern and eastern England. The same or similar rock sequences occur across the wider northwest European chalk'province', it is characterised by thick deposits of chalk, a soft porous white limestone, deposited in a marine environment. Chalk is a limestone. A biomicrite is a limestone composed of fossil calcium carbonate mud. Most of the fossil debris in chalk consists of the microscopic plates, which are called coccoliths, of microscopic green algae known as coccolithophores. In addition to the coccoliths, the fossil debris includes a variable, but minor, percentage of the fragments of foraminifera and mollusks; the coccolithophores lived in the upper part of the water column. When they died, the microscopic calcium carbonate plates, which formed their shells settled downward through the ocean water and accumulated on the ocean bottom to form a thick layer of calcareous ooze, which became the Chalk Group.
The Chalk Group shows few signs of bedding, other than lines of flint nodules which become common in the upper part. Nodules of the mineral pyrite occur and are oxidized to brown iron oxide on exposed surfaces. Well-known outcrops include the White Cliffs of Dover, Beachy Head, the southern coastal cliffs of the Isle of Wight and the quarries and motorway cuttings at Blue Bell Hill, at the Stokenchurch Gap on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border where the M40 motorway cuts through the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve; the Chalk Group is now divided into a White Chalk Subgroup and a Grey Chalk Subgroup, both of which are further subdivided into formations. These modern divisions replace numerous earlier divisions, references to which occur on geological maps and in other geological literature. No subgroups were defined but three formations were identified. Different formations are defined within the'northern' and'southern' provinces, from Norfolk northwards and south of the Thames valley respectively.
A'transitional province' between the two and covering much of East Anglia and the Chiltern Hills is recognised. A different approach again is taken; the Grey Chalk Subgroup is relatively soft and greyish in colour. It is the most fossiliferous; the strata of this subgroup begin with the'Glauconitic Marl Member', named after the grains of the green minerals glauconite and chlorite which it contains. The remainder of the subgroup is argillaceous in its lower part (the West Melbury Marly Chalk Formation and becomes progressively purer in the'Zig-zag Chalk Formation'. In the central Chilterns the two parts are separated by the hard Totternhoe Stone, which forms a prominent scarp in some places. There are few, if any, flint nodules present; these two formations are not recognised within the northern province i.e. the outcrop north from East Anglia to Yorkshire, where the entire sequence is now referred to as the'Ferriby Chalk Formation'. The thickness of the Grey Chalk Subgroup strata varies, averaging around 200 ft, depending upon the location.
They contains fossils such as the ammonites Schloenbachia and Mantelliceras, the belemnite Actinocamax, the bivalves Inoceramus and Ostrea. The White Chalk Subgroup includes what were designated the Middle Chalk and Upper Chalk Formations, together with the Plenus Marls. In the southern province it is divided in the following way: Portsdown Chalk Formation Culver Chalk Formation Spetisbury Chalk Member Tarrant Chalk Member Newhaven Chalk Formation Seaford Chalk Formation Lewes Nodular Chalk Formation New Pit Chalk Formation Holywell Nodular Chalk Formation Plenus Marls MemberIn the northern province the sequence is divided thus: Rowe Chalk Formation Flamborough Chalk Formation Burnham Chalk Formation Welton Chalk Formation Plenus Marls MemberIn the southern province, the former Middle Chalk, now the Holywell Nodular Chalk Formation and overlying New Pit Formation, averages about 200 ft in thickness; the sparse fossils found in this sequence include the brachiopod Terebratulina and the echinoid Conulus.
The former Upper Chalk by comparison is softer than the underlying sequence and the flint nodules it contains are far more abundant in the South of England, although in Yorkshire the underlying strata have the highest concentration of flints. It may contain gastropod fossils in some nodular layers; the thickness of this sequence varies often averaging around 300 ft. Fossils may be abundant and include the bivalve Spondylus, the brachiopods Terebratulina and Gibbithyris, the echinoids Sternotaxis, Micraster and Tylocidaris, the crinoid Marsupites, the small sponge Porosphaera
Sub-Saharan Africa is, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all African countries that are or located south of the Sahara, it contrasts with North Africa, whose territories are part of the League of Arab states within the Arab world. The states of Somalia, Djibouti and the Arabic speaking Mauritania are however geographically in sub-Saharan Africa, although they are members of the Arab League as well; the UN Development Program lists 46 of Africa’s 54 countries as “sub-Saharan,” excluding Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Somalia and Tunisia. The Sahel is the transitional zone in between the Sahara and the tropical savanna of the Sudan region and farther south the forest-savanna mosaic of tropical Africa. Since 3500 BCE, the Saharan and sub-Saharan regions of Africa have been separated by the harsh climate of the sparsely populated Sahara, forming an effective barrier interrupted by only the Nile in Sudan, though the Nile was blocked by the river's cataracts.
The Sahara pump theory explains how flora and fauna left Africa to penetrate the Middle East and beyond. African pluvial periods are associated with a Wet Sahara phase, during which larger lakes and more rivers existed; the use of the term has been criticized because it refers to the South only by cartography conventions and projects a connotation of inferiority. Geographers divided the region into several distinct ethnographic sections based on each area's respective inhabitants. Commentators in Arabic in the medieval period used the general term bilâd as-sûdân for the vast Sudan region, or sometimes extending from the coast of West Africa to Western Sudan, its equivalent in Southeast Africa was Zanj, situated in the vicinity of the Great Lakes region. The geographers drew an explicit ethnographic distinction between the Sudan region and its analogue Zanj, from the area to their extreme east on the Red Sea coast in the Horn of Africa. In modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea was Al-Habash or Abyssinia, inhabited by the Habash or Abyssinians, who were the forebears of the Habesha.
In northern Somalia was Barbara or the Bilad al-Barbar, inhabited by the Eastern Baribah or Barbaroi, as the ancestors of the Somalis were referred to by medieval Arab and ancient Greek geographers, respectively. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the populations south of the Sahara were divided into three broad ancestral groups: Hamites and Semites in the Horn of Africa and Sahel related to those in North Africa, who spoke languages belonging to the Afroasiatic family; the ancient Greeks sometimes referred to sub-Saharan Africa as Aethiopia, but sometimes applied this name more to the land which became Ethiopia. Sub-Saharan Africa has a wide variety of climate biomes. South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular are considered Megadiverse countries, it has a wet summer season. The Sahel shoots across all of Africa at a latitude of about 10° to 15° N. Countries that include parts of the Sahara Desert proper in their northern territories and parts of the Sahel in their southern region include Mauritania, Niger and Sudan.
The Sahel has a hot semi-arid climate. South of the Sahel, there is a belt of savanna, widening to include most of South Sudan and Ethiopia in the east; the Horn of Africa globally includes hot desert climate along the coast but hot semi-arid climate can be found much more in the interior, contrasting with savannah and moist broadleaf forests in the interior of Ethiopia. Tropical Africa encompasses tropical rainforest stretching along the southern coast of West Africa and across most of Central Africa west of the African Great Lakes The Eastern miombo woodlands are an ecoregion of Tanzania and Mozambique; the Serengeti ecosystem extends to southwestern Kenya. The Kalahari Basin includes the Kalahari Desert, surrounded by a belt of semi-desert; the Bushveld is a tropical savanna ecoregion of Southern Africa. The Karoo is a semi-desert in western South Africa. According to paleontology, early hominid skull anatomy was similar to that of their close cousins, the great African forest apes and chimpanzee.
However, they had adopted a bipedal locomotion and freed hands, giving them a crucial advantage enabling them to live in both forested areas and on the open savanna at a time when Africa was drying up, with savanna encroaching on forested areas. This occurred 10 million to 5 million years ago. By 3 million years ago several australopithecine hominid species had developed throughout southern and central Africa, they were tool users rather than tool manufacturers. The next major evolutionary step occurred around 2.3 million BCE, when primitive stone tools were used to scavenge the carcasses of animals killed by other predators, both for their meat and their marrow. In hunting, H. habilis was most not capable of competing with large predators and was more prey than hunter, although H. habilis did steal eggs from nests and may have been able to catch small game and weakened larger prey such as