Morocco the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2. Its capital is the largest city Casablanca, it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris I in 788 AD, the country has been ruled by a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, spanning parts of Iberia and northwestern Africa; the Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the struggle against foreign domination, allowing Morocco to remain the only northwest African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in 1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an international zone in Tangier, it regained its independence in 1956, has since remained comparatively stable and prosperous by regional standards.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara Spanish Sahara, as its Southern Provinces. After Spain agreed to decolonise the territory to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, a guerrilla war arose with local forces. Mauritania relinquished its claim in 1979, the war lasted until a cease-fire in 1991. Morocco occupies two thirds of the territory, peace processes have thus far failed to break the political deadlock; the unitary sovereign state of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers over the military, foreign policy and religious affairs. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of Councillors; the king can issue decrees called dahirs. He can dissolve the parliament after consulting the Prime Minister and the president of the constitutional court.
Morocco's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and Berber. E; the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, referred to as Darija, French are widely spoken. Moroccan culture is a blend of Berber, Sephardi Jews, West African and European influences. Morocco is a member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the African Union, it has the fifth largest economy of Africa. The full Arabic name al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah translates to "Kingdom of the West". For historical references, medieval Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco as al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions called al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ and al-Maghrib al-Adná; the basis of Morocco's English name is Marrakesh, its capital under the Almoravid dynasty and Almohad Caliphate. The origin of the name Marrakesh is disputed, but is most from the Berber words amur akush or "Land of God"; the modern Berber name for Marrakesh is Mṛṛakc. In Turkish, Morocco is known as a name derived from its ancient capital of Fes.
However, this was not the case in other parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the common name of Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic literature was Marrakesh. The English name Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish "Marruecos", from which derives the Tuscan "Morrocco", the origin of the Italian "Marocco"; the area of present-day Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication may demonstrate an earlier habitation period, as Homo sapiens fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the Atlantic coast in Jebel Irhoud were dated to 315,000 years before present. During the Upper Paleolithic, the Maghreb was more fertile than it is today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape. Twenty-two thousand years ago, the Aterian was succeeded by the Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European Cro-Magnon remains.
The Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker culture in Morocco. Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered the Saami of Scandinavia; this supports theories that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern Europe after the last ice age. Northwest Africa and Morocco were drawn into the wider emerging Mediterranean world by the Phoenicians, who established trading colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial Phoenician settlements were at Chellah and Mogador. Mogador was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. Morocco became a realm of the Northwest African civilisation of ancie
Albania the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Italy to the west. Geographically, the country displays varied climatic, geological and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2, it possesses remarkable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea. The area of Albania was populated by various Illyrian and Ancient Greek tribes as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast; the area was annexed in the 3rd century by Romans and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Illyricum. The autonomous Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire.
In the late thirteenth century, Charles of Anjou conquered Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, which at its maximal extension was extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. In the mid-fifteenth century, it was conquered by the Ottomans; the modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour; the country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Politically, the country is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the tertiary sector followed by the secondary and primary sector. It went through a process of transition, following the end of communism in 1990, from a centralized to a market-based economy, it provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC, it is an official candidate for membership in the European Union. In addition it is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean; the term Albania is the medieval Latin name of the country. It may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drafted a map in 150 AD, which shows the city of Albanopolis located northeast of the city of Durrës.
The term may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon, although it is not certain that this was the same place. In his history written in the 10th century, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni and referred to themselves as Arbëreshë or Arbëneshë. Nowadays, Albanians call their country Shqipëria; as early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. The two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles"; the first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë close to Sarandë and Dajti near Tiranë. The objects found in a cave near Xarrë include flint and jasper objects and fossilized animal bones, while those found at Mount Dajt comprise bone and stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture.
The Paleolithic finds of Albania show great similarities with objects of the same era found at Crvena Stijena in Montenegro and north-western Greece. Several Bronze Age artefacts from tumulus burials have been unearthed in central and southern Albania that show close connection with sites in south-western Macedonia and Lefkada, Greece. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these regions were inhabited from the middle of the third millennium BC by Indo-European people who spoke a Proto-Greek language. A part of this population moved to Mycenae around 1600 BC and founded the Mycenaean civilisation there. In ancient times, the territory of modern Albania was inhabited by a number of Illyrian tribes; the Illyrian tribes never collectively regarded themselves as'Illyrians', it is unlikely that they used any collective nomenclature for themselves. The name Illyrians seems to be the name applied to a specific Illyrian tribe, the first to come in contact with the ancient Greeks during the Bronze Age, causing the name Illyrians to be applied pars pro toto to all people of similar language and customs.
The territory known as Illyria corresponded to the area east of the Adriatic sea, extending in the south to the mouth of the Vjosë river. The first accou
The Preboreal is a stage of the Holocene epoch. It is succeeded by the Boreal, it lasted from 10,300 to 9,000 BP in radiocarbon years or 8350 BC to 7050 BC in Gregorian calendar years. It is the first stage of the Holocene epoch; the Holocene has not been formally divided by the IUGS. As a result the Preboreal is only a proposal, as stratigraphy and dating techniques have improved since this 1972 proposal the dates would be different if proposed today. Instead others have begun to use the terms Early and Late, which should be Lower and Upper for the Holocene. If this terminology were to be used the preboreal would be replaced by Lower Holocene which would be dated 11.7 - 8.2 ka B2K. In July 2018 the International Commission on Stratigraphy ratified Greenlandian as the globally recognised first age of the Holocene, much overlapping with the North European regional term Preboreal
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy. The region coincides with the Italian Riviera and is popular with tourists for its beaches and cuisine; the name Liguria predates Latin and is of obscure origin, however the Latin adjectives Ligusticum and Liguscus reveal the original -sc- in the root ligusc-, which shortened to -s- and turned into -r- in the Latin name Liguria according to rhotacism. The formant -sc- is present in the names Etruscan, Gascony and is believed by some researchers to relate to maritime people or sailors. Compare Greek Lígus λίγυς, a Ligurian, a person from Liguria, whence Ligustikḗ λιγυστική, the name of the place Liguria. Liguria is bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east, it lies on the Ligurian Sea. The narrow strip of land is bordered by the Alps and the Apennines mountains; some mountains rise above 2,000 m. The highest point of the region is the summit of Monte Saccarello; the winding arched extension goes from Ventimiglia to La Spezia.
Of this, 3,524.08 km2 are mountainous and 891.95 km2 are hills. Liguria's natural reserves cover 600 km2 of land, they are made up of one national reserve, six large parks, two smaller parks and three nature reserves. The continental shelf is narrow, so steep it descends immediately to considerable depths along its 350-kilometre coastline. Except for the Portovenere and Portofino promontories, the coast is not jagged, is high. At the mouths of the biggest watercourses are small beaches, but there are no deep bays and natural harbours except at Genoa and La Spezia; the hills lying beyond the coast together with the sea account for a mild climate year-round. Average winter temperatures are 7 to 10 °C and summer temperatures are 23 to 24 °C, which make for a pleasant stay in the dead of winter. Rainfall can be abundant at times, as mountains close to the coast create an orographic effect. Genoa and La Spezia can see up to 2,000 mm of rain in a year. According to classical sources, the Ligurians once lived in a far broader territory than present-day Liguria.
For example, the Greek colony of Massalia, modern Marseille, was recorded to lie in Ligurian territory. During the first Punic War, the ancient Ligurians were divided, some of them siding with Carthage and a minority with Rome, whose allies included the future Genoese. Under Augustus, Liguria was designated a region of Italy stretching from the coast to the banks of the Po River; the great Roman roads helped increase communication and trade. Important towns developed on the coast, of which evidence is left in the ruins of Albenga and Luni. Between the 4th and the 10th centuries Liguria was dominated by the Byzantines, the Lombards of King Rothari and the Franks, it was invaded by Saracen and Norman raiders. In the 10th century, once the danger of pirates decreased, the Ligurian territory was divided into three marches: Obertenga and Aleramica. In the 11th and 12th centuries the marches were split into fees, with the strengthening of the bishops’ power, the feudal structure began to weaken; the main Ligurian towns on the coast, became city-states, over which Genoa soon extended its rule.
Inland, fiefs belonging to noble families survived for a long time. Between the 11th century and the 15th century, the Republic of Genoa experienced an extraordinary political and commercial success, it was one of the most powerful maritime republics in the Mediterranean from the 12th to the 14th century: after the decisive victory in the battle of Meloria, it acquired control over the Tyrrhenian Sea and was present in the nerve centres of power during the last phase of the Byzantine empire, having colonies up to Black Sea and Crimean. After the introduction of the title of doge for life and the election of Simone Boccanegra, Genoa resumed its struggles against the Marquis of Finale and the Counts of Laigueglia and it conquered again the territories of Finale and Porto Maurizio. In spite of its military and commercial successes, Genoa fell prey to the internal factions which put pressure on its political structure. Due to the vulnerable situation, the rule of the republic went to the hands of the Visconti family of Milan.
After their expulsion by the popular forces under Boccanegra’s lead, the republic remained in Genoese hands until 1396, when the internal instability led the doge Antoniotto Adorno to surrender the title of Seignior of Genoa to the king of France. The French were driven away in 1409 and Liguria went back under Milanese control in 1421, thus remaining until 1435; the alternation of French and Milanese dominions over Liguria went on until the first half of the 16th century. The French influence ceased in 1528, when Andrea Doria allied with the powerful king of Spain and imposed an aristocratic government, which gave the republic a relative stability fo
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
6th millennium BC
The 6th millennium BC spanned the years 6000 through 5001 BC. It falls with rising sea levels. Culturally, Mesopotamia is in the Pottery Neolithic, agriculture spreads to Europe and to Egypt. World population grows as a result of the Neolithic Revolution quadrupling, from about 10 to 40 million, over the course of the millennium. Near Eastc. 6000 BC: The Chalcolithic comes to the Fertile Crescent. First use of copper in Near East. C. 6000 BC: Brick building was taking place at modern-day Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Agriculture appears in the Nile valley. C. 6000 BC–5900 BC: Earliest evidence of wine, Georgia. C. 5800 BC: The Hassuna culture in Mesopotamia, with the earliest version of stamp seals. C. 5500 BC: Beginning of Tell Zeidan in Syria. C. 6th millennium BC: Beginning of Teppe Hasanlu in Iran. C. 6th millennium BC: Beginning of Zayandeh River Culture in Iran, including Sialk. C. 5500 BC–4800 BC: Samarra culture at Mesopotamia begins. C. 5400 BC: Irrigation and the beginning of the Sumerian civilization in Southern Iraq.
C. 5100 BC: Temples founded in southern Mesopotamia. C. 5000 BC: Metsamor Armenia neolithic stone circles. Europe c. 6000 BC: Fully Neolithic agriculture has spread through Anatolia to the Balkans. C. 6000 BC: Cycladic culture begin to use a coarse local type of clay to make a variety of objects. C. 6000 BC: Female figurines holding serpents are fashioned on Crete and may have been associated with water, regenerative power and protection of the home. C. 5900 BC: Vinča culture emerges on the shores of lower Danube. C. 5900 BC: Beginning of human inhabitation in Malta. C. 5500 BC: Beginning of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture in the region of modern-day Romania and southwestern Ukraine. C. 5500 BC: Earliest evidence of cheese-making. C. 5500 BC Danubian culture c. late 6th and early 5th millennium BC: Beginning of Samara culture at the Samara bend region of the middle Volga, Russia. South Asiac. 6000 BC: Junglefowl kept in India. C. 5500 BC: Pottery at Mehrgarh in current-day Balochistan, Pakistan. Chinac.
5800 BC: Beginning of the Dadiwan culture in China. C. 5500 BC: Beginning of the Xinle culture in China. C. 5400 BC: Beginning of the Zhaobaogou culture in China. C. 5300 BC: Beginning of the Beixin culture in China. C. 5000 BC: Beginning of the Hemudu culture in China, cultivation of rice. C. 5000 BC: Beginning of the Daxi culture in China. C. 5000 BC: Beginning of the Majiabang culture in China. C. 5000 BC: Beginning of the Yangshao culture in China. New WorldThe oldest forms of Sydney rock engravings are estimated to date to 6000 BC. c. 5600 BC: The Red Paint People become established in the region from present-day Labrador to the state of New York. C. 5000 BC: Agriculture may have begun in the Americas. A massive volcanic landslide off Mount Etna, caused a megatsunami that devastated the eastern Mediterranean coastline on the continents of Asia and Europe. C. 6000 BC: The entire 6th millennium was a part of the Holocene climatic optimum. This was a warm period known as the Atlantic period and was characterized by minimal glaciation and high sea levels.
C. 6000 BC: Doggerland, the land bridge connecting England with the rest of Europe, disappears beneath the waters of the North Sea and the English Channel. C. 6000 BC: Peak of meltwater pulse 1C, leading to a rapid rise of sea level by about 6.5 m in less than 140 years. C. 6000 BC: Equidae disappear from the Americas. C. 5760 BC: The volcano Puy de Dôme in France erupts. C. 5677 BC: Cataclysmic volcanic eruption of 12,000-foot high Mount Mazama creates Oregon's Crater Lake when the resulting caldera fills with water. It is the largest single Holocene eruption in history of the Cascade Range, with a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 7. C. 5600 BC: Beginning of the desertification of North Africa leading to the creation of the Sahara desert. This process may have spurred migration to the region of the Nile in the east, thereby laying the groundwork for the rise of Egyptian civilization. C. 5600 BC: According to the Black Sea deluge hypothesis, the Black Sea floods with salt water. Some 3000 cubic miles of seawater is added expanding the body of water and transforming it into a sea from a fresh-water landlocked lake.5480 BC: Large 14C excursion indicating abnormal solar activityc.
5450 BC: Hekla volcanic eruption. The Byzantine calendar was used in the Byzantine Empire and many Christian Orthodox countries and Eastern Orthodox Churches and was based on the Septuagint text of the Bible; that calendar is similar to the Julian calendar except that its epoch is equivalent to 1 September 5509 BC on the Julian proleptic calendar. The 6th millennium BC falls within the zodiacal age of Gemini
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is politically a region of Italy, whose official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna, enjoys some degree of domestic autonomy granted by a specific Statute, it is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city, with Cagliari being the region's capital and its largest city. Sardinia's indigenous language and the other minority languages spoken on the island are recognized by the regional law and enjoy "equal dignity" with Italian. Due to the variety of its ecosystems, which include mountains, plains uninhabited territories, rocky coasts and long sandy beaches, the island has been defined metaphorically as a micro-continent. In the modern era, many travelers and writers have extolled the beauty of its untouched landscape, which houses the vestiges of the Nuragic civilization; the name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *srd- romanised as sardus.
It makes its first appearance on the Nora Stone, where the word Šrdn testifies to the name's existence when the Phoenician merchants first arrived. According to Timaeus, one of Plato's dialogues and its people as well might have been named after a legendary woman going by Sardò, born in Sardis, capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia. There has been speculation that identifies the ancient Nuragic Sards with the Sherden, one of the Sea Peoples, it is suggested that the name had a religious connotation from its use as the adjective for the ancient Sardinian mythological hero-god Sardus Pater, as well as being the stem of the adjective "sardonic". In Classical antiquity, Sardinia was called a number of names besides Sardò or Sardinia, like Ichnusa and Argirofleps. Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 24,100 square kilometres, it is situated between 8 ° 8' and 9 ° 50' east longitude. To the west of Sardinia is the Sea of Sardinia, a unit of the Mediterranean Sea.
The nearest land masses are the island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia, the Balearic Islands, Provence. The Tyrrhenian Sea portion of the Mediterranean Sea is directly to the east of Sardinia between the Sardinian east coast and the west coast of the Italian mainland peninsula; the Strait of Bonifacio is directly north of Sardinia and separates Sardinia from the French island of Corsica. The coasts of Sardinia are high and rocky, with long straight stretches of coastline, many outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, many inlets and with various smaller islands off the coast; the island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike Sicily and mainland Italy, is not earthquake-prone. Its rocks date in fact from the Palaeozoic Era. Due to long erosion processes, the island's highlands, formed of granite, trachyte, basalt and dolomite limestone, average at between 300 to 1,000 metres; the highest peak is part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island. Other mountain chains are Monte Limbara in the northeast, the Chain of Marghine and Goceano running crosswise for 40 kilometres towards the north, the Monte Albo, the Sette Fratelli Range in the southeast, the Sulcis Mountains and the Monte Linas.
The island's ranges and plateaux are separated by wide alluvial valleys and flatlands, the main ones being the Campidano in the southwest between Oristano and Cagliari and the Nurra in the northwest. Sardinia has few major rivers, the largest being the Tirso, 151 km long, which flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas and the Flumendosa. There are 54 artificial dams that supply water and electricity; the main ones are Lake Coghinas. The only natural freshwater lake is Lago di Baratz. A number of large, salt-water lagoons and pools are located along the 1,850 km of the coastline; the climate of the island is variable from area to area, due to several factors including the extension in latitude and the elevation. It can be classified in two different macrobioclimates, one macrobioclimatic variant, called Submediterranean, four classes of continentality, eight thermotypic horizons and seven ombrotypic horizons, resulting in a combination of 43 different isobioclimates. During the year there is a major concentration