Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, with a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europes 16th-largest country. Organised prehistoric cultures began developing on current Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period and its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracians, Persians, Romans, Goths and Huns. With the downfall of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1396, its territories came under Ottoman rule for five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 led to the formation of the Third Bulgarian State, the following years saw several conflicts with its neighbours, which prompted Bulgaria to align with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 it became a one-party socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc, in December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led to Bulgarias transition into a democracy and a market-based economy.
Bulgarias population of 7.2 million people is predominantly urbanised, most commercial and cultural activities are centred on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are industry, power engineering. The countrys current political structure dates to the adoption of a constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative. Human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria can be traced back to the Paleolithic, animal bones incised with man-made markings from Kozarnika cave are assumed to be the earliest examples of symbolic behaviour in humans. Organised prehistoric societies in Bulgarian lands include the Neolithic Hamangia culture, Vinča culture, the latter is credited with inventing gold working and exploitation. Some of these first gold smelters produced the coins and jewellery of the Varna Necropolis treasure and this site offers insights for understanding the social hierarchy of the earliest European societies.
Thracians, one of the three primary groups of modern Bulgarians, began appearing in the region during the Iron Age. In the late 6th century BC, the Persians conquered most of present-day Bulgaria, and kept it until 479 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the area fell under Byzantine control, by this time, Christianity had already spread in the region. A small Gothic community in Nicopolis ad Istrum produced the first Germanic language book in the 4th century, the first Christian monastery in Europe was established around the same time by Saint Athanasius in central Bulgaria. From the 6th century the easternmost South Slavs gradually settled in the region, in 680 Bulgar tribes under the leadership of Asparukh moved south across the Danube and settled in the area between the lower Danube and the Balkan, establishing their capital at Pliska
Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.7 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, the territory of Austria covers 83,879 km2. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps, only 32% of the country is below 500 m. The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene. The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, from the time of the Reformation, many northern German princes, resenting the authority of the Emperor, used Protestantism as a flag of rebellion. Following Napoleons defeat, Prussia emerged as Austrias chief competitor for rule of a greater Germany, Austrias defeat by Prussia at the Battle of Königgrätz, during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, cleared the way for Prussia to assert control over the rest of Germany.
In 1867, the empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary, Austria was thus the first to go to war in the July Crisis, which would ultimately escalate into World War I. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919, in 1938 Nazi Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Germany was occupied by the Allies, in 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is Vienna, other major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $43,724, the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2014 was ranked 21st in the world for its Human Development Index.
Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999. The German name for Austria, Österreich, meant eastern realm in Old High German, and is cognate with the word Ostarrîchi and this word is probably a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976, the word Austria is a Latinisation of the German name and was first recorded in the 12th century. Accordingly, Norig would essentially mean the same as Ostarrîchi and Österreich, the Celtic name was eventually Latinised to Noricum after the Romans conquered the area that encloses most of modern-day Austria, around 15 BC. Noricum became a Roman province in the mid-first century AD, heers hypothesis is not accepted by linguists. Settled in ancient times, the Central European land that is now Austria was occupied in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes, the Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province
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
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
Bison are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Bison within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant and four species are recognized. Of the four species, three were North American endemics, Bison antiquus, B. latifrons, and B. occidentalis. The fourth, B. priscus, ranged across steppe environments from Western Europe, through Central Asia, East Asia including Japan, of the two surviving species, the American bison, B. bison, found only in North America, is the more numerous. Although sometimes referred to historically as a buffalo, it is distantly related to the true buffalo. The North American species is composed of two subspecies, the Plains bison, B. b. bison, and the Wood bison, B. b. athabascae, which is the namesake of Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. A third subspecies, the Eastern Woodland Bison is no longer considered a valid taxon, references to Woods Bison or Wood Bison from the eastern United States confusingly refer to this subspecies, not B. b. athabascae, which was not found in the region.
The European bison B. bonasus, or wisent, is found in Europe, while all bison species are classified in their own genus, they are sometimes bred with domestic cattle and produce fertile offspring called beefalo or zubron. The American bison and the European bison are the largest surviving terrestrial animals in North America, Bison are good swimmers and can cross rivers over half a mile wide. They are nomadic grazers and travel in herds, the bulls leave the herds of females at two or three years of age, and join a male herd, which are generally smaller than female herds. Towards the end of the summer, for the reproductive season, American bison are known for living in the Great Plains, but formerly had a much larger range including much of the eastern United States and parts of Mexico. The American Plains bison is no longer listed as endangered, genetically pure B. b. bison currently number only ~20,000, separated into fragmented herds - all of which require active conservation measures. Although superficially similar and behavioural differences exist between the American and European bison, the American species has 15 ribs, while the European bison has 14.
The American bison has four lumbar vertebrae, while the European has five, adult American bison are less slim in build and have shorter legs. American bison tend to more, and browse less than their European relatives. Their anatomies reflect this difference, the American bisons head hangs lower than the Europeans. The body of the American bison is hairier, though its tail has less hair than that of the European bison. American bison are more easily tamed than their European cousins, the bovine tribe split about 5 to 10 million years ago into the buffalos and a group leading to bison and taurine cattle
Krapina Neanderthal site
The following tables give a brief overview of several notable hominin fossil finds relating to human evolution beginning with the formation of the Hominini tribe in the late Miocene. Deprecated classifications may be found on the fossils page, most of the fossils shown are not considered direct ancestors to Homo sapiens but are closely related to direct ancestors and are therefore important to the study of the lineage. Westview Press, Boulder CO. ISBN 978-0-8133-3482-0, cS1 maint, Multiple names, authors list Larsen, Clark Spencer, Robert M, Daniel L. CS1 maint, Multiple names, authors list Smithsonian Human Origins Program, schultz, J. Phenetic Affinities Among Early Homo Crania from East and South Africa
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 Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity, modern humans are believed to have emerged about 195,000 years ago in Africa. Although these humans were modern in anatomy, their lifestyle changed very little from their contemporaries, such as Homo erectus, about 50,000 years ago, there was a marked increase in the diversity of artifacts. In Africa, bone artifacts and the first art appear in the archeological record, between 45,000 and 43,000 years ago, this new tool technology spread with human migration to Europe. The new technology generated an explosion of modern humans which is believed to have contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthals. The Upper Paleolithic has the earliest known evidence of organized settlements, in the form of campsites, artistic work blossomed, with cave painting, petroglyphs and engravings on bone or ivory.
The first evidence of fishing is noted, from artifacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa. More complex social groupings emerged, supported by more varied and reliable food sources and this probably contributed to increasing group identification or ethnicity. By 50, 000–40,000 BP, the first humans set foot in Australia, by 45,000 BP, humans lived at 61° north latitude in Europe. By 30,000 BP, Japan was reached, and by 27,000 BP humans were present in Siberia above the Arctic Circle, at the end of the Upper Paleolithic, a group of humans crossed the Bering land bridge and quickly expanded throughout North and South America. Both Homo erectus and Neanderthals used the same crude stone tools, archaeologist Richard G. Klein, who has worked extensively on ancient stone tools, describes the stone tool kit of archaic hominids as impossible to categorize. It was as if the Neanderthals made stone tools, and were not much concerned about their final forms and he argues that almost everywhere, whether Asia, Africa or Europe, before 50,000 years ago all the stone tools are much alike and unsophisticated.
These new stone-tool types have been described as being distinctly differentiated from each other, the invaders, commonly referred to as the Cro-Magnons, left many sophisticated stone tools and engraved pieces on bone and antler, cave paintings and Venus figurines. The Neanderthals continued to use Mousterian stone tool technology and possibly Chatelperronian technology and these tools disappeared from the archeological record at around the same time the Neanderthals themselves disappeared from the fossil record, about 40,000 years ago. Settlements were often located in valley bottoms, possibly associated with hunting of passing herds of animals. Hunting was important, and caribou/wild reindeer may well be the species of single greatest importance in the anthropological literature on hunting. Technological advances included significant developments in flint tool manufacturing, with industries based on fine blades rather than simpler and shorter flakes and racloirs were used to work bone and hides.
Advanced darts and harpoons appear in period, along with the fish hook, the oil lamp, rope
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country is an autonomous community of northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava and Gipuzkoa, the Basque Country or Basque Autonomous Community was granted the status of nationality within Spain, attributed by the Spanish Constitution of 1978. The term Basque Country may refer to the cultural region, the home of the Basque people. The territory has three areas, which are defined by the two parallel ranges of the Basque Mountains. The main range of forms the watershed between the Atlantic and Mediterranean basins. The highest point of the range is in the Aizkorri massif, the three areas are, Formed by many valleys with short rivers that flow from the mountains to the Bay of Biscay, like the Nervión, Urola or Oria. The coast is rough, with cliffs and small inlets. The main features of the coast are the Bilbao Abra Bay and the Estuary of Bilbao, the Urdaibai estuary, between the two mountain ranges, the area is occupied mainly by a high plateau called Llanada Alavesa, where the capital Gasteiz is located.
The rivers flow south from the mountains to the Ebro River, the main rivers are the Zadorra River and Bayas River. From the southern mountains to the Ebro is the so-called Rioja Alavesa, some of Spains production of Rioja wine takes place here. Precipitation average is about 1200 mm, the middle section is more influence by the continental climate, but with a varying degree of the northern oceanic climate. This gives warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters, the Ebro valley has a pure continental climate, winters are cold and dry and summers very warm and dry, with precipitation peaking in spring and autumn. Precipitation is scarce and irregular, as low as 300 mm, almost half of the 2,155,546 inhabitants of the Basque Autonomous Community live in Greater Bilbao, Bilbaos metropolitan area. Of the ten most populous cities, six form part of Bilbaos conurbation, with 28. 2% of the Basque population born outside this region, immigration is crucial to Basque demographics. Over the 20th century most of this came from other parts of Spain, typically from Galicia or Castile.
Over recent years, sizeable numbers of population have returned to their birthplaces and most immigration to the Basque country now comes from abroad. Roman Catholicism is, by far, the largest religion in Basque Country, bilbao-Bilbo Vitoria-Gasteiz San Sebastián-Donostia Barakaldo Getxo Irun Portugalete Santurtzi Basauri Errenteria Spanish and Basque are co-official in all territories of the autonomous community. The Basque-speaking areas in the autonomous community are set against the wider context of the Basque language, spoken to the east in Navarre
The Franco-Cantabrian region is a term applied in Archaeology and History to refer to an area that stretches from Cantabria, in northern Spain, to Provence in southeastern France. It includes the southern half of France and the strip of Spain looking at the Bay of Biscay. This region shows intense homogeneity in the record and possibly was the region of Europe with the densest population of humans during the Late Paleolithic. Solutrean and Azilian cultures evolved locally in this area and his demographic simulations, based in archaeological data, suggest that it was the most densely populated region of Europe through all the Upper Paleolithic. Kieran OHara has suggested in his book Cave Art and Climate Change that climate controlled the Franco-Cantabrian cave depictions, arguably and Gascons are the direct descendants of the peoples of the Atlantic area, who remained more closed to the new tendencies from the Mediterranean and Central Europe
The Areni-1 cave complex is located near the Areni village in southern Armenia along the Arpa River. In 2010, it was announced that the earliest known shoe was found at the site, in January 2011, the earliest known winery in the world was announced to have been found. Also in 2011, the discovery of a straw skirt dating to 3900 BC was reported, in 2009, the oldest brain was discovered