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
Spy Cave is located near Spy in the municipality of Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, province of Namur, Belgium above the left bank of the Orneau River. Classified as a premier Wallonian Heritage site of the Walloon Region, the cave consists of numerous small chambers and corridors. Since the first amateur investigations during the late 19th century numerous amateur and professional archaeologists have carried out excavations, the excavation was conducted by Liège, archaeologist Marcel de Puydt and geologist Max Lohest. Paleontologist and zoologist Julien Fraipont published the description in the American Anthropologist journal. The assemblages of the oldest excavations have been mixed, that makes the interpretation of the palaeoenvironment difficult, in addition publications of de Puydt and Fraipoint disagree on the number of layers of knapped flints. The hominid skeletons discovered during the first excavations have been named Spy I, a female, and Spy 2 and these were dated to around 36,000 years BP, although a Bayesian analysis in 2014 concluded that they were probably more than 40,000 years old.
The identification of the remains of a Neanderthal child, Spy VI, was published in 2010, almost 12,000 faunal remains of the Pleistocene were discovered, including mammoth, cave hyena, woolly rhinoceros and cave bear bones. All levels contained mammoth remains, including a number of molars. It has been suggested that the Neanderthal occupants brought mammoth heads to the site and ate the brains, because many of the molars were unworn, these would have been very young or newborn calves, killed in early spring, when plant food would not yet have been available. Evidence of occupation by Upper Paleolithic anatomically modern humans has found at Spy. Pendants and perforated beads made from ivory, presumably by modern humans, were found in the cave. Goyet Caves Media related to Spy Cave at Wikimedia Commons
Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes
The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic between 4,300 and 2,200 BC. Declared to be remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction the site, discovered in 1843, the first excavations were undertaken during railway construction in 1867 and intermittent excavations have been carried out up to the present day. The Mines of Spiennes cover some 100 ha of downland four miles south-east of the city of Mons, the site is dotted with millions of scraps of worked flint and numerous mining pits, that Neolithic settlers have gradually turned into vertical mine shafts to depths of over 10 m. Research has illustrated Neolithic techniques for the cutting of the flint and the extraction of large slabs of flint, the nodules were extracted using flint picks. The stones were knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, the SILEXS Interpretive Centre has opened in spring 2015. The rough-outs were exchanged over an area, about 150 km. Polishing strengthens the product, making the axe- or adze-head last longer.
The smooth surface aids the cutting action by lowering friction with the wood, the axes were used initially for forest clearance during the Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes. The site has been compared with Grimes Graves and Cissbury in the United Kingdom, and Krzemionki in Poland, different hard rocks were used for the polished stone axes. Examples include the Langdale axe industry and Tievebulliagh, guillaume, Ph. Lipinski & A. Masson, Les mines de silex néolithiques de la Meuse dans le contexte européen. Musées de la Meuse, Sampigny 1987, F. Gosselin, Un site dexploitation du silex à Spiennes, au lieu-dit Petit-Spiennes. F. Hubert, Une minière néolithique à silex au Camp-à-Cayaux de Spiennes, F. Hubert, Lexploitation préhistorique du silex à Spiennes. Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de lAménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine, R. Shepherd, Prehistoric Mining and Allied Industries. Société de recherches préhistoriques en Hainaut, Minières néolithiques à Spiennes,1997 ICOMOS evaluation Collet, H.
Les mines néolithiques de Spiennes, état des connaissances et perspectives de recherche. Section 10, The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe, actes du XIVème congrès UISPP, Université de Liège, Belgique,2 –8 septembre 2001 H. Collet, A. Hauzeur & J. Lech,2008. The prehistoric flint mining complex at Spiennes on the occasion of its discovery 140 years ago In P. Allard, F. Bostyn, flint mining in Prehistoric Europe, Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Poland, 19–24 September 2006, H. Collet,2014. Les minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes
The Magura Cave is located in north-western Bulgaria close to the village of Rabisha,25 km from the town of Belogradchik in Vidin Province. Guided visits are conducted by the staff of Belogradchik municipality, to which the management of the cave was transferred in 2012 by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, in 1984 the site was induced into UNESCOs tentative list of World Heritage. The total length of the 15 million year old cave is 2.5 km, the average annual temperature of the cave is 12 °C, except for one room where the temperature is always 15 °C. The air humidity reaches 80% and the displacement -56 m, the Magura cave was formed in the limestone Rabisha Hill. The morphology of the consists of one main gallery with six various-sized halls. The very spacious site allows for music concerts to be held during Christmas, the inner temperature is constantly 11-12 °C. During the summers of 1974 and 1975 the cave was used for speleotherapy. Thirty patients slept in the cave for twelve nights, taking advantage of allergens absence, constant humidity.
A part of the cave is now used for ageing sparkling and red wines, labelled Magura, bones from different prehistoric species like cave bear, cave hyena, wolf, wild cat and otter have been discovered in the Magura Cave. Today, constant inhabitants of the cave is the collembola, as well as four types of bats, Cave paintings dating from the Epipaleolithic, late Neolithic and early Bronze Age decorate some of the caves walls. The paintings have been estimated to be made between 10.000 and 8.000 years ago, the drawings represent important events of the society that had occupied the Magura cave, religious ceremonies, hunting scenes and depictions of deities which are unique on the Balkan peninsula. The Fertility Dance and the Hunting Ceremony rank among the most noteworthy paintings, one grouping from the Bronze Age has been interpreted as a solar calendar. The cave paintings allowed storing information about regional solar calendar, religious festivals, contemporary imitations of possible fertility rites are reported — inscriptions in Latin and paintings made by treasure-hunters.
The medium used to create the art was bat guano, more than 750 images have been identified. Painted signs can be organised into four groups, zoomorphic, geometric. For the first group, there are bitriangular silhouettes with raised rounded arms, ithyphallic figures, regarding zoomorpic items, there are caprids, dogs, ostrich-like animals and schematic linear quadrupeds. Few rayed circle figures, mainly the two unica of the so-called calendar scene, likely represent a sun depiction, taking count of some associated figures, it is possible to recognize dancing and mating scenes. In the so-called Cult Hall a large dance and hunting scene is depicted, arranged in two main rows, these are the best known and most reproduced Magura Cave images
Badanj Cave is located in Borojevići village near the town of Stolac and Herzegovina. This rather small cave has come to attention after the 1976 discovery of its cave engravings. The site is rock shelter or overhang recessed beneath a cliff that descends to the bank of the river Bregava. Two chronologically distinct strata of Palaeolithic occupation were identified beneath the surface layer, of particular significance was the discovery of a particular carving of the Badanj site, as it ranks among the oldest works of art in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The carving is cut into the surface of a large polished block of stone. Only the rear half of the body survives, with flanks typical for a horse and part of the body, the Badanj carvings include depictions of animals and symbols, as is typical of Mediterranean prehistoric art. The site was dated to the late Upper Palaeolithic and it is designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2003
The Magdalenian refers to one of the cultures of the Upper Paleolithic in western Europe, dating from around 17,000 to 12,000 years ago. It is named after the site of La Madeleine, a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, commune of Tursac. The culture was geographically widespread, and Magdalenian sites have found from Portugal in the west to Poland in the east. It is the epoch of Gabriel de Mortillets cave chronology system. The Magdalenian epoch was a one, represented by numerous stations, whose contents show progress in the arts. It was characterized by a cold and dry climate, the existence of humans in association with the reindeer, the use of bone and ivory for various implements, already begun in the preceding Solutrian epoch, was much increased, and the period is essentially a Bone age. The bone instruments are varied, spear-points, harpoon-heads, hooks. Most remarkable is the evidence La Madeleine affords of prehistoric art, numbers of bones, reindeer antlers and animal teeth were found, with rude pictures, carved or etched on them, of seals, reindeer and other creatures.
The man is naked which, together with the snake, suggests a warm climate, the fauna of the Madelenian epoch seems, indeed, to have included tigers and other tropical species side by side with reindeer, blue foxes, Arctic hares and other polar creatures. Madelenian humans appears to have been of low stature, with low retreating forehead, the culture spans approximatively from 17,000 to 12,000 BP, toward the end of the last ice age. The Magdalenian tool culture is characterised by regular blade industries struck from carinated cores, the Magdalenian is divided into six phases which are generally agreed to have chronological significance. Similarly, finds from the forest of Beauregard near Paris often have been suggested as belonging to the earliest Magdalenian, the earliest Magdalenian sites are all found in France. The Epigravettian is a similar culture appearing at the time in Italy, the Balkans, Romania. The phases of the Magdalenian are synonymous with the human re-settlement of north-western Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum during the Late Glacial Maximum, research in Switzerland, southern Germany, and Belgium has provided AMS radiocarbon dating to support this.
Being hunter gatherers, Magdalenians did not simply re-settle permanently in north-west Europe, however, as they often followed herds, by the end of the Magdalenian, the lithic technology shows a pronounced trend toward increased microlithisation. The bone harpoons and points have the most distinctive chronological markers within the typological sequence, as well as flint tools, the Magdalenians are best known for their elaborate worked bone and ivory that served both functional and aesthetic purposes, including perforated batons. Cave sites such as the world famous Lascaux contain the best known examples of Magdalenian cave art, in northern Spain and south west France this tool culture was superseded by the Azilian culture. In northern Europe a slightly different situation exists, with different variants of the Tjongerian techno-complex following it
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. There are 96 departments in metropolitan France and 5 overseas departments, each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, they were called general councils, the departments were created in 1791 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity, the title department is used to mean a part of a larger whole. Almost all of them were named after geographical features rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of dArgenson and they have inspired similar divisions in many countries, some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a number, the Official Geographical Code. Some overseas departments have a three-digit number, the number is used, for example, in the postal code, and was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as the 45 and this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René dArgenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration, before the French Revolution, France gained territory gradually through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces, during the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved, partly in order to weaken old loyalties. Their boundaries served two purposes, Boundaries were chosen to break up Frances historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences, Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a days ride of the capital of the department. This was a security measure, intended to keep the national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of rural areas far from any centre of government.
The old nomenclature was carefully avoided in naming the new departments, most were named after an areas principal river or other physical features. Even Paris was in the department of Seine, the number of departments, initially 83, was increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleons defeats in 1814-1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size, in 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice, the 89 departments were given numbers based on their alphabetical order. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following Frances defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
Bacho Kiro cave
The Bacho Kiro cave is situated 5 km west of the town Dryanovo, only 300 m away from the Dryanovo Monastery. It is embedded in the canyons of the Andaka and Dryanovo River, the cave is a four-storey labyrinth of galleries and corridors with a total length of 3,600 m,700 m of which are maintained for public access and equipped with electrical lights since 1964. An underground river has over time carved out the many galleries that contain countless stalactone, stalactite and caverns of a 1,200 m long section have been been musingly named as a popular description of this fairy-tale underground world. The formations succession, Bacho Kiro’s Throne, The Dwarfs, The Sleeping Princess, The Throne Hall, The Reception Hall, The Haidouti Meeting-Ground, The Fountain, the site has yielded the oldest human remains ever to be found in Bulgaria. Among one of the earliest known Aurignacian burials, two pierced animal teeth were found and ordered into the distinct Bachokiran artifact assemblage, radiocarbon dated to over 43,000 years ago, they currently represent the oldest known ornaments in Europe.
With an approximate age of 46,000 years, human fossils consist of a pair of fragmented mandibles, whether these early humans were in fact Homo sapiens or Neanderthals is still disputed
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