Cucurbita is a genus of herbaceous vines in the gourd family, known as cucurbits, native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five species are grown worldwide for their fruit, variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd depending on species and local parlance. Other kinds of gourd, called bottle-gourds, are native to Africa and belong to the genus Lagenaria and these other gourds are used as utensils or vessels, and their young fruits are eaten much like those of Cucurbita species. Most Cucurbita species are vines that grow several meters in length and have tendrils. The yellow or orange flowers on a Cucurbita plant are of two types and male, the female flowers produce the fruit and the male flowers produce pollen. Many North and Central American species are visited by specialist bee pollinators, the fruits of the genus Cucurbita are good sources of nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, among other nutrients according to species. The plants contain phytochemicals, such as cucurbitin, cucurmosin.
There is debate about the taxonomy of the genus, as the number of accepted species varies from 13 to 30, the five domesticated species are Cucurbita argyrosperma, C. ficifolia, C. maxima, C. moschata, and C. pepo. All of these can be treated as winter squash because the fruits can be stored for months, however. Cucurbita fruits have played a role in culture for at least 2,000 years. They are often represented in Moche ceramics from Peru, after Christopher Columbuss arrival in the New World, paintings of squashes started to appear in Europe early in the sixteenth century. The fruits have culinary uses including pumpkin pie, bread, puddings, beverages. Pumpkins and other Cucurbita fruits are celebrated in festivals and in flower, Cucurbita species fall into two main groups. The first group are annual or short-lived perennial vines and are mesophytic, the second group are perennials growing in arid zones and so are xerophytic, tolerating dry conditions. Cultivated Cucurbita species were derived from the first group, growing 5 to 15 meters in height or length, the plant stem produces tendrils to help it climb adjacent plants and structures or extend along the ground.
Most species do not readily root from the nodes, an exception is C. ficifolia. The vine of the perennial Cucurbita can become semiwoody if left to grow, there is wide variation in size and color among Cucurbita fruits, and even within a single species. C. ficifolia is an exception, being uniform in appearance
It is one of six areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, and the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico in present-day northern coastal Peru. As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures, while Mesoamerican civilization did know of the wheel and basic metallurgy, neither of these technologies became culturally important. Among the earliest complex civilizations was the Olmec culture, which inhabited the Gulf coast of Mexico and extended inland, frequent contact and cultural interchange between the early Olmec and other cultures in Chiapas and Oaxaca laid the basis for the Mesoamerican cultural area. All this was facilitated by considerable regional communications in ancient Mesoamerica and this Formative period saw the spread of distinct religious and symbolic traditions, as well as artistic and architectural complexes. In the subsequent Preclassic period, complex urban polities began to develop among the Maya, with the rise of such as El Mirador and Tikal.
Mesoamerica is one of three regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed. Upon the collapse of Teotihuacán around AD600, competition between several important political centers in central Mexico, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. During the early period, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, Oaxaca by the Mixtec. Towards the end of the period, the Aztecs of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mesoamerica. The distinct Mesoamerican cultural tradition ended with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, over the next centuries, Mesoamerican indigenous cultures were gradually subjected to Spanish colonial rule. The exact geographic extent of Mesoamerica has varied through time, as the civilization extended North and South from its heartland in southern Mexico, Mesoamerica is recognized as a near-prototypical cultural area, and the term is now fully integrated in the standard terminology of pre-Columbian anthropological studies.
Conversely, the sister terms Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica, which refer to northern Mexico, 10° and 22° northern latitude, Mesoamerica possesses a complex combination of ecological systems, topographic zones, and environmental contexts. A main distinction groups these different niches into two categories, the lowlands and the altiplanos, or highlands. In the low-lying regions, sub-tropical and tropical climates are most common, as is true for most of the coastline along the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The highlands show much more diversity, ranging from dry tropical to cold mountainous climates. The rainfall varies from the dry Oaxaca and north Yucatan to the humid southern Pacific, several distinct sub-regions within Mesoamerica are defined by a convergence of geographic and cultural attributes. These sub-regions are more conceptual than culturally meaningful, and the demarcation of their limits is not rigid, the Maya area, for example, can be divided into two general groups, the lowlands and highlands.
The lowlands are further divided into the southern and northern Maya lowlands, the southern Maya lowlands are generally regarded as encompassing northern Guatemala, southern Campeche and Quintana Roo in Mexico, and Belize
Maize, known as corn, is a large grain plant first domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, flour corn, the leafy stalk of the plant produces separate pollen and ovuliferous inflorescences or ears, which are fruits, yielding kernels or seeds. Maize kernels are used in cooking as a starch. Most historians believe maize was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, recent research modified this view somewhat, scholars now indicate the adjacent Balsas River Valley of south-central Mexico as the center of domestication. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated maize in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica and its believed that beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas. The region developed a network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. Nevertheless, recent data indicates that the spread of maize took place even earlier, according to Piperno, A large corpus of data indicates that it was dispersed into lower Central America by 7600 BP and had moved into the inter-Andean valleys of Colombia between 7000 and 6000 BP.
Since then, even earlier dates have been published, the study demonstrated that the oldest surviving maize types are those of the Mexican highlands. Later, maize spread from this region over the Americas along two major paths and this is consistent with a model based on the archaeological record suggesting that maize diversified in the highlands of Mexico before spreading to the lowlands. Before they were domesticated, maize plants only grew small,25 millimetres long corn cobs, Maize is the most widely grown grain crop throughout the Americas, with 361 million metric tons grown in the United States in 2014. Approximately 40% of the crop—130 million tons—is used for corn ethanol, genetically modified maize made up 85% of the maize planted in the United States in 2009. After the arrival of Europeans in 1492, Spanish settlers consumed maize and explorers and traders carried it back to Europe, Spanish settlers far preferred wheat bread to maize, cassava, or potatoes. Maize flour could not be substituted for wheat for bread, since in Christian belief only wheat could undergo transubstantiation.
At another level, Spaniards worried that by eating indigenous foods, which they did not consider nutritious, that not only would they weaken, despite these worries, Spaniards did consume maize and archeological evidence from Florida sites indicate they cultivated it as well. Maize spread to the rest of the world because of its ability to grow in diverse climates and it was cultivated in Spain just a few decades after Columbuss voyages and spread to Italy, West Africa and elsewhere. The word maize derives from the Spanish form of the indigenous Taíno word for the plant and it is known by other names around the world. The word corn outside North America and New Zealand refers to any cereal crop, in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, corn primarily means maize, this usage started as a shortening of Indian corn. Indian corn primarily means maize, but can more specifically to multicolored flint corn used for decoration
The Czech Republic, known as Czechia, is a nation state in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with mostly temperate continental climate and it is a unitary parliamentary republic, has 10.5 million inhabitants and the capital and largest city is Prague, with over 1.2 million residents. The Czech Republic includes the territories of Bohemia, Moravia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire, after the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria, the Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years War.
After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, reimposed Roman Catholicism, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, and was liberated in 1945 by the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States. The Czech country lost the majority of its German-speaking inhabitants after they were expelled following the war, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections. Following the 1948 coup détat, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence, in 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed, on 6 March 1990, the Czech Socialistic Republic was renamed to the Czech Republic. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004, it is a member of the United Nations, the OECD, the OSCE, and it is a developed country with an advanced, high income economy and high living standards. The UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development, the Czech Republic ranks as the 6th most peaceful country, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union, the traditional English name Bohemia derives from Latin Boiohaemum, which means home of the Boii. The current name comes from the endonym Čech, spelled Cžech until the reform in 1842. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, the etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning member of the people, thus making it cognate to the Czech word člověk. The country has traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the southeast, and Czech Silesia in the northeast.
Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992, the Czech part of the former nation found itself without a common single-word geographical name in English, the name Czechia /ˈtʃɛkiə/ was recommended by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.
The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek
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
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
Sierra Madre Oriental
The Sierra Madre Oriental is a mountain range in northeastern Mexico. The northernmost are the Sierra del Burro and the Sierra del Carmen which reach the border with the United States at the Rio Grande, north of the Rio Grande, the range continues northwestward into Texas and beyond as the Davis and Guadalupe Ranges. Mexicos Gulf Coastal Plain lies to the east of the range, the Mexican Plateau, which averages 1,100 metres in elevation, lies between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental further west. The climate of the Sierra Madre Oriental is drier than the rainforest areas further south. The highest point is Cerro San Rafael, at 3,700 metres above sea level, is the highest point of the Sierra Madre Oriental and the state of Coahuila and the second in Mexico in isolation. This long range of mountains is noted for its abundant biodiversity and large number of endemic species of plants and wildlife. The Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests are found at elevations in the range.
Much of the wildlife can be found in the Sierra Madre Occidental, which runs parallel to these mountains along western Mexico. Pine-oak forests are dominated by species of pine, such as Pinus nelsonii, P. cembroides, P. pseudostrobus, and P. arizonica. Matorral is characterized by woody shrubs, small trees, montane chaparral is found above 1,700 m and is home to species in the genera Quercus, Yucca and Bauhinia. Piedmont scrub occurs below 2,000 m and is composed of plants 3 to 5 m in height such as Helietta parvifolia, birds of the forest include the Mexican chickadee, Montezuma quail, Stricklands woodpecker, zone-tailed hawk and several species of jay. Pine-oak forests in Coahuila are part of the route of monarch butterflies. Original habitats have been reduced by clearance for livestock grazing and logging over hundreds of years. Protected areas include the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in Mexico, the El Cielo Biosphere in Tamaulipas preserves the northernmost tropical Veracruz moist forests in Mexico and extensive temperate cloud forests.
Mountain peaks of Mexico Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests