Midsummer is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, more the northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures; the undivided Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist, the observance of St John's Day begins the evening before, known as St John's Eve. These are commemorated by many Christian denominations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, Anglican Communion. In Sweden the Midsummer is such an important festivity that there have been serious discussions to make the Midsummer's Eve into the National Day of Sweden, instead of June 6, it may be referred to as St. Hans Day. Saint John's Day, the feast day of Saint John the Baptist, was established by the undivided Christian Church in the 4th century AD, in honour of the birth of the Saint John the Baptist, which the Gospel of Luke records as being sixth months before Jesus.
As the Western Christian Churches mark the birth of Jesus on December 25, the Feast of Saint John was established at midsummer sixth months before the former feast. By the sixth century, this solar cycle was completed by balancing Christ's conception and birth against the conception and birth of his count, John the Baptist; such a relationship between Christ and his cousin was amply justified by the imagery of scripture. The Baptist was conceived six months before Christ, thus John's conception was celebrated on the eighth kalends of October and his birth on the eighth kalends of July. If Christ's conception and birth took place on the'growing days', it was fitting that John the Baptist's should take place on the'lessening days', for the Baptist himself had proclaimed that'he must increase. By the late sixth century, the Nativity of John the Baptist had become an important feast, counterbalancing at midsummer the midwinter feast of Christmas. —Professor Éamonn Ó Carragáin, University College Cork Within Christian theology, this carries significance as John the Baptist "was understood to be preparing the way for Jesus", with John 3:30 stating "He must increase, but I must decrease".
By the 6th century AD, several churches were dedicated in the honour of Saint John the Baptist and a vigil, Saint John's Eve, was added to the feast day of Saint John the Baptist and Christian priests held three Masses in churches for the celebration. In Florence, medieval midsummer celebrations were "an occasion for dramatic representations of the Baptist's life and death" and "the feast day was marked by processions and plays, culminating in a fireworks show that the entire city attended." The historian Ronald Hutton states that the "lighting of festive fires upon St. John's Eve is first recorded as a popular custom by Jean Belethus, a theologian at the University of Paris, in the early twelfth century". In England, the earliest reference to this custom occurs on in the 13th century AD, in the Liber Memorandum of the parish church at Barnwell in the Nene Valley, which stated that parish youth would gather on the day to sing songs and play games. A Christian monk of Lilleshall Abbey, in the same century, wrote: In the worship of St John, men waken at and maken three manner of fires: one is clean bones and no wood, is called a bonfire.
The 13th-century monk of Winchcomb, who compiled a book of sermons for Christian feast days, recorded how St. John's Eve was celebrated in his time: Let us speak of the revels which are accustomed to be made on St. John's Eve, of which there are three kinds. On St. John's Eve in certain regions the boys collect bones and certain other rubbish, burn them, therefrom a smoke is produced on the air, they make brands and go about the fields with the brands. Thirdly, the wheel which they roll. Saint John's Fires, explained the monk of Winchcombe, were to drive away dragons, which were abroad on St. John's Eve, poisoning springs and wells; the wheel, rolled downhill he gave its explanation: "The wheel is rolled to signify that the sun rises to the highest point of its circle and at once turns back. 15th-century diarist Goro Dati, described the celebration of Saint John's Day at Midsummer in Italy as being one in which guilds prepared their workshops with fine displays, one in which solemn church processions took place, with men dressed in the costumes of Christian saints and angels.
In the 16th century AD, the historian John Stow, described the celebration of Midsummer: the wealthier sort before their doors near to the said bonfires would set out tables on the vigils furnished with sweet bread and good drink, on the festival days with meats and drinks plentifully, whereunto they would invite their neighbours and passengers to sit, to be merry with them in great familiarity, praising God for his benefits bestowed on them. These were called bonfires as well of good amity amongst neighbours that, being befor
A druid was a member of the high-ranking professional class in ancient Celtic cultures. Best remembered as religious leaders, they were legal authorities, lorekeepers, medical professionals, political advisors. While the druids are reported to have been literate, they are believed to have been prevented by doctrine from recording their knowledge in written form, thus they left no written accounts of themselves, they are however attested in some detail by their contemporaries from other cultures, such as the Romans and the Greeks. The earliest known references to the druids date to the fourth century BCE and the oldest detailed description comes from Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, they were described by Greco-Roman writers such as Cicero and Pliny the Elder. Following the Roman invasion of Gaul, the druid orders were suppressed by the Roman government under the 1st century CE emperors Tiberius and Claudius, had disappeared from the written record by the 2nd century. In about 750 CE the word druid appears in a poem by Blathmac, who wrote about Jesus, saying that he was "... better than a prophet, more knowledgeable than every druid, a king, a bishop and a complete sage."
The druids also appear in some of the medieval tales from Christianized Ireland like the "Táin Bó Cúailnge", where they are portrayed as sorcerers who opposed the coming of Christianity. In the wake of the Celtic revival during the 18th and 19th centuries and neopagan groups were founded based on ideas about the ancient druids, a movement known as Neo-Druidism. Many popular notions about druids, based on misconceptions of 18th century scholars, have been superseded by more recent study; the modern English word druid derives from the Latin druidēs, considered by ancient Roman writers to come from the native Celtic Gaulish word for these figures. Other Roman texts employ the form druidae, while the same term was used by Greek ethnographers as δρυΐδης. Although no extant Romano-Celtic inscription is known to contain the form, the word is cognate with the insular Celtic words, Old Irish druí ‘druid, sorcerer’, Old Cornish druw, Middle Welsh dryw ‘seer. Based on all available forms, the hypothetical proto-Celtic word may be reconstructed as *dru-wid-s meaning "oak-knower".
The two elements go back to the Proto-Indo-European roots *deru- and *weid- "to see". The sense of "oak-knower" or "oak-seer" is supported by Pliny the Elder, who in his Natural History considered the word to contain the Greek noun drýs, "oak-tree" and the Greek suffix -idēs. Both Old Irish druí and Middle Welsh dryw could refer to the wren connected with an association of that bird with augury in Irish and Welsh tradition. Sources by ancient and medieval writers provide an idea of the religious duties and social roles involved in being a druid; the Greco-Roman and the vernacular Irish sources agree that the druids played an important part in pagan Celtic society. In his description, Julius Caesar claimed that they were one of the two most important social groups in the region and were responsible for organizing worship and sacrifices and judicial procedure in Gaulish and Irish societies, he claimed that they were exempt from military service and from the payment of taxes, had the power to excommunicate people from religious festivals, making them social outcasts.
Two other classical writers, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo wrote about the role of druids in Gallic society, claiming that the druids were held in such respect that if they intervened between two armies they could stop the battle. Pomponius Mela is the first author who says that the druids' instruction was secret and took place in caves and forests. Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart, Caesar remarked that it could take up to twenty years to complete the course of study. What was taught to druid novices anywhere is conjecture: of the druids' oral literature, not one certifiably ancient verse is known to have survived in translation. All instruction was communicated orally, but for ordinary purposes, Caesar reports, the Gauls had a written language in which they used Greek characters. In this he draws on earlier writers. Greek and Roman writers made reference to the druids as practitioners of human sacrifice. According to Caesar, those, found guilty of theft or other criminal offences were considered preferable for use as sacrificial victims, but when criminals were in short supply, innocents would be acceptable.
A form of sacrifice recorded by Caesar was the burning alive of victims in a large wooden effigy, now known as a wicker man. A differing account came from the 10th-century Commenta Bernensia, which claimed that sacrifices to the deities Teutates and Taranis were by drowning and burning, respectively. Diodorus Siculus asserts that a sacrifice acceptable to the Celtic gods had to be attended by a druid, for they were the intermediaries between the people and the divinities, he remarked upon the importance of prophets in druidic ritual: "These men predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals: all orders of society are in their power... and in important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest.
Puck Fair is one of Ireland's oldest fairs. It takes place annually for three days on the 10th, 11th and 12th of August in Killorglin, County Kerry; every year a group of people catch a wild goat. The goat is brought back to the town and the "Queen of Puck", traditionally a young school girl from one of the local primary schools, crowns the goat "King Puck"; the "King" is put into a small cage on a high stand for three days, on the 3rd day of the fair, he is brought down to be led back to his mountain home. In the middle of the town square, he is crowned and this signifies that the festivities may begin; the pubs stay open until 3.00 AM, a legal exception due to the fair as all bars in Ireland must close at 2.00 AM. This is a source of contention with the local police. Tradition dictates that a horse fair takes place on the first day and on the second day there is a cattle fair. There are many street vendors during the festival who advertise their wares to the large numbers of tourists who come to Killorglin for the fair.
The fair itself is purported to be ancient but can only be traced back as far as 1613 when King James I issued a charter granting legal status to the existing fair in Killorglin. Despite this fact, its roots are still unknown. One of the legends of the fair is that the event pays tribute to a goat that broke away from its herd, while the rest of the herd headed towards the mountains, warned the town's inhabitants while the “Roundheads” were pillaging the countryside around Shanara and Kilgobnet at the foot of the McGillycuddy Reeks; the advancing army of Oliver Cromwell during his conquest of Ireland in the 17th century triggered the pillages around the countryside. The goat's arrival alerted the inhabitants of danger, they set out to protect the town and their herds; this is explained in An Poc ar Buile. Scholars speculate that the fair's origins stem from Pre-Christian Ireland, from the Celtic festival of Lughnasa which symbolised the beginning of the harvest season, that the goat is a pagan fertility symbol.
In 1931, Margaret Murray tied the Puck Fair into her version of the witch-cult hypothesis, asserting that it was a pre-Christian festival in honour of the Horned God. However, historians Jeffrey B. Russell and Brooks Alexander have asserted that "Today, scholars are agreed that Murray was more than just wrong – she was and embarrassingly wrong on nearly all of her basic premises." Gaelic Ireland Irish mythology
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is called; the monarch's consort may be crowned, either with the monarch or as a separate event. Once a vital ritual among the world's monarchies, coronations have changed over time for a variety of socio-political and religious factors. In the past, concepts of royalty and deity were inexorably linked.
In some ancient cultures, rulers were considered to be divine or divine: the Egyptian pharaoh was believed to be the son of Ra, the sun god, while in Japan, the emperor was believed to be a descendant of Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Rome promulgated the practice of emperor worship. Coronations were once a direct visual expression of these alleged connections, but recent centuries have seen the lessening of such beliefs. Coronations are still observed in the United Kingdom and several Asian and African countries. In Europe, most monarchs are required to take a simple oath in the presence of the country's legislature. Besides a coronation, a monarch's accession may be marked in many ways: some nations may retain a religious dimension to their accession rituals while others have adopted simpler inauguration ceremonies, or no ceremony at all; some cultures use bathing or cleansing rites, the drinking of a sacred beverage, or other religious practices to achieve a comparable effect. Such acts symbolise the granting of divine favour to the monarch within the relevant spiritual-religious paradigm of the country.
Coronation in common parlance today may in a broader sense, refer to any formal ceremony in relation to the accession of a monarch, whether or not an actual crown is bestowed, such ceremonies may otherwise be referred to as investitures, inaugurations, or enthronements. The date of the act of ascension, however precedes the date of the ceremony of coronation. For example, the Coronation of Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 sixteen months after her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father George VI; the coronation ceremonies in medieval Christendom, both Western and Eastern, are influenced by the practice of the Roman Emperors as it developed during Late Antiquity, indirectly influenced by Biblical accounts of kings being crowned and anointed. The European coronation ceremonies best known in the form they have taken in Great Britain, descend from rites created in Byzantium, Visigothic Spain, Carolingian France and the Holy Roman Empire and brought to their apogee during the Medieval era.
In non-Christian states, coronation rites evolved from a variety of sources related to the religious beliefs of that particular nation. Buddhism, for instance, influenced the coronation rituals of Thailand and Bhutan, while Hindu elements played a significant role in Nepalese rites; the ceremonies used in modern Egypt, Malaysia and Iran were shaped by Islam, while Tonga's ritual combines ancient Polynesian influences with more modern Anglican ones. Coronations, in one form or another, have existed since ancient times. Egyptian records show coronation scenes, such as that of Seti I in 1290 BC. Judeo-Christian scriptures testify to particular rites associated with the conferring of kingship, the most detailed accounts of which are found in II Kings 11:12 and II Chronicles 23:11; the corona radiata, the "radiant crown" known best on the Statue of Liberty, worn by the Helios, the Colossus of Rhodes, was worn by Roman emperors as part of the cult of Sol Invictus, part of the imperial cult as it developed during the 3rd century.
The origin of the crown is thus religious, comparable to the significance of a halo, marking the sacral nature of kingship, expressing that either the king is himself divine, or ruling by divine right. The precursor to the crown was the browband called the diadem, worn by the Achaemenid rulers, was adopted by Constantine I, was worn by all subsequent rulers of the Roman Empire. Following the assumption of the diadem by Constantine and Byzantine emperors continued to wear it as the supreme symbol of their authority. Although no specific coronation ceremony was observed at first, one evolved over the following century; the emperor Julian was hoisted upon a shield and crowned with a gold necklace provided by one of his standard-bearers. Emperors were crowned and acclaimed in a similar manner, until the momentous decision was taken to permit the Patriarch of Constantinople to physically place the crown on the emperor's head. Historians debate when this first took place, but the precedent was established by the reign of Leo II, crowned by the Patriarch Acacius in 473.
This ritual in
The summer solstice known as midsummer, occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice once in each hemisphere. For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight. At the pole, there is continuous daylight around the summer solstice. On the summer solstice, Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°. The Sun's declination from the celestial equator is 23.44°. The summer solstice occurs during the hemisphere's summer; this is the June solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the December solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere; the same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice. Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, has been marked by festivals and rituals.
Traditionally, in many temperate regions, the summer solstice is seen as the middle of summer and referred to as "midsummer". Today, however, in some calendars it is seen as the beginning of summer. Although the summer solstice is the longest day of the year for that hemisphere, the dates of earliest sunrise and latest sunset vary by a few days; this is because the Earth orbits the Sun in an ellipse, its orbital speed varies during the year. See the Equation of time for details. Although the Sun appears at its highest altitude from the viewpoint of an observer in outer space or a terrestrial observer outside tropical latitudes, the highest altitude occurs on a different day for certain locations in the tropics those where the Sun is directly overhead at the subsolar point; this day occurs twice each year for all locations between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn because the overhead Sun appears to cross a given latitude once before the day of the solstice and once afterward. For example, Lahaina Noon occurs in July in Hawaii.
See solstice article. For all observers, the apparent position of the noon Sun is at its most northerly point on the June solstice and most southerly on the December solstice. 2016 was the first time in nearly 70 years that a full moon and the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice occurred on the same day. The 2016 summer solstice's full moon rose just as the Sun set; the significance given to the summer solstice has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility. In some regions, the summer solstice is seen as the end of spring. In other cultural conventions, the solstice is closer to the middle of summer. Solstice is derived from the Latin words sistere. Midsummer Dragon Boat Festival Christmas marks the southern summer solstice. Day of Private Reflection Juhannus Jāņi National Aboriginal Day Tiregān Fremont Solstice Parade Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade International Surfing Day International Yoga Day Fête de la Musique known as World Music Day Inti Raymi, Machu Picchu, Peru We Tripantu, Willkakuti, an Andean-Amazonic New Year The following tables contain information on the length of the day on the 20th June, close to the summer solstice of the northern hemisphere and winter solstice of the southern hemisphere.
The data was collected from the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute on 20 June 2016 as well as from certain other websites. The data is arranged geographically and within the tables from the longest day to the shortest one. Daytime Equinox Stonehenge Tekufah Xiazhi Table of dates/times from 1600–2400
History of Wales
The history of Wales begins with the arrival of human beings in the region thousands of years ago. Neanderthals lived in what is now Wales, or Cymru in Welsh, at least 230,000 years ago, while Homo sapiens arrived by about 31,000 BC. However, continuous habitation by modern humans dates from the period after the end of the last ice age around 9000 BC, Wales has many remains from the Mesolithic and Bronze Age. During the Iron Age the region, like all of Britain south of the Firth of Forth, was dominated by the Celtic Britons and the Brittonic language; the Romans, who began their conquest of Britain in AD 43, first campaigned in what is now northeast Wales in 48 against the Deceangli, gained total control of the region with their defeat of the Ordovices in 79. The Romans departed from Britain in the 5th century. Thereafter Brittonic language and culture began to splinter, several distinct groups formed; the Welsh people were the largest of these groups, are discussed independently of the other surviving Brittonic-speaking peoples after the 11th century.
A number of kingdoms formed in present-day Wales in the post-Roman period. While the most powerful ruler was acknowledged as King of the Britons, some rulers extended their control over other Welsh territories and into western England, none were able to unite Wales for long. Internecine struggles and external pressure from the English and the Norman conquerors of England, led to the Welsh kingdoms coming under the sway of the English crown. In 1282, the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd led to the conquest of the Principality of Wales by King Edward I of England; the Welsh launched several revolts against English rule, the last significant one being that led by Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century. In the 16th century Henry VIII, himself of Welsh extraction as a great grandson of Owen Tudor, passed the Laws in Wales Acts aiming to incorporate Wales into the Kingdom of England. Under England's authority, Wales became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 and the United Kingdom in 1801. Yet, the Welsh retained their culture despite heavy English dominance.
The publication of the significant first complete Welsh translation of the Bible by William Morgan in 1588 advanced the position of Welsh as a literary language. The 18th century saw the beginnings of two changes that would affect Wales, the Welsh Methodist revival, which led the country to turn nonconformist in religion, the Industrial Revolution. During the rise of the British Empire, 19th century Southeast Wales in particular experienced rapid industrialisation and a dramatic rise in population as a result of the explosion of the coal and iron industries. Wales played a willing role in World War One; the industries of Empire in Wales declined in the 20th century with the end of the British Empire following the Second World War, while nationalist sentiment and interest in self-determination rose. The Labour Party replaced the Liberal Party as the dominant political force in the 1940s. Wales played a considerable role during World War Two along with the rest of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Allies, its cities were bombed extensively during the Nazi Blitz.
The nationalist party Plaid Cymru gained short lived momentum in the 1960s. In a 1997 referendum Welsh voters approved the devolution of governmental responsibility to a National Assembly for Wales, which first met in 1999; the earliest known human remain discovered in modern-day Wales is a Neanderthal jawbone, found at the Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site in the valley of the River Elwy in North Wales, whose owner lived about 230,000 years ago in the Lower Palaeolithic period. The Red Lady of Paviland, a human skeleton dyed in red ochre, was discovered in 1823 in one of the Paviland limestone caves of the Gower Peninsula in Swansea, South Wales. Despite the name, the skeleton is that of a young man who lived about 33,000 years ago at the end of the Upper Paleolithic Period, he is considered to be the oldest known ceremonial burial in Western Europe. The skeleton was found along with jewellery made from a mammoth's skull. Following the last ice age, Wales became the shape it is today by about 8000 BC and was inhabited by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.
The earliest farming communities are now believed to date from about 4000 BC, marking the beginning of the Neolithic period. This period saw the construction of many chambered tombs dolmens or cromlechs; the most notable examples of megalithic tombs include Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres on Anglesey, Pentre Ifan in Pembrokeshire, Tinkinswood Burial Chamber in the Vale of Glamorgan. Metal tools first appeared in Wales about 2500 BC copper followed by bronze; the climate during the Early Bronze Age is thought to have been warmer than at present, as there are many remains from this period in what are now bleak uplands. The Late Bronze Age saw. Much of the copper for the production of bronze came from the copper mine on the Great Orme, where prehistoric mining on a large scale dates from the middle Bronze Age. Radiocarbon dating has shown the earliest hillforts in what would become Wales, to have been constructed during this period. Historian John Davies, theorises that a worsening climate after around 1250 BC required more productive land to be defended.
The earliest iron implement found in Wales is a sword from