Natural history is the research and study of organisms including animals and plants in their environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. It encompasses scientific research but is not limited to it, with articles nowadays more often published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the sciences, natural history is the systematic study of any category of natural objects or organisms. That is a broad designation in a world filled with many narrowly focused disciplines. For example, geobiology has a strong multi-disciplinary nature combining scientists, a person who studies natural history is known as a naturalist or natural historian. The English term natural history is a translation of the Latin historia naturalis and its meaning has narrowed progressively with time, while the meaning of the related term nature has widened. In antiquity, it covered essentially anything connected with nature or which used materials drawn from nature. For example, Pliny the Elders encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, covers astronomy, geography and his technology and superstition as well as animals and plants.
Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two divisions, the humanities and divinity, with science studied largely through texts rather than observation or experiment. In modern terms, natural philosophy roughly corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden. Similarly, the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits, the astronomer, William Herschel was a natural historian. Instead of working with plants or minerals he worked with the stars and he spent his time building telescopes to see the stars and the rest of the time watching the stars. In the beginning, he believed there to be a known as a nebulae. Herschel can be considered a natural historian because he observed the natural world, in the process he made charts of all the stars and kept records of all that he saw. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner, The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior and it encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do.
Some definitions go further, focusing on observation of organisms in their environment. Bartholomew, A student of history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants. A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene
Great Siege Tunnels
The Great Siege Tunnels in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, known as the Upper Galleries, are a series of tunnels inside the northern end of the Rock of Gibraltar. They were dug out from the limestone by the British during the Great Siege of Gibraltar at the end of the 18th century. The Great Siege was an attempt by France and Spain to capture Gibraltar from Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War and it was the fourteenth and final siege of Gibraltar, which lasted from July 1779 to February 1783. The British lines blocked access to the City and the side of the island. Guns were placed in a series of batteries on the face of The Rock. The impetus for the construction of the came from the garrisons need to cover a blind angle on the north-east side of The Rock. The only solution found to cover that angle was via a gun mounted on a spur of rock known as The Notch. There was no possibility of building a path due to the vertical cliff face. His plan was approved and construction began on 25 May 1782.
The work was carried out by hand, mainly using sledgehammers and crowbars, the work proceeded slowly at first, it took thirteen men five weeks to dig a tunnel with a width of 8 square feet and a length of 82 feet. The diggers were hindered by fumes and dust from the frequent blasting and this was done and was found to have had an unexpected side benefit. Work progressed fairly rapidly thereafter, though it did not entirely go to plan, one tunnel drive was determined to be too far from the outer face of The Rock and another too close to it. A consistent direction was found, and by the end of the fourth siege embrasures had been blasted overlooking the Spanish lines. Total construction length of the tunnels by the end of 1783 was approximately 908 feet, Georges Hall and was equipped with seven guns. By the end of the phase of tunneling, five galleries had been excavated, Windsor Gallery, Kings And Queens Lines, St. Georges Hall. The Windsor Gallery was the first part of the tunnel system, St. Georges Hall is the largest of the original galleries.
The embrasures can be seen on the slopes of The Rock when approaching Gibraltar from land, originally the embrasures were fitted with mantlets or curtains of woven ropes, the rails on which they were supported can still be seen. These protected the guns and gunners from enemy fire and prevented sparks, as an additional safety measure, each cannon was isolated with a wet cloth hanging above it from a rope, to prevent the sparks from igniting the remaining gunpowder
Napier of Magdala Battery
Napier of Magdala Battery is a former coastal artillery battery on the south-western cliffs of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar. It overlooks Rosia Bay from the north, as does Parsons Lodge Battery from the south and it contains one of two surviving Armstrong 100-ton guns. Earlier, in 1879, they had mounted another such gun in Gibraltar at Victoria Battery. These two batteries, together with two in Malta, were a response to the Italians having, in 1873, built the battleship Duilio, which was to receive four Armstrong Guns of the same design. The British authorised the construction of Victoria and Napier of Magdala batteries in December 1878, they completed Victoria in 1879 and Napier of Magadala in 1883, at a total cost of £35,707. The gun that is now at Napier of Magdala Battery originally armed Victoria Battery, the gun at Napier Battery received the nickname, The Rockbuster. During World War II, the British Army stationed a battery of four 3.7 quick-firing anti-aircraft guns at the site.
These never fired a shot in anger, though in 1945 they almost fired upon an Iberia Airlines Junkers Ju 88 that had wandered into Gibraltars airspace while on a flight from Málaga to Tetouan. The Rockbuster was last fired in 2002 to mark the 2002 Calpe Conference between Gibraltar and Malta, in 2010 Gibraltar and Malta jointly issued a four-stamp set of stamps featuring the two countries 100-ton guns. Two stamps show the gun at Napier of Magdala Battery, one of each pair is a view from 1882, and the other is a view from 2010. The stamps from Gibraltar bear a denomination of 75 pence, while those from Malta bear a denomination of 0.75 euros, history of Gallianos Bank, The Smallest Bank in the World. Gibraltar. govs site on the Napier of Magdala Battery
Olea europeana sylvestris is a subspecies that corresponds to a smaller tree bearing noticeably smaller fruits. The olives fruit, called the olive, is of agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The tree and its fruit give their name to the plant family, which includes species such as lilacs, Forsythia. The word derives from Latin ŏlīva a borrowing from the Greek ἐλαία, the oldest attested forms of the Greek words are the Mycenaean
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, near the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The Rock is Crown property of the United Kingdom, and borders Spain, most of the Rocks upper area is covered by a nature reserve, which is home to around 300 Barbary macaques. These macaques, as well as a network of tunnels. The Rock of Gibraltar was one of the Pillars of Hercules and was known to the Romans as Mons Calpe, in ancient times, the two points marked the limit to the known world, a myth originally fostered by the Greeks and the Phoenicians. Gibraltar is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and has no contact with the Atlantic Ocean, the Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic promontory. The Main Ridge has a sharp crest with peaks over 400 m above sea level and it is a deeply eroded and highly faulted limb of an overturned fold. The sedimentary strata composing the Rock of Gibraltar are overturned, with the oldest strata overlying the youngest strata and these strata are the Catalan Bay Shale Formation, Gibraltar Limestone, Little Bay Shale Formation, and Dockyard Shale Formation.
These strata are noticeably faulted and deformed, the Catalan Bay Shale Formation contains unidentifiable echinoid spines and belemnite fragments and infrequent Early Jurassic ammonites. The Gibraltar Limestone consists of greyish-white or pale-gray compact, and sometime finely crystalline and this formation comprises about three quarters of the Rock of Gibraltar. Geologists have found various poorly preserved and badly eroded and rolled marine fossils within it, the fossils found in the Gibraltar Limestone include various brachiopods, echinoid fragments, gastropods and stromatolites. These fossils indicate an Early Jurassic age for the deposition of the Gibraltar Limestone, the Little Bay and Dockyard shale formations form a very minor part of the Rock of Gibraltar. The Little Bay Shale Formation consists of dark bluish-gray, unfossiliferous shale, which is interbedded with layers of grit, mudstone. The Dockyard Shale Formation is an undescribed variegated shale of unknown age that lies buried beneath the Gibraltars dockyard and coastal protection structures.
When the African tectonic plate collided tightly with the Eurasian plate, the Atlantic Ocean broke through the Strait of Gibraltar, and the resultant flooding created the Mediterranean Sea. The Rock forms part of the Betic Cordillera, a range that dominates south-eastern Iberia. Today, the Rock of Gibraltar forms a peninsula jutting out into the Strait of Gibraltar from the southern coast of Spain, the promontory is linked to the continent by means of a sandy tombolo with a maximum elevation of 3 m. To the north, the Rock rises vertically from sea level up to 411.5 m at Rock Gun Battery, the Rocks highest point stands 426 m near the south end above the strait at OHaras Battery. The Rocks central peak, Signal Hill and the top station of the Gibraltar Cable Car, the western face, where the City of Gibraltar is located, is comparatively less steep
Windmill Hill (Gibraltar)
Windmill Hill or Windmill Hill Flats is one of a pair of plateaux, known collectively as the Southern Plateaux, at the southern end of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is located just to the south of the Rock of Gibraltar, Windmill Hill slopes down gently to the south with a height varying from 120 metres at the north end to 90 metres at the south end. It covers an area of about 19 hectares, though about 6 hectares at the end is built over. The plateau is ringed to the south and east with a line of cliffs which descend to the second of the Southern Plateaux, Europa Flats, both plateaux are the product of marine erosion during the Quaternary period and subsequent tectonic uplift. The plateau has had military importance throughout the period of British rule over Gibraltar and it was fortified in the 1770s as part of the improvement schemes of Chief Engineer Colonel William Green prior to the Great Siege of Gibraltar. A series of batteries was constructed there during the 19th century to support the lower-level defences on Europa Flats.
The batteries included Buffadero Battery, Edward VII Battery, Jews Cemetery Battery, Levant Battery, the flat terrain of the plateau lent itself well to accommodating mobile gun sites, between which guns could be moved as required. The plateau is the site of Lathbury Barracks, constructed in the early 1960s and used until 1991 by the British Army, a NATO communications centre was built there in the 1970s. The terrain in the vicinity is similar to that of parts of Afghanistan, consisting of ground covered with thickets of vegetation. This similarity has been used for exercises to prepare British troops for deployment in support of the British war effort in Afghanistan, the Jewish community of Gibraltar established a cemetery there, known as the Jews Gate Cemetery, in a very airy and elevated situation. In 2010, the Government of Gibraltar established a prison there called HM Prison Windmill Hill, the government proposed in 2009 to build a new power station for Gibraltar on the site of the former barracks parade ground.
This raised concerns about the impact on the rich variety of wildlife. In March 2012 the newly elected Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party/Liberal alliance government announced that it would not be proceeding with the station plans on this site. The Windmill Hill area is one of the most important wildlife habitats in Gibraltar and is a Site of Community Importance under the European Union Habitats Directive. These include, among others, Salvia verbenaca, Echium parviflorum, Plantago serraria, Hedysarum coronarium, Mantisalca salmantica, Minuartia geniculata, Tetragonolobus purpureus and it is home to Gibraltars national bird, the Barbary partridge, which nests in the plateaus open habitat. It is an important waypoint on the route that songbirds take in migrating between Europe and Africa, and is often their first European landfall on crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, bats hunt there, feeding on insects. A number of Gibraltars caves are located under the hill, the Genista Caves came to light in the 1860s during work to enlarge the military prison, which uncovered partly blocked fissures that, when excavated, revealed the caves.
The excavations revealed the bones of a number of what are now locally extinct animals including lynx, hyena, rhinoceros
Great Gibraltar Sand Dune
The Great Gibraltar Sand Dune is an ancient sand dune in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It forms part of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve and dominates the eastern cliffs of the Rock of Gibraltar and it was once used to capture rainwater which was contained in underground tanks within the Rock to satisfy the populations potable water needs. The prehistoric dune is made from yellow, windblown sands lacking the red component of the sands on the west side of the Rock and it is made of the same sand that once formed part of a vast savanna of the late Pleistocene where Neanderthals hunted. The levant winds of prehistory continuously blew sand from this savanna westwards, accumulating against the cliffs of the Rock. The occasional rockfall from the precipice above added boulders to the dune so the formation seen today is a composite of rocks. The upper limits of the dune were scarped by the British garrison for two reasons - to avoid soldiers deserting the place and to prevent surprise attacks by Spanish troops.
The Great Sand Dune was constantly shifting right up to the late 19th century when corrugated iron sheets were laid over the dune for the collection of rainwater. These parts were formerly accessible, which made it necessary to keep constant guards there, Gibraltar has few natural sources of fresh water which has been historically problematic for its population over the centuries. They were officially inaugurated by Governor of Gibraltar Sir George White in 1901 and these reservoirs were initially fed by relatively small water catchment areas on the western side of the Rock above the Moorish Castle. As Gibraltars population and demand for a water supply increased, further sources of supply were required. The catchment which was the idea of the City Engineer of Gibraltar and was constructed in 1903 on the Great Sand Dune which has an average inclination of 1⅓ to 1. The largest of the boulders embedded in the dune were blasted away in order to trim the surface as even as possible, a footpath and channel for the collection of rainwater were constructed along the lower perimeter of the catchment area.
Timber piles 1,500 millimetres x 150 millimetres x 40 millimetres were driven their full length into the smoothed dune, the timber had been previously pressure treated with creosote at a pressure of 170 pounds per square inch. Further expansions of the Great Sand Dune catchments were carried out in stages up until 1961, the original plan was to cover an area of 10 acres. Between 1911 and 1914 a fifth reservoir was excavated inside the Rock, by 1961 the total catchment area had increased to its maximum of 34 acres. It took roughly 5,928 rafters,1,112 purlins,1,161 piles,5,928 sheets,2,920 kg of screws and 850 kg of washers for every hectare of the Great Dune that was covered. The Great Dune served to maintain a supply of sand on the eastern beaches of Gibraltar. This dynamic nature meant that little vegetation of any significant height could grow on the dune with any permanence as many pre-catchment photographs demonstrate, in 2001, the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society began to manage the phased work of dismantling the catchment construction
Neanderthals in Gibraltar
The Neanderthals in Gibraltar were among the first to be discovered by modern scientists and may have been among the last of their species. The skull of a Neanderthal child was discovered nearby in 1926, the caves in the Rock of Gibraltar that the Neanderthals inhabited have been excavated and have revealed a wealth of information about their lifestyle and the prehistoric landscape of the area. The peninsula stood on the edge of a coastal plain, now submerged. Unlike northern Europe, which underwent massive swings in its climate and was uninhabitable for long periods. It became a refuge from the ice ages for animals and Neanderthals, the Gibraltar Neanderthals first came to light in 1848 during excavations in the course of the construction of a fortification called Forbes Barrier at the northern end of the Rock of Gibraltar. They gave a report on it to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1864 and proposed that the species be called Homo calpicus after Mons Calpe, the ancient name for Gibraltar.
It was only realised that the skull was a specimen of Homo neanderthalensis. The skull was the first Neanderthal adult cranium to be discovered and, although small, is nearly complete, in 1926, a second Neanderthal skull was found by Dorothy Garrod at a rock shelter named Devils Tower, very close to Forbes Quarry. This fossil, known as Gibraltar 2, is less complete than the Gibraltar 1 skull and has been identified as that of a four-year-old child. Further excavations at the two sites are infeasible, large-scale excavations in 1947-54 by John dArcy Waechter showed that Gorhams Cave had been occupied for over 100,000 years during the Middle Palaeolithic, Upper Palaeolithic and Holocene epochs. Further excavations have been carried out in Gorhams and Ibex Caves since 1994 as part of the Gibraltar Museums Gibraltar Caves Project, the finds have enabled palaeontologists to reconstruct the lifestyles of the occupants and their environment in considerable detail. When Ibex Cave was discovered in 1975, fifty artefacts from the Middle Pleistocene period were found on the surface along with vertebrate remains and shells.
Neanderthal tools were found in an excavation carried out there in 1994 by the Gibraltar Caves Project, most of the stone tools appear to have been deposited during a single period of occupation, perhaps as short as a single day. In July 2012, archaeologists discovered an engraving in Gorhams Cave, buried under 39, 000-year-old sediments, which has been called the oldest known example of abstract art. Consisting of a series of intersecting lines, the engraving is located about 100 metres inside the cave on a ledge that is thought to have used by Neanderthals as a sleeping place. Its meaning is not known but researchers have described it as providing the first evidence that Neanderthals had the ability to produce abstract act. Pleistocene Gibraltar was physically different from today. During the ice ages, the greater volume of water locked up in the polar ice caps
The Baetic System is one of the main systems of mountain ranges in Spain. Located in the southern and eastern Iberian Peninsula, it is known as the Baetic Cordillera. The name of the system derives from the ancient Roman region of Baetica. The Baetic System is made up of mountain ranges that reach from western Andalusia to the Region of Murcia, southern Castile-La Mancha. To the north, the Baetic Ranges are separated from the Meseta Central, the Iberian System rises north of the eastern part of the Prebaetic System, the northernmost prolongation of the Baetic System. Generally the mountain ranges that are part of system are aligned in a southwest-northeast direction. The most well-known range of the Baetic System is the Sierra Nevada, where the Mulhacén, the Rock of Gibraltar is considered to be part of the Baetic System, but not the Cabo de Gata area further east which includes rocks of volcanic origin. The Baetic System as a geological feature belongs to a larger orogen usually called the Gibraltar Arc, the geodynamic mechanisms responsible for its formation are so far relatively unknown.
Geologically the Rif mountains in Morocco and the Serra de Tramuntana in the island of Majorca are extensions of the Baetic System, highest point 2,027 m high Peña de la Cruz in Sierra Arana. The Prebaetic System is the northernmost feature of the whole Baetic System, highest point 2,382 m high La Sagra
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate, about 10% of sedimentary rocks are limestones. The solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes, most cave systems are through limestone bedrock. The first geologist to distinguish limestone from dolomite was Belsazar Hacquet in 1778, like most other sedimentary rocks, most limestone is composed of grains. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of organisms such as coral or foraminifera. Other carbonate grains comprising limestones are ooids, peloids and these organisms secrete shells made of aragonite or calcite, and leave these shells behind when they die. Limestone often contains variable amounts of silica in the form of chert or siliceous skeletal fragment, some limestones do not consist of grains at all, and are formed completely by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite, i. e. travertine.
Secondary calcite may be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters and this produces speleothems, such as stalagmites and stalactites. Another form taken by calcite is oolitic limestone, which can be recognized by its granular appearance, the primary source of the calcite in limestone is most commonly marine organisms. Some of these organisms can construct mounds of rock known as reefs, below about 3,000 meters, water pressure and temperature conditions cause the dissolution of calcite to increase nonlinearly, so limestone typically does not form in deeper waters. Limestones may form in lacustrine and evaporite depositional environments, calcite can be dissolved or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors, including the water temperature, pH, and dissolved ion concentrations. Calcite exhibits a characteristic called retrograde solubility, in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. Impurities will cause limestones to exhibit different colors, especially with weathered surfaces, Limestone may be crystalline, granular, or massive, depending on the method of formation.
Crystals of calcite, dolomite or barite may line small cavities in the rock, when conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together, or it can fill fractures. Travertine is a banded, compact variety of limestone formed along streams, particularly there are waterfalls. Calcium carbonate is deposited where evaporation of the leaves a solution supersaturated with the chemical constituents of calcite. Tufa, a porous or cellular variety of travertine, is found near waterfalls, coquina is a poorly consolidated limestone composed of pieces of coral or shells. During regional metamorphism that occurs during the building process, limestone recrystallizes into marble
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 and shares its border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the landmark of the region. At its foot is a populated city area, home to over 30,000 Gibraltarians. An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne, the territory was subsequently ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Today Gibraltars economy is based largely on tourism, online gambling, financial services, the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians overwhelmingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum, under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the British government.
The name Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name Jabal Ṭāriq, earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin and one of the Pillars of Hercules. The pronunciation of the name in modern Spanish is, evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar between 28,000 and 24,000 BP has been discovered at Gorhams Cave, making Gibraltar possibly the last known holdout of the Neanderthals. Within recorded history, the first inhabitants were the Phoenicians, around 950 BC, Gibraltar became known as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. The Carthaginians and Romans established semi-permanent settlements, after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Gibraltar came briefly under the control of the Vandals. The area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania from 414 AD until the Islamic conquest of Iberia in 711 AD, in 1160, the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mumin ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built.
It received the name of Medinat al-Fath, on completion of the works in the town, the Sultan crossed the Strait to look at the works and stayed in Gibraltar for two months. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today, from 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462, Gibraltar was finally captured by Juan Alonso de Guzmán, after the conquest, King Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. In 1501, Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, the occupation of the town by Alliance forces caused the exodus of the population to the surrounding area of the Campo de Gibraltar. As the Alliances campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated and ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britains withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence