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
A stalagmite is a type of rock formation that rises from the floor of a cave due to the accumulation of material deposited on the floor from ceiling drippings. Stalagmites may be composed of amberat, minerals, peat, sand, the corresponding formation hanging down from the ceiling of a cave is a stalactite. Mnemonics have been developed for which word refers to type of formation, one is that stalactite has a C for ceiling. The most common stalagmites are speleothems, which form in limestone caves. This stalagmite formation occurs only under certain pH conditions within the underground cavern and they form through deposition of calcium carbonate and other minerals, which is precipitated from mineralized water solutions. Limestone is the form of calcium carbonate rock, which is dissolved by water that contains carbon dioxide. If stalactites – the ceiling formations – grow long enough to connect with stalagmites on the floor and dirt from human contact can stain the formation and change its color permanently.
Another type of stalagmite is formed in lava tubes while lava is still active inside, the mechanism of formation is similar to that of limestone stalagmites. A key difference with lava stalagmites is that once the lava has ceased flowing and this means if the stalagmite were to be broken it would never grow back. Stalagmites in lava tubes are rarer than their stalactite counterparts because during formation the dripping material falls onto still-moving lava floors that absorb or carry the material away, the generic term lavacicle has been applied to lava stalactites and stalagmites indiscriminately, and evolved from the word icicle. A common stalagmite found seasonally or year round in many caves is the ice stalagmite, commonly referred to as icicles, water seepage from the surface will penetrate into a cave and if temperatures are below freezing temperature, the water will collect on the floor into stalagmites. Deposition may directly from the freezing of water vapor. Similar to lava stalagmites, ice stalagmites form very quickly within hours or days, unlike lava stalagmites however, they may grow back as long as water and temperatures are suitable.
Ice stalagmites are more common than their stalactite counterparts because warmer air rises to the ceilings of caves, ice stalactites may form corresponding stalagmites below them, and given time, may grow together to form an ice column. Stalactites and stalagmites can form on concrete ceilings and floors, calcium carbonate deposition as a stalagmite occurs when the solution carries the calcium laden leachate solution to the ground under the concrete structure. Carbon dioxide is absorbed into the alkaline solution, which facilitates the chemical reactions to deposit calcium carbonate as a stalagmite. These stalagmites rarely grow taller than a few centimetres, secondary deposits, which create stalagmites, flowstone etc, outside the natural cave environment, are referred to as “calthemites”. These concrete derived secondary deposits can’t be referred to as “speleothems” due to the definition of the word, the largest known stalagmite in the world exceeds 70 metres in height and is located in Sơn Đoòng Cave, Vietnam
Cave paintings are painted drawings on cave walls or ceilings, mainly of prehistoric origin, to some 40,000 years ago in Eurasia. The exact purpose of the Paleolithic cave paintings is not known, evidence suggests that they were not merely decorations of living areas since the caves in which they have been found do not have signs of ongoing habitation. They are located in areas of caves that are not easily accessible. Some theories hold that cave paintings may have been a way of communicating with others, the paintings are remarkably similar around the world, with animals being common subjects that give the most impressive images. Humans mainly appear as images of hands, mostly hand stencils made by blowing pigment on a hand held to the wall. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals are at least 35,000 years old and are found in Pettakere cave on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, previously it was believed that the earliest paintings were in Europe. The earliest non-figurative rock art dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago, nearly 340 caves have now been discovered in France and Spain that contain art from prehistoric times.
But subsequent technology has made it possible to date the paintings by sampling the pigment itself, the choice of subject matter can indicate chronology. For instance, the reindeer depicted in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas places the drawings in the last Ice Age. The oldest date given to a cave painting is now a pig that has a minimum age of 35,400 years old at Pettakere cave in Sulawesi. Indonesian and Australian scientists have dated other non-figurative paintings on the walls to be approximately 40,000 years old, the method they used to confirm this was dating the age of the stalactites that formed over the top of the paintings. The art is similar in style and method to that of the Indonesian caves as there were hand stencils and this date coincides with the earliest known evidence for Homo sapiens in Europe. Because of the cave arts age, some scientists have conjectured that the paintings may have made by Neanderthals. The earliest known European figurative cave paintings are those of Chauvet Cave in France and these paintings date to earlier than 30,000 BCE according to radiocarbon dating.
Some researchers believe the drawings are too advanced for this era, the radiocarbon dates from these samples show that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet,35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago. In 2009, cavers discovered drawings in Coliboaia Cave in Romania, an initial dating puts the age of an image in the same range as Chauvet, about 32,000 years old. Some caves probably continued to be painted over a period of thousands of years. This was created roughly between 10,000 and 5,500 years ago, and painted in rock shelters under cliffs or shallow caves, though individual figures are less naturalistic, they are grouped in coherent grouped compositions to a much greater degree
The Areni-1 cave complex is located near the Areni village in southern Armenia along the Arpa River. In 2010, it was announced that the earliest known shoe was found at the site, in January 2011, the earliest known winery in the world was announced to have been found. Also in 2011, the discovery of a straw skirt dating to 3900 BC was reported, in 2009, the oldest brain was discovered
Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a sovereign state between Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which one of the countrys primary subdivisions. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres and has diverse, mostly continental, Croatias Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands. The countrys population is 4.28 million, most of whom are Croats, the Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the early part of the 7th century AD. They organised the state into two duchies by the 9th century, tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Petar Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the unrecognized State of Slovenes and Serbs which seceded from Austria-Hungary, a fascist Croatian puppet state backed by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany existed during World War II.
After the war, Croatia became a member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991 Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year, the Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration. A unitary state, Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system, the International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high-income economy. Croatia is a member of the European Union, United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, the service sector dominates Croatias economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue during the summer, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world, the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatias most important trading partner, since 2000, the Croatian government constantly invests in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors.
Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia, the rest is imported, the origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe. The oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, the first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852. The original is lost, and just a 1568 copy is preserved—leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim, the oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription, where Duke Branimir is styled as Dux Cruatorvm. The inscription is not believed to be dated accurately, but is likely to be from during the period of 879–892, the area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period
Perched only about one kilometer farther east on the opposite side of the valley is the little village of Fleurac. The country rocks of the cave are flat-lying limestones belonging to the uppermost Coniacian and these rocks together with overlying Santonian rocks form the limestone plateau of Légal, the divide between the drainage basins of the rivers Lisle and Vézère. The Rouffignac cave and the Villars cave possess the most extensive system of the Périgord with more than 8 km of underground passageways. There are 10 natural shafts that lead to a deeper level and it is astonishing that most of the artistic representations nearly always seem to be associated with these dangerous places. So far, a further 4 km of passageways have been explored in this deeper level, below the deeper level exists a bottom level with a small underground rivulet. Visitors of the cave have to board a train that takes them about 2 km into the interior. The plan of the cave reveals a fractal-like dendritic pattern that is not random, presumably the cave was formed during the Pliocene about 3 to 2 million years ago.
Water had infiltrated the bedrock along certain zones of weakness and dissolved the limestone, today this process has come to an end, the cave is mostly dry except for the rivulet along the base level. The Rouffignac cave was already mentioned in 1575 by François de Belleforest, in his Cosmographie universelle he cites “paintings and animal traces”. In the 19th century the cave was known as a tourist attraction, during the Second World War the cave had served as a hide-out for the French Résistance. In 1959 the cave was opened for visitors. In conjunction with other caves and abris of the Vézère valley the Rouffignac cave was classified a Monument historique in 1957, the cave is under private ownership. The artistic representations in the cave were executed as engravings or black contour drawings. In contrast with the caves in Lascaux and Font-de-Gaume the representations in the Rouffignac cave are not polychrome, so far 224 animal representations and 4 human figures have been registered. The animal representations can be subdivided as follows,158 mammoths, additionally there is one single cave bear.
Amongst the six animal groups cited the mammoths take on a prominent role, the woolly rhinoceros are quite common compared to other similar caves where they always appear as an absolute rarity. Signs are somewhat underrepresented with 17 tectiform and 6 serpentiform signs being known, fairly common are finger flutings, macaroni- or meander-like traces that take up a surface of 500 m2 and decorate walls and ceilings. 63 animal representations alone are found on the ceiling of the so-called Le Grand Plafond chamber, here again the representations are associated with a shaft
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
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
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
Dalmatia is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper and Istria. Dalmatia is a belt of the east shore of the Adriatic Sea. The hinterland ranges in width from fifty kilometres in the north, to just a few kilometres in the south,79 islands run parallel to the coast, the largest being Brač, Pag and Hvar. The largest city is Split, followed by Zadar, the name of the region stems from an Illyrian tribe called the Dalmatae, who lived in the area in classical antiquity. Later it became a Roman province, and as result a Romance culture emerged, along with the now-extinct Dalmatian language, largely replaced with related Venetian. With the arrival of Croats to the area in the 8th century, who occupied most of the hinterland and Romance elements began to intermix in language and the culture. During the Middle Ages, its cities were conquered by, or switched allegiance to. The longest-lasting rule was the one of the Republic of Venice, between 1815 and 1918, it was as a province of Austrian Empire known as the Kingdom of Dalmatia.
It was the Romans who first gave Dalmatia its name, inspired by the Illyrian word “delmat”, meaning a proud and its Latin form Dalmatia gave rise to its current English name. In the Venetian language, once dominant in the area, it is spelled Dalmàssia, the modern Croatian spelling is Dalmacija, pronounced. Dalmatia is referenced in the New Testament at 2 Timothy 4,10 so its name has been translated in many of the worlds languages. In antiquity the Roman province of Dalmatia was much larger than the present-day Split-Dalmatia County, Dalmatia is today a historical region only, not formally instituted in Croatian law. Its exact extent is uncertain and subject to public perception. According to Lena Mirošević and Josip Faričić of the University of Zadar, the southern part of Lika and upper Pounje, which were not a part of Austrian Dalmatia, became a part of Zadar County. From the present-day administrative and territorial point of view, Dalmatia comprises the four Croatian littoral counties with seats in Zadar, Šibenik, Dalmatia is therefore generally perceived to extend approximately to the borders of the Austrian Kingdom of Dalmatia.
The Encyclopædia Britannica defines Dalmatia as extending to the narrows of Kotor, other sources, such as the Treccani encyclopedia and the Rough Guide to Croatia still include the Bay as being part of the region. This definition does not include the Bay of Kotor, nor the islands of Rab, Sveti Grgur and it excludes the northern part of the island of Pag, which is part of the Lika-Senj County. However, it includes the Gračac Municipality in Zadar County, which was not a part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia and is not traditionally associated with the region, the inhabitants of Dalmatia are culturally subdivided into two or three groups