A grotto is a natural or artificial cave used by humans in both modern times and antiquity, and historically or prehistorically. Naturally occurring grottoes are often small caves near water that are usually flooded or liable to flood at high tide, artificial grottoes are used as garden features. The Grotta Azzurra at Capri and the grotto at the villa of Tiberius in the Bay of Naples are examples of popular natural seashore grottoes, the word grotto comes from Italian grotta, Vulgar Latin grupta, and Latin crypta. It is related by an accident to the word grotesque. The rooms had sunk underground over time, the Romans who discovered this historical monument found it very strange, a sentiment enhanced by the fact that it was uncovered from an underworld source. This led the Romans to give it the name grottesche, or grotesque, grottoes were very popular in Greek and Roman culture. Spring-fed grottoes were a feature of Apollos oracles at Delphi, the Hellenistic city of Rhodes was designed with rock-cut artificial grottoes incorporated into the city, made to look natural.
According to tradition, Praenestes sacred spring had a native nymph, the Roman emperor, filled his grotto with sculptures to create a sense of mythology, perhaps channeling Polyphemus cave in the Odyssey. The numinous quality of the grotto is still more ancient, in a grotto near Knossos in Crete, Eileithyia was venerated, even farther back in time, the immanence of the divine in a grotto is seen in the sacred caves of Lascaux. The popularity of artificial grottoes introduced Mannerist style to Italian and French gardens of the mid-16th century, two famous grottoes in the Boboli Gardens of Palazzo Pitti were begun by Vasari and completed by Ammanati and Buontalenti between 1583 and 1593. One of these grottoes originally housed the Prisoners of Michelangelo, before Boboli grotto, a garden was laid out by Niccolò Tribolo at the Medici Villa Castello, near Florence. At Pratolino, in spite of the dryness of the site, there was a Grotto of Cupid, with water tricks for the unsuspecting visitor. The Fonte di Fata Morgana at Grassina, not far from Florence, is a garden building.
It is decorated with sculptures in the Giambolognan manner, the outside of garden grottoes are often designed to look like an enormous rock, a rustic porch or a rocky overhang. Damp grottoes were cool places to retreat from the Italian sun, in Kuskovo at the Sheremetev estate there is a Summer Grotto, built in 1775. Grottoes could serve as baths, an example of this is at the Palazzo del Te, in the Casino della Grotta, courtiers once bathed in the small cascade that splashed over the pebbles and shells encrusted in the floor and walls. Grottoes have served as chapels, or at Villa Farnese at Caprarola and they were often combined with cascading fountains in Renaissance gardens. The grotto designed by Bernard Palissy for Catherine de Medicis château in Paris, there are grottoes in the gardens designed by André Le Nôtre for Versailles
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, proboscideans commonly equipped with long, curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. They lived from the Pliocene epoch into the Holocene at about 4,500 years ago in Africa, Europe and they were members of the family Elephantidae, which contains the two genera of modern elephants and their ancestors. Mammoths stem from a species called M. africanavus, the African mammoth. These mammoths lived in northern Africa and disappeared about 3 or 4 million years ago, descendants of these mammoths moved north and eventually covered most of Eurasia. These were M. meridionalis, the southern mammoths, the earliest known proboscideans, the clade that contains the elephants, existed about 55 million years ago around the Tethys Sea area. The closest relatives of the Proboscidea are the sirenians and the hyraxes, the family Elephantidae is known to have existed six million years ago in Africa, and includes the living elephants and the mammoths.
Among many now extinct clades, the mastodon is only a distant relative of the mammoths, and part of the separate Mammutidae family, which diverged 25 million years before the mammoths evolved. At the same time, the crowns of the teeth became longer, the first known members of the genus Mammuthus are the African species M. subplanifrons from the Pliocene and M. africanavus from the Pleistocene. The former is thought to be the ancestor of forms, Mammoths entered Europe around 3 million years ago, the earliest known type has been named M. rumanus, which spread across Europe and China. Only its molars are known, which show it had 8–10 enamel ridges, a population evolved 12–14 ridges and split off from and replaced the earlier type, becoming M. meridionalis. In turn, this species was replaced by the mammoth, M. trogontherii, with 18–20 ridges. Mammoths derived from M. trogontherii evolved molars with 26 ridges 200,000 years ago in Siberia, the Columbian mammoth, M. columbi, evolved from a population of M.
trogontherii that had entered North America. A2011 genetic study showed that two examined specimens of the Columbian mammoth were grouped within a subclade of woolly mammoths and this suggests that the two populations interbred and produced fertile offspring. It suggested that a North American form known as M. jeffersonii may be a hybrid between the two species, variations in environment, climate change, and migration surely played roles in the evolutionary process of the mammoths. Take M. primigenius for example, Woolly mammoths lived in opened grassland biomes, the cool steppe-tundra of the Northern Hemisphere was the ideal place for mammoths to thrive because of the resources it supplied. With occasional warmings during the ice age, climate would change the landscape, the word mammoth was first used in Europe during the early 1600s, when referring to maimanto tusks discovered in Siberia. John Bell, who was on the Ob River in 1722 and they were called mammons horn and were often found in washed-out river banks.
Some local people claimed to have seen a living mammoth, but they came out at night
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
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
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
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
A cave is a hollow place in the ground, specifically a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground, the word cave can refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos. A cavern is a type of cave, naturally formed in soluble rock with the ability to grow speleothems. Speleology is the science of exploration and study of all aspects of caves, visiting or exploring caves for recreation may be called caving, potholing, or spelunking. The formation and development of caves is known as speleogenesis, which can occur over the course of millions of years, caves are formed by various geologic processes and can be variable sizes. These may involve a combination of processes, erosion from water, tectonic forces, pressure. Isotopic dating techniques can be applied to cave sediments, in order to determine the timescale when geologic events may have occurred to help form and it is estimated that the maximum depth of a cave cannot be more than 3,000 metres due to the pressure of overlying rocks.
For karst caves the maximum depth is determined on the basis of the limit of karst forming processes. Most caves are formed in limestone by dissolution, solutional caves or karst caves are the most frequently occurring caves and such caves form in rock that is soluble. Most occur in limestone, but they can form in other rocks including chalk, marble, salt. Rock is dissolved by acid in groundwater that seeps through bedding planes, joints. Over geological epochs cracks expand to become caves and cave systems, the largest and most abundant solutional caves are located in limestone. Limestone dissolves under the action of rainwater and groundwater charged with H2CO3, the dissolution process produces a distinctive landform known as karst, characterized by sinkholes and underground drainage. Limestone caves are often adorned with calcium carbonate formations produced through slow precipitation and these include flowstones, stalagmites, soda straws and columns. These secondary mineral deposits in caves are called speleothems, the portions of a solutional cave that are below the water table or the local level of the groundwater will be flooded.
Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico and nearby Carlsbad Cavern are now believed to be examples of type of solutional cave. They were formed by H2S gas rising from below, where reservoirs of oil give off sulfurous fumes and this gas mixes with ground water and forms H2SO4. The acid dissolves the limestone from below, rather than from above, caves formed at the same time as the surrounding rock are called primary caves
The Aurignacian culture is an archaeological culture of the Upper Palaeolithic. It is the earliest modern human culture in Europe, and is associated with the immigration of anatomically modern humans from the Near East and it first appeared in Eastern Europe around 43,000 BP, and in Western Europe between 40,000 and 36,000 years BP. It was replaced by the Gravettian culture around 28,000 to 26,000 years ago, the name originates from the type site of Aurignac, Haute-Garonne, which is a town in the south-west of France near Toulouse or Andorra. The oldest undisputed example of figurative art, the Venus of Hohle Fels. It was discovered in September 2008 in a cave at Schelklingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany, the Bacho Kiro site is one of the earliest known Aurignacian burials. The Aurignacian tool industry is characterized by worked bone or antler points with grooves cut in the bottom. Their flint tools include blades and bladelets struck from prepared cores rather than using crude flakes.
)The people of this culture produced some of the earliest known cave art, such as the animal engravings at Trois Freres. They made pendants and ivory beads, as well as three-dimensional figurines, perforated rods, thought to be spear throwers or shaft wrenches, are found at their sites. The sophistication and self-awareness demonstrated in the work led archaeologists to consider the makers of Aurignacian artifacts the first modern humans in Europe, human remains and Late Aurignacian artifacts found in juxtaposition support this inference. Although finds of human remains in direct association with Proto-Aurignacian technologies are scarce in Europe. At least three robust, but typically anatomically-modern individuals from the Peștera cu Oase cave in Romania, were dated directly from the bones to ca, although not associated directly with archaeological material, these finds are within the chronological and geographical range of the Early Aurignacian in southeastern Europe. On genetic evidence it has argued that both Aurignacian and the Dabba culture of North Africa came from an earlier big game hunting Aurignacian culture of the Levant.
Many 35, 000-year-old animal figurines were discovered in the Vogelherd Cave in Germany, one of the horses, amongst six tiny mammoth and horse ivory figures found previously at Vogelherd, was sculpted as skillfully as any piece found throughout the Upper Paleolithic. The production of ivory beads for body ornamentation was important during the Aurignacian, there is a notable absence of painted caves, which begin to appear within the Solutrean. Typical statuettes consist of women that are called Venus figurines and they emphasize the hips and other body parts associated with fertility. Feet and arms are lacking or minimized, one of the most ancient figurines was discovered in 2008 in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany. The figurine has been dated to 35,000 years ago, the oldest undisputed musical instrument was the Hohle Fels Flute discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in Germanys Swabian Alb in 2008. The flute is made from a wing bone perforated with five finger holes
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, in short, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, in the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and socially, the country has a rich history, the Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I.
In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a rather than ethnic distinction. Moreover, the country was simply called Bosnia until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008.
The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian Bass-an-as which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root bos or bogh, meaning the running water. According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna, the name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosačas title, Herceg of Hum and the Coast. Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was a medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century. Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east and it has a coastline about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N, and longitudes 15° and 20° E, the countrys name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them
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