It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools, probably by Homo habilis initially,2.6 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene around 10,000 BP. The Paleolithic era is followed by the Mesolithic, the date of the Paleolithic–Mesolithic boundary may vary by locality as much as several thousand years. During the Paleolithic period, humans grouped together in small societies such as bands, the Paleolithic is characterized by the use of knapped stone tools, although at the time humans used wood and bone tools. Other organic commodities were adapted for use as tools, including leather and vegetable fibers, due to their nature, surviving artifacts of the Paleolithic era are known as paleoliths. About 50,000 years ago, there was a increase in the diversity of artifacts. For the first time in Africa, bone artifacts and the first art appear in the archaeological record, the first evidence of human fishing is noted, from artifacts in places such as Blombos cave in South Africa. The new technology generated an explosion of modern humans which is believed to have led to the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Humankind gradually evolved from members of the genus Homo—such as Homo habilis. The climate during the Paleolithic consisted of a set of glacial and interglacial periods in which the climate periodically fluctuated between warm and cool temperatures, by c. 50,000 – c. 40,000 BP, the first humans set foot in Australia. By c. 45,000 BP, humans lived at 61°N latitude in Europe, by c. 30,000 BP, Japan was reached, and by c. 27,000 BP humans were present in Siberia, above the Arctic Circle. At the end of the Upper Paleolithic, a group of humans crossed Beringia, the term Paleolithic was coined by archaeologist John Lubbock in 1865. It derives from Greek, παλαιός, old, and λίθος, stone, human evolution is the part of biological evolution concerning the emergence of anatomically modern humans as a distinct species. The Paleolithic Period coincides almost exactly with the Pleistocene epoch of geologic time and this epoch experienced important geographic and climatic changes that affected human societies.
During the preceding Pliocene, continents had continued to drift from possibly as far as 250 km from their present locations to positions only 70 km from their current location. South America became linked to North America through the Isthmus of Panama, most of Central America formed during the Pliocene to connect the continents of North and South America, allowing fauna from these continents to leave their native habitats and colonize new areas. Africas collision with Asia created the Mediterranean Sea, cutting off the remnants of the Tethys Ocean, climates during the Pliocene became cooler and drier, and seasonal, similar to modern climates. The formation of an Arctic ice cap around 3 million years ago is signaled by a shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic. Mid-latitude glaciation probably began before the end of the epoch, the global cooling that occurred during the Pliocene may have spurred on the disappearance of forests and the spread of grasslands and savannas
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
The Czech Republic, known as Czechia, is a nation state in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with mostly temperate continental climate and it is a unitary parliamentary republic, has 10.5 million inhabitants and the capital and largest city is Prague, with over 1.2 million residents. The Czech Republic includes the territories of Bohemia, Moravia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire, after the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria, the Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years War.
After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, reimposed Roman Catholicism, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, and was liberated in 1945 by the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States. The Czech country lost the majority of its German-speaking inhabitants after they were expelled following the war, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections. Following the 1948 coup détat, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence, in 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed, on 6 March 1990, the Czech Socialistic Republic was renamed to the Czech Republic. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004, it is a member of the United Nations, the OECD, the OSCE, and it is a developed country with an advanced, high income economy and high living standards. The UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development, the Czech Republic ranks as the 6th most peaceful country, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union, the traditional English name Bohemia derives from Latin Boiohaemum, which means home of the Boii. The current name comes from the endonym Čech, spelled Cžech until the reform in 1842. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, the etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning member of the people, thus making it cognate to the Czech word člověk. The country has traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the southeast, and Czech Silesia in the northeast.
Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992, the Czech part of the former nation found itself without a common single-word geographical name in English, the name Czechia /ˈtʃɛkiə/ was recommended by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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
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
Kozarnika or Peshtera Kozarnika is a cave in northwestern Bulgaria that was used as a hunters’ shelter as early as the Lower Paleolithic. It marks an older route of human migration from Africa to Europe via the Balkans. The cave probably keeps the earliest evidence of symbolic behaviour. Kozarnika cave is located 6 km from the town of Belogradchik in northwestern Bulgaria, on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains. It is opened to the south, at 85 m above the valley, with its length of 210 m, the cave is among the small-sized in the Belogradchick karst region. The Kozarnika cave project started in 1984, since 1996, it has been headed by Dr. Prof. Nikolay Sirakov and Dr. Jean-Luc Guadelli. In the ground layers, dated to 1. 6–1, the findings from Middle Paleolithic layers, rather bifacial points, dating from 300, 000–50,000 BP prove presence of hunters’ groups possibly of Homo neanderthalensis. Upper Paleolithic layers consist flint assemblages from the earliest European Gravette complex dating from 43,000 up to 39,000 BP belonging to Homo sapiens sapiens, magura Cave Bacho Kiro cave Sićevo Gorge Peștera cu Oase Vértesszőlős Proto-Indo-Europeans Campanian Ignimbrite Eruption Rincon, Paul
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
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
Jasov is a small town and municipality in Košice-okolie District in the Kosice Region of eastern Slovakia. It is one of towns in Bodva Valley. Other towns in Bodva Valley include, Lucia Bania, Medzev, Vyšný Medzev, the village was first mentioned in 1234. This is the biggest monastery complex in Slovakia and the St John The Baptist church, though the present complex dates unquestionably from the 18th century, there has been a monastery here since 1170. The first, probably made of wood, was destroyed by the invading Tatars in 1242, a Romanesque stone monastery soon replaced it and was rebuilt in a fortified style in the 15th century. The site was completely levelled again in the 18th century to make way for the present Baroque structure. The monastery has 365 windows,12 chimneys and four gates, the village lies at an elevation of 280 m and covers an area of 35.419 km2. It has a population of about 3,460, jasov lies on the edge of the Slovenský Kras, an area of dramatic limestone landscapes. The nearby valley between Moldava nad Bodvou and Rožňava, with its bottom, high cliffs and a picturesque gorge, is typical.
But karst landscapes are noted for what lies beneath their surface as much as what can be seen above, the area is littered with cave complexes, several of them open to the public
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
The Slovak Karst is one of the mountain ranges of the Slovenské Rudohorie Mountains in the Carpathians in southern Slovakia. It consists of a complex of huge karst plains and plateaus, since 1973 it was a protected landscape area. On 1 March 2002 Slovak Karst National Park was declared and it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and part of it forms UNESCO World Heritage site Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst. The highest peak is Jelení vrch at 947 m AMSL, important rivers are the Slaná, the Štítnik and the Turňa. The Slovak Karst lies in the temperate zone and has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. The area is composed of layers of Mesozoic limestone and dolomite, beneath which there is non-permeable sandstone, limestone. The plains are covered by forests, the hills by oak forests. Beech forests are in the northern parts, the plains have many karst formations, such as karst pits with diameters of up to 250 m and depths of about 45 m, conical hills and half-blind valley and dales.
Other noteworthy caves are Krásnohorská Cave and Hrušovská Cave, the region includes karst lakes. The largest lake is Jašteričie jazero, Gyükerréti-tó in Hungarian