Alfonso I of Asturias
Alfonso I of Asturias, called the Catholic, was the third King of Asturias, reigning from 739 to his death in 757. His reign saw an extension of the Christian domain of Asturias, reconquering León, he succeeded his brother-in-law Favila, was succeeded by his son, Fruela I. Alfonso's youngest son, Mauregatus became king, his daughter Adosinda was consort to king Silo of Asturias; the dynasty started by Alfonso was known in contemporary Al-Andalus as the Astur-Leonese dynasty. As the son of Duke Peter of Cantabria, Alfonso held many lands in that region, he is said to have married Ermesinda, daughter of Pelagius, who founded Asturias after the Battle of Covadonga in which he reversed the Moorish conquest of the region. He succeeded Pelagius' son, his brother-in-law, Favila, on the throne after the latter's premature death. Whether Pelagius or Favila were considered kings in their own lifetime is debatable, but Alfonso was, he began a lifelong war against the Moors. In 740, he in 754, León, he went as far as La Rioja.
However, the few urban populations of these frontier regions fled to his northern dominions, leaving a depopulated buffer between the Christian and Muslim states. This created the so-called Desert of the Duero, an empty region between the River Duero and the Asturian Mountains. Alfonso intended it this way. Besides the martial aspects, the demographic and cultural effects of this policy on Asturian and Portuguese history is large, it was over a hundred years. The Arab writers speak of the kings of the northwest of Iberia as the Beni Alfons, appear to recognize them as a Galician royal stock derived from Alfonso I. Alfonso is credited with establishing the shrine of Our Lady of Covadonga, in commemoration of his father in law's victory at the Battle of Covadonga, he and his queen are interred there. Their epitaph reads: "AQVI YAZE EL CATOLICO Y SANTO REI DON ALONSO EL PRIMERO I SV MVJER DOÑA ERMENISINDA ERMANA DE DON FAVILA A QVIEN SVCEDIO. GANO ESTE REY MVCHAS VITORIAS À LOS MOROS. FALLECIO EN CANGAS AÑO DE 757.""Here lies the Catholic and Holy King Don Alfonso the First and his wife Doña Ermesinda, sister of Don Favila to whom he succeeded.
This king won many victories against the Moors. He died in Cangas in the year 757." Alfonso had four children. Three were through his marriage to Ermesinda, although Mauregatus was born to a Muslim slave, Sisalda. Fruela I of Asturias: succeeded Alfonso as king. Vimorano: assassinated in 765 by Fruela. Adosinda: Queen consort of King Silo of Asturias Mauregatus of Asturias: Succeeded Silo as king
A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either or out of stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistoric cultures that have become extinct. Archaeologists study such prehistoric societies, refer to the study of stone tools as lithic analysis. Ethnoarchaeology has been a valuable research field in order to further the understanding and cultural implications of stone tool use and manufacture. Stone has been used to make a wide variety of different tools throughout history, including arrow heads and querns. Stone tools may be made of either ground stone or chipped stone, a person who creates tools out of the latter is known as a flintknapper. Chipped stone tools are made from cryptocrystalline materials such as chert or flint, chalcedony, obsidian and quartzite via a process known as lithic reduction. One simple form of reduction is to strike stone flakes from a nucleus of material using a hammerstone or similar hard hammer fabricator.
If the goal of the reduction strategy is to produce flakes, the remnant lithic core may be discarded once it has become too small to use. In some strategies, however, a flintknapper reduces the core to a rough unifacial or bifacial preform, further reduced using soft hammer flaking techniques or by pressure flaking the edges. More complex forms of reduction include the production of standardized blades, which can be fashioned into a variety of tools such as scrapers, knives and microliths. In general terms, chipped stone tools are nearly ubiquitous in all pre-metal-using societies because they are manufactured, the tool stone is plentiful, they are easy to transport and sharpen. Archaeologists classify stone tools into industries that share distinctive technological or morphological characteristics. In 1969 in the 2nd edition of World Prehistory, Grahame Clark proposed an evolutionary progression of flint-knapping in which the "dominant lithic technologies" occurred in a fixed sequence from Mode 1 through Mode 5.
He assigned to them relative dates: Modes 1 and 2 to the Lower Palaeolithic, 3 to the Middle Palaeolithic, 4 to the Advanced and 5 to the Mesolithic. They were not to be conceived, however, as either universal—that is, they did not account for all lithic technology. Mode 1, for example, was in use in Europe. Clark's scheme was adopted enthusiastically by the archaeological community. One of its advantages was the simplicity of terminology; the transitions are of greatest interest. In the literature the stone tools used in the period of the Palaeolithic are divided into four "modes", each of which designate a different form of complexity, which in most cases followed a rough chronological order. KenyaStone tools found from 2011 to 2014 at Lake Turkana in Kenya, are dated to be 3.3 million years old, predate the genus Homo by half million years. The oldest known Homo fossil is 2.8 million years old compared to the 3.3 million year old stone tools. The stone tools may have been made by Australopithecus afarensis —also called Kenyanthropus platyops— the species whose best fossil example is Lucy, which inhabited East Africa at the same time as the date of the oldest stone tools.
Dating of the tools was by dating volcanic ash layers in which the tools were found and dating the magnetic signature of the rock at the site. EthiopiaGrooved and fractured animal bone fossils, made by using stone tools, were found in Dikika, Ethiopia near the remains of Selam, a young Australopithecus afarensis girl who lived about 3.3 million years ago. The earliest stone tools in the life span of the genus Homo are Mode 1 tools, come from what has been termed the Oldowan Industry, named after the type of site found in Olduvai Gorge, where they were discovered in large quantities. Oldowan tools were characterised by their simple construction; these cores were river pebbles, or rocks similar to them, struck by a spherical hammerstone to cause conchoidal fractures removing flakes from one surface, creating an edge and a sharp tip. The blunt end is the proximal surface. Oldowan is a percussion technology. Grasping the proximal surface, the hominid brought the distal surface down hard on an object he wished to detach or shatter, such as a bone or tuber.
The earliest known Oldowan tools yet found date from 2.6 million years ago, during the Lower Palaeolithic period, have been uncovered at Gona in Ethiopia. After this date, the Oldowan Industry subsequently spread throughout much of Africa, although archaeologists are unsure which Hominan species first developed them, with some speculating that it was Australopithecus garhi, others believing that it was in fact Homo habilis. Homo habilis was the hominin who used the tools for most of the Oldowan in Africa, but at about 1.9-1.8 million years ago Homo erectus inherited them. The Industry flourished in southern and eastern Africa between 2.6 and 1.7 million years ago, but was spread out of Africa and into Eurasia by travelling bands of H. erectus, who took it as far east as Java by 1.8 million years ago and Northern China by 1.6 million years ago. More complex, Mode 2 tools began to be developed through the Acheulean Industry, named after the site
Ancient Roman pottery
Pottery was produced in enormous quantities in ancient Rome for utilitarian purposes. It is found all beyond. Monte Testaccio is a huge waste mound in Rome made entirely of broken amphorae used for transporting and storing liquids and other products – in this case mostly Spanish olive oil, landed nearby, was the main fuel for lighting, as well as its use in the kitchen and washing in the baths, it is usual to divide Roman domestic pottery broadly into coarse wares and fine wares, the former being the everyday pottery jars and bowls that were used for cooking or the storage and transport of foods and other goods, in some cases as tableware, which were made and bought locally. Fine wares were serving vessels or tableware used for more formal dining, are of more decorative and elegant appearance; some of the most important of these were made at specialised pottery workshops, were traded over substantial distances, not only within, but between, different provinces of the Roman Empire. For example, dozens of different types of British coarse and fine wares were produced locally, yet many other classes of pottery were imported from elsewhere in the Empire.
The manufacture of fine wares such as terra sigillata took place in large workshop complexes that were organised along industrial lines and produced standardised products that lend themselves well to precise and systematic classification. There is no direct Roman equivalent to the artistically central vase-painting of ancient Greece, few objects of outstanding artistic interest have survived, but there is a great deal of fine tableware, many small figures incorporated into oil lamps or similar objects, with religious or erotic themes. Roman burial customs varied over time and space, so vessels deposited as grave goods, the usual source of complete ancient pottery vessels, are not always abundant, though all Roman sites produce plenty of broken potsherds. "Fine" rather than luxury pottery is the main strength of Roman pottery, unlike Roman glass, which the elite used alongside gold or silver tableware, which could be extravagant and expensive. It is clear from the quantities found that fine pottery was used widely in both social and geographic terms.
The more expensive pottery tended to use relief decoration moulded, rather than colour, copied shapes and decoration from the more prestigious metalwork. In the Eastern Empire, local traditions continued, hybridizing with Roman styles to varying extents. From the 3rd century the quality of fine pottery declined because of economic and political disturbances, because glassware was replacing pottery for drinking cups. Fired clay or terracotta was widely employed in the Roman period for architectural purposes, as structural bricks and tiles, as architectural decoration, for the manufacture of small statuettes and lamps; these are not classified under the heading'pottery' by archaeologists, but the terracottas and lamps will be included in this article. Pottery is a key material in the dating and interpretation of archaeological sites from the Neolithic period onwards, has been minutely studied by archaeologists for generations. In the Roman period, ceramics were produced and used in enormous quantities, the literature on the subject, in numerous languages, is extensive.
The designation'fine wares' is used by archaeologists for Roman pottery intended for serving food and drink at table, as opposed to pots designed for cooking and food preparation, storage and other purposes. Although there were many types of fine pottery, for example, drinking vessels in delicate and thin-walled wares, pottery finished with vitreous lead glazes, the major class that comes first to mind is the Roman red-gloss ware of Italy and Gaul make, traded, from the 1st century BC to the late 2nd century AD, traditionally known as terra sigillata; these vessels have fine hard and well-fired buff to pink fabrics, with a glossy surface slip ranging in colour from light orange to quite a bright red. The variations in the colour and texture of both body fabric and slip, as well as the vessel-shapes and the designs on the decorated forms can enable a trained student to identify source and individual workshop quite accurately. Arretine ware, made at Arezzo in Tuscany, was the pre-eminent type of fine pottery in the 1st century BC and early 1st century AD, was succeeded by samian ware, manufactured in a number of centres in Gaul, modern France and Germany.
However the definition of all these terms has varied and evolved over the many generations during which the material has been studied. Technically, red-gloss wares have much in common with earlier Greek painted pottery, but the decorated forms employ raised, relief decoration rather than painting. African Red Slip ware belonged to the same tradition, continued to be made much than Italian and Gaulish sigillata, right through to the Islamic conquest. ARS in turn influenced the production of Phocaean red slip, common in the Eastern Mediterranean and appeared as far west as Southern France and Britain; the production of related types of wares existed in Asia Minor and in other eastern regions of the Empire, while the Iberian provinces had local industries producing terra sigillata hispanica, which had some similarities with the Gaulish products. Most of these wares were distributed and produced on an industrial scale, undoubtedly using a
Art of the Upper Paleolithic
The art of the Upper Paleolithic represents the oldest form of prehistoric art. Figurative art is present in Europe as well as in Sulawesi, beginning at least 35,000 years ago. Non-figurative cave paintings, consisting of hand stencils and simple geometric shapes, is at least 40,000 years old. According to a 2018 study based on uranium-thorium dating, the oldest examples of Iberian cave art were made as early as 64,000 years ago, implying Neanderthal authorship, which would qualify as art of the Middle Paleolithic; the emergence of figurative art has been interpreted as reflecting the emergence of full behavioral modernity, is part of the defining characteristics separating the Upper Paleolithic from the Middle Paleolithic. The discovery of cave art of comparable age to the oldest European samples in Indonesia has established that similar artistic traditions existed both in eastern and in western Eurasia at 40,000 years ago; this has been taken to suggest that such an artistic tradition must in fact date to more than 50,000 years ago, would have been spread along the southern coast of Eurasia in the original coastal migration movement.
It is important to note that most of the art of this period is expected to have been lost, as it was submerged in the early Holocene sea level rise. Cave art in Europe continued to the Mesolithic about 12,000 years ago. European Upper Paleolithic art is known informally as "Ice Age art", in reference to the last glacial period. In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000 years old, of an unknown animal, in a cave on the Indonesian island of Borneo. Art of the European Upper Paleolithic includes rock and cave painting, drawing, carving and sculpture in: clay, antler and ivory, such as the Venus figurines, musical instruments such as flutes. Decoration was made on functional tools, such as spear throwers, perforated batons and lamps. Engravings on flat pieces of stones are found in considerable numbers at sites with the appropriate geology, with the marks sometimes so shallow and faint that the technique involved is closer to drawing – many of these were not spotted by the earliest excavators, found by teams in spoil heaps.
Painted plaques are less common. It is possible that they were used in rituals, or alternatively heated on a fire and wrapped as personal warmers. Either type of use may account for the many broken examples with the fragments dispersed over some distance. Many sites have large quantities of flat stones used as flooring, with only a minority decorated; some of the oldest works of art were found in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The Venus figurine known as the Venus of Hohle Fels, dates to some 40,000 years ago; the so-called Adorant from the Geißenklösterle cave dates to about the same time. Other fine examples of art from the Upper Palaeolithic includes: cave painting, incised / engraved cave art such as at Creswell Crags, portable art, open-air art. There are numerous carved or engraved pieces of bone and ivory, such as the Swimming Reindeer found in France from the Magdalenian period; these include spear throwers, including one shaped like a mammoth, many of the type of objects called a bâton de commandement.
The animals depicted are prey sought by the Paleolithic hunters, such as reindeer,horses,bisons,mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, birds, as well as apex predators such as lions panthers or leopards,hyenas and bears. The human form was represented comparatively rarely; the Lion-man of Hohlenstein-Stadel is a hybrid creature with a lion's head on a human body. Representation of males are rare prior to incipient Mesolithic. Mesolithic examples include the "Pin Hole man" of Derbyshire. There is evidence for some craft specialization, the transport over considerable distances of materials such as stone and, above all marine shells, much used for jewellery and decorating clothes. Shells from Mediterranean species have been found at Gönnersdorf, over 1,000 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast; the higher sea levels today mean that the level and nature of coastal settlements in the Upper Paleolithic are now submerged and remain unknown. Cave paintings from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi are situated in the Caves in the district of Maros were dated based on Uranium–thorium dating in a 2014 study.
The oldest dated image was a hand stencil, given a minimum age of 39,900 years. A painting of a babirusa was dated to at least 35.4 ka, placing it among the oldest known figurative depictions worldwide. A cave at Turobong in South Korea containing human remains has been found to contain carved deer bones and depictions of deer that may be as much as 40,000 years old. Petroglyphs of deer or reindeer found at Sokchang-ri may date to the Upper Paleolithic. Potsherds in a style reminiscent of early Japanese work have been found at Kosan-ri on Jeju island, due to lower sea levels at the time, would have been accessible from Japan. In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000
A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging. Hunter-gatherer societies stand in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was humanity's first and most successful adaptation, occupying at least 90 percent of human history. Following the invention of agriculture, hunter-gatherers who did not change have been displaced or conquered by farming or pastoralist groups in most parts of the world. In West Eurasia, agriculture lead to widespread genetic changes when older hunter-gatherer populations were replaced by Middle Eastern farmers during the Neolithic who in turn were overrun by Indo-Europeans during the Bronze Age. Only a few contemporary societies are classified as hunter-gatherers, many supplement their foraging activity with horticulture or pastoralism. During the 1970s, Lewis Binford suggested that early humans were obtaining food via scavenging, not hunting. Early humans in the Lower Paleolithic lived in forests and woodlands, which allowed them to collect seafood, eggs and fruits besides scavenging.
Rather than killing large animals for meat, according to this view, they used carcasses of such animals that had either been killed by predators or that had died of natural causes. Archaeological and genetic data suggest that the source populations of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers survived in sparsely wooded areas and dispersed through areas of high primary productivity while avoiding dense forest cover. According to the endurance running hypothesis, long-distance running as in persistence hunting, a method still practiced by some hunter-gatherer groups in modern times, was the driving evolutionary force leading to the evolution of certain human characteristics; this hypothesis does not contradict the scavenging hypothesis: both subsistence strategies could have been in use – sequentially, alternating or simultaneously. Hunting and gathering was the subsistence strategy employed by human societies beginning some 1.8 million years ago, by Homo erectus, from its appearance some 0.2 million years ago by Homo sapiens.
Prehistoric hunter-gatherers lived in groups that consisted of several families resulting in a size of a few dozen people. It remained the only mode of subsistence until the end of the Mesolithic period some 10,000 years ago, after this was replaced only with the spread of the Neolithic Revolution. Starting at the transition between the Middle to Upper Paleolithic period, some 80,000 to 70,000 years ago, some hunter-gatherers bands began to specialize, concentrating on hunting a smaller selection of game and gathering a smaller selection of food; this specialization of work involved creating specialized tools such as fishing nets and bone harpoons. The transition into the subsequent Neolithic period is chiefly defined by the unprecedented development of nascent agricultural practices. Agriculture originated as early as 12,000 years ago in the Middle East, independently originated in many other areas including Southeast Asia, parts of Africa and the Andes. Forest gardening was being used as a food production system in various parts of the world over this period.
Forest gardens originated in prehistoric times along jungle-clad river banks and in the wet foothills of monsoon regions. In the gradual process of families improving their immediate environment, useful tree and vine species were identified and improved, whilst undesirable species were eliminated. Superior introduced species were selected and incorporated into the gardens. Many groups continued their hunter-gatherer ways of life, although their numbers have continually declined as a result of pressure from growing agricultural and pastoral communities. Many of them reside in arid regions or tropical forests. Areas that were available to hunter-gatherers were—and continue to be—encroached upon by the settlements of agriculturalists. In the resulting competition for land use, hunter-gatherer societies either adopted these practices or moved to other areas. In addition, Jared Diamond has blamed a decline in the availability of wild foods animal resources. In North and South America, for example, most large mammal species had gone extinct by the end of the Pleistocene—according to Diamond, because of overexploitation by humans, one of several explanations offered for the Quaternary extinction event there.
As the number and size of agricultural societies increased, they expanded into lands traditionally used by hunter-gatherers. This process of agriculture-driven expansion led to the development of the first forms of government in agricultural centers, such as the Fertile Crescent, Ancient India, Ancient China, Sub-Saharan Africa and Norte Chico; as a result of the now near-universal human reliance upon agriculture, the few contemporary hunter-gatherer cultures live in areas unsuitable for agricultural use. Archaeologists can use evidence such as stone tool use to track hunter-gatherer activities, including mobility. Most hunter-gatherers are semi-nomadic and live in temporary settlements. Mobile communities construct shelters using impermanent building materials, or they may use natural rock shelters, where they are available; some hunter-gatherer cultures, such as the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and the Yakuts, lived in rich environments that allowed them to be sedentary or semi-sedentary.
Hunter-gatherers tend to have an egalitarian social ethos, although settled hunter-gatherers are an exception to this rule. Nearly
Cantabria is an autonomous community in northern Spain with Santander as its capital city. It is recognized as a historic community and is bordered on the east by the Basque Autonomous Community, on the south by Castile and León, on the west by the Principality of Asturias, on the north by the Cantabrian Sea. Cantabria belongs to Green Spain, the name given to the strip of land between the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian Mountains, so called because of its lush vegetation, due to the wet and moderate oceanic climate; the climate is influenced by Atlantic Ocean winds trapped by the mountains. The most significant site for cave paintings is that in the cave of Altamira, dating from about 37,000 BC and declared, along with nine other Cantabrian caves, as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO; the modern Province of Cantabria was constituted on 28 July 1778 at Reocín. The Organic Law of the Autonomy Statute of Cantabria was approved on 30 December 1981, giving the region its own institutions of self-government.
Numerous authors, including Isidore of Seville, Julio Caro Baroja, Aureliano Fernández Guerra and Adolf Schulten, have explored the etymology of the name Cantabria, yet its origins remain uncertain. It is claimed that the root cant- comes from Celtic for "rock" or "stone", while -abr was a common suffix used in Celtic regions. Thus, Cantabrian could mean "people who live in the rocks" or "highlanders", a reference to the steep and mountainous territory of Cantabria; the name Cantabria could be related to the Celtic root "kant" or "cant" meaning edge or rim thus "coastal district," or "corner-land", "land on the edge" thus having the same probable derivation as the name of the English county of Kent. Cantabria is coastal region, with important natural resources, it has two distinct areas: Coast. A coastal strip of low and rolling valleys some 10 kilometres in width, the altitude of which does not rise above 500 metres, which meets the ocean in a line of abrupt cliffs broken by river estuaries, forming rias and beaches.
Santander Bay is the most prominent indentation in the coastline. To the south, the coastal strip rises to meet the mountains. Mountains; this is a long barrier made up of abruptly rising mountains parallel to the sea, which are part of the Cantabrian Mountains. The mountains are made of limestone with karst topography, occupy most of Cantabria's area, they form deep valleys running north-south. The torrential rivers are fast flowing and of great eroding power, so the slopes are steep; the valleys define different natural regions, delimited physically by the intervening mountain ranges: Liébana, Saja-Nansa, Pas-Pisueña, Miera, Asón-Gándara, Campoo. To the'mountain' region belongs the Escudo Range, a mountain range of 600 to 1,000 metres high that covers 15 or 20 km in a parallel line to the coast in the West part of Cantabria. Towards the south are higher mountains, the tops of which form the watershed between the drainage basins of the Rivers Ebro and the rivers that flow into the Bay of Biscay.
These peaks exceed 1,500 m from the Pass of San Glorio in the west to the Pass of Los Tornos in the eastern part: Peña Labra, Castro Valnera and the mountain passes of Sejos, El Escudo and La Sía. The great limestone masses of Picos de Europa stand out in the southwest of the region: most of their summits exceed 2,500 m, their topography is shaped by the former presence of glaciers. Due to the gulf stream, Cantabria, as well as the rest of "Green Spain", has a much more temperate climate than might be expected for its latitude, comparable to that of Oregon; the region has a humid oceanic climate, with mild winters. Annual precipitation is higher in the mountains; the mean temperature is about 14 °C. Snow is frequent in higher zones of Cantabria between the months of March; some zones of Picos de Europa, over 2,500 metres high, have an alpine climate with snow persisting year round. The driest months are August; the mountainous relief of Cantabria has a dominant effect on local microclimate in Cantabria.
It is the main cause of the peculiar meteorologic situations like the so-called "suradas", due to the foehn effect: the southerly wind coming down from the mountains blows and dry, increasing the temperature closer to the coast. This causes a decrease in air humidity and rainfall; these conditions are more frequent in autumn and winter, the temperatures are higher than 20 °C. Fires are helped by this type of wind: one example is the fire that destroyed part of the city of Santander in the winter of 1941. In these specific cases in the southern part of the mountain range the dry adiabatic gradient produces different conditions to the rest of the region: the wind there is fresher and more humid, there is more rain; the rivers of Cantabria are short and rapid, descending steeply because the sea is so close to their source in the Cantabrian Mountains. They flow perpendicular except for the Ebro, they generally flow year round due to constant rainfall. The rate of flow is modest compared to the other rivers of the Iberian peninsula.
The rapidness of their waters, caused by their steep descents, gives them great erosive power, creating the narrow V-shaped valleys characteristic of Green Spain. Th
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia