Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
Szydłowiec is a town in Szydłowiec County, Mazovian Voivodeship, with 15,243 inhabitants. It is the seat of Szydłowiec Commune. From 1975 to 1998, it was in the Radom Voivodeship. Szydłowiec belongs to Lesser Poland, from its beginnings until 1795, it was part of Lesser Poland's Sandomierz Voivodeship. From the 12th century the environs of Szydłowiec belonged to the powerful knightly family of Odrowąż, who were descended from Moravian-Bohemian Baworowic family. In the 13th century the site of the present castle was occupied by a stronghold on an artificial island with wood and earth defences and by a village called Szydłowiec; the present town came into being in the early 15th century and together with the neighbouring estate was the property of the Szydłowiecki and Radziwiłł families until the 19th century. The town flourished in the first half of 17th centuries, it was an important centre of trade and crafts stone-masonry based on the exploatition of the local sandstone, easy to work. This stone was used to make tools for agriculture.
It was a building material for the local Saint Sigsmunt Church, Castle in Szydłowiec and the Town hall in Szydłowiec. Among the goods traded in were agricultural products; the period of wars 1648–1717 and numerous epidemics and fires brought about a decline of Szydłowiec, which persisted for centuries, its state being yet aggravated after the partitions of Poland. The town owes this present character to transformations in urban design and architecture which took place in the second half of the 19th century and in the 20th century. Szydłowiec had a strong Jewish community until World War II. At one point it had a population, of a Jewish majority, it was home to Grand Rabbi Natan David Rabinowitz, the grandson of Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz of Peshischa, the father of the Biala Hasidic dynasty. "Here Their Stories Will Be Told..." The Valley of the Communities at Yad Vashem, Szydłowiec, at Yad Vashem website
Grime's Graves is a large Neolithic flint mining complex in Norfolk, England. It lies 8 km north east from Suffolk in the East of England, it was worked between c. 2600 and c. 2300 BC, although production may have continued well into the Bronze and Iron Ages owing to the low cost of flint compared with metals. Flint was much in demand for making polished stone axes in the Neolithic period. Much when flint had been replaced by metal tools, flint nodules were in demand for other uses, such as for building and as strikers for muskets; the scheduled monument extends over an area of some 37 ha and consists of at least 433 shafts dug into the natural chalk to reach seams of flint. The largest shafts are more than 14 m deep and 12 m in diameter at the surface, it has been calculated that more than 2,000 tonnes of chalk had to be removed from the larger shafts, taking 20 men around five months, before stone of sufficient quality was reached. An upper'topstone' and middle'wallstone' seam of flint was dug through on the way to the deeper third'floorstone' seam which most interested the miners.
The site can be visited. The site is a biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Geological Conservation Review site, it is part of the Breckland Special Area of Special Protection Area. In order to remove the chalk efficiently, the ancient miners built wooden platforms and ladders as they dug downwards and piled the spoil around the shaft opening using turf revetments to hold it in place for the season, when the shaft and all its galleries were and fastidiously backfilled to promote stability; the landscape around Grime's Graves has a characteristic pockmarked appearance caused by the infilled shafts. This is what inspired the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of the area to name it after their god Grim. Although the pagan Anglo-Saxons seem to have had some idea of what the site was, as the name of the site means "the masked one's quarries", it was not until Canon William Greenwell excavated one of the shafts in 1868–1870 that their purpose was discovered in modern times. Other similar sites have been found in Europe like Cissbury in West Sussex, Krzemionki in Poland, Spiennes in Belgium.
The miners used picks fashioned from the antler of red deer. They used wooden shovels, although this is only inferred by analogy with other flint mines with better conditions for the preservation of artefacts. Analysis of the antlers has shown that the miners were right-handed and favoured the left antlers out of those that were shed seasonally by the deer; the 28 pits excavated up to 2008 yielded an average of 142.5 antler picks each, of which an average of 14.8 have been found to be left-handed. Once they had reached the floorstone flint, the miners dug lateral galleries outwards from the bottom, following the flint seam; the medium-depth shafts yielded as much as 60 tons of flint nodules, which were brought to the surface and worked into shape on site. The blank tools were possibly traded elsewhere for final polishing, it is estimated that 60 tons of flint could have produced as many as 10,000 of the polished stone axes, which were the mines' main product. Extrapolation across the site suggests that Grime's Graves may have produced around 16–18,000 tonnes of flint across the 433 shafts recorded to date.
However, there are large areas of the site covered by activity which are believed to conceal many more mineshafts. There were other hard stones used for axe manufacture, those of the Langdale axe industry and Penmaenmawr in North Wales being traded across Europe, as well as other less well-known igneous and metamorphic rocks; the axes were much in demand for forest clearance and settlement, development of farmland for arable crops and raising animals, which characterises the Neolithic period. One unproductive shaft appears to have been turned into a shrine. An altar of flint lumps had been built with a chalk bowl at its antler picks piled around. In front of the altar had been placed a Venus figurine of chalk, a chalk phallus and some balls of chalk, it may have been an attempt to ensure that the mine remained productive or'fertile' after this particular shaft turned out to have little flint in it. However, it is possible that the Venus figurine and the phallus are modern fakes – there is a lack of primary evidence surrounding their recovery in 1939, rumours circulated at the time of the excavation that they were planted in order to deceive Leslie Armstrong, the archaeologist overseeing the dig..
Such a large industry may have required supporting infrastructure. Assuming no more than two shafts were open at any one time, around 120 red deer may have needed to be bred and managed nearby, in order to provide a steady supply of antler as well as skin and other products that the miners would require. Alternatively, the mines may have been worked intermittently by local farmers, as happened in many early metal mines during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Earlier flint mines in Britain such as Cissbury in Sussex were just as important as Grime's Graves, there were many local sources of flint which were exploited on the downlands. However, it is relevant that Grime's Graves were close to the rich soils of the Fens, forest clearance here would rely on local products. There was extensive farming settlement during the Bronze Age, known from middens that infill the mouths of many Neolithic mineshafts. Animal bones from these middens show that the Bronze Age people kept cattle, which t
The Mierzanowice culture appeared in the area of the upper and middle basin of the Vistula, during the Early Bronze Age. It evolved from the so-called Proto-Mierzanowice cultural unit; the name of the culture comes from an eponymous site in Mierzanowice, where the cemetery was located. This entity was part of the pre-carpathian sphere epicorded cultures and it has been divided into three local groups: Samborzecka and Pleszowska; the initial phases of the culture are characterized by a small number of burials, seasonal settlements and single artifacts. The area of the Mierzanowice culture spread over from western Slovakia, through south - eastern Poland, reaching in the east the areas of the Volhynian Upland. Based on relative dating, the Mierzanowice culture appeared in the Early Bronze Age. According to the archaeologist Jan Machnik, we can distinguish an older and a younger phase of this cultural unit; the discovery in Szarbia Zwierzyniecka allowed for a certain "rejuvenation" of the Mierzanowice culture as a result of the distinction of its late phase called szarbiańska.
The younger phase of the Mierzanowice culture ended at the end of "Bronze A1" and the beginning of "Bronze A2" according to Paul Reinecke's chronology. Cemeteries of the Mierzanowice cultural population were established near the settlements; the largest cemeteries were from 150 to 300 burials. Burials occurred in skeletal form. Human remains were put in coffins made of wooden logs. There were two systems for arranging human corpses: in the shrunken position and in straight position; the bodies of men were buried on the right side while corpses of women on the left side. The results of investigations conducted at the cemeteries of the Mierzanowice culture, showed a small advantage of men's graves over women's graves, which had a poorer grave inventory. Settlements of the Mierzanowice culture in most cases are represented by seasonal camps. Settlements with a larger area were founded on the hills with a defensive character, near water reservoirs. A large part of the archaeological sites of this culture are found on loess uplands.
The best-known settlement of the Mierzanowice culture is the archaeological site called Iwanowice. In the classical phase of the Mierzanowice culture, the settlements were accompanied by cemeteries. One of the most common objects discovered in archaeological sites in the Mierzanowice culture are axes and sickles. Another type of artifacts are necklaces made of faience and bones; the Mierzanowice culture is well known for its earrings in the shape of a willow leaf produced in local workshops. Military objects discovered in the settlements are leaf-shaped arrowheads; the faience beads are an common element of the funeral inventory. The next category is pottery. In vascular ceramics the influences of the Corded Ware culture are visible. Pottery of the late phase of the Mierzanowice culture is characterized by a huge variety of forms and ornamentation. Górski J. Kadrow S. Kultura mierzanowicka i kultura trzciniecka w zachodniej Małopolsce – problem zmiany kulturowej, Sprawozdania archeologiczne, T. XLVIII, 1996, Kraków.
Kadrow S. Machnik J. Kultura mierzanowicka: chronologia, taksonomia i rozwój przestrzenny, wyd. oddziału PAN, 1997, Kraków. Kmieciński J. Pradzieje Ziem Polskich, T. I, cz.2 Epoka Brązu i początki Epoki Żelaza, wyd. PWN, 1989, Warszawa-Łódź. Kaczanowski, P.. K.. Wielka Historia Polski, Najdawniejsze dzieje ziem polskich do VII wieku. Kraków: T. I, FOGRA Oficyna Wydawnicza
Globular Amphora culture
The Globular Amphora Culture, c. 3400–2800 BC, is an archaeological culture in central Europe. Marija Gimbutas assumed an Indo-European origin, though this is contradicted by newer genetic studies; the GAC preceded the Corded ware culture in its central area. Somewhat to the south and west, it was bordered by the Baden culture. To the northeast was the Narva culture, it occupied much of the same area as the earlier Funnelbeaker culture. The name was coined by Gustaf Kossinna because of the characteristic pottery, globular-shaped pots with two to four handles, it was located in the area defined by the Elbe catchment on the west and that of the Vistula on the east, extending southwards to the middle Dniester and eastwards to reach the Dnieper. West of the Elbe, some globular amphorae are found in megalithic graves; the GAC finds in the steppe area are attributed to a rather late expansion between 2950 and 2350 cal. BC from a centre in Wolhynia and Podolia; the economy was based on raising a variety of livestock, pigs in its earlier phase, in distinction to the Funnelbeaker culture's preference for cattle.
Settlements are sparse, these just contain small clusters pits. No convincing house-plans have yet been excavated, it may have been temporary. The GAC is known from its burials. Inhumation was in a cist. A variety of grave offerings were left, including animal parts or whole animals, e.g. oxen. Grave gifts include stone axes. There are cattle-burials in pairs, accompanied by grave gifts. There are secondary burials in Megalithic graves; the inclusion of animals in the grave is seen as an intrusive cultural element by Marija Gimbutas. The practice of suttee, hypothesized by Gimbutas is seen as a intrusive cultural element; the supporters of the Kurgan hypothesis point to these distinctive burial practices and state this may represent one of the earliest migrations of Indo-Europeans into Central Europe. In this context and given its area of occupation, this culture has been claimed as the underlying culture of a Germanic-Baltic-Slavic continuum. J. P. Mallory, "Globular Amphora Culture", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.
Mikhail M. Charniauski et al. Eastern exodus of the globular amphora people: 2950-2350 BC. Poznań, Adam Mickiewicz University, Institute of Prehistory 1996, Baltic-Pontic studies 4
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection; the invention of a geographic coordinate system is credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who composed his now-lost Geography at the Library of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. A century Hipparchus of Nicaea improved on this system by determining latitude from stellar measurements rather than solar altitude and determining longitude by timings of lunar eclipses, rather than dead reckoning. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Isles, off the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead. After their work was translated into Arabic in the 9th century, Al-Khwārizmī's Book of the Description of the Earth corrected Marinus' and Ptolemy's errors regarding the length of the Mediterranean Sea, causing medieval Arabic cartography to use a prime meridian around 10° east of Ptolemy's line. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before 1300. In 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line; the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911.
In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area they are mapping. They choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun; this daily movement can be as much as a metre. Continental movement can be up to 10 m in a century. A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice age, but neighbouring Scotland is rising by only 0.2 cm.
These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. Examples of global datums include World Geodetic System, the default datum used for the Global Positioning System, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, used for estimating continental drift and crustal deformation; the distance to Earth's center can be used both for deep positions and for positions in space. Local datums chosen by a national cartographical organisation include the North American Datum, the European ED50, the British OSGB36. Given a location, the datum provides the latitude ϕ and longitude λ. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude and height systems in use. WGS 84 differs at Greenwich from the one used on published maps OSGB36 by 112 m; the military system ED50, used by NATO, differs from about 120 m to 180 m. The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Coordinates from the mapping system can sometimes be changed into another datum using a simple translation.
For example, to convert from ETRF89 to the Irish Grid add 49 metres to the east, subtract 23.4 metres from the north. More one datum is changed into any other datum using a process called Helmert transformations; this involves converting the spherical coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and applying a seven parameter transformation, converting back. In popular GIS software, data projected in latitude/longitude is represented as a Geographic Coordinate System. For example, data in latitude/longitude if the datum is the North American Datum of 1983 is denoted by'GCS North American 1983'; the "latitude" of a point on Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the Equator and to each other; the North Pole is 90° N. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the Equator, the fun
The Jurassic period was a geologic period and system that spanned 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic Era known as the Age of Reptiles; the start of the period was marked by the major Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Two other extinction events occurred during the period: the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction in the Early Jurassic, the Tithonian event at the end; the Jurassic period is divided into three epochs: Early and Late. In stratigraphy, the Jurassic is divided into the Lower Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic series of rock formations; the Jurassic is named after the Jura Mountains within the European Alps, where limestone strata from the period were first identified. By the beginning of the Jurassic, the supercontinent Pangaea had begun rifting into two landmasses: Laurasia to the north, Gondwana to the south; this created more coastlines and shifted the continental climate from dry to humid, many of the arid deserts of the Triassic were replaced by lush rainforests.
On land, the fauna transitioned from the Triassic fauna, dominated by both dinosauromorph and crocodylomorph archosaurs, to one dominated by dinosaurs alone. The first birds appeared during the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs. Other major events include the appearance of the earliest lizards, the evolution of therian mammals, including primitive placentals. Crocodilians made the transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic mode of life; the oceans were inhabited by marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, while pterosaurs were the dominant flying vertebrates. The chronostratigraphic term "Jurassic" is directly linked to the Jura Mountains, a mountain range following the course of the France–Switzerland border. During a tour of the region in 1795, Alexander von Humboldt recognized the limestone dominated mountain range of the Jura Mountains as a separate formation that had not been included in the established stratigraphic system defined by Abraham Gottlob Werner, he named it "Jura-Kalkstein" in 1799.
The name "Jura" is derived from the Celtic root *jor via Gaulish *iuris "wooded mountain", borrowed into Latin as a place name, evolved into Juria and Jura. The Jurassic period is divided into three epochs: Early and Late. In stratigraphy, the Jurassic is divided into the Lower Jurassic, Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic series of rock formations known as Lias and Malm in Europe; the separation of the term Jurassic into three sections originated with Leopold von Buch. The faunal stages from youngest to oldest are: During the early Jurassic period, the supercontinent Pangaea broke up into the northern supercontinent Laurasia and the southern supercontinent Gondwana; the Jurassic North Atlantic Ocean was narrow, while the South Atlantic did not open until the following Cretaceous period, when Gondwana itself rifted apart. The Tethys Sea closed, the Neotethys basin appeared. Climates were warm, with no evidence of a glacier having appeared; as in the Triassic, there was no land over either pole, no extensive ice caps existed.
The Jurassic geological record is good in western Europe, where extensive marine sequences indicate a time when much of that future landmass was submerged under shallow tropical seas. In contrast, the North American Jurassic record is the poorest of the Mesozoic, with few outcrops at the surface. Though the epicontinental Sundance Sea left marine deposits in parts of the northern plains of the United States and Canada during the late Jurassic, most exposed sediments from this period are continental, such as the alluvial deposits of the Morrison Formation; the Jurassic was a time of calcite sea geochemistry in which low-magnesium calcite was the primary inorganic marine precipitate of calcium carbonate. Carbonate hardgrounds were thus common, along with calcitic ooids, calcitic cements, invertebrate faunas with dominantly calcitic skeletons; the first of several massive batholiths were emplaced in the northern American cordillera beginning in the mid-Jurassic, marking the Nevadan orogeny. Important Jurassic exposures are found in Russia, South America, Japan and the United Kingdom.
In Africa, Early Jurassic strata are distributed in a similar fashion to Late Triassic beds, with more common outcrops in the south and less common fossil beds which are predominated by tracks to the north. As the Jurassic proceeded and more iconic groups of dinosaurs like sauropods and ornithopods proliferated in Africa. Middle Jurassic strata are neither well studied in Africa. Late Jurassic strata are poorly represented apart from the spectacular Tendaguru fauna in Tanzania; the Late Jurassic life of Tendaguru is similar to that found in western North America's Morrison Formation. During the Jurassic period, the primary vertebrates living in the sea were marine reptiles; the latter include ichthyosaurs, which were at the peak of their diversity, plesiosaurs and marine crocodiles of the families Teleosauridae and Metriorhynchidae. Numerous turtles could be found in rivers. In the invertebrate world, several new groups appeared, including rudists (a reef-formi