Pyrénées-Atlantiques is a department in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in southwestern France. It takes its name from the Atlantic Ocean, it covers the Béarn. Named Basses-Pyrénées, it is one of the first 83 departments of France created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790, it was created out of parts belonging to the former greater province of Guyenne and Gascony, as well as the Béarn-Navarre, i.e. the Basques provinces of Basse-Navarre, Labourd and Soule, Béarn. The 1790 administrative design brought about the end of native laws; the Basque third-estate representatives overtly opposed the new administrative layout since it suppressed their institutions and laws. The representatives of Lower Navarre refused to vote arguing that they were not part of the Kingdom of France, those of Soule voted against, while the brothers Garat, representing Labourd voted yes, thinking that would give them a say in upcoming political decisions. On 10 October 1969, Basses-Pyrénées was renamed Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
Pyrénées-Atlantiques is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of Southwest France. It is bordered by Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers departments and the Bay of Biscay. Principal settlements include Pau, Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Biarritz, Anglet, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye. Lac Gentau is located here. Pyrénées-Atlantiques, a border province, has cultivated a number of economic and cultural links with Spain. Two urban concentrations exist in the east and west of the département: Pau, which has 145,000 inhabitants, 344,000 workers in the local area. Both the Gascon Bearnese variant and Basque language are indigenous to the region in their respective districts. Gascon in turn is a dialect of Occitan the main language of southern France, it is more related to Catalan than it is to French. Basque is a language isolate, not related to any known language. Today, the sole official language of the French Republic, is the predominant native language and is spoken by all inhabitants. Pyrénées-Atlantiques is home to a number of professional sports teams, including Aviron Bayonnais, Biarritz Olympique, Section Paloise, Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez and Pau FC.
The Pau Grand Prix, an auto race first held in 1901, has hosted the World Touring Car Championship, British Formula Three, Formula 3 Euro Series and FIA European Formula 3 Championship. The coat of arms of Pyrénées-Atlantiques combines those of four traditional provinces: Béarn Labourd Lower Navarre Soule Arrondissements of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Cantons of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department General Council website Archives of the Pyrenees-Atlantiques department website Photography Panoramics 360° website Prefecture official website Pyrenees-Atlantiques at Curlie Pyrenees-Atlantiques Monuments, Villages and Attractions Information on living and visiting Pyrenees Atlantiques
Agnos is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Agnosiens or Agnosiennes Agnos is located just 2 km south of Oloron-Sainte-Marie and some 25 km southwest of Pau, it can be accessed on the D155 road from Bidos in the northeast coming southwest to the village continuing southeast to Gurmençon. The D555 road passes through the commune from the north and joins the D155 northeast of the village; the commune is mixed farmland and forests with the forests scattered throughout the commune. Located in the Adour basin, the Mielle river flows from south of the commune forming part of the southern border continuing north through the village and together with several tributaries rising in the commune joins the Gave d'Oloron north of Oloron-Sainte-Marie; the commune name in béarnais is Anhos. Michel Grosclaude suggested that Agnos came from a Latin man's name Annius with an Aqitaine suffix -ossum the whole meaning "domain of Annius".
The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Grosclaude: Toponymic Dictionary of communes, Béarn, 2006 Cassini: Cassini Map from 1750Origins: Fors de Béarn Census: Census of Béarn Reformation: Reformation of Béarn Paul Raymond noted on page 3 of his 1863 dictionary that in 1385 Agnos had seventeen fires and depended on the bailiwick of Oloron; the commune was merged with Gurmençon on 1 February 1973 to form the commune called Val-du-Gave d'Aspe. It was restored to its previous status on 1 January 1983. List of Successive Mayors of Agnos The town is part of five inter-communal organisations: the Community of communes of Piedmont Oloronais the SIVU to limit floods in Agnos the AEP Union for Agnos-Gurmençon the Inter-communal Union for Sanitisation for the Aspe gateway the energy union for Pyrénées-Atlantiques Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Agnos is part of the urban area of Oloron-Sainte-Marie.
The activity of the commune is agricultural. The town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée of ossau-iraty; the 2006 classification by INSEE showed the median household incomes for each commune with more than 50 households. It classed Agnos at the rank of 6,323, for an average income of €18,420; the Church has a Trinitarian steeple. It contains many items which are registered as historical objects: An Altar 6 Candlesticks A Cross A Tabernacle A Chalice A Ciborium A Retable The Forests of Bugangue and Labaigt are inter-association woods managed by the National Office of Forests which provide valuable shelter for preserving local flora and fauna. Many species are protected. An arboretum is a result of collaboration with the ONF; the Mielle, a small stream that rises in Agnos, is listed in the Natura 2000 program for three rare species: white-clawed crayfish, European pond turtles, the rare European mink which does not exist anywhere in France except in the south-west. The Pyrenees are rich in scenery and the village of Agnos is the starting point of one of the most attractive routes for cycling across the foothills: From Agnos to Mail Arrouil and back in a variety of environments, rocks, meadows with views of the Pyrenees.
This route, like many others, is managed by the local hiking plan of the Community of communes of Piémont Oloronais. AssociationsThe model aircraft club welcomes its members in the Sayette neighborhood. EducationThe town has a primary school. Multi-Media LibraryThe Multi-media library project of the CCPO identified the municipal library of Agnos as a relay point. Sports and sports equipmentThe basketball club merged with that of Asasp in 2006 to form BCHB. Catherine Capdevielle, born in 1938 in Agnos, is an athlete specialising in ordeal sprinting. Cantons of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Arrondissements of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department Agnos Town Hall website Agnos official website Community of communes of Piémont oloronais website Agnos on Lion1906 Agnos on the 1750 Cassini Map Agnos on the INSEE website INSEE
Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. The people of the commune are known as Aiziriztar; the commune is part of the Mixe country in the French Basque Country of Lower Navarre. It is located north of Saint-Palais. Highway D29 runs north from Saint-Palais through the entire commune from south to north and passing through the town; the D529 Highway runs east from the commune to its junction with Highway D134. Highway D933 enters the commune in the southeast and runs north along the eastern side of the commune to exit in the north; the commune is located in the Drainage basin of the Adour and is watered by the Bidouze, a tributary of the Adour, it has its tributaries: the Joyeuse and the Eyherachar and Recalde streams. The commune's name in Basque is Aiziritze-Gamue-Zohazti. For Aïcirits, Jean-Baptiste Orpustan proposed the Basque etymology aitz, meaning "high" and aratze, meaning "fern patch", giving "high fern patch" or "rocky fern patch".
He indicated that Suhast may come from zuhaztoi, meaning "plantation of trees". The inhabitants of Camou are known as Gamuar and the inhabitants of Suhast are known as Zohaztiar; the following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Orpustan: Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Ldh/EHESS/Cassini: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini database Origins: Notaries: Notaries of Labastide-Villefranche Bayonne: Cartulary of Bayonne or Livre d'Or Ohix: Navarre: Titles of the Kingdom of Navarre Biscay: Martin Biscay Pamplona: Titles of Pamplona Suhast the village of Camou-Mixe, joined Aïcirits and Camou-Mixe on 22 March 1842. List of Successive Mayors of Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast The commune is linked to the following administrative bodies: the catchment area of Saint-Palais Local Agency for Employment of Biarritz the social welfare fund of Bayonne the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bayonne Basque Country the sanitation sector of Bayonne Saint-Palais-South-West-Landes the subdivision of the Departmental Equipment management of Saint-Palais-Bidache The town depends on the district court of Bayonne, the High Court of Bayonne and the Court of Appeal of Pau.
The commune belongs to six inter-communal structures: the community of communes of Amikuze the AEP union for the Mixe country the energy union of Pyrenees-Atlantiques. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast is classified by the INSEE among the communes which are predominantly rural areas in the hilly agricultural region of the Basque Country, it is part of a favoured agricultural area known as "simple". The registered office of the Lur Berri company, a large food cooperative group, is located in Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast; the town is part of the designated zone of Ossau-iraty. It hosts other companies in the agri-food sector as one of the first fifty two communes of the department: Union agricultural coop feed livestock. According to the Map of the Seven Basque Provinces published in 1863 by Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte, the dialect of Basque spoken in Aicirits-Camou-Suhast is eastern low Navarrese; the village has a cave at Camou linked to the Basque legend of Txahalgorri, the young red bull.
The former Chateau of Camou. It contains collections of ancient models of machines from plans of Leonardo da Vinci; the Church of Saint Martin. Martin Landerretche, born on 26 July 1842 at Bussunarits-Sarrasquette and died on 29 January 1930 at Espelette was a bascologue, a priest, writer and a Basque French academic in the Basque language, he was the pastor at Aïcirits. Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department AIZIRITZE-GAMUE-ZOHAZTI in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast on Lion1906 Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast on Google Maps Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Aïcirits and Suhast on the 1750 Cassini Map Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast on the INSEE website INSEE
Anglet is a French commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. Anglet lies in the traditional province of Labourd of the Northern Basque Country while its inhabitants have traditionally spoken Gascon; the inhabitants of the commune are known as Angloyes. Anglet commune is part of the urban area of Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz located south-west of the city and part of the Basque province of Labourd; the commune is 10% covered with pine forests, including those of Pignada and Chiberta. The sandy coast starts 200 km north at the Pointe de Grave on the shore of the estuary of the Gironde and ends in Anglet, it is punctuated by numerous seawalls cutting the shore. At Anglet the outline of the public maritime domain has been updated and a coastal reserve forty metres wide has been observed since 1978. With its many bays and inlets this area is a laboratory for monitoring techniques for studying coastal erosion; the Anglet coast has 11 beaches from north to south: Beach of la Barre.
The French Basque Coast designates the part of the Aquitaine coast between the Chambre d'Amour cave at Anglet and the Spanish border. Anglet has an airport Aéroport de Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne some 2 kilometres south of the town accessible from the D810 road, it has flights to destinations across France as well as Europe. Anglet is served by the A63 autoroute, the D810 road from Bayonne to Anglet town, the D260 road from Bayonne to the northern part of the commune and continuing south-west towards Biarritz. During the winter season of 2013/2014 the A1, A2, C, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, N Chronoplus bus routes operated by the Transdev agglomeration de Bayonne serve Anglet connecting it to other communes in the metropolitan area: Bayonne, Bidart, Saint-Pierre-d'Irube, Tarnos; the Adour flows into the Atlantic Ocean between Anglet on the left bank and Tarnos on the right bank. The commune is traversed by the following tributaries of the Adour: the Sarraoute the Artigou the Camoudiet the Horc the Prade the Gaoube the Houillassat the Gaoubole the Hourclat the Larraoudille the Bon the Adour de Gripp the May d'Escaret the Arrimoula the Adour de Lesponne the Serris The origin of the name Anglet is Roman from the Latin angulus, "Land shaped like a wedge" or "low terrain or depression".
This last hypothesis was confirmed by Jean-Baptiste Orpustan who indicated that the official name and the basque name derived from two distinct strains of the same origin: angellu, a diminutive of Angulu, cited by L. Michelena who affirmed that "low terrain" applies to "all the sandy beach-front in the commune"; the Basque name of the commune is Angelu and the Gascon name is Anglet. The inhabitants are known as Anglòi in Angeluar in Basque; the following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Orpustan: Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque ToponymyOrigins: Cartulary: Cartulary of Bayonne or Livre d'Or Collations: Collations of the Diocese of Bayonne Cassini: Cassini Map from 1750 Chapter: Titles of the Chapter of Bayonne Saint-Claire: Titles of the Abbey of Sainte-Claire of Bayonne Based on discoveries made, the oldest land in Anglet dates back to prehistory and Mousterian culture.
Various flint tools characteristic of the Mousterian period have been discovered. The use of splinters on both faces to make sharp points allows working on skins and making axes with wooden handles. Around Anglet, including the Tower of Lannes and Sutar, open air locations high above low swampy parts were preferred as in other parts of Basque Country; the prefecture of the Aquitaine region, considering the knowledge elements of the archaeological heritage of the commune identified in the archaeological database of the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs of Aquitaine issued an order for the following sites: Brindos, Cote 50, La Ballastière of Micoteau, Hondritz referenced as having Paleolithic occupation. The sites in the Rue du Colombier and the Tower of Lannes are referenced to as prehistoric sites of refuge which refers to occupation in proto-historic times. During the Roman era, Bayonne served as a castrum for a cohort large enough for a rampart to be built surrounding an area somewhat excessive for an Army, but no remains indicate that there was a cit
Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France. Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette is located in the former province of Soule, it is located some 35 km west by 10 km north of Larrau. The commune can be accessed by the small D247 road from the village to Tardets-Sorholus in the north-east; the D149 goes north to Camou-Cihigue. There is the D117 road which goes west from the village to Mendive. Located in the drainage basin of the Adour, most of the southern border of the commune is formed by the Alphoura river which flows through the village and continues northeast to join the Saison near Alos-Sibas-Abense; the Alphoura is fed by many tributaries rising in the commune including the Ardounc. The Escalérako erreka flows west with its many tributaries. Paul Raymond mentioned a brook that rises at Alçay and flows into the Alphoura; the commune name in Basque is Altzai-Altzabeheti Zünharreta. According to Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, the base altz meaning "aulne" was used for the both toponyms Alcay and Alçabéhéty.
Beheti means "at the bottom". The name Sunharette comes from the Basque zunharr using the romanized locative suffix ette meaning the "place of elm"; the following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune. Sources: Orpustan: Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy Raymond: Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, 1863, on the page numbers indicated in the table. Cassini1: Alçabéhéty on the Ldh/EHESS/Cassini database Cassini2: Sunharette on the Ldh/EHESS/Cassini databaseOrigins: Duchesne: Duchesne collection volume CXIV Ohix: Contracts retained by Ohix, Notary of Soule Chronicles: Chronicles of Arthez-Lassalle Soule: Custom of Soule In 1790 Sunharette was the chief town of a canton, part of the District of Mauleon; the canton included the communes of Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette, Alos-Sibas-Abense, Camou-Cihigue, Lacarry-Arhan-Charritte-de-Haut, Lichans-Sunhar, Ossas-Suhare. In 1833, the three communes of Alçay, Alçabéhéty, Sunharette merged to form a single joint commune.
List of Successive Mayors The town is part of seven intercommunal organisations: the Community of communes of Soule-Xiberoa the association to support Basque culture. The town is part of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée zone of Ossau-iraty. According to the 2006 classification of INSEE, showing the median household incomes for all communes with more than 50 households Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette is ranked 20,901st with an average income of €14,927 per year; the commune has two sites that are registered as historical monuments: The Seven Ibarnaba Tumuli in the Esquirassy district The Ten Ibarletta Tumuli in the Esquirassy districtOther sites of interestThe Gaztelu zahar of Maide korralea meaning "the enclosure of Maide" is attributed to Maidé, mythological beings incorporating some of the traits of Jentils and Laminak. The Romanesque Parish Church of Saint-Pierre is registered as an historical monument; the church contains a Processional Cross, registered as an historical object. The Belhygagne peaks and Gaztelia are the highest points in the commune at 1,072 and 1,345 metres high.
Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department ALTZAI-ALTZABEHETI-ZUNHARRETA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette on Lion1906 Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette on Google Maps Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Sunharete and Alcabehety on the 1750 Cassini Map Alçay-Alçabéhéty-Sunharette on the INSEE website INSEE
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. 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, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, 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 leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona