A megalith is a large stone, used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. The word megalithic describes structures made of such large stones without the use of mortar or concrete, representing periods of prehistory characterised by such constructions. For periods, the word monolith, with an overlapping meaning, is more to be used; the word megalith comes from the Ancient Greek μέγας and λίθος. Megalith denotes one or more rocks hewn in definite shapes for special purposes, it has been used to describe buildings built by people from many parts of the world living in many different periods. The term was first used in reference to Stonehenge by Algernon Herbert in 1849. A variety of large stones are seen as megaliths, with the most known megaliths not being tombs; the construction of these structures took place in the Neolithic period and continued into the Chalcolithic period and the Bronze Age. At a number of sites in eastern Turkey, large ceremonial complexes from the 9th millennium BC have been discovered.
They belong to the incipient phases of animal husbandry. Large circular structures involving carved. Although these structures are the most ancient megalithic structures known so far, it is not clear that any of the European megalithic traditions are derived from them. At Göbekli Tepe, four stone circles have been excavated from an estimated 20; some measure up to 30 metres across. As well as human figures, the stones carry a variety of carved reliefs depicting boars, lions, birds and scorpions. Dolmens and standing stones have been found in large areas of the Middle East starting at the Turkish border in the north of Syria close to Aleppo, southwards down to Yemen, they can be encountered in Lebanon, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The largest concentration can be found in southern Syria and along the Jordan Rift Valley, however they are being threatened with destruction, they date from the late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age. Megaliths have been found on Kharg Island and pirazmian in Iran, at Barda Balka in Iraq.
A semicircular arrangement of megaliths was found in Israel at Atlit Yam, a site, now under the sea. It is a early example, dating from the 7th millennium BC; the most concentrated occurrence of dolmens in particular is in a large area on both sides of the Jordan Rift Valley, with greater predominance on the eastern side. They occur first and foremost on the Golan Heights, the Hauran, in Jordan, which has the largest concentration of dolmen in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, only few dolmen have been identified so far in the Hejaz, they seem, however, to re-emerge in Yemen in small numbers, thus could indicate a continuous tradition related to those of Somalia and Ethiopia. The standing stone has a ancient tradition in the Middle East, dating back from Mesopotamian times. Although not always'megalithic' in the true sense, they occur throughout the Orient, can reach 5 metres or more in some cases; this phenomenon can be traced through many passages from the Old Testament, such as those related to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, who poured oil over a stone that he erected after his famous dream in which angels climbed to heaven.
Jacob is described as putting up stones at other occasions, whereas Moses erected twelve pillars symbolizing the tribes of Israel. The tradition of venerating stones continued in Nabatean times and is reflected in, e.g. the Islamic rituals surrounding the Kaaba and nearby pillars. Related phenomena, such as cupholes, rock-cut tombs and circles occur in the Middle East; the most common type of megalithic construction in Europe is the portal tomb – a chamber consisting of upright stones with one or more large flat capstones forming a roof. Many of these, though by no means all, contain human remains, but it is debatable whether use as burial sites was their primary function; the megalithic structures in the northwest of France are believed to be the oldest in Europe based on radiocarbon dating. Though known as dolmens, the term most accepted by archaeologists is portal tomb; however many local names exist, such as anta in Galicia and Portugal, stazzone in Sardinia, hunebed in the Netherlands, Hünengrab in Germany, dysse in Denmark, cromlech in Wales.
It is assumed that most portal tombs were covered by earthen mounds. The second-most-common tomb type is the passage grave, it consists of a square, circular, or cruciform chamber with a slabbed or corbelled roof, accessed by a long, straight passageway, with the whole structure covered by a circular mound of earth. Sometimes it is surrounded by an external stone kerb. Prominent examples include the sites of Brú na Bóinne and Carrowmore in Ireland, Maes Howe in Orkney, Gavrinis in France; the third tomb type is a diverse group known as gallery graves. These are axially arranged chambers placed under elongated mounds; the Irish court tombs, British long barrows, German Steinkisten belong to this group. Another type of megalithic monument, the single standing stone, or menhir as it is known in France, is common throughout Europe, where some 50,000 examples have been noted; some of these are thought to have an astronomical function as a foresight. In some areas and complex alignments of such stones exist, the largest known example being located at Carnac in Brittany, France.
In parts of Britain and Ireland a common type of megalithic construct
The Basques are an indigenous ethnic group characterised by the Basque language, a common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquitanians. Basques are indigenous to and inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country, a region, located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France; the English word Basque may be pronounced or and derives from the French Basque, derived from Gascon Basco, cognate with Spanish Vasco. These, in turn, come from plural Vascones; the Latin labial-velar approximant /w/ evolved into the bilabials /b/ and /β̞/ in Gascon and Spanish under the influence of Basque and Aquitanian, a language related to old Basque and spoken in Gascony in Antiquity. Several coins from the 2nd and 1st centuries BC found in the Basque Country bear the inscription barscunes; the place where they were minted is not certain, but is thought to be somewhere near Pamplona, in the heartland of the area that historians believe was inhabited by the Vascones.
Some scholars have suggested a Celtic etymology based on bhar-s-, meaning "summit", "point" or "leaves", according to which barscunes may have meant "the mountain people", "the tall ones" or "the proud ones", while others have posited a relationship to a proto-Indo-European root *bar- meaning "border", "frontier", "march". In Basque, people call themselves singular euskaldun, formed from euskal - and - dun. Not all Basques are Basque-speakers. Therefore, the neologism euskotar, plural euskotarrak, was coined in the 19th century to mean a culturally Basque person, whether Basque-speaking or not. Alfonso Irigoyen posits that the word euskara is derived from an ancient Basque verb enautsi "to say" and the suffix -ara, thus euskara would mean "way of saying", "way of speaking". One item of evidence in favour of this hypothesis is found in the Spanish book Compendio Historial, written in 1571 by the Basque writer Esteban de Garibay, he records the name of the Basque language as enusquera. It may, however, be a writing mistake.
In the 19th century, the Basque nationalist activist Sabino Arana posited an original root euzko which, he thought, came from eguzkiko. On the basis of this putative root, Arana proposed the name Euzkadi for an independent Basque nation, composed of seven Basque historical territories. Arana's neologism Euzkadi is still used in both Basque and Spanish, since it is now the official name of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. Since the Basque language is unrelated to Indo-European, it has long been thought to represent the people or culture that occupied Europe before the spread of Indo-European languages there. A comprehensive analysis of Basque genetic patterns has shown that Basque genetic uniqueness predates the arrival of agriculture in the Iberian Peninsula, about 7,000 years ago, it is thought that Basques are a remnant of the early inhabitants of Western Europe those of the Franco-Cantabrian region. Basque tribes were mentioned in Roman times by Strabo and Pliny, including the Vascones, the Aquitani, others.
There is enough evidence to support the hypothesis that at that time and they spoke old varieties of the Basque language. In the Early Middle Ages the territory between the Ebro and Garonne rivers was known as Vasconia, a vaguely defined ethnic area and political entity struggling to fend off pressure from the Iberian Visigothic kingdom and Arab rule to the south, as well as the Frankish push from the north. By the turn of the first millennium, the territory of Vasconia had fragmented into different feudal regions, such as Soule and Labourd, while south of the Pyrenees the Castile and the Pyrenean counties of Aragon, Sobrarbe and Pallars emerged as the main regional entities with Basque population in the 9th and 10th centuries; the Kingdom of Pamplona, a central Basque realm known as Navarre, underwent a process of feudalization and was subject to the influence of its much larger Aragonese and French neighbours. Castile deprived Navarre of its coastline by conquering key western territories, leaving the kingdom landlocked.
The Basques were ravaged by the War of the Bands, bitter partisan wars between local ruling families. Weakened by the Navarrese civil war, the bulk of the realm fell before the onslaught of the Spanish armies. However, the Navarrese territory north of the Pyrenees remained beyond the reach of an powerful Spain. Lower Navarre became a province of France in 1620; the Basques enjoyed a great deal of self-government until the French Revolution and the Carlist Wars, when the Basques supported heir apparent Carlos V and his descendants. On either side of the Pyrenees, the Basques lost their native institutions and laws held during the Ancien régime. Since despite the current limited self-governing status of the Basque Autonomous Community and Navarre as settled by the Spanish Constitution, many Basques have attempted higher degrees of self-empowerment, sometimes by acts
The Bidasoa is a river in the Basque Country of northern Spain and southern France that runs south to north. Named as such downstream of the small town of Oronoz-Mugairi in the province of Navarra, the river results from the merger of several streams near the village Erratzu, with the stream Baztan that rises at the north-eastern side of the mount Autza being considered the source of the Bidasoa, it joins the Cantabrian Sea between the towns of Hondarribia. The river is best known for establishing the borderline at its lower tract; this stretch is crossed not only by aircraft at low height but by important European communication axes, namely AP8 E5 E80 - E70 A63, main roads N1 - N10 and major French and Spanish railway networks,—RENFE and SNCF. Besides these major lines, other regional ones cross it too, e.g. regional railway EuskoTren and another double bridge joining the towns on the border, i.e. the historical Santiago Bridge. At this stage of the river, urban landscape prevails. Before pouring its waters into the ocean, it forms a bay called Txingudi located between these towns and Irun, the site being designated Wetland of International Importance in 2002, with a total area of 1.28 km2.
The banks of Hondarribia hold the minor San Sebastian Airport serving domestic flights and mired in controversy over its lengthening and upgrading scheme. The river comprises an area of linguistic contact, so it is pronounced differently depending on the language, namely in Basque, in Spanish, in French. Linguistic and historic research point to the name stemming from Latin phrase "Via ad Oiassonem" on account of the road that linked at Roman times Basque town Pompaelo with Oiasso, which may have run along the river; the Bidasoa flows through much of its 66 km length over Navarrese territory, except for the last 10 km, where it establishes the borderline between France and Spain, as well as the boundary between the Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Labourd. In line with the distribution of the river's length, the bulk of its watershed's area lies on Navarre; the basin holds 105 permanent streams and rivers that number 497 km, the region being drenched in rains regularly. The Navarrese side of the basin is inhabited by 22,000 inhabitants.
70% of its population have the sewage treated before spilling to the river. But for the first 15-odd kilometres, the river clings to the north to south disposition of other neighbouring rivers of Gipuzkoa joining the Bay of Biscay, e.g. Urumea, etc. Strengthened by the waters harvested from the sides of the pass of Belate, downstream of Doneztebe the river heads north and crosses the town of Bera at the north end of Navarre before entering Gipuzkoa at Endarlatsa. From the town of Doneztebe on, the main road N-121 runs along till the roundabout across the river from the toll of Biriatu by the AP-8. Next comes the major towns on the shores of the estuary; the main tributaries of the Bidasoa are the minor rivers Zeberia, Ezkurra and Endara. Additionally, further small rivers and streams feed the Bidasoa all along; the Navarrese tract of the river is a preferred destination for fishing enthusiasts, the river being home to several native fish species, namely eel, trout, Barbatula barbatula, Phoxinus phoxinus, sea lamprey, allis shad and grey mullet, some of them declared endangered species and interesting.
Moreover, a species of the Ebro, i.e. Chondrostoma miegii, has been introduced in the last 30–40 years on the lower tract of the Bidasoa, thereafter extending upstream; as a result, overfishing has become a major problem for the river's fauna, with special pressure put on salmon migrating upstream to spawn. They don't make it to their goal and die before spawning, either falling prey to fishers' bait or an inability to overcome hydroelectric power stations and the 114 related dams, since 63% of them prevent migratory fish from achieving their purpose. Schemes by the Regional Government of Navarre are underway with a view to handling the issue. List of rivers of Spain Île des Faisans Battle of the Bidassoa Bidasoa-Txingudi Report on the Environmental State of the Bidasoa by the Basque Regional Govt Report for Correction Measures on the Bidasoa Briefing on the Bidasoa by an Agency of the Navarrese Regional Govt Geographical descriptive account of the Lower Bidasoa region by Geological Research Agency The Bidasoa at the Sandre database
Lamia (Basque mythology)
The lamia is a siren- or nereid-like creature in Basque mythology. Lamiak, laminak or amilamiak live in the river, they are beautiful, stay at the shore combing their long hair with a golden comb. They have duck feet. In coastal areas, some believed that there were itsaslamiak in the sea, who had fish tails—a kind of mermaid. Lamiak help those. In some places, bridges were believed to have been built at night by lamiak: Ebrain, Urkulu, Liginaga-Astüe. In some places lamiak had to go away if the bridge they were building at night was left unfinished at cockcrow. People believed. Most lamiak disappeared. A lamia is at the other side of the rainbow combing her hair; when the sun lights her hair, the rainbow opens. In some places male lamiak exist. Sometimes they can enter a house, they are given different names: Maideak, Mairuak, Intxixuak (in Oiartzun, Saindi Maidi. Many toponyms are related to lamiak: Lamikiz, Lamitegi, Lamusin, Lamiñosin. Basajaun Sorginak Mari
The term "Moors" refers to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors were the indigenous Maghrebine Berbers; the name was also applied to Arabs. Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica observed that "The term'Moors' has no real ethnological value." Europeans of the Middle Ages and the early modern period variously applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, Muslim Europeans. The term has been used in Europe in a broader, somewhat derogatory sense to refer to Muslims in general those of Arab or Berber descent, whether living in Spain or North Africa. During the colonial era, the Portuguese introduced the names "Ceylon Moors" and "Indian Moors" in South Asia and Sri Lanka, the Bengali Muslims were called Moors. In the Philippines, the longstanding Muslim community, which predates the arrival of the Spanish, now self-identifies as the "Moro people", an exonym introduced by Spanish colonizers due to their Muslim faith.
In 711, troops formed by Moors from northern Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The Iberian peninsula came to be known in Classical Arabic as al-Andalus, which at its peak included most of Septimania and modern-day Spain and Portugal. In 827, the Moors occupied Mazara on Sicily, they went on to consolidate the rest of the island. Differences in religion and culture led to a centuries-long conflict with the Christian kingdoms of Europe, which tried to reclaim control of Muslim areas. In 1224 the Muslims were expelled from Sicily to the settlement of Lucera, destroyed by European Christians in 1300; the fall of Granada in 1492 marked the end of Muslim rule in Iberia, although a Muslim minority persisted until their expulsion in 1609. During the classical period, the Romans interacted with, conquered, parts of Mauretania, a state that covered modern northern Morocco, western Algeria, the Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla; the Berber tribes of the region were noted in the Classics as Mauri, subsequently rendered as "Moors" in English and in related variations in other European languages.
Mauri is recorded as the native name by Strabo in the early 1st century. This appellation was adopted into Latin, whereas the Greek name for the tribe was Maurusii; the Moors were mentioned by Tacitus as having revolted against the Roman Empire in 24 AD. During the Latin Middle Ages, Mauri was used to refer to Berbers and Arabs in the coastal regions of Northwest Africa; the 16th century scholar Leo Africanus identified the Moors as the native Berber inhabitants of the former Roman Africa Province. He described Moors as one of five main population groups on the continent alongside Egyptians, Abyssinians and Cafri. In medieval Romance languages, variations of the Latin word for the Moors developed different applications and connotations; the term denoted a specific Berber people in western Libya, but the name acquired more general meaning during the medieval period, associated with "Muslim", similar to associations with "Saracens". During the context of the Crusades and the Reconquista, the term Moors included the derogatory suggestion of "infidels".
Apart from these historic associations and context and Moorish designate a specific ethnic group speaking Hassaniya Arabic. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Morocco and Mali. In Niger and Mali, these peoples are known as the Azawagh Arabs, after the Azawagh region of the Sahara; the authoritative dictionary of the Spanish language does not list any derogatory meaning for the word moro, a term referring to people of Maghrebian origin in particular or Muslims in general. Some authors have pointed out that in modern colloquial Spanish use of the term moro is derogatory for Moroccans in particular and Muslims in general. In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many modern Filipinos call the large, local Muslim minority concentrated in Mindanao and other southern islands Moros; the word is a catch-all term, as Moro may come from several distinct ethno-linguistic groups such as the Maranao people. The term was introduced by Spanish colonisers, has since been appropriated by Filipino Muslims as an endonym, with many self-identifying as members of the Bangsamoro "Moro Nation".
Moreno can mean "dark-skinned" in Spain, Portugal and the Philippines. In Spanish, morapio is a humorous name for "wine" that which has not been "baptized" or mixed with water, i.e. pure unadulterated wine. Among Spanish speakers, moro came to have a broader meaning, applied to both Filipino Moros from Mindanao, the moriscos of Granada. Moro refers to all things dark, as in "Moor", etc, it was used as a nickname. In Portugal, mouro may refer to supernatural beings known as enchanted moura, where "Moor" implies "alien" and "non-Christian"; these beings were siren-like fairies with a fair face. They were believed to have magical properties. From this root, the name moor is applied to unbaptized children. In Basque, mairu means moor and refers to a mythical people. Muslims located in South Asia were distinguished by the Portuguese historians into two groups: Mouros da Terra and the Mouros da Arabia/Mouros de Meca ("Moors from Arabia/Mecca" or "Paradesi
Harrespil is the Basque name, that can be translated by "stone circle", given to small megalithic monuments which abounds on mountains of the Basque Country in particular. They are called baratz, a basque word meaning "garden" and traditionally applied to the prehistoric necropoles. Gathered in necropoles of 5 to 20 monuments, they appeared during the late bronze age but remained used during the iron age; these burials are distinguished from the preceding ones by the recourse to cremation, like in the urnfield culture. More spectacular by its fitting than by the size of the stones, the harrespil is formed of a rectangular cist made of flat stones containing ashes of the dead, of a stone circle; the circle is made of a great number of medium stones. The cist, of a meter by 60 cm, consists of 4 side flagstones and a flagstone of cover; these burials coexisted with tumuli, a little earlier sheltering a cist for ashes, but surrounded of stones in bulk. These architectures are sometimes combined, as in Zaho II where the harrespil is buried under a mound, delimited by a second stone circle
The mythology of the ancient Basques did not survive the arrival of Christianity in the Basque Country between the 4th and 12th century AD. Most of what is known about elements of this original belief system is based on the analysis of legends, the study of place names and scant historical references to pagan rituals practised by the Basques. One main figure of this belief system was the female goddess Mari. According to legends collected in the area of Ataun, the other main figure was her consort Sugaar. However, due to the scarcity of the material it is difficult to say if this would have been the "central pair" of the Basque pantheon. Based on the attributes ascribed to these mythological creatures, this would be considered a chthonic religion as all its characters dwell on earth or below it, with the sky seen as an empty corridor through which the divinities pass; the Christianization of the Basque Country has been the topic of some discussion. Broadly speaking there are two views: either Christianity arrived in the Basque Country during the 4th and 5th century, or this did not occur until the 12th and 13th century.
The main issue lies in the different interpretations of. Early traces of Christianity can be found in the major urban areas from the 4th century onwards, a bishopric from 589 in Pamplona and three hermit cave concentrations were in use from the 6th century onwards. In this sense, Christianity arrived "early". At the same time, various historical sources and research directly or indirectly bear witness to the fact that large-scale conversion did not begin to take place until the 10th and 11th century: the bishops of Pamplona were absent from the Synods of Toledo during the Visigoth period reports of a failed mission by Bishop Amandus around 640 AD Arab authors from the time of the Umayyad conquest of Hispania labeled the Basques as being mağūs or "wizards, pagans" the famous cemetery of Argiñeta in Biscay from around 880 AD with Basque gravestones devoid of any Christian symbols the comparatively low density of religious centers in the Atlantic Basque Country until the 15th centuryMost Vasconists broadly agree that Christianity thus arrived some time in the 4th/5th century.
Serious missionary and religious activity only began in the 9th century from the kingdom of Asturias and Franks, continued after the Reconquista with famous monastic foundations and the diocese of Bayonne in the 11th century. Thus Christian and non-Christian beliefs lived side by side past the 11th century. Various traditions connected to this ancient belief system have survived by adapting a Christian veneer or by turning into folk traditions, as happened elsewhere in Europe. However, in spite of the process of Christianization being completed late, the process was thorough and little direct evidence remains of pre-Christian beliefs. For this reason research into the matter tends to be putative as it has to rely on the analysis of folklore, folk traditions, sketchy references and place-name evidence; the main sources for information about non-Christian Basque beliefs are: Strabo who mentions the sacrifice of male goats and humans. Arab writers from the time of the Umayyad conquest of Hispania The 12th century diary of the pilgrim Aymeric Picaud Various medieval sources making references to pagan rituals, including the records of the Inquisition 19th and 20th century collections of myths and folk-tales, for example by José Miguel Barandiaran.
This is by far the largest body of material relating to non-Christian beliefs and practices Basque Mythology: History of the myths and deities of the Basque mythological universe by Patxi Xabier Lezama Perier. This is an Ebook; the modern study of place-names in the Basque Country Urtzi may or may not have been a Basque mythological figure. There is evidence that can be read as either supporting or contradicting the existence of such a deity. To date neither theory has been able to convince fully; the Iberian Peninsula's Indo-European cultures like the Lusitanians and Celtiberians seem to have a significant Basque substrate in their mythologies. This includes the concept of the Enchanted Mouras, which may be based on the Mairu, the god Endovelicus, whose name may come from proto-Basque words. After Christianization, the Basques kept importing myths. Jaun Zuria is the mythical first Lord of Biscay, said to be born of a Scottish princess who had an encounter with the god Sugaar in the village of Mundaka.
The battle of Roncesvalles was mythified in the cycle of the Matter of France. In the Aralar Range, Saint Michael was said to appear to assist a local noble turned hermit; the coat of arms of Navarre was said to come from a feat in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. The battle of Amaiur was the battle. Ortíz-Osés, A. Antropología simbólica vasca Anthropos, 1985. El matriarcalismo vasco Universidad de Deusto, 1988. El inconsciente colectivo vasco, 1982. Barandiaran, J. M. Mitologia Vasca Txertoa, 1996 Patxi Xabier Lezama Perier. Basque Mythology: History of the myths and deities of the Basque mythological universe. /Euskadi Public Reading Network / Bilbao-Mediateka BBK Library of Azkuna Zentroa. 2018 Hartsuaga, J. I. Euskal Mitologia Konparatua, Kriseilu, 1987. La Paglia, Antonio. Beyond Greece and Rome: Faith and Worship in Ancient Europe, Black Mountain Press, 2004. Everson, M. Tenacity in religion and folklore: the Neolithic Goddess of Old Europe preserved in a non-Indo-European setting, Journal of Indo-European Studies 17, 277.
Satrústegi, J. "Haitzuloetako euskal mitologia". Euskal Mitologia. 68: 165–174. Arriaga, J.. "Euskal mitologia"