The Czech Republic, known as Czechia, is a nation state in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with mostly temperate continental climate and it is a unitary parliamentary republic, has 10.5 million inhabitants and the capital and largest city is Prague, with over 1.2 million residents. The Czech Republic includes the territories of Bohemia, Moravia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire, after the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria, the Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years War.
After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, reimposed Roman Catholicism, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, and was liberated in 1945 by the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States. The Czech country lost the majority of its German-speaking inhabitants after they were expelled following the war, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections. Following the 1948 coup détat, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence, in 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed, on 6 March 1990, the Czech Socialistic Republic was renamed to the Czech Republic. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004, it is a member of the United Nations, the OECD, the OSCE, and it is a developed country with an advanced, high income economy and high living standards. The UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development, the Czech Republic ranks as the 6th most peaceful country, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union, the traditional English name Bohemia derives from Latin Boiohaemum, which means home of the Boii. The current name comes from the endonym Čech, spelled Cžech until the reform in 1842. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, the etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning member of the people, thus making it cognate to the Czech word člověk. The country has traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the southeast, and Czech Silesia in the northeast.
Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992, the Czech part of the former nation found itself without a common single-word geographical name in English, the name Czechia /ˈtʃɛkiə/ was recommended by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Magura Cave is located in north-western Bulgaria close to the village of Rabisha,25 km from the town of Belogradchik in Vidin Province. Guided visits are conducted by the staff of Belogradchik municipality, to which the management of the cave was transferred in 2012 by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, in 1984 the site was induced into UNESCOs tentative list of World Heritage. The total length of the 15 million year old cave is 2.5 km, the average annual temperature of the cave is 12 °C, except for one room where the temperature is always 15 °C. The air humidity reaches 80% and the displacement -56 m, the Magura cave was formed in the limestone Rabisha Hill. The morphology of the consists of one main gallery with six various-sized halls. The very spacious site allows for music concerts to be held during Christmas, the inner temperature is constantly 11-12 °C. During the summers of 1974 and 1975 the cave was used for speleotherapy. Thirty patients slept in the cave for twelve nights, taking advantage of allergens absence, constant humidity.
A part of the cave is now used for ageing sparkling and red wines, labelled Magura, bones from different prehistoric species like cave bear, cave hyena, wolf, wild cat and otter have been discovered in the Magura Cave. Today, constant inhabitants of the cave is the collembola, as well as four types of bats, Cave paintings dating from the Epipaleolithic, late Neolithic and early Bronze Age decorate some of the caves walls. The paintings have been estimated to be made between 10.000 and 8.000 years ago, the drawings represent important events of the society that had occupied the Magura cave, religious ceremonies, hunting scenes and depictions of deities which are unique on the Balkan peninsula. The Fertility Dance and the Hunting Ceremony rank among the most noteworthy paintings, one grouping from the Bronze Age has been interpreted as a solar calendar. The cave paintings allowed storing information about regional solar calendar, religious festivals, contemporary imitations of possible fertility rites are reported — inscriptions in Latin and paintings made by treasure-hunters.
The medium used to create the art was bat guano, more than 750 images have been identified. Painted signs can be organised into four groups, zoomorphic, geometric. For the first group, there are bitriangular silhouettes with raised rounded arms, ithyphallic figures, regarding zoomorpic items, there are caprids, dogs, ostrich-like animals and schematic linear quadrupeds. Few rayed circle figures, mainly the two unica of the so-called calendar scene, likely represent a sun depiction, taking count of some associated figures, it is possible to recognize dancing and mating scenes. In the so-called Cult Hall a large dance and hunting scene is depicted, arranged in two main rows, these are the best known and most reproduced Magura Cave images
Cave paintings are painted drawings on cave walls or ceilings, mainly of prehistoric origin, to some 40,000 years ago in Eurasia. The exact purpose of the Paleolithic cave paintings is not known, evidence suggests that they were not merely decorations of living areas since the caves in which they have been found do not have signs of ongoing habitation. They are located in areas of caves that are not easily accessible. Some theories hold that cave paintings may have been a way of communicating with others, the paintings are remarkably similar around the world, with animals being common subjects that give the most impressive images. Humans mainly appear as images of hands, mostly hand stencils made by blowing pigment on a hand held to the wall. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals are at least 35,000 years old and are found in Pettakere cave on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, previously it was believed that the earliest paintings were in Europe. The earliest non-figurative rock art dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago, nearly 340 caves have now been discovered in France and Spain that contain art from prehistoric times.
But subsequent technology has made it possible to date the paintings by sampling the pigment itself, the choice of subject matter can indicate chronology. For instance, the reindeer depicted in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas places the drawings in the last Ice Age. The oldest date given to a cave painting is now a pig that has a minimum age of 35,400 years old at Pettakere cave in Sulawesi. Indonesian and Australian scientists have dated other non-figurative paintings on the walls to be approximately 40,000 years old, the method they used to confirm this was dating the age of the stalactites that formed over the top of the paintings. The art is similar in style and method to that of the Indonesian caves as there were hand stencils and this date coincides with the earliest known evidence for Homo sapiens in Europe. Because of the cave arts age, some scientists have conjectured that the paintings may have made by Neanderthals. The earliest known European figurative cave paintings are those of Chauvet Cave in France and these paintings date to earlier than 30,000 BCE according to radiocarbon dating.
Some researchers believe the drawings are too advanced for this era, the radiocarbon dates from these samples show that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet,35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago. In 2009, cavers discovered drawings in Coliboaia Cave in Romania, an initial dating puts the age of an image in the same range as Chauvet, about 32,000 years old. Some caves probably continued to be painted over a period of thousands of years. This was created roughly between 10,000 and 5,500 years ago, and painted in rock shelters under cliffs or shallow caves, though individual figures are less naturalistic, they are grouped in coherent grouped compositions to a much greater degree
Krapina Neanderthal site
The following tables give a brief overview of several notable hominin fossil finds relating to human evolution beginning with the formation of the Hominini tribe in the late Miocene. Deprecated classifications may be found on the fossils page, most of the fossils shown are not considered direct ancestors to Homo sapiens but are closely related to direct ancestors and are therefore important to the study of the lineage. Westview Press, Boulder CO. ISBN 978-0-8133-3482-0, cS1 maint, Multiple names, authors list Larsen, Clark Spencer, Robert M, Daniel L. CS1 maint, Multiple names, authors list Smithsonian Human Origins Program, schultz, J. Phenetic Affinities Among Early Homo Crania from East and South Africa
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, in short, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, in the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and socially, the country has a rich history, the Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I.
In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a rather than ethnic distinction. Moreover, the country was simply called Bosnia until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008.
The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian Bass-an-as which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root bos or bogh, meaning the running water. According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna, the name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosačas title, Herceg of Hum and the Coast. Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was a medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century. Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east and it has a coastline about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N, and longitudes 15° and 20° E, the countrys name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them
Font-de-Gaume is a cave near Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil in the Dordogne départment of south-west France. The cave contains prehistoric cave paintings and engravings dating to the Magdalenian period. Discovered in 1901, more than 200 images have been identified in Font-de-Gaume, the paintings were discovered by Denis Peyrony, a local schoolmaster, on 12 September 1901. The cave had been known to the public before this. Four days earlier Peyrony had visited the cave at Les Combarelles, a distance away, with the archaeologist Henri Breuil. The paintings in the cave at Font-de-Gaume were the first to be discovered in the Périgord province, prehistoric people living in the Dordogne Valley first settled in the mouth of Font-de-Gaume around 25,000 BC. The cave mouth was inhabited at least sporadically for the several thousand years. However, after the prehistoric inhabitants left, the cave was forgotten until the nineteenth century when local people again began to visit the cave. The paintings date from around 17,000 BC, during the Magdalenian period, many of the caves paintings have been discovered in recent decades.
The caves most famous painting, a frieze of five bison, was discovered accidentally in 1966 while scientists were cleaning the cave, as of 2007, Font-de-Gaume was the only site in France with polychrome cave paintings that is still open to the public. To date,230 figures have been recorded in the cave, Font-de-Gaume holds over 200 polychrome paintings and is considered the best example of polychrome painting other than Lascaux, which is now closed to the public. The paintings in Font-de-Gaume include depictions of more than 80 bison, approximately 40 horse depictions, in August 1919, the poet T. S. Eliot visited Périgueux. As part of his tour, he explored the already famous Font-de-Gaume cave. List of Stone Age art Art of the Upper Paleolithic Bacigalupo, Tradition in 1919, Pound and the historical method. T. S. Eliot and the Concept of Tradition, cave Art, a Guide to Decorated Ice Age Caves of Europe. Daubisse, Vidal, Vouvé, Brunet, men of the Old Stone Age, Their Environment and Art. Fiche technique des Monuments Nationaux sur la Grotte de Font de Gaume Photo du site du Ministère de la Culture
The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south, Luzon and Mindanao, the capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. The Philippines has an area of 300,000 square kilometers, and it is the eighth-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. As of 2013, approximately 10 million additional Filipinos lived overseas, multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelagos earliest inhabitants and they were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Chinese, Malay and Islamic nations occurred, various competing maritime states were established under the rule of Datus, Sultans or Lakans.
The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in Homonhon, Eastern Samar in 1521 marked the beginning of Hispanic colonization, in 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. With the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from Mexico City, in 1565, the Philippines became part of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. This resulted in Roman Catholicism becoming the dominant religion, during this time, Manila became the western hub of the trans-Pacific trade connecting Asia with Acapulco in the Americas using Manila galleons. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until after World War II, since then, the Philippines has often had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a dictatorship by a non-violent revolution. It is a member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
It hosts the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank, the Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos, during his expedition in 1542, named the islands of Leyte, eventually the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. Before that became commonplace, other such as Islas del Poniente. The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of its history, during the Philippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic. From the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the name Philippines began to appear, since the end of World War II, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines. The metatarsal of the Callao Man, reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago is the oldest human remnant found in the archipelago to date and this distinction previously belonged to the Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon-dated to around 26,500 years ago.
Negritos were among the archipelagos earliest inhabitants, but their first settlement in the Philippines has not been reliably dated, there are several opposing theories regarding the origins of ancient Filipinos
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. 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. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. 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. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, 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 this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Perched only about one kilometer farther east on the opposite side of the valley is the little village of Fleurac. The country rocks of the cave are flat-lying limestones belonging to the uppermost Coniacian and these rocks together with overlying Santonian rocks form the limestone plateau of Légal, the divide between the drainage basins of the rivers Lisle and Vézère. The Rouffignac cave and the Villars cave possess the most extensive system of the Périgord with more than 8 km of underground passageways. There are 10 natural shafts that lead to a deeper level and it is astonishing that most of the artistic representations nearly always seem to be associated with these dangerous places. So far, a further 4 km of passageways have been explored in this deeper level, below the deeper level exists a bottom level with a small underground rivulet. Visitors of the cave have to board a train that takes them about 2 km into the interior. The plan of the cave reveals a fractal-like dendritic pattern that is not random, presumably the cave was formed during the Pliocene about 3 to 2 million years ago.
Water had infiltrated the bedrock along certain zones of weakness and dissolved the limestone, today this process has come to an end, the cave is mostly dry except for the rivulet along the base level. The Rouffignac cave was already mentioned in 1575 by François de Belleforest, in his Cosmographie universelle he cites “paintings and animal traces”. In the 19th century the cave was known as a tourist attraction, during the Second World War the cave had served as a hide-out for the French Résistance. In 1959 the cave was opened for visitors. In conjunction with other caves and abris of the Vézère valley the Rouffignac cave was classified a Monument historique in 1957, the cave is under private ownership. The artistic representations in the cave were executed as engravings or black contour drawings. In contrast with the caves in Lascaux and Font-de-Gaume the representations in the Rouffignac cave are not polychrome, so far 224 animal representations and 4 human figures have been registered. The animal representations can be subdivided as follows,158 mammoths, additionally there is one single cave bear.
Amongst the six animal groups cited the mammoths take on a prominent role, the woolly rhinoceros are quite common compared to other similar caves where they always appear as an absolute rarity. Signs are somewhat underrepresented with 17 tectiform and 6 serpentiform signs being known, fairly common are finger flutings, macaroni- or meander-like traces that take up a surface of 500 m2 and decorate walls and ceilings. 63 animal representations alone are found on the ceiling of the so-called Le Grand Plafond chamber, here again the representations are associated with a shaft
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.
The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek