A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area in the form of a peak. A mountain is steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism; these forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode through the action of rivers, weather conditions, glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits. High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level; these colder climates affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, such as mountain climbing; the highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m. There is no universally accepted definition of a mountain.
Elevation, relief, steepness and continuity have been used as criteria for defining a mountain. In the Oxford English Dictionary a mountain is defined as "a natural elevation of the earth surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level and attaining an altitude which to the adjacent elevation, is impressive or notable."Whether a landform is called a mountain may depend on local usage. Mount Scott outside Lawton, Oklahoma, USA, is only 251 m from its base to its highest point. Whittow's Dictionary of Physical Geography states "Some authorities regard eminences above 600 metres as mountains, those below being referred to as hills." In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, a mountain is defined as any summit at least 2,000 feet high, whilst the official UK government's definition of a mountain, for the purposes of access, is a summit of 600 metres or higher. In addition, some definitions include a topographical prominence requirement 100 or 500 feet. At one time the U.
S. Board on Geographic Names defined a mountain as being 1,000 feet or taller, but has abandoned the definition since the 1970s. Any similar landform lower. However, the United States Geological Survey concludes that these terms do not have technical definitions in the US; the UN Environmental Programme's definition of "mountainous environment" includes any of the following: Elevation of at least 2,500 m. Using these definitions, mountains cover 33% of Eurasia, 19% of South America, 24% of North America, 14% of Africa; as a whole, 24% of the Earth's land mass is mountainous. There are three main types of mountains: volcanic and block. All three types are formed from plate tectonics: when portions of the Earth's crust move and dive. Compressional forces, isostatic uplift and intrusion of igneous matter forces surface rock upward, creating a landform higher than the surrounding features; the height of the feature makes it either a hill or, if steeper, a mountain. Major mountains tend to occur in long linear arcs, indicating tectonic plate boundaries and activity.
Volcanoes are formed when a plate is pushed at a mid-ocean ridge or hotspot. At a depth of around 100 km, melting occurs in rock above the slab, forms magma that reaches the surface; when the magma reaches the surface, it builds a volcanic mountain, such as a shield volcano or a stratovolcano. Examples of volcanoes include Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines; the magma does not have to reach the surface in order to create a mountain: magma that solidifies below ground can still form dome mountains, such as Navajo Mountain in the US. Fold mountains occur when two plates collide: shortening occurs along thrust faults and the crust is overthickened. Since the less dense continental crust "floats" on the denser mantle rocks beneath, the weight of any crustal material forced upward to form hills, plateaus or mountains must be balanced by the buoyancy force of a much greater volume forced downward into the mantle, thus the continental crust is much thicker under mountains, compared to lower lying areas.
Rock can fold either asymmetrically. The upfolds are anticlines and the downfolds are synclines: in asymmetric folding there may be recumbent and overturned folds; the Balkan Mountains and the Jura Mountains are examples of fold mountains. Block mountains are caused by faults in the crust: a plane; when rocks on one side of a fault rise relative to the other, it can form a mountain. The uplifted blocks are block horsts; the intervening dropped blocks are termed graben: these can be small or form extensive rift valley systems. This form of landscape can be seen in East Africa, the Vosges, the Basin and Range Province of Western North America and the Rhine valley; these areas occur when the regional stress is extensional and the crust is thinned. During and following uplift, mountains are subjected to the agents of erosion which wear the uplifted area down. Erosion causes the surface of mountains to be younger than the rocks that form the mountains themselves. Glacial processes produce characteristic landforms, such as pyramidal peaks, knife-edge arêtes, bowl-shaped cirques that can contai
Great Sphinx of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. Facing directly from West to East, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt; the face of the Sphinx is believed to represent the Pharaoh Khafre. Cut from the bedrock, the original shape of the Sphinx has been restored with layers of blocks, it measures 73 metres long from paw to tail, 20.21 m high from the base to the top of the head and 19 metres wide at its rear haunches. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt and is believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafre; the Sphinx is a monolith carved into the bedrock of the plateau, which served as the quarry for the pyramids and other monuments in the area. The nummulitic limestone of the area consists of layers which offer differing resistance to erosion, leading to the uneven degradation apparent in the Sphinx's body.
The lowest part of the body, including the legs, is solid rock. The body of the lion up to its neck is fashioned from softer layers that have suffered considerable disintegration; the layer in which the head was sculpted is much harder. The Great Sphinx is one of the world's largest and oldest statues, but basic facts about it are still subject to debate, such as when it was built, by whom and for what purpose, it is impossible to identify what name the creators called their statue, as the Great Sphinx does not appear in any known inscription of the Old Kingdom and there are no inscriptions anywhere describing its construction or its original purpose. In the New Kingdom, the Sphinx was revered as the solar deity Hor-em-akhet, the pharaoh Thutmose IV referred to it as such in his "Dream Stele"; the used name "Sphinx" was given to it in classical antiquity, about 2000 years after the accepted date of its construction by reference to a Greek mythological beast with a lion's body, a woman's head and the wings of an eagle.
The English word sphinx comes from the ancient Greek Σφίγξ from the verb σφίγγω, after the Greek sphinx who strangled anyone who failed to answer her riddle. Medieval Arab writers, including al-Maqrīzī, call the Sphinx balhib and bilhaw, which suggest a Coptic influence; the modern Egyptian Arabic name is أبو الهول. Though there have been conflicting evidence and viewpoints over the years, the view held by modern Egyptology at large remains that the Great Sphinx was built in 2500 BC for the pharaoh Khafre, the builder of the Second Pyramid at Giza. Selim Hassan, writing in 1949 on recent excavations of the Sphinx enclosure, summed up the problem: Taking all things into consideration, it seems that we must give the credit of erecting this, the world's most wonderful statue, to Khafre, but always with this reservation: that there is not one single contemporary inscription which connects the Sphinx with Khafre; the circumstantial evidence mentioned by Hassan includes the Sphinx's location in the context of the funerary complex surrounding the Second Pyramid, traditionally connected with Khafre.
Apart from the Causeway, the Pyramid and the Sphinx, the complex includes the Sphinx Temple and Valley Temple, both of which display similar design of their inner courts. The Sphinx Temple was built using blocks cut from the Sphinx enclosure, while those of the Valley Temple were quarried from the plateau, some of the largest weighing upwards of 100 tons. A diorite statue of Khafre, discovered buried upside down along with other debris in the Valley Temple, is claimed as support for the Khafre theory; the Dream Stele, erected much by the pharaoh Thutmose IV, associates the Sphinx with Khafre. When the stele was discovered, its lines of text were damaged and incomplete, only referred to Khaf, not Khafre. An extract was translated:. Khaf... the statue made for Atum-Hor-em-Akhet. Egyptologist Thomas Young, finding the Khaf hieroglyphs in a damaged cartouche used to surround a royal name, inserted the glyph ra to complete Khafra's name; when the Stele was re-excavated in 1925, the lines of text referring to Khaf flaked off and were destroyed.
Theories held by academic Egyptologists regarding the builder of the Sphinx and the date of its construction are not universally accepted, various persons have proposed alternative hypotheses about both the builder and dating. Some early Egyptologists and excavators of the Giza pyramid complex believed the Great Sphinx and associated temples to predate the fourth dynasty rule of Khufu and Menkaure. Flinders Petrie wrote in 1883 regarding the state of opinion regarding the age of the nearby temples, by extension the Sphinx: "The date of the Granite Temple has been so positively asserted to be earlier than the fourth dynasty, that it may seem rash to dispute the point". In 1857, Augus
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
Human prehistory is the period between the use of the first stone tools c. 3.3 million years ago by hominins and the invention of writing systems. The earliest writing systems appeared c. 5,300 years ago, but it took thousands of years for writing to be adopted, it was not used in some human cultures until the 19th century or until the present. The end of prehistory therefore came at different dates in different places, the term is less used in discussing societies where prehistory ended recently. Sumer in Mesopotamia, the Indus valley civilization, ancient Egypt were the first civilizations to develop their own scripts and to keep historical records. Neighboring civilizations were the first to follow. Most other civilizations reached the end of prehistory during the Iron Age; the three-age system of division of prehistory into the Stone Age, followed by the Bronze Age and Iron Age, remains in use for much of Eurasia and North Africa, but is not used in those parts of the world where the working of hard metals arrived abruptly with contact with Eurasian cultures, such as the Americas, Oceania and much of Sub-Saharan Africa.
These areas with some exceptions in Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas, did not develop complex writing systems before the arrival of Eurasians, their prehistory reaches into recent periods. The period when a culture is written about by others, but has not developed its own writing is known as the protohistory of the culture. By definition, there are no written records from human prehistory, so dating of prehistoric materials is crucial. Clear techniques for dating were not well-developed until the 19th century; this article is concerned with human prehistory, the time since behaviorally and anatomically modern humans first appeared until the beginning of recorded history. Earlier periods are called "prehistoric". Beginning The term "prehistory" can refer to the vast span of time since the beginning of the Universe or the Earth, but more it refers to the period since life appeared on Earth, or more to the time since human-like beings appeared. End The date marking the end of prehistory is defined as the advent of the contemporary written historical record.
The date varies from region to region depending on the date when relevant records become a useful academic resource. For example, in Egypt it is accepted that prehistory ended around 3200 BCE, whereas in New Guinea the end of the prehistoric era is set much more at around 1900 common era. In Europe the well-documented classical cultures of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome had neighbouring cultures, including the Celts and to a lesser extent the Etruscans, with little or no writing, historians must decide how much weight to give to the highly prejudiced accounts of these "prehistoric" cultures in Greek and Roman literature. Time periods In dividing up human prehistory in Eurasia, historians use the three-age system, whereas scholars of pre-human time periods use the well-defined geologic record and its internationally defined stratum base within the geologic time scale; the three-age system is the periodization of human prehistory into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool-making technologies: Stone Age Bronze Age Iron Age The notion of "prehistory" began to surface during the Enlightenment in the work of antiquarians who used the word'primitive' to describe societies that existed before written records.
The first use of the word prehistory in English, occurred in the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1836. The use of the geologic time scale for pre-human time periods, of the three-age system for human prehistory, is a system that emerged during the late nineteenth century in the work of British and Scandinavian archeologists and anthropologists; the main source for prehistory is archaeology, but some scholars are beginning to make more use of evidence from the natural and social sciences. This view has been articulated by advocates of deep history; the primary researchers into human prehistory are archaeologists and physical anthropologists who use excavation and geographic surveys, other scientific analysis to reveal and interpret the nature and behavior of pre-literate and non-literate peoples. Human population geneticists and historical linguists are providing valuable insight for these questions. Cultural anthropologists help provide context for societal interactions, by which objects of human origin pass among people, allowing an analysis of any article that arises in a human prehistoric context.
Therefore, data about prehistory is provided by a wide variety of natural and social sciences, such as paleontology, archaeology, geology, comparative linguistics, molecular genetics and many others. Human prehistory differs from history not only in terms of its chronology but in the way it deals with the activities of archaeological cultures rather than named nations or individuals. Restricted to material processes and artifacts rather than written records, prehistory is anonymous; because of this, reference terms that prehistorians use, such as Neanderthal or Iron Age are modern labels with definitions sometimes subject to debate. The concept of a "Stone Age" is found useful in the archaeology of most of the world, though in the archaeology of the Americas it is called by different names and begins with a Lithic sta
Igneous rock, or magmatic rock, is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava; the magma can be crust. The melting is caused by one or more of three processes: an increase in temperature, a decrease in pressure, or a change in composition. Solidification into rock occurs either below the surface as intrusive rocks or on the surface as extrusive rocks. Igneous rock may form with crystallization to form granular, crystalline rocks, or without crystallization to form natural glasses. Igneous rocks occur in a wide range of geological settings: shields, orogens, large igneous provinces, extended crust and oceanic crust. Igneous and metamorphic rocks make up 90–95% of the top 16 km of the Earth's crust by volume. Igneous rocks form about 15% of the Earth's current land surface. Most of the Earth's oceanic crust is made of igneous rock. Igneous rocks are geologically important because: their minerals and global chemistry give information about the composition of the mantle, from which some igneous rocks are extracted, the temperature and pressure conditions that allowed this extraction, and/or of other pre-existing rock that melted.
In terms of modes of occurrence, igneous rocks can be either extrusive. Intrusive igneous rocks make up the majority of igneous rocks and are formed from magma that cools and solidifies within the crust of a planet, surrounded by pre-existing rock; the mineral grains in such rocks can be identified with the naked eye. Intrusive rocks can be classified according to the shape and size of the intrusive body and its relation to the other formations into which it intrudes. Typical intrusive formations are batholiths, laccoliths and dikes; when the magma solidifies within the earth's crust, it cools forming coarse textured rocks, such as granite, gabbro, or diorite. The central cores of major mountain ranges consist of intrusive igneous rocks granite; when exposed by erosion, these cores may occupy huge areas of the Earth's surface. Intrusive igneous rocks that form at depth within the crust are termed plutonic rocks and are coarse-grained. Intrusive igneous rocks that form near the surface are termed subvolcanic or hypabyssal rocks and they are medium-grained.
Hypabyssal rocks are less common than plutonic or volcanic rocks and form dikes, laccoliths, lopoliths, or phacoliths. Extrusive igneous rocks known as volcanic rocks, are formed at the crust's surface as a result of the partial melting of rocks within the mantle and crust. Extrusive solidify quicker than intrusive igneous rocks, they are formed by the cooling of molten magma on the earth's surface. The magma, brought to the surface through fissures or volcanic eruptions, solidifies at a faster rate. Hence such rocks are smooth and fine-grained. Basalt is lava plateaus; some kinds of basalt solidify to form long polygonal columns. The Giant's Causeway in Antrim, Northern Ireland is an example; the molten rock, with or without suspended crystals and gas bubbles, is called magma. It rises; when magma reaches the surface from beneath water or air, it is called lava. Eruptions of volcanoes into air are termed subaerial, whereas those occurring underneath the ocean are termed submarine. Black smokers and mid-ocean ridge basalt are examples of submarine volcanic activity.
The volume of extrusive rock erupted annually by volcanoes varies with plate tectonic setting. Extrusive rock is produced in the following proportions: divergent boundary: 73% convergent boundary: 15% hotspot: 12%. Magma that erupts from a volcano behaves according to its viscosity, determined by temperature, crystal content and the amount of silica. High-temperature magma, most of, basaltic in composition, behaves in a manner similar to thick oil and, as it cools, treacle. Long, thin basalt flows with pahoehoe surfaces are common. Intermediate composition magma, such as andesite, tends to form cinder cones of intermingled ash and lava, may have a viscosity similar to thick, cold molasses or rubber when erupted. Felsic magma, such as rhyolite, is erupted at low temperature and is up to 10,000 times as viscous as basalt. Volcanoes with rhyolitic magma erupt explosively, rhyolitic lava flows are of limited extent and have steep margins, because the magma is so viscous. Felsic and intermediate magmas that erupt do so violently, with explosions driven by the release of dissolved gases—typically water vapour, but carbon dioxide.
Explosively erupted pyroclastic material is called tephra and includes tuff and ignimbrite. Fine volcanic ash is erupted and forms ash tuff deposits, which ca
Namibia the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence, its capital and largest city is Windhoek, it is a member state of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations. Namibia, the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, was inhabited since early times by the San and Nama peoples. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples arrived as part of the Bantu expansion. Since the Bantu groups, the largest being the Ovambo, have dominated the population of the country. In 1878, the Cape of Good Hope a British colony, had annexed the port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands. In 1884 the German Empire established rule over most of the territory as a protectorate.
It began to develop infrastructure and farming and maintained this German colony until 1915, when South African forces defeated its military. In 1920, after the end of World War I, the League of Nations mandated the country to the United Kingdom, under administration by South Africa, it imposed its laws, including racial rules. From 1948, with the National Party elected to power, South Africa applied apartheid to what was known as South West Africa. In the 20th century and demands for political representation by native African political activists seeking independence resulted in the UN assuming direct responsibility over the territory in 1966, but South Africa maintained de facto rule. In 1973 the UN recognised the South West Africa People's Organisation as the official representative of the Namibian people. Following continued guerrilla warfare, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990. However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.
Namibia has a population of a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, gold and base metals – form the basis of its economy; the large, arid Namib Desert has resulted in Namibia being overall one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The name of the country is derived from the Namib Desert, considered to be the oldest desert in the world; the name Namib itself is of Nama origin and means "vast place". Before its independence in 1990, the area was known first as German South-West Africa as South-West Africa, reflecting the colonial occupation by the Germans and the South Africans; the dry lands of Namibia have been inhabited since early times by San and Nama. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu people began to arrive during the Bantu expansion from central Africa. From the late 18th century onward, Oorlam people from Cape Colony crossed the Orange River and moved into the area that today is southern Namibia.
Their encounters with the nomadic Nama tribes were peaceful. They received the missionaries accompanying the Oorlam well, granting them the right to use waterholes and grazing against an annual payment. On their way further north, the Oorlam encountered clans of the Herero at Windhoek and Okahandja, who resisted their encroachment; the Nama-Herero War broke out in 1880, with hostilities ebbing only after the German Empire deployed troops to the contested places and cemented the status quo among the Nama and Herero. The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão in 1485 and Bartolomeu Dias in 1486, but the Portuguese did not try to claim the area. Like most of interior Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century. At that time traders and settlers came principally from Sweden. In the late 19th century, Dorsland Trekkers crossed the area on their way from the Transvaal to Angola; some of them settled in Namibia instead of continuing their journey.
Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall perceived British encroachment and was known as German South West Africa. The Palgrave Commission by the British governor in Cape Town determined that only the natural deep-water harbor of Walvis Bay was worth occupying and thus annexed it to the Cape province of British South Africa. From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua took up arms against brutal German colonialism. In calculated punitive action by the German occupiers, government officials ordered extinction of the natives in the Herero and Namaqua genocide. In what has been called the "first genocide of the 20th century", the Germans systematically killed 10,000 Nama and 65,000 Herero; the survivors, when released from detention, were subjected to a policy of dispossession, forced labor, racial segregation, and