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
Middle Stone Age
The Middle Stone Age was a period of African prehistory between the Early Stone Age and the Later Stone Age. It is generally considered to have begun around 280,000 years ago, the beginnings of particular MSA stone tools have their origins as far back as 550–500,000 years ago and as such some researchers consider this to be the beginnings of the MSA. The MSA is associated with anatomically modern humans as well as archaic Homo sapiens, sometimes referred to as Homo helmei. Early physical evidence comes from the Gademotta Formation in Ethiopia, the Kapthurin Formation in Kenya and it is difficult to discuss the MSA of Africa without first considering the immense size of the continent. Preservation in these two regions are alternately superb and lamentable, yet the sites that have been uncovered document the adaptive nature of early hominins to climatically unstable environments. Eastern Africa represents some of the most reliable dates, due to the use of radiocarbon dating on volcanic ash deposits, faunal preservation, however, is not spectacular, and standardization in site excavation and lithic classification was, until recently, lacking.
Central Africa reflects similar patterning to eastern Africa, yet more archaeological research of the region is certainly required, southern Africa consists of many cave sites, most of which show very punctuated starts and stops in stone tool technology. Research in southern Africa has been continuous and quite standardized, allowing for reliable comparisons between sites in the region. Much of the evidence for the origins of modern human behavior is traced back to sites in this region, including Blombos Cave, Howiesons Poort, Still Bay. The origins of the MSA are characterized in most regions by the Acheulian to MSA transition and this transition is considered to be a gradual process, rather than a singular event wherein hominin technologies advanced rapidly. Although the dates for this vary widely, the oldest reliably dated MSA site is Gademotta in Ethiopia at greater than 276 thousand years ago. The Middle Awash valley of Ethiopia and the Central Rift Valley of Kenya constituted a major center for behavioural innovation and this suggests a possible overlap of 100-150 thousand years.
The Cave of Hearths and Montague Cave in South Africa contain evidence of Acheulian technologies, as well as MSA technologies, Early blades have been documented as far back as 550-500,000 years in the Kapthurin Formation in Kenya and Kathu Pan in South Africa. Backed pieces from the Twin Rivers and Kalambo Falls sites in Zambia, a high level of technical competence is indicated for the c.280 ka blades recovered from the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya. The stone tool technology in use during the Middle Stone Age shows a mosaic of techniques, the use of blades is seen at many sites as well. In Africa, blades may have used during the transition from the Early Stone Age to the Middle Stone Age onwards. Artifact technology during the Middle Stone Age shows a pattern of innovation followed by disappearance and this occurs with technology such as the manufacture of shell beads and hide working tools including needles, and gluing technology. These pieces of evidence provide a counterpoint to the classic Out of Africa scenario in which increasing complexity accumulated during the Middle Stone Age, perhaps only in small numbers initially, but by 30 ka they had replaced Neanderthals and H. erectus
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
The Iron Age is an archaeological era, referring to a period of time in the prehistory and protohistory of the Old World when the dominant toolmaking material was iron. It is commonly preceded by the Bronze Age in Europe and Asia with exceptions, meteoric iron has been used by humans since at least 3200 BC. Ancient iron production did not become widespread until the ability to smelt ore, remove impurities. The start of the Iron Age proper is considered by many to fall between around 1200 BC and 600 BC, depending on the region, the earliest known iron artifacts are nine small beads dated to 3200 BC, which were found in burials at Gerzeh, Lower Egypt. They have been identified as meteoric iron shaped by careful hammering, meteoric iron, a characteristic iron–nickel alloy, was used by various ancient peoples thousands of years before the Iron Age. Such iron, being in its metallic state, required no smelting of ores. Smelted iron appears sporadically in the record from the middle Bronze Age. While terrestrial iron is abundant, its high melting point of 1,538 °C placed it out of reach of common use until the end of the second millennium BC.
Tins low melting point of 231, recent archaeological remains of iron working in the Ganges Valley in India have been tentatively dated to 1800 BC. By the Middle Bronze Age, increasing numbers of smelted iron objects appeared in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, African sites are turning up dates as early as 1200 BC. Modern archaeological evidence identifies the start of iron production in around 1200 BC. Between 1200 BC and 1000 BC, diffusion in the understanding of iron metallurgy and use of objects was fast. As evidence, many bronze implements were recycled into weapons during this time, more widespread use of iron led to improved steel-making technology at lower cost. Thus, even when tin became available again, iron was cheaper and lighter, and forged iron implements superseded cast bronze tools permanently. Increasingly, the Iron Age in Europe is being seen as a part of the Bronze Age collapse in the ancient Near East, in ancient India, ancient Iran, and ancient Greece. In other regions of Europe, the Iron Age began in the 8th century BC in Central Europe, the Near Eastern Iron Age is divided into two subsections, Iron I and Iron II.
Iron I illustrates both continuity and discontinuity with the previous Late Bronze Age, during the Iron Age, the best tools and weapons were made from steel, particularly alloys which were produced with a carbon content between approximately 0. 30% and 1. 2% by weight. Steel weapons and tools were nearly the same weight as those of bronze, steel was difficult to produce with the methods available, and alloys that were easier to make, such as wrought iron, were more common in lower-priced goods
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
The Livingstone Museum, formerly David Livingstone Memorial Museum and Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, is the largest and the oldest museum in Zambia, located in Livingstone near Victoria Falls. The museum has exhibits of artifacts related to history and prehistory, including photographs, musical instruments, and possessions of David Livingstone. The Livingstone Museum is the largest and the oldest museum in Zambia, in 1948, Captain A. W. Whittington offered to sell the two specimens of a fossilized human femur to the Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, but the museum could not afford to make the purchase. A new Spanish colonial-style building was opened in 1951, jock Millar, former mayor of Livingstone, requested that Harry Susman donate a four-faced tower clock to the museum, but before it was unveiled in the museum, Susman died. In 1960 the museum recreated villages from five ethnic groups to give visitors a sense of tribal life and to present the way of life during the bronze. Its original name the Rhodes–Livingstone Museum was changed to Livingstone Museum in 1966, in 2003 the buildings were renovated with funds from the European Union.
Over the years, the museum has been a trustee of numerous expeditions in Zambia. In 1956 the museum was a trustee, along with National Monuments Commission of Northern Rhodesia, the Livingstone Museum is located in the heart of the Livingstone town on the Mosi-o-Tunya Road. It is 10 km away from the Victoria Falls, on the Zambian side, Road access is from three directions. The 11 kilometres drive from across the border near the town of Victoria Falls crosses over the famous Victoria Falls Bridge, the second approach is 60 kilometres from Botswana involving crossing the border at Kazungula by ferry. Livingstone is 470 kilometres from Lusaka, taking the southbound Kafue Road, crossing the Kafue River Bridge, the museum provides an important insight into the national and cultural heritage of Zambia. An open archaeological site is located next to the next to the falls which has unearthed items from the early Stone Age to the present. Experts from the museum, such as Dr. J. Desmond Clark and they cover topics such as archaeology, ethnography and natural history, ornithology, entomology and ichthyology.
The Archaeology gallery has exhibits of human evolution and cultural development in Zambia starting with Stone Age to Iron Age, the Ethnography and Art gallery has exhibits of the different cultures of the country. Handicrafts and musical instruments are part of this gallery, the History gallery traces the origins of the Bantu people, the era of British colonial rule and the period till Zambia achieved independence from the colonial rule. Also on display are exhibits of animals as seen in their natural habitats in Zambia. The Livingstone gallery has a collection of David Livingstone memorabilia. The museum has a library of books on archaeology and wildlife
Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes
The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic between 4,300 and 2,200 BC. Declared to be remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction the site, discovered in 1843, the first excavations were undertaken during railway construction in 1867 and intermittent excavations have been carried out up to the present day. The Mines of Spiennes cover some 100 ha of downland four miles south-east of the city of Mons, the site is dotted with millions of scraps of worked flint and numerous mining pits, that Neolithic settlers have gradually turned into vertical mine shafts to depths of over 10 m. Research has illustrated Neolithic techniques for the cutting of the flint and the extraction of large slabs of flint, the nodules were extracted using flint picks. The stones were knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, the SILEXS Interpretive Centre has opened in spring 2015. The rough-outs were exchanged over an area, about 150 km. Polishing strengthens the product, making the axe- or adze-head last longer.
The smooth surface aids the cutting action by lowering friction with the wood, the axes were used initially for forest clearance during the Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes. The site has been compared with Grimes Graves and Cissbury in the United Kingdom, and Krzemionki in Poland, different hard rocks were used for the polished stone axes. Examples include the Langdale axe industry and Tievebulliagh, guillaume, Ph. Lipinski & A. Masson, Les mines de silex néolithiques de la Meuse dans le contexte européen. Musées de la Meuse, Sampigny 1987, F. Gosselin, Un site dexploitation du silex à Spiennes, au lieu-dit Petit-Spiennes. F. Hubert, Une minière néolithique à silex au Camp-à-Cayaux de Spiennes, F. Hubert, Lexploitation préhistorique du silex à Spiennes. Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de lAménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine, R. Shepherd, Prehistoric Mining and Allied Industries. Société de recherches préhistoriques en Hainaut, Minières néolithiques à Spiennes,1997 ICOMOS evaluation Collet, H.
Les mines néolithiques de Spiennes, état des connaissances et perspectives de recherche. Section 10, The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe, actes du XIVème congrès UISPP, Université de Liège, Belgique,2 –8 septembre 2001 H. Collet, A. Hauzeur & J. Lech,2008. The prehistoric flint mining complex at Spiennes on the occasion of its discovery 140 years ago In P. Allard, F. Bostyn, flint mining in Prehistoric Europe, Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Poland, 19–24 September 2006, H. Collet,2014. Les minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes
Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a sovereign state between Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which one of the countrys primary subdivisions. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres and has diverse, mostly continental, Croatias Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands. The countrys population is 4.28 million, most of whom are Croats, the Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the early part of the 7th century AD. They organised the state into two duchies by the 9th century, tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Petar Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the unrecognized State of Slovenes and Serbs which seceded from Austria-Hungary, a fascist Croatian puppet state backed by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany existed during World War II.
After the war, Croatia became a member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991 Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year, the Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration. A unitary state, Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system, the International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high-income economy. Croatia is a member of the European Union, United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, the service sector dominates Croatias economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue during the summer, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world, the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatias most important trading partner, since 2000, the Croatian government constantly invests in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors.
Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia, the rest is imported, the origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe. The oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, the first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852. The original is lost, and just a 1568 copy is preserved—leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim, the oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription, where Duke Branimir is styled as Dux Cruatorvm. The inscription is not believed to be dated accurately, but is likely to be from during the period of 879–892, the area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a red brick research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. It received its charter in 1909, and its predecessor institution, University College. Bristol is organised into six academic faculties composed of multiple schools, the university had a total income of £565.8 million in 2015/16, of which £146.2 million was from research grants and contracts. It is the largest independent employer in Bristol, the University of Bristol is ranked 11th in the UK for its research, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 by GPA. The University of Bristol is ranked 37th by the QS World University Rankings 2015-16, and is ranked amongst the top of UK universities by QS, THE, a highly selective institution, it has an average of 6.4 to 13.1 applicants for each undergraduate place. Current academics include 21 fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences,13 fellows of the British Academy,13 fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 44 fellows of the Royal Society.
In addition, the university holds an Erasmus Charter, sending more than 500 students per year to partner institutions in Europe, the earliest antecedent of the university was the engineering department of the Merchant Venturers Technical College which became the engineering faculty of Bristol University. The university was preceded by Bristol Medical School and University College, founded in 1876. The university was able to apply for a royal charter due to the support of the Wills and Fry families. The Wills Family made a vast fortune from the tobacco industry, the royal charter was gained in May 1909, with 288 undergraduates and 400 other students entering the university in October 1909. Henry Overton Wills III became its first chancellor, the University College was the first such institution in the country to admit women on the same basis as men. However, women were forbidden to take examinations in medicine until 1906, Bristol does not have a campus but is spread over a considerable geographic area.
Most of its activities, are concentrated in the area of the city centre and it is a member of the Russell Group of research-led UK universities, the Coimbra Group of leading European universities and the Worldwide Universities Network. After the founding of the University College in 1876, Government support began in 1889, in December 1909, the King granted such a charter and erected the University of Bristol. Henry Wills became its first chancellor and Conwy Lloyd Morgan the first vice-chancellor, Wills died in 1911 and in tribute his sons George and Harry built the Wills Memorial Building, starting in 1913 and finally finishing in 1925. Today, it parts of the academic provision for earth sciences and law. The Wills Memorial Building is a Grade II* listed building, in 1920, George Wills bought the Victoria Rooms and endowed them to the university as a Students Union. The building now houses the Department of Music and is a Grade II* listed building, at the point of foundation, the university was required to provide for the local community
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris, after disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two ancient universities are frequently referred to as Oxbridge. The university is made up of a variety of institutions, including 38 constituent colleges, All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Being a city university, it not have a main campus, its buildings. Oxford is the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the worlds oldest and most prestigious scholarships, the university operates the worlds oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system in Britain.
Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 28 Nobel laureates,27 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, the University of Oxford has no known foundation date. Teaching at Oxford existed in form as early as 1096. It grew quickly in 1167 when English students returned from the University of Paris, the historian Gerald of Wales lectured to such scholars in 1188 and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190. The head of the university had the title of chancellor from at least 1201, the university was granted a royal charter in 1248 during the reign of King Henry III. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled from the violence to Cambridge, the students associated together on the basis of geographical origins, into two nations, representing the North and the South. In centuries, geographical origins continued to many students affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. At about the time, private benefactors established colleges as self-contained scholarly communities.
Among the earliest such founders were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, thereafter, an increasing number of students lived in colleges rather than in halls and religious houses. In 1333–34, an attempt by some dissatisfied Oxford scholars to found a new university at Stamford, Lincolnshire was blocked by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge petitioning King Edward III. Thereafter, until the 1820s, no new universities were allowed to be founded in England, even in London, thus and Cambridge had a duopoly, the new learning of the Renaissance greatly influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onwards. Among university scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of Greek language studies, and John Colet, the noted biblical scholar. With the English Reformation and the breaking of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, as a centre of learning and scholarship, Oxfords reputation declined in the Age of Enlightenment, enrolments fell and teaching was neglected
The Areni-1 cave complex is located near the Areni village in southern Armenia along the Arpa River. In 2010, it was announced that the earliest known shoe was found at the site, in January 2011, the earliest known winery in the world was announced to have been found. Also in 2011, the discovery of a straw skirt dating to 3900 BC was reported, in 2009, the oldest brain was discovered