Mount Sodom or Jebel Usdum is a hill along the southwestern part of the Dead Sea in Israel, part of the Judean Desert Nature Reserve. Mount Sodom began its rise hundreds of thousands of years ago, movements of the African rift system, along with the pressure generated by the slow accumulation of earth and rock, pressed down on the layers of salt, creating Mount Sodom. It is about 80 percent salt,720 feet high, capped by a layer of limestone, clay and it is approximately 8 kilometres long,5 kilometres wide, and 226 metres above the Dead Sea water level, yet 170 metres below world mean sea level. Because of weathering, some portions have separated, one of these pillars is known as Lots wife, in reference to the Biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Judean Desert Nature reserves of Israel Tourism in Israel
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe. A peninsula with the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west, the country has borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north. Estonia is south of the country across the Gulf of Finland, Finland is a Nordic country situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia, which includes Scandinavia. Finlands population is 5.5 million, and the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region,88. 7% of the population is Finnish people who speak Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages, the second major group are the Finland-Swedes. In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe, Finland is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, and an autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, from the late 12th century, Finland was an integral part of Sweden, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status.
In the spirit of the notion of Adolf Ivar Arwidsson, we are not Swedes, we do not want to become Russians, let us therefore be Finns, nevertheless, in 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland became the nation in the world to give the right to vote to all adult citizens. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent, in 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Reds supported by the equally new Soviet Russia, fighting the Whites, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought repeatedly to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia and Kuusamo, Petsamo and some islands, Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and established an official policy of neutrality. The Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era, Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialization, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s.
It rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive Nordic-style welfare state, resulting in widespread prosperity, Finnish GDP growth has been negative in 2012–2014, with a preceding nadir of −8% in 2009. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, a large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, though freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution. The first known appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three rune-stones. Two were found in the Swedish province of Uppland and have the inscription finlonti, the third was found in Gotland, in the Baltic Sea. It has the inscription finlandi and dates from the 13th century, the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, which is mentioned first known time AD98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, in addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian
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
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
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
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
Dead Sea Scrolls
The caves are located about two kilometres inland from the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name. The consensus is that the Qumran Caves Scrolls date from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. Bronze coins found at the same sites form a series beginning with John Hyrcanus and continuing until the First Jewish–Roman War, supporting the radiocarbon and paleographic dating of the scrolls. In the larger sense, the Dead Sea Scrolls include manuscripts from additional Judaean Desert sites, most of the texts are written in Hebrew, with some in Aramaic, and a few in Greek. If discoveries from the Judean desert are included and Arabic can be added, most texts are written on parchment, some on papyrus, and one on copper. Owing to the condition of some of the scrolls, not all of them have been identified. The practice of storing worn-out sacred manuscripts in earthenware vessels buried in the earth or within caves is related to the ancient Jewish custom of Genizah.
The initial discovery, by Bedouin shepherd Muhammed edh-Dhib, his cousin Juma Muhammed, the shepherds discovered seven scrolls housed in jars in a cave near what is now known as the Qumran site. Trever reconstructed the story of the scrolls from several interviews with the Bedouin, edh-Dhibs cousin noticed the caves, but edh-Dhib himself was the first to actually fall into one. He retrieved a handful of scrolls, which Trever identifies as the Isaiah Scroll, Habakkuk Commentary, and the Community Rule, none of the scrolls were destroyed in this process, despite popular rumor. The Bedouin kept the scrolls hanging on a tent pole while they figured out what to do with them, at some point during this time, the Community Rule was split in two. The Bedouin first took the scrolls to a dealer named Ibrahim Ijha in Bethlehem, Ijha returned them, saying they were worthless, after being warned that they might have been stolen from a synagogue. Undaunted, the Bedouin went to a market, where a Syrian Christian offered to buy them.
A sheikh joined their conversation and suggested they take the scrolls to Khalil Eskander Shahin, the Bedouin and the dealers returned to the site, leaving one scroll with Kando and selling three others to a dealer for 7 GBP. The original scrolls continued to change hands after the Bedouin left them in the possession of a party until a sale could be arranged. In 1947 the original seven scrolls caught the attention of Dr. John C, in March the 1948 Arab-Israeli War prompted the move of some of the scrolls to Beirut, for safekeeping. On 11 April 1948, Millar Burrows, head of the ASOR, early in September 1948, Metropolitan bishop Mar Samuel brought some additional scroll fragments that he had acquired to Professor Ovid R. Sellers, the new Director of ASOR. By the end of 1948, nearly two years after their discovery, scholars had yet to locate the cave where the fragments had been found
Kozarnika or Peshtera Kozarnika is a cave in northwestern Bulgaria that was used as a hunters’ shelter as early as the Lower Paleolithic. It marks an older route of human migration from Africa to Europe via the Balkans. The cave probably keeps the earliest evidence of symbolic behaviour. Kozarnika cave is located 6 km from the town of Belogradchik in northwestern Bulgaria, on the slopes of the Balkan Mountains. It is opened to the south, at 85 m above the valley, with its length of 210 m, the cave is among the small-sized in the Belogradchick karst region. The Kozarnika cave project started in 1984, since 1996, it has been headed by Dr. Prof. Nikolay Sirakov and Dr. Jean-Luc Guadelli. In the ground layers, dated to 1. 6–1, the findings from Middle Paleolithic layers, rather bifacial points, dating from 300, 000–50,000 BP prove presence of hunters’ groups possibly of Homo neanderthalensis. Upper Paleolithic layers consist flint assemblages from the earliest European Gravette complex dating from 43,000 up to 39,000 BP belonging to Homo sapiens sapiens, magura Cave Bacho Kiro cave Sićevo Gorge Peștera cu Oase Vértesszőlős Proto-Indo-Europeans Campanian Ignimbrite Eruption Rincon, Paul
Veneration of the dead
The veneration of the dead, including ones ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, the social or non-religious function of ancestor veneration is to cultivate kinship values, such as filial piety, family loyalty, and continuity of the family lineage. Ancestor veneration occurs in societies with every degree of social and technological complexity, ancestor reverence is not the same as the worship of a deity or deities. In some Afro-diasporic cultures, ancestors are seen as being able to intercede on behalf of the living, as spirits who were once human themselves, they are seen as being better able to understand human needs than would a divine being. In other cultures, the purpose of ancestor veneration is not to ask for favors, some cultures believe that their ancestors actually need to be provided for by their descendants, and their practices include offerings of food and other provisions.
Others do not believe that the ancestors are even aware of what their descendants do for them, most cultures who practice ancestor veneration do not call it ancestor worship. In English, the word usually refers to the reverent love. However, in cultures, this act of worship does not confer any belief that the departed ancestors have become some kind of deity. Rather, the act is a way to respect, honor, in this regard, many cultures and religions have similar practices. Some may visit the graves of their parents or other ancestors, leave flowers and pray to them in order to honor and remember them, this would not be considered as worshipping them since the term worship shows no such meaning. This is consistent with the meaning of the veneration in English. Although there is no accepted theory concerning the origins of ancestor veneration. Although some historians claim that ancient Egyptian society was a “death cult” because of its tombs and mummification rituals. The philosophy that “this world is but a vale of tears” and this was not to say that they were unacquainted with the harshness of life, their ethos included a sense of continuity between this life and the next.
Tombs were housing in the Hereafter and so they were constructed and decorated. Mummification was a way to preserve the corpse so the ka of the deceased could return to receive offerings of the things s/he enjoyed while alive, if mummification was not affordable, a “ka-statue” in the likeness of the deceased was carved for this purpose. The Blessed Dead were collectively called the akhu, or “shining ones” and they were described as “shining as gold in the belly of Nut and were indeed depicted as golden stars on the roofs of many tombs and temples. If the heart was in balance with the Feather of Maat, at this point only was the ka deemed worthy to be venerated by the living through rites and offerings
Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil is a commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil lies in the Périgord Noir area and it is served by the Gare des Eyzies railway station. Les Eyzies-de-Tayac was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 and these skeletons included a foetus, and the skulls found were remarkably modern-looking and much rounder than the earlier Neanderthal. Abri Pataud Font-de-Gaume Château de Commarque Communes of the Dordogne department Les Combarelles Micoquien INSEE Tourist office website National Museum of Prehistory
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
The Judaean Desert is a desert in Israel and the West Bank that lies east of Jerusalem and descends to the Dead Sea. It stretches from the northeastern Negev to the east of Beit El and it ends in a steep escarpment dropping to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. The Judaean Desert is crossed by numerous wadis from northeast to southeast and has many ravines, most of them deep, the Judaean Desert is an area with a special morphological structure along the east of the Judaean Mountains. It is sometimes known as יְשִׁימוֹן Yeshimon, meaning desert or wildland, or yet Wilderness of Judah or Wilderness of Judaea, the Judaean Desert lies east of Jerusalem and descends to the Dead Sea. Major urban areas in the region include Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion, the climate ranges from Mediterranean in the west and desert climate in the east, with a strip of steppe climate in the middle. The rain-fed aquifer contains an average volume of some 100 million cubic meters of water. Geography of Israel Qumran Caves Tourism in Israel Tourism in the Palestinian territories Masada Mar Saba Ein Gedi Hiking in the Judaean Desert travel guide from Wikivoyage