The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humankind. It was preceded by the Bronze Age; the concept has been applied to Europe and the Ancient Near East, and, by analogy to other parts of the Old World. The duration of the Iron Age varies depending on the region under consideration, it is defined by archaeological convention, the mere presence of some cast or wrought iron is not sufficient to represent an Iron Age culture. For example, Tutankhamun's meteoric iron dagger comes from the Bronze Age. In the Ancient Near East, this transition takes place in the wake of the so-called Bronze Age collapse, in the 12th century BC; the technology soon spread to South Asia. Its further spread to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Europe is somewhat delayed, Northern Europe is reached still by about 500 BC; the Iron Age is taken to end by convention, with the beginning of the historiographical record. This does not represent a clear break in the archaeological record.
The Germanic Iron Age of Scandinavia is taken to end c. AD 800, with the beginning of the Viking Age. In South Asia, the Iron Age is taken to begin with the ironworking Painted Gray Ware culture and to end with the reign of Ashoka; the use of the term "Iron Age" in the archaeology of South and Southeast Asia is more recent, less common, than for western Eurasia. The Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa are outside of the three-age system, there being no Bronze Age, but the term "Iron Age" is sometimes used in reference to early cultures practicing ironworking such as the Nok culture of Nigeria; the three-age system was introduced in the first half of the 19th century for the archaeology of Europe in particular, by the 19th century expanded to the archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Its name harks back to the mythological "Ages of Man" of Hesiod; as an archaeological era it was first introduced for Scandinavia by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen in the 1830s. By the 1860s, it was embraced as a useful division of the "earliest history of mankind" in general and began to be applied in Assyriology.
The development of the now-conventional periodization in the archaeology of the Ancient Near East was developed in the 1920s to 1930s. As its name suggests, Iron Age technology is characterized by the production of tools and weaponry by ferrous metallurgy, more from carbon steel; 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, ancient Greece. In other regions of Europe the Iron Age began in the 8th century BC in Central Europe and the 6th century BC in Northern Europe; the Near Eastern Iron Age is divided into two subsections, Iron I and Iron II. Iron I illustrates both discontinuity with the previous Late Bronze Age. There is no definitive cultural break between the 13th and 12th centuries BC throughout the entire region, although certain new features in the hill country and coastal region may suggest the appearance of the Aramaean and Sea People groups. There is evidence, however, of strong continuity with Bronze Age culture, although as one moves into Iron I the culture begins to diverge more from that of the late 2nd millennium.
The Iron Age as an archaeological period is defined as that part of the prehistory of a culture or region during which ferrous metallurgy was the dominant technology of metalworking. The periodization is not tied to the presence of ferrous metallurgy and is to some extent a matter of convention; the characteristic of an Iron Age culture is mass production of tools and weapons made from steel alloys with a carbon content between 0.30% and 1.2% by weight. Only with the capability of the production of carbon steel does ferrous metallurgy result in tools or weapons that are equal or superior to bronze. To this day bronze and brass have not been replaced in many applications, with the spread of steel being based as much on economics as on metallurgical advancements. A range of techniques have been used to produce steel from smelted iron, including techniques such as case-hardening and forge welding that were used to make cutting edges stronger. By convention, the Iron Age in the Ancient Near East is taken to last from c. 1200 BC to c. 550 BC, taken as the beginning of historiography or the end of the proto-historical period.
In Central and Western Europe, the Iron Age is taken to last from c. 800 BC to c. 1 BC, in Northern Europe from c. 500 BC to 800 AD. In China, there is no recognizable prehistoric period characterized by ironworking, as Bronze Age China transitions directly into the Qin dynasty of imperial China; the following gives an overview over the
A microlith is a small stone tool made of flint or chert and a centimetre or so in length and half a centimetre wide. They were made by humans from around 35,000 to 3,000 years ago, across Europe, Africa and Australia; the microliths were used in spear arrowheads. Microliths are produced from either a small blade or a larger blade-like piece of flint by abrupt or truncated retouching, which leaves a typical piece of waste, called a microburin; the microliths themselves are sufficiently worked so as to be distinguishable from workshop waste or accidents. Two families of microliths are defined: laminar and geometric. An assemblage of microliths can be used to date an archeological site. Laminar microliths are associated with the end of the Upper Paleolithic and the beginning of the Epipaleolithic era. Geometric microliths may be trapezoid or lunate. Microlith production declined following the introduction of agriculture but continued in cultures with a rooted hunting tradition. Regardless of type, microliths were used to form the points of hunting weapons, such as spears and arrows, other artifacts and are found throughout Africa and Europe.
They were utilised with wood, bone and fiber to form a composite tool or weapon, traces of wood to which microliths were attached have been found in Sweden and England. An average of between six and eighteen microliths may have been used in one spear or harpoon, but only one or two in an arrow. Laminar microliths date from at least the Gravettian culture or the start of the Upper Paleolithic era, they are found all through the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras. "Noailles" burins and micro-gravettes indicate that the production of microliths had started in the Gravettian culture. This style of flint working flourished during the Magdalenian period and persisted in numerous Epipaleolithic traditions all around the Mediterranean basin; these microliths are larger than the geometric microliths that followed and were made from the flakes of flint obtained ad hoc from a small nucleus or from a depleted nucleus of flint. They were produced either by the application of a variable pressure. There are three basic types of laminar microlith.
The truncated blade type can be divided into a number of sub-types depending on the position of the truncation and according to its form, for example, concave or convex. "Raclette scrapers" are notable for their particular form, being blades or flakes whose edges have been retouched until they are semicircular or shapeless. Raclettes are indefinite cultural indicators, as they appear from the Upper Paleolithic through to the Neolithic. Backed edge blades have one of the edges a side one, rounded or chamfered by abrupt retouching. There are fewer types of these blades, may be divided into those where the entire edge is rounded and those where only a part is rounded, or straight, they are fundamental in the blade-forming processes, from them, innumerable other types were developed. Dufour bladelets are up to three centimeters in length, finely shaped with a curved profile whose retouches are semi-abrupt and which characterize a particular phase of the Aurignacian period. Solutrean backed edge blades display pronounced and abrupt retouching, so that they are long and narrow and, although rare, characterize certain phases of the Solutrean period.
Ouchtata bladelets are similar to the others, except that the retouched back is not uniform but irregular. The Ibero-Maurusian and the Montbani bladelet, with a partial and irregular lateral retouching, is characteristic of the Italian Tardenoisian; these are sharp bladelets formed by abrupt retouching. There are a huge number of regional varieties of these microliths, nearly all of which are hard to distinguish without knowing the archaeological context in which they appear; the following is a small selection. Omitted are the foliaceous tips, which are characterized by a covering retouch and which constitute a group apart; the Châtelperrón point is not a true microlith. Its antiquity and its short, curved blade edge make it the antecedent of many laminar microliths; the Micro-gravette or Gravette micro point is a microlith version of the Gravette point and is a narrow bladelet with an abrupt retouch, which gives it a characteristically sharp edge when compared to other types. The Azilian point links the Magdalenian microlith points with those from the western Epipaleolithic.
They can be identified by a invasive retouching. The Ahrensburgian point is a peripheral paleolithic or western Epipaleolithic piece, but with a more specific morphology, as it is formed on a blade, is obliquely truncated and has a small tongue that served as a haft on a spear point; the next group contains a number of points from the Middle East characterized as cultural markers. The Emireh point from the Upper Paleolithic is the same as one found in Châtelperrón, to be contemporary, although they are shorter and appear to be fashioned from a blade and not a bladelet; the El-Wad point is from the end of the Upper Paleolithic from the same area, made from a long, thin bladelet. The El-Khiam point has been ident
Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was a French architect and author who restored many prominent medieval landmarks in France, including those, damaged or abandoned during the French Revolution. His major restoration projects included Notre Dame Cathedral, the Basilica of Saint Denis, Mont Saint-Michel, Sainte-Chapelle, the medieval walls of the city of Carcassonne, his writings on the relationship between form and function in architecture had a notable influence on a new generation of architects, including Antonio Gaudí, Victor Horta, Louis Sullivan. Viollet-le-Duc was born in Paris in the last year of the Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte, his grandfather was an architect, his father was a high-ranking civil servant, who in 1816 became the overseer of the royal residences of Louis XVIII. His uncle Étienne-Jean Delécluze was a painter, a former student of Jacques-Louis David, an art critic and hosted a literary salon, attended by Stendhal and Sainte-Beuve, his mother hosted her own salon as well as men.
There, in 1822 or 1823, Eugène met Prosper Mérimée, a writer who would play a decisive role in his career. In 1825 he began his education in Fontenay-aux-Roses, he returned to Paris in 1829 as a student at the College de Bourbon. He passed his baccalaureate examination in 1830, his uncle urged him to enter the École des Beaux-Arts, created in 1806, but the École had an rigid system, based on copying classical models, Eugène was not interested. Instead he decided to get practical experience in the architectural offices of Jacques-Marie Huvé and Achille Leclère, while devoting much of his time to drawing medieval churches and monuments around Paris, he participated in the July 1830 revolution which overthrew Charles X, building a barricade, his first known construction project. Following the revolution, which brought Louis Philippe to power, his father became chief of the bureau of royal residences; the new government created, for the first time, the position of Inspector General of Historic Monuments.
Eugène's uncle Delescluze agreed to take Eugène on a long tour of France to see monuments. They traveled from July to October 1831 throughout the south of France, he returned with a large collection of detailed paintings and watercolors of churches and monuments. On his return to Paris, he moved with his family into the Tuileries Palace, where his father was now governor of royal residences, his family again urged him to attend the École des Beaux-Arts. He wrote, they all come out identical." He was a meticulous artist. On May 3, 1834, at age twenty, he married Élisabeth Templier, in the same year he was named an associate professor of ornamental decoration at the Royal School of Decorative Arts, which gave him a more regular income. With the money from the sale of his drawings and paintings, the couple set off on a long tour of the monuments of Italy, visiting Rome, Venice and other sites and painting, his reaction to the Leaning Tower of Pisa was characteristic: "It was disagreeable to see", he wrote, "it would have been infinitely better if it had been straight."
In 1838, he presented several of his drawings at the Paris Salon, began making a travel book and romantic images of the old France, for which, between 1838 and 1844, he made nearly three hundred engravings. In October 1838, with the recommendation of Achille Leclère, the architect with whom he had trained, he was named deputy inspector of the enlargement of the Hôtel Soubise, the new home of the French National Archives, his uncle, Delescluze recommended him to the new Commission of Historic Monuments of France, led by Prosper Mérimée, who had just published a book on medieval French monuments. Though he was just twenty-four years old and had no degree in architecture, he was asked to go to Narbonne to propose a plan for the completion of the cathedral there, he made his first plan, which included not only the completion but the restoration of the oldest parts of the structure. His first project was rejected by the local authorities too expensive, his next project was a restoration of the Vézelay Abbey, the church of a Benedictine monastery founded in the 12th century to house the reputed relics of Mary Magdalene.
The church had been sacked by the Huguenots in 1569, during the French Revolution, the facade and statuary on the facade were destroyed. The vaults of the roof were weakened, many of the stones had been carried off for other projects; when Mérimée visited to inspect the structure he heard stones falling around him. In February 1840 Mérimée gave Viollet-le-Duc the mission of restoring and reconstructing the church so it would not collapse, while "respecting in his project of restoration all the ancient dispositions of the church"; the task was all the more difficult because up until that time no scientific studies had been made of medieval building techniques, there were no schools of restoration. He had no plans for the original building to work from. Viollet-le-Duc had to discover the flaws of construction that had caused the building to start to collapse in the first place and to construct a more solid and stable structure, he lightened the roof and built new arches to stabilize the structure, changed the shape of the vaults and arches.
He was criticized for thes
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by producing bronze by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze itself is harder and more durable than other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition. Although the Iron Age followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic.
Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems; the overall period is characterized by widespread use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction and development of bronze technology were not universally synchronous. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques. Tin must be mined and smelted separately added to molten copper to make bronze alloy; the Bronze Age was a time of developing trade networks. A 2013 report suggests that the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to the mid-5th millennium BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik, although this culture is not conventionally considered part of the Bronze Age; the dating of the foil has been disputed. Western Asia and the Near East was the first region to enter the Bronze Age, which began with the rise of the Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC.
Cultures in the ancient Near East practiced intensive year-round agriculture, developed a writing system, invented the potter's wheel, created a centralized government, written law codes and nation states and empires, embarked on advanced architectural projects, introduced social stratification and civil administration and practiced organized warfare and religion. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and astrology. Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Ancient Near East Bronze Age can be divided as following: The Hittite Empire was established in Hattusa in northern Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite Kingdom was at its height, encompassing central Anatolia, southwestern Syria as far as Ugarit, upper Mesopotamia. After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the Levant conjectured to have been associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples, the kingdom disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC.
Arzawa in Western Anatolia during the second half of the second millennium BC extended along southern Anatolia in a belt that reaches from near the Turkish Lakes Region to the Aegean coast. Arzawa was the western neighbor – sometimes a rival and sometimes a vassal – of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms; the Assuwa league was a confederation of states in western Anatolia, defeated by the Hittites under an earlier Tudhaliya I, around 1400 BC. Arzawa has been associated with the much more obscure Assuwa located to its north, it bordered it, may be an alternative term for it. In Ancient Egypt the Bronze Age begins in the Protodynastic period, c. 3150 BC. The archaic early Bronze Age of Egypt, known as the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt, c. 3100 BC. It is taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the Protodynastic Period of Egypt until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king.
Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic period. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age was the largest city of the time; the Old Kingdom of the regional Bronze Age is the name given to the period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement – the first of three "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley. The First Intermediate Period of Egypt described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned about 100 years after the end of the Old Kingdom from about 2181 to 2055 BC. Little monumental evidence survives from this period from the early part of it; the First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time when the rule of Egypt was divided between two competing power bases: Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt and Thebes in Upper Egypt. These two kingdoms would come into conflict, with the Theban kings conquering the north, resulting in the reunification of Egypt under a single ruler during the second part of the 11th Dynasty.
The Middle Kingdom of Egypt laste
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris; the palace is now a Monument historique and UNESCO World Heritage site, notable for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the jewel-like Royal Opera, the royal apartments. The Palace was stripped of all its furnishings after the French Revolution, but many pieces have been returned and many of the palace rooms have been restored. In 2017 the Palace of Versailles received 7,700,000 visitors, making it the second-most visited monument in the Île-de-France region, just behind the Louvre and ahead of the Eiffel Tower; the site of the Palace was first occupied by a small village and church, surrounded by forests filled with abundant game. It was owned by the priory of Saint Julian. King Henry IV went hunting there in 1589, returned in 1604 and 1609, staying in the village inn.
His son, the future Louis XIII, came on his own hunting trip there in 1607. After he became King in 1610, Louis XIII returned to the village, bought some land, in 1623-24 built a modest two-story hunting lodge on the site of the current marble courtyard, he was staying there in November 1630 during the event known as the Day of the Dupes, when the enemies of the King's chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, aided by the King's mother, Marie de' Medici, tried to take over the government. The King sent his mother into exile. After this event, Louis XIII decided to make his hunting lodge at Versailles into a château; the King purchased the surrounding territory from the Gondi family, in 1631–1634 had the architect Philibert Le Roy replace the hunting lodge with a château of brick and stone with classical pilasters in the doric style and high slate-covered roofs, surrounding the courtyard of the original hunting lodge. The gardens and park were enlarged, laid out by Jacques Boyceau and his nephew, Jacques de Menours, reached the size they have today.
Louis XIV first visited the château on a hunting trip in 1651 at the age of twelve, but returned only until his marriage to Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660 and the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, after which he acquired a passion for the site. He decided to rebuild and enlarge the château and to transform it into a setting for both rest and for elaborate entertainments on a grand scale; the first phase of the expansion was supervised by the architect Louis Le Vau. He added two wings to the forecourt, one for servants quarters and kitchens, the other for stables. In 1668 he added three new wings built of stone, known as the envelope, to the north and west of the original château; these buildings had nearly-flat roofs covered with lead. The king commissioned the landscape designer André Le Nôtre to create the most magnificent gardens in Europe, embellished with fountains, basins, geometric flower beds and groves of trees, he added two grottos in the Italian style and an immense orangerie to house fruit trees, as well as a zoo with a central pavilion for exotic animals.
After Le Vau's death in 1670, the work was taken over and completed by his assistant François d'Orbay. The main floor of the new palace contained two symmetrical sets of apartments, one for the king and the other for the queen, looking over the gardens; the two apartments were separated by a marble terrace, overlooking the garden, with a fountain in the center. Each set of apartments was connected to the ground floor with a ceremonial stairway, each had seven rooms, aligned in a row. On the ground floor under the King's apartment was another apartment, the same size, designed for his private life, decorated on the theme of Apollo, the Sun god, his personal emblem. Under the Queen's apartment was the apartment of the Grand Dauphin, the heir to the throne; the interior decoration was assigned to Charles Le Brun. Le Brun supervised the work of a large group of sculptors and painters, called the Petite Academie, who crafted and painted the ornate walls and ceilings. Le Brun supervised the design and installation of countless statues in the gardens.
The grand stairway to the King's apartment was soon redecorated as soon as it was completed with plaques of colored marble and trophies of arms and balconies, so the members of the court could observe the processions of the King. In 1670, Le Vau added a new pavilion northwest of the chateau, called the Trianon, for the King's relaxation in the hot summers, it was surrounded by flowerbeds and decorated with blue and white porcelain, in imitation of the Chinese style. The King spent his days in Versailles, the government and courtiers, numbering six to seven thousand persons, crowded into the buildings; the King ordered a further enlargement, which he entrusted to the young architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Hadouin-Mansart added two large new wings on either side of the original Cour Royale, he replaced Le Vau's large terrace, facing the garden on the west, with what bec
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to establish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement when appointed President of the Council of Ministers by President René Coty, he was asked to rewrite the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France that year, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969, he was the dominant figure of France during the Cold War era, his memory continues to influence French politics. Born in Lille, he graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1912, he was a decorated officer of the First World War, wounded several times, taken prisoner at Verdun. During the interwar period, he advocated mobile armoured divisions. During the German invasion of May 1940, he led an armoured division which counterattacked the invaders.
Refusing to accept his government's armistice with Germany, De Gaulle exhorted the French population to resist occupation and to continue the fight in his Appeal of 18 June. He led a government in the Free French Forces against the Axis. Despite frosty relations with the United Kingdom and the United States, he emerged as the undisputed leader of the French Resistance, he became head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic in June 1944, the interim government of France following its Liberation. As early as 1944, De Gaulle introduced a dirigiste economic policy, which included substantial state-directed control over a capitalist economy, followed by 30 years of unprecedented growth, known as the Trente Glorieuses. Frustrated by the return of petty partisanship in the new Fourth Republic, he resigned in early 1946 but continued to be politically active as founder of the Rassemblement du Peuple Français, he retired in the early 1950s and wrote a book about his experience in the war titled War Memoirs, which became a staple of modern French literature.
When the Algerian War was ripping apart the unstable Fourth Republic, the National Assembly brought him back to power during the May 1958 crisis. He founded the Fifth Republic with a strong presidency, he was elected to continue in that role, he managed to keep France together while taking steps to end the war, much to the anger of the Pieds-Noirs and the military. He granted independence to progressively to other French colonies. In the context of the Cold War, De Gaulle initiated his "politics of grandeur" asserting that France as a major power should not rely on other countries, such as the United States, for its national security and prosperity. To this end, he pursued a policy of "national independence" which led him to withdraw from NATO's military integrated command and to launch an independent nuclear development program that made France the fourth nuclear power, he restored cordial Franco-German relations to create a European counterweight between the Anglo-American and Soviet spheres of influence through the signing of the Élysée Treaty on 22 January 1963.
However, he opposed any development of a supranational Europe, favouring a Europe of sovereign nations. De Gaulle criticised the United States intervention in Vietnam and the "exorbitant privilege" of the United States dollar. In his years, his support for the slogan "Vive le Québec libre" and his two vetoes of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community generated considerable controversy. Although reelected President in 1965, he appeared to lose power amid widespread protests by students and workers in May 1968, but survived the crisis and won an election with an increased majority in the National Assembly. De Gaulle resigned in 1969 after losing a referendum, he died a year at his residence in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, leaving his presidential memoirs unfinished. Many French political parties and figures claim a Gaullist legacy. De Gaulle was born in the industrial region of Lille in the Nord department, the third of five children, he was raised in a devoutly traditional family. His father, Henri de Gaulle, was a professor of history and literature at a Jesuit college who founded his own school.
Henri de Gaulle came from a long line of parliamentary gentry from Burgundy. The name is thought to be Flemish in origin, may well have derived from van der Waulle. De Gaulle's mother, descended from a family of wealthy entrepreneurs from Lille, she had French, Scottish and German ancestry. As part of the French nobility, the de Gaulle family had lost most of its land in the French Revolution, which it opposed. De Gaulle's father encouraged historical and philosophical debate between his children at mealtimes, through his encouragement, de Gaulle grew familiar with French history from an early age. Struck by his mother's tale of how she cried as a child when she heard of the French capitulation to the Germans at Sedan in 1870, he developed a keen interest in military strategy, he was influenced by his uncle named Charles de Gaulle, a historian and passionate Celticist who wrote books and pamphlets advocating the union of the Welsh, Scots and Bretons into one people. His grandfather Julien-Philippe was a histo
Prehistory of France
Prehistoric France is the period in the human occupation of the geographical area covered by present-day France which extended through prehistory and ended in the Iron Age with the Celtic "La Tène culture". Stone tools indicate. Stone tools discovered at Lézignan-la-Cèbe in 2009 indicate that early humans were present in France at least 1.57 million years ago. France includes Olduwan and Acheulean sites from early or non-modern Hominini species, most notably Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis. Tooth Arago 149 - 560,000 years. Tautavel Man, is a proposed subspecies of the hominid Homo erectus, the 450,000-year-old fossil remains of whom were discovered in the Arago cave in Tautavel; the Grotte du Vallonnet near Menton contained simple stone tools dating to 1 million to 1.05 million years BC. Cave sites were exploited for habitation, but the hunter-gatherers of the Palaeolithic era possibly built shelters such as those identified in connection with Acheulean tools at Grotte du Lazaret and Terra Amata near Nice in France.
Excavations at Terra Amata found traces of the earliest known domestication of fire in Europe, from 400,000 BC. The Neanderthals are thought to have arrived there around 300,000 BC, but seem to have died out by about by 30,000 BC unable to compete with modern humans during a period of cold weather. Numerous Neanderthal, or "Mousterian", artifacts have been found from this period, some using the "Levallois technique", a distinctive type of flint knapping developed by hominids during the Lower Palaeolithic but most associated with the Neanderthal industries of the Middle Palaeolithic. Recent findings suggest that Neandertals and modern humans may have interbred. Evidence of cannibalism among Neanderthals found in Neanderthal settlements Moula-Guercy and Les Pradelles; the earliest modern humans – Cro-Magnons – were present in Europe by 43,000 years ago during a long interglacial period of mild climate, when Europe was warm, food was plentiful. When they arrived in Europe, they brought with them sculpture, painting, body ornamentation and the painstaking decoration of utilitarian objects.
Some of the oldest works of art in the world, such as the cave paintings at Lascaux in southern France, are datable to shortly after this migration. European Palaeolithic cultures are divided into several chronological subgroups: Aurignacian – responsible for Venus figurines, cave paintings at the Chauvet Cave. Périgordian – use of this term is debated. Châtelperronian – culture derived from the earlier, Mousterian industry as it made use of Levallois cores and represents the period when Neanderthals and modern humans occupied Europe together. Gravettian – responsible for Venus figurines, cave paintings at the Cosquer Cave. Solutrean Magdalenian – thought to be responsible for the cave paintings at Pech Merle, the Trois-Frères cave and the Rouffignac Cave known as The Cave of the hundred mammoths, it possesses the most extensive cave system of the Périgord in France with more than 8 kilometers of underground passageways. Experts sometimes refer to the "Franco-Cantabrian region" to describe this densely populated region of southern France and northern Spain in the late Palaeolithic.
From the Paleolithic to the Mesolithic, the Magdalenian culture evolved. In South-West France and Spain, one finds the Azilian culture of the Late Glacial Maximum which co-existed with similar early Mesolithic European cultures such as the Tjongerian of North-Western, the Ahrensburgian of Northern and the Swiderian of North-Eastern Europe, all succeeding the Federmesser complex; the Azilian culture was followed by the Sauveterrian in Southern France and Switzerland, the Tardenoisian in Northern France, the Maglemosian in Northern Europe. Archeologists are unsure. If Gravettian or Epipaleolithic immigrants to Europe were indeed Indo-European populations speaking non-Indo-European languages are obvious candidates for previous Paleolithic remnants; the Vascons of the Pyrenees present the strongest case, since their language is related to none other in the world, the Basque population has a unique genetic profile. The disappearance of the Doggerland affected the surrounding territories; the Doggerland population had to go as far as northern France and eastern Ireland to escape from the floods.
The Neolithic period lasted in northern Europe for 3,000 years. It is characterised by the so-called Neolithic Revolution, a transitional period that included the adoption of agriculture, the development of tools and pottery, the growth of larger, more complex settlements. There was an expansion of peoples from southwest Asia into Europe; some archaeologists believe that this expansion, marking the eclipse of Mesolithic culture, coincided with the introduction of Indo-European speakers, wherea