The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories in the Caribbean. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with the Caribbean NetherlandsBonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch and a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. In the north and east of the country, Low Saxon is spoken, in the southeast, Limburgish. In the Caribbean Netherlands English and Papiamento are recognised languages; the four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Amsterdam is the country's most populous city and nominal capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the busiest seaport in Europe, the busiest in any country outside Asia.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, the third busiest in Europe. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union, it hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.4 million people, all living within a total area of 41,800 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,500 square kilometres —the Netherlands is the 12th most densely populated country in the world and the 5th most densely populated country in Europe, with a density of 521 per square kilometre.

It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture and inventiveness. The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848; the country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a liberal drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, before becoming the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development and quality of life, as well as happiness.. In 2009, The Netherlands had the seventh highest economy. In 2013, it ranked fourth on the human development index; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages.

There is diversity within languages. In English, the Netherlands is called Holland or the Low Countries, whereas the term "Dutch" is used as the demonym and adjectival form; the region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries.

But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France. The Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original homeland: Burgundy in present-day east-central France. Under Habsburg rule, Les pays de par deçà developed in pays d'embas, a deictic expression in relation to other Habsburg possessions like Hungary and Austria; this was translated as Neder-landen in contemporary Dutch official documents. From a regional point of view, Niderlant was the area between the Meuse and the lower Rhine in the late Middle Ages; the area known as Oberland was in this deictic context considered to begin at the nearby higher located Cologne. From the mid-sixteenth century on, the "Low Countries" and the "Netherlands" lost their original deictic meaning, they were the most used names, besides Flanders, a pars pro toto for the Low Countries in Romance language speaking Europe.

The Eighty Years' War (1568

Mentuhotep II

Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II was a Pharaoh of the 11th Dynasty who reigned for 51 years. Around his 39th year on the throne he reunited Egypt, he is considered the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom. Mentuhotep II was the son of Intef III and Intef III's wife Iah who may have been his sister; this lineage is demonstrated by the stele of Henenu, an official who served under Intef II, Intef III and his son, which the stele identifies as Horus s-ankh-, Mentuhotep II's first Horus name. As for Iah, she bore the title of mwt-nswt, "King's mother"; the parentage of Mentuhotep II is indirectly confirmed by a relief at Shatt er-Rigal. Mentuhotep II had many wives who were buried with him in or close to his mortuary temple: Tem who might have been Mentuhotep II's chief wife as she bore the titles of hmt-nswt "King's wife", hmt-nswt mryt.f "King's wife, his beloved" and wrt-Hts-nbwi "Great one of the hetes-sceptre of the two Lords". She gave Mentuhotep II two children, one of whom was Mentuhotep III since Tem was called mwt-nswt, ""King's mother" and mwt-nswt-bitj, "Dual king's mother".

She died after her husband and was buried by her son in Mentuhotep's temple. Her tomb was discovered in 1859 by Lord Dufferin and excavated in 1968 by D. Arnold. Neferu II was called "King's wife" and hmt-nswt-mryt.f, "King's wife, his beloved". She might have been Mentuhotep II's sister since she bore the titles of s3t-nswt-smswt-n-kht.f, "Eldest king daughter of his body", irjt-p3t, "hereditary princess" and hmwt-nbwt, "mistress of all women". She was buried in the tomb TT319 of Deir el-Bahri. Kawit was one of Mentuhotep II's secondary wives, she bore the titles of hmt-nswt mryt.f "King's wife, his beloved" and khkrt-nswt, "King's embellishment". She was a "Priestess of the goddess Hathor", it has been suggested. She was buried under the terrace of Mentuhotep II's mortuary temple where E. Naville uncovered her sarcophagus in 1907. Sadeh, Ashayet and Kemsit were all Mentuhotep II's secondary wives, they bore the title of hmt-nswt mryt.f "King's wife, his beloved" and khkrt-nswt-w3tit "Unique embellishment of the King".

They were priestesses of Hathor and each of them was buried in a single pit dug under the terrace of Mentuhotep II's temple. Note that an alternative theory holds that Henhenet was one of Intef III's secondary wives the mother of Neferu II. Henhenet might have died in childbirth. Mwyt, a five year-old girl buried with Mentuhotep II's secondary wives, it is most one of his daughters. Mentuhotep II is considered to be the first ruler of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt; the Turin Canon credits him with a reign of 51 years. Many Egyptologists have long considered two rock reliefs, showing Mentuhotep II towering over smaller figures labeled king "Intef", to be conclusive evidence that his predecessor Intef III was his own father; when he ascended the Theban throne, Mentuhotep II inherited the vast land conquered by his predecessors from the first cataract in the south to Abydos and Tjebu in the north. Mentuhotep II's first fourteen years of reign seem to have been peaceful in the Theban region as there are no surviving traces of conflict datable to that period.

In fact, the general scarcity of testimonies from the early part of Mentuhotep's reign might indicate that he was young when he ascended the throne, a hypothesis consistent with his 51 years long reign. In the 14th year of his reign, an uprising occurred in the north; this uprising is most connected with the ongoing conflict between Mentuhotep II based in Thebes and the rival 10th Dynasty based at Herakleopolis who threatened to invade Upper Egypt. The 14th year of Mentuhotep's reign is indeed named Year of the crime of Thinis; this refers to the conquest of the Thinite region by the Herakleopolitan kings who desecrated the sacred ancient royal necropolis of Abydos in the process. Mentuhotep II subsequently dispatched his armies to the north; the famous tomb of the warriors at Deir el-Bahari discovered in the 1920s, contained the linen-wrapped, unmummified bodies of 60 soldiers all killed in battle, their shroud bearing Mentuhotep II's cartouche. Due to its proximity to the Theban royal tombs, the tomb of the warriors is believed to be that of heroes who died during the conflict between Mentuhotep II and his foes to the north.

Merikare, the ruler of Lower-Egypt at the time may have died during the conflict, which further weakened his kingdom and gave Mentuhotep the opportunity to reunite Egypt. The exact date when reunification was achieved is not known, but it is assumed to have happened shortly before year 39 of his reign. Indeed, evidence shows that the process took time, maybe due to the general insecurity of the country at the time: commoners were buried with weapons, the funerary stelae of officials show them holding weapons instead of the usual regalia and when Mentuhotep II's successor sent an expedition to Punt some 20 years after the reunification, they still had to clear the Wadi Hammamat of rebels. Following the reunification, Mentuhotep II was considered by his subjects to be divine, or half divine; this was still the case during the late 12th Dynasty some 200 years later: Senusret III and Amenemhat III erected stelae commemorating opening of the mouth ceremonies practiced on Mentuhotep II's statues.

Mentuhotep II launched military campaigns under the command of his vizier Khety south into Nubia, which had gained its


Spalacotheriidae is a family of extinct mammals belonging to the group Symmetrodonta. They were a rather successful lineage, lasting from the Early Cretaceous to Campanian in North America, Europe and North Africa; the lack of a Meckelian groove indicate that they had a modern ear anatomy, their deciduous canines and premolars as well as long lower jaw indicate a carnivorous/insectivorous diet. Lactodens Spalacotherium Shalbaatar Symmetrolestes Aliaga Akidolestes Infernolestes Heishanlestes Spalacotheroides Spalacotheridium Spalacolestes Symmetrodontoides Yaverlestes