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 Thus, even when tin became available again, iron was cheaper and lighter, and forged iron implements superseded cast bronze tools permanently.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
Historically, a civilization was a so-called advanced culture in contrast to more supposedly primitive cultures. As an uncountable noun, civilization refers to the process of a society developing into a centralized, stratified structure, Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings. The earlier neolithic technology and lifestyle was established first in the Middle East, and in the Yangtze and Yellow River basins in China, similar pre-civilized neolithic revolutions began independently from 7,000 BCE in such places as northwestern South America and Mesoamerica. These were among the six civilizations worldwide that arose independently, Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BCE, with civilizations developing from 6,500 years ago. Towards the end of the Neolithic period, various elitist Chalcolithic civilizations began to rise in various cradles from around 3300 BCE.
Chalcolithic civilizations, as defined above, developed in Pre-Columbian Americas and, despite an early start in Egypt and Kush, the English word civilization comes from the 16th-century French civilisé, from Latin civilis, related to civis and civitas. The fundamental treatise is Norbert Eliass The Civilizing Process, which traces social mores from medieval courtly society to the Early Modern period, in The Philosophy of Civilization, Albert Schweitzer outlines two opinions, one purely material and the other material and ethical. Adjectives like civility developed in the mid-16th century, the abstract noun civilization, meaning civilized condition, came in the 1760s, again from French. The word was therefore opposed to barbarism or rudeness, in the pursuit of progress characteristic of the Age of Enlightenment. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, during the French revolution, civilization was used in the singular, never in the plural and this is still the case in French. The use of civilizations as a noun was in occasional use in the 19th century.
Only in this sense does it become possible to speak of a medieval civilization. Already in the 18th century, civilization was not always seen as an improvement, one historically important distinction between culture and civilization is from the writings of Rousseau, particularly his work about education, Emile. From this, a new approach was developed, especially in Germany, first by Johann Gottfried Herder and this sees cultures as natural organisms, not defined by conscious, deliberative acts, but a kind of pre-rational folk spirit. Civilization, in contrast, though more rational and more successful in material progress, is unnatural and leads to vices of social life such as guile, hypocrisy and avarice. In World War II, Leo Strauss, having fled Germany, argued in New York that this opinion of civilization was behind Nazism, Social scientists such as V. Gordon Childe have named a number of traits that distinguish a civilization from other kinds of society. Andrew Nikiforuk argues that civilizations relied on shackled human muscle and it took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities and considers slavery to be a common feature of pre-modern civilizations.
All civilizations have depended on agriculture for subsistence, grain farms can result in accumulated storage and a surplus of food, particularly when people use intensive agricultural techniques such as artificial fertilization and crop rotation
Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar, and numerous smaller peripheral islands, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot, over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The islands diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the growing human population. The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar dates to 2000 BC, human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and AD550 by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around AD1000 by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa, other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is divided into 18 or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands.
Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by an assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles, the monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, since 1992, the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in an uprising in 2009, president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair, Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the Southern African Development Community. Madagascar belongs to the group of least developed countries, according to the United Nations and French are both official languages of the state.
The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascars development strategy. As of 2017, the economy has been weakened by the 2009-2013 political crisis, in the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara and its people are referred to as Malagasy. The islands appellation Madagascar is not of origin, but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans. On St. Laurences Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island, polos name was preferred and popularized on Renaissance maps. At 592,800 square kilometres, Madagascar is the worlds 47th largest country, the country lies mostly between latitudes 12°S and 26°S, and longitudes 43°E and 51°E. Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros, the nearest mainland state is Mozambique, located to the west
Confucianism, known as Ruism, is described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life. In the Han dynasty, Confucian approaches edged out the proto-Taoist Huang-Lao, the disintegration of the Han political order in the second century CE opened the way for the doctrines of Buddhism and Neo-Taoism, which offered spiritual explanations lacking in Confucianism. A Confucian revival began during the Tang dynasty of 618-907, in the late Tang, Confucianism developed in response to Buddhism and Taoism and was reformulated as Neo-Confucianism. This reinvigorated form was adopted as the basis of the imperial exams, the abolition of the examination system in 1905 marked the end of official Confucianism. The New Culture intellectuals of the twentieth century blamed Confucianism for Chinas weaknesses. In the late twentieth century Confucian work ethic has been credited with the rise of the East Asian economy, with particular emphasis on the importance of the family and social harmony, rather than on an otherworldly source of spiritual values, the core of Confucianism is humanistic.
While Tiān has some characteristics that overlap the category of deity, it is primarily an impersonal absolute principle, Confucianism focuses on the practical order that is given by a this-worldly awareness of the Tiān. Confucian thought focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics, Some of the basic Confucian ethical concepts and practices include rén, yì, and lǐ, and zhì. Rén is the essence of the human being which manifests as compassion and it is the virtue-form of Heaven. Yì is the upholding of righteousness and the disposition to do good. Lǐ is a system of norms and propriety that determines how a person should properly act in everyday life according to the law of Heaven. Zhì is the ability to see what is right and fair, or the converse, Confucianism holds one in contempt, either passively or actively, for failure to uphold the cardinal moral values of rén and yì. In the 20th century Confucianisms influence diminished greatly, in the last decades there have been talks of a Confucian Revival in the academic and the scholarly community and there has been a grassroots proliferation of various types of Confucian churches.
In late 2015 many Confucian personalities formally established a national Holy Confucian Church in China to unify the many Confucian congregations, strictly speaking, there is no term in Chinese which directly corresponds to Confucianism. In the Chinese language, the character rú 儒 meaning scholar or learned man is used both in the past and the present to refer to things related to Confucianism. The character rú in ancient China has diverse meanings, Some examples include, soft, to tame, to comfort and to educate or to refine. Rújiā contains the character jiā, which means family. Rújiào and Kǒngjiào contain the Chinese character jiào, the teaching or transmission, used in such terms as education
The Malay Archipelago is the archipelago between mainland Indochina and Australia. It has called the Malay World, Indo-Australian Archipelago, East Indies, Spices Archipelago. The name was taken from the 19th-century European concept of a Malay race, situated between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the group of over 25,000 islands is the largest archipelago by area, and fourth by number of islands in the world. It includes Brunei, East Malaysia, the Philippines, the island of New Guinea is usually excluded from definitions of the Malay Archipelago, although the Indonesian western portion of the island may be included. The term is synonymous with maritime Southeast Asia. The term was derived from the European concept of a Malay race, which referred to the people who inhabited what is now Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and East Timor. The racial concept was proposed by European explorers based on their observations of the influence of the ethnic Malay empire, the 19th-century naturalist Alfred Wallace used the term Malay Archipelago as the title of his influential book documenting his studies in the region.
Wallace referred to the area as the Indian Archipelago and the Indo-Australian Archipelago and he included within the region the Solomon Islands and the Malay Peninsula due to physiographic similarities. The archipelago was called the East Indies from the late 16th century and it is still sometimes referred to as such, but broader usages of the East Indies term had included Indochina and the Indian subcontinent. The area is called Nusantara in the Indonesian and Malaysian languages, the area is referred to as the Indonesian archipelago. The term maritime Southeast Asia is largely synonymous, covering both the islands in Southeast Asia and nearby communities, such as those found on the Malay Peninsula. The land and sea area of the archipelago exceeds 2 million km2, the more than 25,000 islands of the archipelago comprise many smaller archipelagoes. Geologically the archipelago is one of the most active regions in the world. Tectonic uplifts have produced large mountains, including the highest in Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, with a height of 4,095.2 m and Puncak Jaya on Papua, Indonesia at 4,884 m.
Other high mountains in the archipelago include Puncak Mandala, Indonesia at 4,760 m and Puncak Trikora, the climate throughout the archipelago is tropical, owing to its position on the equator. Wallace used the term Malay Archipelago as the title of his influential book documenting his studies in the region and he proposed what would come to be known as the Wallace Line, a boundary that separated the flora and fauna of Asia and Australia. The ice age boundary was formed by the deep water straits between Borneo and Sulawesi, and through the Lombok Strait between Bali and Lombok and this is now considered the western border of the Wallacea transition zone between the zoogeographical regions of Asia and Australia. The zone has a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin, over 380 million people live in the region, with the most populated islands being Java, Sumatra, Taiwan and Sri Lanka
The British Isles are a group of islands off the north-western coast of continental Europe that consist of the islands of Great Britain and over six thousand smaller isles. Situated in the North Atlantic, the islands have an area of approximately 315,159 km2. Two sovereign states are located on the islands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the oldest rocks in the group are in the north west of Scotland and North Wales and are 2,700 million years old. During the Silurian period the north-western regions collided with the south-east, the topography of the islands is modest in scale by global standards. Ben Nevis rises to an elevation of only 1,344 metres, and Lough Neagh, the climate is temperate marine, with mild winters and warm summers. The North Atlantic Drift brings significant moisture and raises temperatures 11 °C above the average for the latitude. This led to a landscape which was dominated by temperate rainforest. The region was re-inhabited after the last glacial period of Quaternary glaciation, which became an island by 12,000 BC, was not inhabited until after 8000 BC.
Great Britain became an island by 5600 BC, Hiberni and Britons tribes, all speaking Insular Celtic, inhabited the islands at the beginning of the 1st millennium AD. Much of Brittonic-controlled Britain was conquered by the Roman Empire from AD43, the first Anglo-Saxons arrived as Roman power waned in the 5th century and eventually dominated the bulk of what is now England. Viking invasions began in the 9th century, followed by permanent settlements. Most of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom after the Irish War of Independence, the term British Isles is controversial in Ireland, where there are objections to its usage due to the association of the word British with Ireland. The Government of Ireland does not recognise or use the term, as a result and Ireland is used as an alternative description, and Atlantic Archipelago has had limited use among a minority in academia, while British Isles is still commonly employed. Within them, they are sometimes referred to as these islands. The earliest known references to the islands as a group appeared in the writings of sea-farers from the ancient Greek colony of Massalia.
The original records have been lost, writings, e. g. Avienuss Ora maritima, in the 1st century BC, Diodorus Siculus has Prettanikē nēsos, the British Island, and Prettanoi, the Britons. Strabo used Βρεττανική, and Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, historians today, though not in absolute agreement, largely agree that these Greek and Latin names were probably drawn from native Celtic-language names for the archipelago. Along these lines, the inhabitants of the islands were called the Πρεττανοί, the shift from the P of Pretannia to the B of Britannia by the Romans occurred during the time of Julius Caesar
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally 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 use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. 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 use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
History of China
Written records of the history of China can be found from as early as 1500 BC under the Shang dynasty. Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals describe a Xia dynasty, with thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the worlds oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization. Much of Chinese culture and philosophy developed during the Zhou dynasty. This is one of multiple periods of failed statehood in Chinese history, between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China, in some eras control stretched as far as Xinjiang and Tibet, as at present. In 221 BC Qin Shi Huang united the warring kingdoms and created for himself the title of emperor of the Qin dynasty. Successive dynasties developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the emperor to control vast territories directly, in the 21 centuries from 206 BC until AD1912, routine administrative tasks were handled by a special elite, the Scholar-officials.
Young men were selected through difficult examinations and were well-versed in calligraphy and philosophy. What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago, recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The archaeological site of Xihoudu in Shanxi Province is the earliest recorded use of fire by Homo erectus, the excavations at Yuanmou and Lantian show early habitation. Perhaps the most famous specimen of Homo erectus found in China is the so-called Peking Man discovered in 1923–27, fossilised teeth of Homo sapiens dating to 125, 000–80,000 BC have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Dao County in Hunan. The Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC, Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. The earliest evidence of cultivated rice, found by the Yangtze River, is carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago, farming gave rise to the Jiahu culture.
At Damaidi in Ningxia,3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000–5000 BC have been discovered, featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, stars and these pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BC, Dadiwan from 5800 BC to 5400 BC, Damaidi around 6000 BC, some scholars have suggested that Jiahu symbols were the earliest Chinese writing system. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, which was centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Bronze artifacts have been found at the Majiayao culture site, The Bronze Age is represented at the Lower Xiajiadian culture site in northeast China. Sanxingdui located in what is now Sichuan province is believed to be the site of a ancient city. The site was first discovered in 1929 and re-discovered in 1986, Chinese archaeologists have identified the Sanxingdui culture to be part of the ancient kingdom of Shu, linking the artifacts found at the site to its early legendary kings
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa. It is generally regarded as the longest river in the world, in particular, the Nile is the primary water source of Egypt and Sudan. The Nile has two tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile is considered to be the headwaters and primary stream of the Nile itself, the Blue Nile, however, is the source of most of the water and silt. The White Nile is longer and rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa and it flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria and South Sudan. The Blue Nile begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast, the two rivers meet just north of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The northern section of the river flows north almost entirely through the Sudanese desert to Egypt, ends in a large delta, Egyptian civilization and Sudanese kingdoms have depended on the river since ancient times. Most of the population and cities of Egypt lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan, in the ancient Egyptian language, the Nile is called Ḥpī or Iteru, meaning river.
In Coptic, the words piaro or phiaro meaning the river come from the ancient name. The English name Nile and the Arabic names en-Nîl and an-Nîl both derive from the Latin Nilus and the Ancient Greek Νεῖλος, beyond that, the etymology is disputed. One possible etymology derives it from a Semitic Nahal, meaning river, the standard English names White Nile and Blue Nile, to refer to the rivers source, derive from Arabic names formerly applied only to the Sudanese stretches which meet at Khartoum. Above Khartoum, the Nile is known as the White Nile, at Khartoum the river is joined by the Blue Nile. The White Nile starts in equatorial East Africa, and the Blue Nile begins in Ethiopia, both branches are on the western flanks of the East African Rift. The drainage basin of the Nile covers 3,254,555 square kilometers, the source of the Nile is sometimes considered to be Lake Victoria, but the lake has feeder rivers of considerable size. It is either the Ruvyironza, which emerges in Bururi Province, Burundi, or the Nyabarongo, the two feeder rivers meet near Rusumo Falls on the Rwanda-Tanzania border.
Gish Abay is reportedly the place where the water of the first drops of the Blue Nile develop. The Nile leaves Lake Nyanza at Ripon Falls near Jinja, Uganda and it flows north for some 130 kilometers, to Lake Kyoga. For the remaining part it flows westerly through the Murchison Falls until it reaches the very northern shores of Lake Albert where it forms a significant river delta
Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, found most notably in India and Nepal. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This Hindu synthesis started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE following the Vedic period, although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, and pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Shruti and Smriti and these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha, karma and the various Yogas. Hindu practices include such as puja and recitations, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals.
Some Hindus leave their world and material possessions, engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, Hinduism is the worlds third largest religion, with over one billion followers or 15% of the global population, known as Hindus. The majority of Hindus reside in India, Mauritius, the Caribbean, the word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit word Sindhu, the Indo-Aryan name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. The term Hindu in these ancient records is a geographical term, the Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people who live across the River Indus. This Arabic term was taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as an alternative name of India. It was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus.
The term Hinduism, spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th-century to denote the religious, because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion defies our desire to define and categorize it, Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, and a way of life. From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion, in India the term dharma is preferred, which is broader than the western term religion. Hindu traditionalists prefer to call it Sanatana Dharma, the study of India and its cultures and religions, and the definition of Hinduism, has been shaped by the interests of colonialism and by Western notions of religion. Since the 1990s, those influences and its outcomes have been the topic of debate among scholars of Hinduism, Hinduism as it is commonly known can be subdivided into a number of major currents
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia near south-east India. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest, Sri Lankas documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lankas recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively ended when the Sri Lankan military defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009. A diverse and multicultural country, Sri Lanka is home to many religions, ethnic groups, in addition to the majority Sinhalese, it is home to large groups of Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays and the aboriginal Vedda. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system.
The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the capital and largest city. Along with the Maldives, Sri Lanka is one of the two countries in South Asia that are rated among high human development on the Human Development Index. In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names, according to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni, because his followers hands were reddened by the red soil of the area. In Hindu mythology, such as the Mahabharata, the island was referred to as Lankā, in Tamil, the island is referred to as Eelam. Ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobanā or Taprobanē from the word Tambapanni, as a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon, it achieved independence as the Dominion of Ceylon in 1948. The country is known in Sinhalese as Śrī Laṃkā and in Tamil as Ilaṅkai, in 1972, its formal name was changed to Free and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka. Later in 1978 it was changed to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, as the name Ceylon still appears in the names of a number of organisations, the Sri Lankan government announced in 2011 a plan to rename all those over which it has authority.
The pre-history of Sri Lanka goes back 125,000 years, the era spans the Palaeolithic and early Iron Ages. Among the Paleolithic human settlements discovered in Sri Lanka, Pahiyangala and it is said that Kubera was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, the powerful emperor who built a mythical flying machine named Dandu Monara. The modern city of Wariyapola is described as Ravanas airport, early inhabitants of Sri Lanka were probably ancestors of the Vedda people, an indigenous people numbering approximately 2,500 living in modern-day Sri Lanka. According to the Mahāvamsa, a written in Pāḷi, the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are the Yakshas and Nagas. Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600BC and other signs of advanced civilization has discovered in Sri Lanka
Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars and Mahayana. Buddhism is the worlds fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. In Theravada the ultimate goal is the attainment of the state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering. Theravada has a following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism, rather than Nirvana, Mahayana instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings reach awakening.
Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas, may be viewed as a branch or merely a part of Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practiced in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of Buddha, the details of Buddhas life are mentioned in many early Buddhist texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother queen Maya, and he was born in Lumbini gardens. Some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, Buddha was moved by the innate suffering of humanity. He meditated on this alone for a period of time, in various ways including asceticism, on the nature of suffering. He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in Gangetic plains region of South Asia.
He reached enlightenment, discovering what Buddhists call the Middle Way, as an enlightened being, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his teaching the Dharma he had discovered. Dukkha is a concept of Buddhism and part of its Four Noble Truths doctrine. It can be translated as incapable of satisfying, the unsatisfactory nature, the Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism, we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, which is dukkha, incapable of satisfying and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the cycle of repeated rebirth, dukkha