Battle of Sedan
The Battle of Sedan was fought during the Franco-Prussian War from 1 to 2 September 1870. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government; the 130,000 strong French Army of Châlons, commanded by Marshal Patrice de MacMahon and accompanied by Napoleon III, was attempting to lift the Siege of Metz, only to be caught by the Prussian Fourth Army and defeated at the Battle of Beaumont on 30 August. Commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke and accompanied by Prussian King Wilhelm I and Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the Fourth Army and the Prussian Third Army encircled MacMahon's army at Sedan in a gigantic battle of annihilation. Marshal MacMahon was wounded during the attacks and command passed to General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot, until it was taken over by General Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen. Pulverized from all sides by superior German artillery firepower and with all breakout attempts defeated, the French Army of Châlons capitulated on 2 September, with 104,000 men passing into German captivity along with 558 guns.
Napoleon III was taken prisoner, while the French government in Paris continued the war and proclaimed a Government of National Defense on 4 September. The German armies besieged Paris on 19 September. After its defeat at the Battle of Gravelotte on 18 August, Marshal François Achille Bazaine's 154,481-man Army of the Rhine retreated to Metz where it was surrounded by 168,435 Prussian troops of the First and Second Armies in the Siege of Metz beginning on 19 August. Emperor Napoleon III, along with Marshal Patrice de MacMahon, formed the new French Army of Châlons on 17 August to march on to Metz to rescue Bazaine. With Napoleon III leading the army, with Marshal MacMahon in attendance, they led the Army of Châlons after 23 August in a left-flanking march northeast towards the Belgian border in an attempt to avoid the Prussians before striking south to link up with Bazaine; the Prussians had outmaneuvered the French in the string of victories through August 1870, the march both depleted the French forces and left both flanks exposed.
The Prussians, under the command of von Moltke, took advantage of this maneuver to catch the French in a pincer grip. Leaving the Prussian First and Second Armies besieging Metz, Moltke took the Prussian Third and Fourth Armies northward where they caught up with the French at the Battle of Beaumont on 30 August. After a major defeat in which he lost 7,500 men and 40 cannons, MacMahon aborted the planned link-up with Bazaine and ordered the Army of Châlons to withdraw north-west towards the tiny, obsolete 17th-century fortress of Sedan, his intention was to rest the army, involved in a long series of marches, resupply it with ammunition and, in his words, maneuver in front of the enemy. MacMahon underestimated the German strength and believed the hills surrounding Sedan would offer him a major defensive advantage; the French rear was protected by the fortress of Sedan, offered a defensive position at the Calvaire d'Illy, which had both hills and woods to provide cover for any defense. MacMahon denied a request from General Félix Douay, commander of 7th Corps, to dig trenches, claiming the army would not remain at Sedan for long.
Upon arrival in the vicinity of Sedan on 31 August, MacMahon deployed Douay's 7th Corps to the north-west on the crest between the Calvaire and Floing. Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot's 1st Corps faced east; the recently-arrived General Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen took over command of 5th Corps from Pierre Louis Charles de Failly, the unit having been routed at Beaumont. 5th Corps was placed in reserve in the centre. Moltke divided his forces into three groups: one to detain the French where they were, another to race forward and catch them if they retreated, a third to hold the river bank; the Saxon XII Corps crossed the Meuse with the Prussian Guards on their right. The I Royal Bavarian Corps under General Baron von der Tann moved up to Bazeilles and the Bavarian engineers threw up two pontoon bridges across the Meuse to secure their way across; the Prussian V and XI Corps completed the encirclement of the French army to the north-west by 0900 on 1 September. The battle opened with the Army of Châlons, with 202 infantry battalions, 80 cavalry squadrons and 564 guns, attacking the surrounding Prussian Third and Fourth Armies, which totaled 222 infantry battalions, 186 cavalry squadrons, 774 guns.
Napoleon had ordered MacMahon to break out of the encirclement, the only point where that seemed possible was La Moncelle, whose flank was protected by a fortified town. The Prussians picked La Moncelle as one point where they would mount a breakthrough. Prince George of Saxony and the Prussian XI Corps was assigned to the task, General Baron von der Tann were ordered to attack Bazeilles on the right flank; this was the opening engagement, as the French 1st Corps had barricaded the streets, enlisted the aid of the population. Von der Tann sent a brigade across pontoon bridges at 0400 hours in the early morning mist, the Bavarians rushing the village and capturing it through surprise; the French Marines of the 1st Corps fought back from stone houses and the Bavarian artillery shelled the buildings into blazing rubble. The combat drew new forces, as French brigades from the 1st, 5th, 12th Corps arrived. At 0800 the Prussian 8th Infantry Division arrived, von der Tann decided it was time for a decisive attack.
He had not been able to bring artillery to bear from long range, so he committed his last brigade to storm the town, supported by artillery from the other side of the Meuse. His art
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; the term entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the sun in the east, is broadly equivalent to the term Al-Mashriq, meaning "the east, where the sun rises". In the 13th and 14th centuries, the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice; the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt. In 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire; the name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War I.
This is the reason why the term Levant has come to be used more to refer to modern Syria, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking. Today the term is used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references, it has the same meaning as "Syria-Palestine" or Ash-Shaam, the area, bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. Cilicia and the Sinai Peninsula are sometimes included; the term Levant was used to describe the region from the 18th to the mid-19th centuries, has had steady but lower usage since the late 19th century. Both the noun Levant and the adjective Levantine are now used to describe the ancient and modern culture area called Syro-Palestinian or Biblical: archaeologists now speak of the Levant and of Levantine archaeology; the Levant has been described as the "crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, northeast Africa", the "northwest of the Arabian plate".
The populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, history. They are referred to as Levantines; the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497 meant the East in general or "Mediterranean lands east of Italy". It is borrowed from the French levant "rising", referring to the rising of the sun in the east, or the point where the sun rises; the phrase is from the Latin word levare, meaning'lift, raise'. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, in Hebrew. Most notably, "Orient" and its Latin source oriens meaning "east", is "rising", deriving from Latin orior "rise"; the notion of the Levant has undergone a dynamic process of historical evolution in usage and understanding. While the term "Levantine" referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional "native" and "minority" groups; the term became current in English in the 16th century, along with the first English merchant adventurers in the region.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, in 1670 the French Compagnie du Levant was founded for the same purpose. At this time, the Far East was known as the "Upper Levant". In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, as well as independent Greece. In 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture; the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states. Today, "Levant" is the term used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a "wider, yet relevant, cultural corpus" that does not have the "political overtones" of Syria-Palestine; the term is used for modern events, states or parts of states in the same region, namely Cyprus, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Turkey are sometimes considered Levant countries.
Several researchers include the island of Cyprus in Levantine studies, including the Council for British Research in the Levant, the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department, Journal of Levantine Studies and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the last of which has dated the connection between Cyprus and mainland Levant to the early Iron Age. Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation, neither biblical n
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Third French Republic, the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded; some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.
On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on Prussia and hostilities began three days when French forces invaded German territory. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more than the French and invaded northeastern France; the German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology railroads and artillery. A series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, saw French Emperor Napoleon III captured and the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated. A Government of National Defence declared the Third French Republic in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months. Following the Siege of Paris, the capital fell on 28 January 1871, a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in the city and held it for two months, until it was bloodily suppressed by the regular French army at the end of May 1871.
The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm I uniting Germany as a nation-state. The Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871 gave Germany most of Alsace and some parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine; the German conquest of France and the unification of Germany upset the European balance of power that had existed since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Otto von Bismarck maintained great authority in international affairs for two decades. French determination to regain Alsace-Lorraine and fear of another Franco-German war, along with British apprehension about the balance of power, became factors in the causes of World War I; the causes of the Franco-Prussian War are rooted in the events surrounding the unification of Germany. In the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussia had annexed numerous territories and formed the North German Confederation; this new power destabilized the European balance of power established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon III the emperor of France, demanded compensations in Belgium and on the left bank of the Rhine to secure France's strategic position, which the Prussian chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, flatly refused. Prussia turned its attention towards the south of Germany, where it sought to incorporate the southern German kingdoms, Bavaria, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt, into a unified Prussia-dominated Germany. France was opposed to any further alliance of German states, which would have strengthened the Prussian military. In Prussia, some officials considered a war against France both inevitable and necessary to arouse German nationalism in those states that would allow the unification of a great German empire; this aim was epitomized by Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's statement: "I did not doubt that a Franco-German war must take place before the construction of a United Germany could be realised." Bismarck knew that France should be the aggressor in the conflict to bring the southern German states to side with Prussia, hence giving Germans numerical superiority.
He was convinced that France would not find any allies in her war against Germany for the simple reason that "France, the victor, would be a danger to everybody – Prussia to nobody," and he added, "That is our strong point." Many Germans viewed the French as the traditional destabilizer of Europe, sought to weaken France to prevent further breaches of the peace. The immediate cause of the war resided in the candidacy of Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a Prussian prince, to the throne of Spain. France feared encirclement by an alliance between Spain; the Hohenzollern prince's candidacy was withdrawn under French diplomatic pressure, but Otto von Bismarck goaded the French into declaring war by releasing an altered summary of the Ems Dispatch, a telegram sent by William I rejecting French demands that Prussia never again support a Hohenzollern candidacy. Bismarck's summary, as mistranslated by the French press Havas, made it sound as if the king had treated the French envoy in a demeaning fashion, which inflamed public opinion in France.
French historians François Roth and Pierre Milza argue that Napoleon III was pressured by a bellicose press and public opinion and thus sought war in response to France's diplomatic failures to obtain any territorial gains following the Austro-Prussian War. Napoleon III believed. Many in his court, such as Empress Eugénie wanted a
Java is an island of Indonesia, bordered by the Indian Ocean on the south and the Java Sea on the north. With a population of over 141 million or 145 million, Java is the home to 56.7 percent of the Indonesian population and is the world's most populous island. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is located on its northwestern coast. Much of Indonesian history took place on Java, it was the center of powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires, the Islamic sultanates, the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies. Java was the center of the Indonesian struggle for independence during the 1930s and 1940s. Java dominates Indonesia politically and culturally. Four of Indonesia's eight UNESCO world heritage sites are located in Java: Ujung Kulon National Park, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, Sangiran Early Man Site. Formed as the result of volcanic eruptions from geologic subduction between Sunda Plate and Australian Plate, Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest in Indonesia by landmass at about 138,800 square kilometres.
A chain of volcanic mountains forms an east–west spine along the island. Three main languages are spoken on the island: Javanese and Madurese, where Javanese is the most spoken. Furthermore, most residents are bilingual, speaking Indonesian as their second language. While the majority of the people of Java are Muslim, Java's population comprises people of diverse religious beliefs and cultures. Java is divided into four administrative provinces, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Banten, two special regions and Yogyakarta; the origins of the name "Java" are not clear. One possibility is that the island was named after the jáwa-wut plant, said to be common in the island during the time, that prior to Indianization the island had different names. There are other possible sources: the word jaú and its variations mean "beyond" or "distant". And, in Sanskrit yava means barley, a plant for which the island was famous. "Yavadvipa" is mentioned in the Ramayana. Sugriva, the chief of Rama's army dispatched his men to Yavadvipa, the island of Java, in search of Sita.
It was hence referred to in India by the Sanskrit name "yāvaka dvīpa". Java is mentioned in the ancient Tamil text Manimekalai by Chithalai Chathanar that states that Java had a kingdom with a capital called Nagapuram. Another source states that the "Java" word is derived from a Proto-Austronesian root word, Iawa that meaning "home"; the great island of Iabadiu or Jabadiu was mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographia composed around 150 CE in the Roman Empire. Iabadiu is said to mean "barley island", to be rich in gold, have a silver town called Argyra at the west end; the name indicates Java, seems to be derived from the Sanskrit name Java-dvipa. The annual news of Songshu and Liangshu referred Java as She-po, He-ling called it She-po again until the Yuan dynasty, where they began mentioning Zhao-Wa. According to Ma Huan's book, the Chinese call Java as Chao-Wa, the island was called She-pó in the past; when John of Marignolli returned from China to Avignon, he stayed at the Kingdom of Saba for a few months, which he said had many elephants and led by a queen.
Java lies between Sumatra to Bali to the east. Borneo lies to the north and Christmas Island is to the south, it is the world's 13th largest island. Java is surrounded by the Java Sea to the north, Sunda Strait to the west, the Indian Ocean to the south and Bali Strait and Madura Strait in the east. Java is entirely of volcanic origin; the highest volcano in Java is Mount Semeru. The most active volcano in Java and in Indonesia is Mount Merapi. In total, Java boast more than 150 mountains. More mountains and highlands help to split the interior into a series of isolated regions suitable for wet-rice cultivation. Java was the first place where Indonesian coffee was grown, starting in 1699. Today, Coffea arabica is grown on the Ijen Plateau by larger plantations; the area of Java is 150,000 square kilometres. It is up to 210 km wide; the island's longest river is the 600 km long Solo River. The river rises from its source in central Java at the Lawu volcano flows north and eastward to its mouth in the Java Sea near the city of Surabaya.
Other major rivers are Brantas, Citarum and Serayu. The average temperature ranges from 22 °C to 29 °C; the northern coastal plains are hotter, averaging 34 °C during the day in the dry season. The south coast is cooler than the north, highland areas inland are cooler; the wet season ends in April. During that rain falls in the afternoons and intermittently during other parts of the year; the wettest months are February. West Java is wetter than East mountainous regions receive much higher rainfall; the Parahyangan highlands of West Java receive over 4,000 millimetres annually, while the north coast of East Java receives 900 millimetres annually. The natural environment of Jav
History of Iran
The history of Iran, known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya in the east, from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 7000 BC; the south-western and western part of the Iranian Plateau participated in the traditional Ancient Near East with Elam, from the Early Bronze Age, with various other peoples, such as the Kassites and Gutians. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel calls the Persians the "first Historical People"; the Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, was the first true global superpower state and it ruled from the Balkans to North Africa and Central Asia, spanning three continents, from their seat of power in Persis.
It was the first world empire. The Achaemenid Empire was the only civilization in all of history to connect over 40% of the global population, accounting for 49.4 million of the world's 112.4 million people in around 480 BC. They were succeeded by the Seleucid and Sasanian Empires, who successively governed Iran for 1,000 years and made Iran once again as a leading power in the world. Persia's arch-rival was its successor, the Byzantine Empire; the Iranian Empire proper begins following the influx of Iranian peoples. Iranian people gave rise to the Medes, the Achaemenid and Sasanian Empires of classical antiquity. Once a major empire, Iran has endured invasions too, by the Greeks, Arabs and the Mongols. Iran has continually reasserted its national identity throughout the centuries and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity; the Muslim conquest of Persia is a turning point in Iranian history. Islamization of Iran took place during the eighth to tenth centuries, leading to the eventual decline of Zoroastrianism in Iran as well as many of its dependencies.
However, the achievements of the previous Persian civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity and civilization.* Iran, with its long history of early cultures and empires, had suffered hard during the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. Many invasions of nomadic tribes, whose leaders became rulers in this country, affected it negatively. Iran was reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid dynasty, which set Shia Islam as the empire's official religion, marking one of the most important turning points in the history of Islam. Functioning again as a leading world power, this time amongst the neighboring Ottoman Empire, its arch-rival for centuries, Iran had been a monarchy ruled by an emperor without interruption from 1501 until the 1979 Iranian Revolution, when Iran became an Islamic republic on April 1, 1979. Over the course of the first half of the 19th century, Iran lost many of its territories in the Caucasus, a part of Iran for centuries, comprising modern-day Eastern Georgia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia, to its expanding and emerged neighboring rival, the Russian Empire, following the Russo-Persian Wars between 1804–13 and 1826–8.
The earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran were found in the Kashafrud and Ganj Par sites that are thought to date back to 100,000 years ago in the Middle Paleolithic. Mousterian stone tools made by Neandertals have been found. There are more cultural remains of Neandertals dating back to the Middle Paleolithic period, which have been found in the Zagros region and fewer in central Iran at sites such as Kobeh, Bisitun Cave, Tamtama and Yafteh Cave. In 1949, a Neanderthal radius was discovered by Carleton S. Coon in Bisitun Cave. Evidence for Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic periods are known from the Zagros Mountains in the caves of Kermanshah and Khorramabad and a few number of sites in the Alborz and Central Iran. During this time, people began creating rock art. Early agricultural communities such as Chogha Golan in 10,000 BC along with settlements such as Chogha Bonut in 8000 BC, began to flourish in and around the Zagros Mountains region in western Iran. Around about the same time, the earliest-known clay vessels and modeled human and animal terracotta figurines were produced at Ganj Dareh in western Iran.
There are 10,000-year-old human and animal figurines from Tepe Sarab in Kermanshah Province among many other ancient artifacts. The south-western part of Iran was part of the Fertile Crescent where most of humanity's first major crops were grown, in villages such as Susa and settlements such as Chogha Mish, dating back to 6800 BC; the two main Neolithic Iranian settlements were Ganj Dareh. Parts of what is modern-day northwestern Iran was part of the Kura–Araxes culture, that stretched up into the neighboring regions of the Caucasus and Anatolia. Susa is one of the oldest-known settlements of the world. Based on C14 dating, the time of foundation of the city is as ear
Sumatra is a large island in western Indonesia, part of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island, located in Indonesia and the sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2. Sumatra is an elongated landmass spanning a diagonal northwest-southeast axis; the Indian Ocean borders the west and southwest coasts of Sumatra with the island chain of Simeulue and Mentawai off the western coast. In the northeast the narrow Strait of Malacca separates the island from the Malay Peninsula, an extension of the Eurasian continent. In the southeast the narrow Sunda Strait separates Sumatra from Java; the northern tip of Sumatra borders the Andaman Islands, while off the southeastern coast lie the islands of Bangka and Belitung, Karimata Strait and the Java Sea. The Bukit Barisan mountains, which contain several active volcanoes, form the backbone of the island, while the northeastern area contains large plains and lowlands with swamps, mangrove forest and complex river systems; the equator crosses the island at its center in West Riau provinces.
The climate of the island is tropical and humid. Lush tropical rain forest once dominated the landscape. Sumatra has a wide range of plant and animal species but has lost 50% of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years. Many species are now critically endangered, such as the Sumatran ground cuckoo, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran elephant, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Sumatran orangutan. Deforestation on the island has resulted in serious seasonal smoke haze over neighbouring countries, such as the 2013 Southeast Asian haze causing considerable tensions between Indonesia and affected countries Malaysia and Singapore. Sumatra was known in ancient times by the Sanskrit names of Swarnadwīpa and Swarnabhūmi, because of the gold deposits in the island's highlands; the first mention of the name of Sumatra was in the name of Srivijayan Haji Sumatrabhumi, who sent an envoy to China in 1017. Arab geographers referred to the island as Lamri in the tenth through thirteenth centuries, in reference to a kingdom near modern-day Banda Aceh, the first landfall for traders.
The island is known by other names namely, Andalas or Percha Island. Late in the 14th century the name Sumatra became popular in reference to the kingdom of Samudra Pasai, a rising power until replaced by the Sultanate of Aceh. Sultan Alauddin Shah of Aceh, in letters addressed to Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1602, referred to himself as "king of Aceh and Samudra"; the word itself is from Sanskrit "Samudra", meaning "gathering together of waters, sea or ocean". Marco Polo named the kingdom Samara or Samarcha in the late 13th century, while the 14th century traveller Odoric of Pordenone used Sumoltra for Samudra. Subsequent European writers used similar forms of the name for the entire island. European writers in the 19th century found that the indigenous inhabitants did not have a name for the island; the Melayu Kingdom was absorbed by Srivijaya. Srivijayan influence waned in the 11th century after it was defeated by the Chola Empire of southern India. At the same time, Islam made its way to Sumatra through Arabs and Indian traders in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.
By the late 13th century, the monarch of the Samudra kingdom had converted to Islam. Marco Polo visited the island in 1292. Ibn Battuta visited with the sultan for 15 days, noting the city of Samudra was "a fine, big city with wooden walls and towers," and another 2 months on his return journey. Samudra was succeeded by the powerful Aceh Sultanate. With the coming of the Dutch, the many Sumatran princely states fell under their control. Aceh, in the north, was the major obstacle, as the Dutch were involved in the long and costly Aceh War; the Free Aceh Movement fought against Indonesian government forces in the Aceh Insurgency from 1976 to 2005. Security crackdowns in 2001 and 2002 resulted in several thousand civilian deaths; the longest axis of the island runs 1,790 km northwest–southeast, crossing the equator near the centre. At its widest point, the island spans 435 km; the interior of the island is dominated by two geographical regions: the Barisan Mountains in the west and swampy plains in the east.
Sumatra is the closest Indonesian island to mainland Asia. To the southeast is Java, separated by the Sunda Strait. To the north is the Malay Peninsula, separated by the Strait of Malacca. To the east is Borneo, across the Karimata Strait. West of the island is the Indian Ocean; the Great Sumatran fault, the Sunda megathrust, run the entire length of the island along its west coast. On 26 December 2004, the western coast and islands of Sumatra Aceh province, were struck by a tsunami following the Indian Ocean earthquake; this was the longest earthquake recorded, lasting between 600 seconds. More than 170,000 Indonesians were killed in Aceh. Other recent earthquakes to strike Sumatra include the 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake and the 2010 Mentawai earthquake and tsunami. To the east, big rivers carry silt from the mountains, forming the vast lowland interspersed by swamps. If unsuitable for farming, the area is of great economic importance for Indonesia, it produces oil from both above and below the soil -- petroleum.
Sumatra is the largest producer of Indonesian coffee. Small-holders grow Arabica coffee in the highlands, while Rob