Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. The Republic of Armenia constitutes only one-tenth of historical Armenia, Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia, in the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in between the late 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became the first Christian nation. The official date of adoption of Christianity is 301 AD. The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century, under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the fell in 1045. An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.
By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, during World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the worlds oldest national church, as the countrys primary religious establishment. The unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD, Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which was proclaimed in 1991, the native Armenian name for the country is Հայք.
The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Հայաստան, by addition of the Persian suffix -stan, the further origin of the name is uncertain. It is postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina, the ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a descendant of Hayk
The Magura Cave is located in north-western Bulgaria close to the village of Rabisha,25 km from the town of Belogradchik in Vidin Province. Guided visits are conducted by the staff of Belogradchik municipality, to which the management of the cave was transferred in 2012 by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, in 1984 the site was induced into UNESCOs tentative list of World Heritage. The total length of the 15 million year old cave is 2.5 km, the average annual temperature of the cave is 12 °C, except for one room where the temperature is always 15 °C. The air humidity reaches 80% and the displacement -56 m, the Magura cave was formed in the limestone Rabisha Hill. The morphology of the consists of one main gallery with six various-sized halls. The very spacious site allows for music concerts to be held during Christmas, the inner temperature is constantly 11-12 °C. During the summers of 1974 and 1975 the cave was used for speleotherapy. Thirty patients slept in the cave for twelve nights, taking advantage of allergens absence, constant humidity.
A part of the cave is now used for ageing sparkling and red wines, labelled Magura, bones from different prehistoric species like cave bear, cave hyena, wolf, wild cat and otter have been discovered in the Magura Cave. Today, constant inhabitants of the cave is the collembola, as well as four types of bats, Cave paintings dating from the Epipaleolithic, late Neolithic and early Bronze Age decorate some of the caves walls. The paintings have been estimated to be made between 10.000 and 8.000 years ago, the drawings represent important events of the society that had occupied the Magura cave, religious ceremonies, hunting scenes and depictions of deities which are unique on the Balkan peninsula. The Fertility Dance and the Hunting Ceremony rank among the most noteworthy paintings, one grouping from the Bronze Age has been interpreted as a solar calendar. The cave paintings allowed storing information about regional solar calendar, religious festivals, contemporary imitations of possible fertility rites are reported — inscriptions in Latin and paintings made by treasure-hunters.
The medium used to create the art was bat guano, more than 750 images have been identified. Painted signs can be organised into four groups, zoomorphic, geometric. For the first group, there are bitriangular silhouettes with raised rounded arms, ithyphallic figures, regarding zoomorpic items, there are caprids, dogs, ostrich-like animals and schematic linear quadrupeds. Few rayed circle figures, mainly the two unica of the so-called calendar scene, likely represent a sun depiction, taking count of some associated figures, it is possible to recognize dancing and mating scenes. In the so-called Cult Hall a large dance and hunting scene is depicted, arranged in two main rows, these are the best known and most reproduced Magura Cave images
Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes
The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic between 4,300 and 2,200 BC. Declared to be remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction the site, discovered in 1843, the first excavations were undertaken during railway construction in 1867 and intermittent excavations have been carried out up to the present day. The Mines of Spiennes cover some 100 ha of downland four miles south-east of the city of Mons, the site is dotted with millions of scraps of worked flint and numerous mining pits, that Neolithic settlers have gradually turned into vertical mine shafts to depths of over 10 m. Research has illustrated Neolithic techniques for the cutting of the flint and the extraction of large slabs of flint, the nodules were extracted using flint picks. The stones were knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, the SILEXS Interpretive Centre has opened in spring 2015. The rough-outs were exchanged over an area, about 150 km. Polishing strengthens the product, making the axe- or adze-head last longer.
The smooth surface aids the cutting action by lowering friction with the wood, the axes were used initially for forest clearance during the Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes. The site has been compared with Grimes Graves and Cissbury in the United Kingdom, and Krzemionki in Poland, different hard rocks were used for the polished stone axes. Examples include the Langdale axe industry and Tievebulliagh, guillaume, Ph. Lipinski & A. Masson, Les mines de silex néolithiques de la Meuse dans le contexte européen. Musées de la Meuse, Sampigny 1987, F. Gosselin, Un site dexploitation du silex à Spiennes, au lieu-dit Petit-Spiennes. F. Hubert, Une minière néolithique à silex au Camp-à-Cayaux de Spiennes, F. Hubert, Lexploitation préhistorique du silex à Spiennes. Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de lAménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine, R. Shepherd, Prehistoric Mining and Allied Industries. Société de recherches préhistoriques en Hainaut, Minières néolithiques à Spiennes,1997 ICOMOS evaluation Collet, H.
Les mines néolithiques de Spiennes, état des connaissances et perspectives de recherche. Section 10, The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe, actes du XIVème congrès UISPP, Université de Liège, Belgique,2 –8 septembre 2001 H. Collet, A. Hauzeur & J. Lech,2008. The prehistoric flint mining complex at Spiennes on the occasion of its discovery 140 years ago In P. Allard, F. Bostyn, flint mining in Prehistoric Europe, Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Poland, 19–24 September 2006, H. Collet,2014. Les minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was placed under British administration based on Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders, following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. On 15 July 1974, a coup détat was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis and these events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.
The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic area, another nearly 4% of the islands area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean, on 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek
Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.7 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, the territory of Austria covers 83,879 km2. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps, only 32% of the country is below 500 m. The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene. The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, from the time of the Reformation, many northern German princes, resenting the authority of the Emperor, used Protestantism as a flag of rebellion. Following Napoleons defeat, Prussia emerged as Austrias chief competitor for rule of a greater Germany, Austrias defeat by Prussia at the Battle of Königgrätz, during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, cleared the way for Prussia to assert control over the rest of Germany.
In 1867, the empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary, Austria was thus the first to go to war in the July Crisis, which would ultimately escalate into World War I. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919, in 1938 Nazi Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Germany was occupied by the Allies, in 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is Vienna, other major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $43,724, the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2014 was ranked 21st in the world for its Human Development Index.
Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999. The German name for Austria, Österreich, meant eastern realm in Old High German, and is cognate with the word Ostarrîchi and this word is probably a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976, the word Austria is a Latinisation of the German name and was first recorded in the 12th century. Accordingly, Norig would essentially mean the same as Ostarrîchi and Österreich, the Celtic name was eventually Latinised to Noricum after the Romans conquered the area that encloses most of modern-day Austria, around 15 BC. Noricum became a Roman province in the mid-first century AD, heers hypothesis is not accepted by linguists. Settled in ancient times, the Central European land that is now Austria was occupied in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes, the Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province
Bamenda, known as Abakwa and Mankon Town, is a city in northwestern Cameroon and capital of the Northwest Region. The city had a population of about 500,000 people, Bamenda is known for its cool climate and scenic hilly location. The city is an amalgamation of seven villages - Mankon, Nkwen, Mbatu and Bandzah Bamendas principal ethnic group is the Tikar. In the past, the Tikar faced invasions from peoples in the surrounding hills, Bamenda encompasses the Nguemba people. After the defeat of the Germans in World War I the League of Nations shared German colonial territories among victorious nations, many of the citys inhabitants are English-speaking, and Cameroonian Pidgin English is the main language spoken in the shops and on the streets of Bamenda. Some anglophone political pressure groups represented in the city such as the Southern Cameroons National Council advocate secession from the rest of Cameroon, as a regional centre, the city has numerous markets and offices. The local museum and shops display a variety of local baskets, woodcarvings.
In Bamenda there are cultural sites such as the Mankon Fons Palace with its newly constructed museum, the mountainous terrain around the city affords scenic views such as that from the mountain Sabga over the Ndop plain. The city of Bamenda has road links to Yaoundé and Douala, north of the city is the Bamenda Ring Road, a 367 kilometres circular route through some of Cameroons most spectacular mountains. Along this road is Mount Oku 3,000 metres, the Kimbi River Game Reserve, the Menchum River waterfalls, a huge chiefs palace at Bafut, and a pyramidal thatched shrine at Akum. The Bamenda area is placed under the supervision of a government delegate to the City Council who is appointed by the head of state and he is appointed by presidential decree and presently is Ndumu Nji Vincent who served formerly as Technical Adviser to the Prime Minister. The city of Bamenda has a village called Mbatu. In Mbatu, there is a large stone on a hill which is shaped like a human face with one eye. This stone is called Ngoh-ngwabah which means a stone on a hill, beneath the stone is a small habitat for Monkeys and Hares.
According to the World Health Organization, Bamenda is the most polluted city in Africa in terms of PM2.5 particulate matter, the Bamenda University of Science and Technology is a brain child of The Industrial and Educational Development Company Ltd. It was incorporated on the 12th October 1995, INDECO and the university were founded by the Late Rt. Dr. John Ngu Foncha, with the encouragement of the Cameroon Government, the university went operational in January 1998. At the request of government, BUST participated and contributed extensively to the drafting of the Law on Private Higher Education in Cameroon, BUST is a 4-year Arts and Technology University and went operational in 1998
Bantu peoples is used as a general label for the 300–600 ethnic groups in Africa who speak Bantu languages. They inhabit an area stretching east and southward from Central Africa across the African Great Lakes region down to Southern Africa. Bantu is a branch of the Niger-Congo language family spoken by most populations in Africa. There are about 650 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility and this Bantu expansion first introduced Bantu peoples to central and southeastern Africa, regions they had previously been absent from. They encountered some Afro-Asiatic outlier groups in the southeast, who had there for centuries migrating from Northeast Africa. Individual Bantu groups today often include millions of people, among these are the Shona of Zimbabwe with 14.2 million people, the Luba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with over 13. Swahili serves as one of the languages of the African Union. The word Bantu, and its variations, means people or humans, the root in Proto-Bantu is reconstructed as *-ntu.
This view represents a resolution of debates in the 1960s over competing theories advanced by Joseph Greenberg and Malcolm Guthrie and he proposed that Bantu languages had spread east and south from there, to secondary centers of further dispersion, over hundreds of years. Subsequent research on loanwords for adaptations in agriculture and animal husbandry and it is unclear exactly when the spread of Bantu-speakers began from their core area as hypothesized c.5,000 years ago. Another stream of migration, moving east, by 3,000 years ago was creating a new population center near the Great Lakes of East Africa. Pioneering groups had reached modern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa by A. D.300 along the coast, before the expansion of farming and herding peoples, including those speaking Bantu languages, Africa south of the equator was populated by neolithic hunting and foraging peoples. Some of them were ancestral to proto-Khoisan-speaking peoples, whose modern hunter-forager and linguistic descendants, the Hadza and Sandawe populations in Tanzania comprise the other modern hunter-forager remnant in Africa of these proto-Khoisan-speaking peoples.
After their movements from their homeland in West Africa, Bantus encountered in East Africa peoples of Afro-Asiatic. As cattle terminology in use amongst the few modern Bantu pastoralist groups suggests, linguistic evidence indicates that Bantus likely borrowed the custom of milking cattle directly from Cushitic peoples in the area. On the coastal section of East Africa, another mixed Bantu community developed through contact with Muslim Arab, the Swahili culture that emerged from these exchanges evinces many Arab and Islamic influences not seen in traditional Bantu culture, as do the many Afro-Arab members of the Bantu Swahili people. Between the 14th and 15th centuries, Bantu-speaking states began to emerge in the Great Lakes region in the south of the Central African rain forest. On the Zambezi river, the Monomatapa kings built the famous Great Zimbabwe complex, from the 16th century onward, the processes of state formation amongst Bantu peoples increased in frequency
A caldera is a large cauldron-like depression that forms following the evacuation of a magma chamber/reservoir. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a time period. The ground surface collapses downward into the emptied magma chamber. Although sometimes described as a crater, the feature is actually a type of sinkhole, as it is formed through subsidence, only seven known caldera-forming collapses have occurred since the start of the 20th century, most recently at Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland. The word comes from Spanish caldera, and this from Latin caldaria, in some texts the English term cauldron is used. If enough magma is ejected, the chamber is unable to support the weight of the volcanic edifice above it. A roughly circular fracture, the fault, develops around the edge of the chamber. Ring fractures serve as feeders for fault intrusions which are known as ring dykes. Secondary volcanic vents may form above the ring fracture, as the magma chamber empties, the center of the volcano within the ring fracture begins to collapse.
The collapse may occur as the result of a cataclysmic eruption. The total area that collapses may be hundreds or thousands of square kilometers, some calderas are known to host rich ore deposits. One of the worlds best-preserved mineralized calderas is the Sturgeon Lake Caldera in northwestern Ontario, Canada, if the magma is rich in silica, the caldera is often filled in with ignimbrite, tuff and other igneous rocks. Silica-rich magma has a high viscosity, and therefore does not flow easily like basalt, as a result, gases tend to become trapped at high pressure within the magma. Further lava flows may be erupted, if volcanic activity continues, the center of the caldera may be uplifted in the form of a resurgent dome such as is seen at Cerro Galán, Lake Toba, etc. by subsequent intrusion of magma. A silicic or rhyolitic caldera may erupt hundreds or even thousands of kilometers of material in a single event. Even small caldera-forming eruptions, such as Krakatoa in 1883 or Mount Pinatubo in 1991, may result in significant local destruction, large calderas may have even greater effects.
When Yellowstone Caldera last erupted some 650,000 years ago, it released about 1,000 km3 of material, by comparison, when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, it released ~1.2 km3 of ejecta. The ecological effects of the eruption of a large caldera can be seen in the record of the Lake Toba eruption in Indonesia, more recently several geneticists, including Lynn Jorde and Henry Harpending have proposed that the human species was reduced to approximately five to ten thousand people
An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and integrate and it may be narrow or wide, and it may be local or regional. An ecotone may appear on the ground as a blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line. The word ecotone was coined from a combination of eco plus -tone, from the Greek tonos or tension – in other words, there are several distinguishing features of an ecotone. First, an ecotone can have a sharp transition, with a distinct line between two communities. For example, a change in colors of grasses or plant life can indicate an ecotone, second, a change in physiognomy can be a key indicator. Scientists look at color variations and changes in plant height, third, a change of species can signal an ecotone. There will be specific organisms on one side of an ecotone or the other, other factors can illustrate or obscure an ecotone, for example and the establishment of new plants. These are known as spatial mass effects, which are noticeable because some organisms will not be able to form self-sustaining populations if they cross the ecotone.
Lastly, the abundance of species in an ecotone can reveal the type of biome or efficiency of the two communities sharing space. Because an ecotone is the zone in two communities integrate, many different forms of life have to live together and compete for space. Therefore, an ecotone can create a diverse ecosystem, changes in the physical environment may produce a sharp boundary, as in the example of the interface between areas of forest and cleared land. Elsewhere, a more gradually blended interface area will be found, mountain ranges often create such ecotones, due to the wide variety of climatic conditions experienced on their slopes. They may provide a boundary between species due to the nature of their terrain. Mont Ventoux in France is an example, marking the boundary between the flora and fauna of northern and southern France. Plants in competition extend themselves on one side of the ecotone as far as their ability to maintain themselves allows, beyond this competitors of the adjacent community take over.
As a result, the ecotone represents a shift in dominance, ecotones are particularly significant for mobile animals, as they can exploit more than one set of habitats within a short distance. The ecotone contains not only common to the communities on both sides, it may include a number of highly adaptable species that tend to colonize such transitional areas
The even-toed ungulates are ungulates whose weight is borne equally by the third and fourth toes. By contrast, odd-toed ungulates, such as horses, bear their weight primarily on their third toe, the aquatic cetaceans evolved from within even-toed ungulates, and therefore modern taxonomic classification sometimes combines Artiodactyla and Cetacea into Cetartiodactyla. The oldest fossils of even-toed ungulates date back to the early Eocene, since these findings almost simultaneously appeared in Europe and North America, it is very difficult to accurately determine the origin of artiodactyls. The fossils are classified as belonging to the family Dichobunidae, their best-known and these were small animals, some as small as a hare, with a slim build, lanky legs, and a long tail. The hind legs were longer than the front legs. The early to middle Eocene saw the emergence of the ancestors of most of todays mammals, two formerly widespread, but now extinct, families of even-toed ungulates were Enteledontidae and Anthracotheriidae.
Entelodonts existed from the middle Eocene to the early Miocene in Eurasia and they had a stocky body with short legs and a massive head, which was characterized by two humps on the lower jaw bone. Anthracotheres had a large, porcine build, with short legs and this group appeared in the middle Eocene up until the Pliocene, and spread throughout Eurasia and North America. Anthracothereres are thought to be the ancestors of hippos, likewise, hippopotamuses appeared in the late Miocene and occupied Africa and Asia – they never got to the Americas. The camels were, during parts of the Cenozoic, limited to North America. Among the North American camels were groups like the stocky, short-legged Merycoidodontidae and they first appeared in the late Eocene and developed a great diversity of species in North America. Only in the late Miocene or early Pliocene did they migrate from North America into Eurasia, the North American varieties became extinct around 10,000 years ago. Suina have been around since the Eocene, in the late Eocene or the Oligocene, two families stayed in Eurasia and Africa, the peccaries, which became extinct in the Old World, exist today only in the Americas.
South America was settled by even-toed ungulates only in the Pliocene, with only the peccaries and various species of capreoline deer, South America has comparatively fewer artiodactyl families than other continents. The classification of artiodactyls was hotly debated because the ocean-dwelling cetaceans evolved from the land-dwelling even-toed ungulates, some semiaquatic even-toed ungulates are more closely related to the ocean-dwelling cetaceans than to the other even-toed ungulates. This makes the Artiodactyla as traditionally defined an invalid paraphyletic taxon, since it includes animals descended from a common ancestor, phylogenetic classification only recognizes monophyletic taxa, that is, groups that descend from a common ancestor and include all its descendants. To address this problem, the traditional order Artiodactyla and infraorder Cetacea are sometimes subsumed into the more inclusive Cetartiodactyla taxon, an alternative approach is to include both land-land dwelling even toed ungulates and ocean-dwelling cetaceans in a revised Artiodactyla taxon.
Order Artiodactyla/Clade CetartiodactylaSuborder Tylopoda Family †Anoplotheriidae, molecular biology involves sequencing an organisms DNA and RNA and comparing the sequence with that of other living beings – the more similar they are, the more closely they are related