The denarius was the standard Roman silver coin from its introduction in the Second Punic War c. 211 BC to the reign of Gordian III, when it was replaced by the Antoninianus. It continued to be minted in small quantities for ceremonial purposes and through the tetrarchy; the word dēnārius is derived from the Latin dēnī "containing ten", as its value was of 10 assēs. The word for "money" descends from it in Italian, Slovene and Spanish, its name survives in the dinar currency. Its symbol is represented in Unicode as, however it can be represented as X̶. A predecessor of the denarius was first struck in 267 BC, five years before the First Punic War, with an average weight of 6.81 grams, or 1⁄48 of a Roman pound. Contact with the Greeks prompted a need for silver coinage in addition to the bronze currency that the Romans were using at that time; the predecessor of the denarius was a Greek-styled silver coin called the didrachm, struck in Neapolis and other Greek cities in southern Italy. These coins were inscribed for Rome but resemble their Greek counterparts.
They were most used for trade purposes and were used in Rome. The first distinctively Roman silver coin appeared around 226 BC. Classic historians sometimes called these coins denarii, but they are classified by modern numismatists as quadrigati, derived from the quadriga, or four-horse chariot, on the reverse, which with a two-horse chariot or biga was the prototype for the most common designs used on Roman silver coins for the next 150 years. Rome overhauled its coinage around 211 BC and introduced the denarius alongside a short-lived denomination called the victoriatus; this denarius contained 1⁄72 of a Roman pound, of silver. It formed the backbone of Roman currency throughout the Roman republic; the denarius began to undergo slow debasement toward the end of the republican period. Under the rule of Augustus its silver content fell to 3.9 grams. It remained at nearly this weight until the time of Nero, when it was reduced to 1⁄96 of a pound, or 3.4 grams. Debasement of the coin's silver content continued after Nero.
Roman emperors reduced its content to 3 grams around the late 3rd century. The value at its introduction was 10 asses, giving the denarius its name, which translates as "containing ten". In about 141 BC, it was re-tariffed at 16 asses; the denarius continued to be the main coin of the Roman Empire until it was replaced by the antoninianus in the middle of the 3rd century. The coin was last issued, in bronze, under Aurelian between AD 270 and 275, in the first years of the reign of Diocletian.. It is difficult to give rough comparative values for money from before the 20th century, as the range of products and services available for purchase was so different. Classical historians say that in the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire the daily wage for an unskilled laborer and common soldier was 1 denarius or about US$2.80 in bread. During the republic, legionary pay was 112.5 denarii per year doubled by Julius Caesar to 225 denarii, with soldiers having to pay for their own food and arms.
Centurions received higher pay: under Augustus, the lowest rank of centurion was paid 3,750 denarii per year, the highest rank, 15,000 denarii. The silver content of the denarius under the Roman Empire was about 50 grains, 3.24 grams, or 1⁄10 troy ounce. On June 6, 2011, this was about US$3.62 in value. The fineness of the silver content varied with economic circumstances. From a purity of greater than 90% silver in the 1st century AD, the denarius fell to under 60% purity by the year 200, plummeted to 5% purity by the year 300. By the reign of Gallienus, the antoninianus was a copper coin with a thin silver wash. By comparison, a laborer earning the minimum wage in the United States in January 2014 made US$58 for an 8-hour day, before taxes and an employee earning the minimum wage in the United Kingdom in 2014 made £52 for an 8-hour day, before taxes. In the final years of the 1st century BC Tincomarus, a local ruler in southern Britain, started issuing coins that appear to have been made from melted down denarii.
The coins of Eppillus, issued around Calleva Atrebatum around the same time, appear to have derived design elements from various denarii such as those of Augustus and M. Volteius. After the denarius was no longer issued, it continued to be used as a unit of account, the name was applied to Roman coins in a way, not understood; the Arabs who conquered large parts of the land that once belonged to the Eastern Roman Empire issued their own gold dinar. The lasting legacy of the denarius can be seen in the use of "d" as the abbreviation for the British penny until 1971, it survived in France as the name of a coin, the denier. The denarius survives in the common Arabic name for a currency unit, the dinar used from pre-Islamic times, still used in several modern Arab nations; the major currency unit in former Principality of Serbia, Kingdom of Serbia and former Yugoslavia was dinar, it is still used in present-day Serbia. The Macedonian currency denar is derived from the Roman denarius; the Italian word
Apiaceae or Umbelliferae is a family of aromatic flowering plants named after the type genus Apium and known as the celery, carrot or parsley family, or as umbellifers. It is the 16th-largest family of flowering plants, with more than 3,700 species in 434 genera including such well-known and economically important plants such as ajwain, anise, caraway, celery, coriander, dill, hemlock, cow parsley, parsley and sea holly, as well as silphium, a plant whose identity is unclear and which may be extinct; the family Apiaceae includes a significant number of phototoxic species and a smaller number of poisonous species. Some species in the family Apiaceae are cytotoxic. Most Apiaceae are annual, biennial or perennial herbs, though a minority are woody shrubs or small trees such as Bupleurum fruticosum, their leaves are of variable size and alternately arranged, or with the upper leaves becoming nearly opposite. The leaves may be sessile. There are no stipules but the petioles are sheathing and the leaves may be perfoliate.
The leaf blade is dissected, ternate or pinnatifid, but simple and entire in some genera, e.g. Bupleurum, their leaves emit a marked smell when crushed, aromatic to foetid, but absent in some species. The defining characteristic of this family is the inflorescence, the flowers nearly always aggregated in terminal umbels, that may be simple or more compound umbelliform cymes; the flowers are perfect and actinomorphic, but there may be zygomorphic flowers at the edge of the umbel, as in carrot and coriander, with petals of unequal size, the ones pointing outward from the umbel larger than the ones pointing inward. Some are andromonoecious, polygamomonoecious, or dioecious, with a distinct calyx and corolla, but the calyx is highly reduced, to the point of being undetectable in many species, while the corolla can be white, pink or purple; the flowers are nearly pentamerous, with five petals and stamens. The androecium consists of five stamens, but there is variation in the functionality of the stamens within a single inflorescence.
Some flowers are functionally staminate. Pollination of one flower by the pollen of a different flower of the same plant is common; the gynoecium consists of two carpels fused into a single, bicarpellate pistil with an inferior ovary. Stylopodia support two styles and secrete nectar, attracting pollinators like flies, gnats, beetles and bees; the fruit is a schizocarp consisting of two fused carpels that separate at maturity into two mericarps, each containing a single seed. The fruits of many species are dispersed by wind but others such as those of Daucus spp. are covered in bristles, which may be hooked in sanicle Sanicula europaea and thus catch in the fur of animals. The seeds have an oily endosperm and contain essential oils, containing aromatic compounds that are responsible for the flavour of commercially important umbelliferous seed such as anise and coriander; the shape and details of the ornamentation of the ripe fruits are important for identification to species level. Apiaceae was first described by John Lindley in 1836.
The name is derived from the type genus Apium, used by Pliny the Elder circa 50 AD for a celery-like plant. The alternative name for the family, derives from the inflorescence being in the form of a compound umbel; the family was one of the first to be recognized as a distinct group in Jacques Daleschamps' 1586 Historia generalis plantarum. With Robert Morison's 1672 Plantarum umbelliferarum distribution nova it became the first group of plants for which a systematic study was published; the family is solidly placed within the Apiales order in the APG III system. It is related to Araliaceae and the boundaries between these families remain unclear. Traditionally groups within the family have been delimited based on fruit morphology, the results from this have not been congruent with the more recent molecular phylogenetic analyses; the subfamilial and tribal classification for the family is in a state of flux, with many of the groups being found to be grossly paraphyletic or polyphyletic. According to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website as of July 2014, 434 genera are in the family Apiaceae.
The black swallowtail butterfly, Papilio polyxenes, uses the family Apiaceae for food and host plants for oviposition. The 22-spot ladybird is commonly found eating mildew on these shrubs. Many members of this family are cultivated for various purposes. Parsnip and Hamburg parsley produce tap roots that are large enough to be useful as food. Many species produce essential oils in their leaves or fruits and as a result are flavourful aromatic herbs. Examples are parsley, coriander and dill; the seeds may be used in cuisine, as with coriander, fennel and caraway. Other notable cultivated Apiaceae include chervil, celery, sea holly, galbanum, anise, and
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands which flourished from c. 2700 to c. 1450 BC, before a late period of decline ending around 1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in Europe, left behind massive building complexes, stunning artwork, writing systems, a massive network of trade; the civilization was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. The name "Minoan" derives from the mythical King Minos and was coined by Evans, who identified the site at Knossos with the labyrinth and the Minotaur; the Minoan civilization has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe, historian Will Durant called the Minoans "the first link in the European chain". The Minoan civilization is notable for its large and elaborate palaces, some of which were up to four stories high, featured elaborate plumbing systems and were decorated with frescoes; the most notable Minoan palace is that of Knossos, followed by that of Phaistos.
The Minoan period saw extensive trade between Crete and Mediterranean settlements the Near East. Through their traders and artists, the Minoans' cultural influence reached beyond Crete to the Cyclades, the Old Kingdom of Egypt, copper-bearing Cyprus and the Levantine coast and Anatolia; some of the best Minoan art is preserved in the city of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, destroyed by the Minoan eruption. The Minoans wrote in the undeciphered Linear A and in Cretan hieroglyphs, encoding a language hypothetically labelled Minoan; the reasons for the slow decline of the Minoan civilization, beginning around 1550 BC, are unclear. The term "Minoan" refers to the mythical King Minos of Knossos, its origin is debated, but it is attributed to archeologist Arthur Evans. Minos was associated in Greek mythology with the labyrinth, which Evans identified with the site at Knossos. However, Karl Hoeck had used the title Das Minoische Kreta in 1825 for volume two of his Kreta. Evans read Hoeck's book, continued using the term in his writings and findings: "To this early civilization of Crete as a whole I have proposed—and the suggestion has been adopted by the archaeologists of this and other countries—to apply the name'Minoan'."
Evans said. Hoeck, with no idea that the archaeological Crete had existed, had in mind the Crete of mythology. Although Evans' 1931 claim that the term was "unminted" before he used it was called a "brazen suggestion" by Karadimas and Momigliano, he coined its archaeological meaning. Instead of dating the Minoan period, archaeologists use two systems of relative chronology; the first, created by Evans and modified by archaeologists, is based on pottery styles and imported Egyptian artifacts. Evans' system divides the Minoan period into three major eras: early and late; these eras are subdivided—for example, Early Minoan I, II and III. Another dating system, proposed by Greek archaeologist Nikolaos Platon, is based on the development of architectural complexes known as "palaces" at Knossos, Phaistos and Zakros. Platon divides neo - and post-palatial sub-periods; the relationship between the systems in the table includes approximate calendar dates from Warren and Hankey. The Minoan eruption of Thera occurred during a mature phase of the LM IA period.
Efforts to establish the volcanic eruption's date have been controversial. Radiocarbon dating has indicated a date in the late 17th century BC. Although stone-tool evidence suggests that hominins may have reached Crete as early as 130,000 years ago, evidence for the first anatomically-modern human presence dates to 10,000–12,000 YBP; the oldest evidence of modern human habitation on Crete is pre-ceramic Neolithic farming-community remains which date to about 7000 BC. A comparative study of DNA haplogroups of modern Cretan men showed that a male founder group, from Anatolia or the Levant, is shared with the Greeks; the Neolithic population lived in open villages. Fishermen's huts were found on the shores, the fertile Messara Plain was used for agriculture; the Early Bronze Age has been described as indicating a "promise of greatness" in light of developments on the island. The Bronze Age began on Crete around 3200 BC. In the late third millennium BC, several locations on the island developed into centers of commerce and handiwork, enabling the upper classes to exercise leadership and expand their influence.
It is that the original hierarchies of the local elites were replaced by monarchies, a precondition for the palaces. At the end of the MMII period there was a large disturbance on Crete—probably an earthquake, but an invasion from Anatolia; the palaces at Knossos, Phaistos and Kato Zakros were destroyed. At the beginning of the neopalatial period the population increased again, the palaces were rebuilt on a larger scale and new settlements were built across the island; this period was the apex of Minoan civilization. After around 1700 BC, material culture on the Greek mainland reached a new high due to Minoan influence. Another natural catastrophe occurred around 1600 BC an eruption of t
Human prehistory is the period between the use of the first stone tools c. 3.3 million years ago by hominins and the invention of writing systems. The earliest writing systems appeared c. 5,300 years ago, but it took thousands of years for writing to be adopted, it was not used in some human cultures until the 19th century or until the present. The end of prehistory therefore came at different dates in different places, the term is less used in discussing societies where prehistory ended recently. Sumer in Mesopotamia, the Indus valley civilization, ancient Egypt were the first civilizations to develop their own scripts and to keep historical records. Neighboring civilizations were the first to follow. Most other civilizations reached the end of prehistory during the Iron Age; the three-age system of division of prehistory into the Stone Age, followed by the Bronze Age and Iron Age, remains in use for much of Eurasia and North Africa, but is not used in those parts of the world where the working of hard metals arrived abruptly with contact with Eurasian cultures, such as the Americas, Oceania and much of Sub-Saharan Africa.
These areas with some exceptions in Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas, did not develop complex writing systems before the arrival of Eurasians, their prehistory reaches into recent periods. The period when a culture is written about by others, but has not developed its own writing is known as the protohistory of the culture. By definition, there are no written records from human prehistory, so dating of prehistoric materials is crucial. Clear techniques for dating were not well-developed until the 19th century; this article is concerned with human prehistory, the time since behaviorally and anatomically modern humans first appeared until the beginning of recorded history. Earlier periods are called "prehistoric". Beginning The term "prehistory" can refer to the vast span of time since the beginning of the Universe or the Earth, but more it refers to the period since life appeared on Earth, or more to the time since human-like beings appeared. End The date marking the end of prehistory is defined as the advent of the contemporary written historical record.
The date varies from region to region depending on the date when relevant records become a useful academic resource. For example, in Egypt it is accepted that prehistory ended around 3200 BCE, whereas in New Guinea the end of the prehistoric era is set much more at around 1900 common era. In Europe the well-documented classical cultures of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome had neighbouring cultures, including the Celts and to a lesser extent the Etruscans, with little or no writing, historians must decide how much weight to give to the highly prejudiced accounts of these "prehistoric" cultures in Greek and Roman literature. Time periods In dividing up human prehistory in Eurasia, historians use the three-age system, whereas scholars of pre-human time periods use the well-defined geologic record and its internationally defined stratum base within the geologic time scale; the three-age system is the periodization of human prehistory into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool-making technologies: Stone Age Bronze Age Iron Age The notion of "prehistory" began to surface during the Enlightenment in the work of antiquarians who used the word'primitive' to describe societies that existed before written records.
The first use of the word prehistory in English, occurred in the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1836. The use of the geologic time scale for pre-human time periods, of the three-age system for human prehistory, is a system that emerged during the late nineteenth century in the work of British and Scandinavian archeologists and anthropologists; the main source for prehistory is archaeology, but some scholars are beginning to make more use of evidence from the natural and social sciences. This view has been articulated by advocates of deep history; the primary researchers into human prehistory are archaeologists and physical anthropologists who use excavation and geographic surveys, other scientific analysis to reveal and interpret the nature and behavior of pre-literate and non-literate peoples. Human population geneticists and historical linguists are providing valuable insight for these questions. Cultural anthropologists help provide context for societal interactions, by which objects of human origin pass among people, allowing an analysis of any article that arises in a human prehistoric context.
Therefore, data about prehistory is provided by a wide variety of natural and social sciences, such as paleontology, archaeology, geology, comparative linguistics, molecular genetics and many others. Human prehistory differs from history not only in terms of its chronology but in the way it deals with the activities of archaeological cultures rather than named nations or individuals. Restricted to material processes and artifacts rather than written records, prehistory is anonymous; because of this, reference terms that prehistorians use, such as Neanderthal or Iron Age are modern labels with definitions sometimes subject to debate. The concept of a "Stone Age" is found useful in the archaeology of most of the world, though in the archaeology of the Americas it is called by different names and begins with a Lithic sta
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, plague and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros, Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu; as the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Apollo is the god of archery and the invention of archery is credited to him and his sister Artemis, he had a quiver of golden arrows. He is said to have never missed his aim, his arrows could inflict harm by causing sudden deaths or deadly plague.
As the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functions as the patron god of music and poetry. He is the inventor of string-music; the Cithara and the lyre are said to be his inventions. The lyre is a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans. Apollo delights in the foundation of towns and the establishment of civil constitution. Hence is associated with dominion over colonists. Additionally, he is the god of the protector of fugitives and refugees. Apollo is the interpreter of laws, he presides over the divine law and custom along with Zeus and Themis. As the protector of young, Apollo is concerned with the health of children, he brings them out of their adolescence. Boys in Ancient Greece, upon reaching their adulthood, dedicated it to Apollo. Apollo is the patron of protector of herds and flocks, he is causes abundance in the milk produced by cattle, is connected with their fertility. As an agricultural deity, Apollo protects the crops from diseases the rust in corns and grains.
He is the controller and destroyer of pests that infect plants and plant harvests. Apollo is the god who wards off evil, he delivered men from the epidemics. Various epithets call him the "averter of evil". In Hellenistic times during the 5th century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun. In Latin texts, there was no conflation of Apollo with Sol among the classical Latin poets until 1st century AD. Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 5th century CE. Apollo The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is not found in the Linear B texts, although there is a possible attestation in the lacunose form ]pe-rjo--[) on the KN E 842 tablet; the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form, Apellon, is more archaic, as it is derived from an earlier *Ἀπέλjων, it is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai.
According to some scholars, the words are derived from the Doric word apella, which meant "wall," "fence for animals" and "assembly within the limits of the square." Apella is the name of the popular assembly in corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai and suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *Apalyun. Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, "to destroy". Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις, "redemption", with ἀπόλουσις, "purification", with ἁπλοῦν, "simple", in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, with Ἀειβάλλων, "ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric ἀπέλλα, which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, he gives the explanation σηκός, "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds. In the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means "stone," and some toponyms may be derived from this word: Πέλλα and Πελλήνη.
A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name, The Hittite form Apaliunas is attested in the Manapa-Tarhunta letter related to Hurrian Aplu, a god of plague, in turn from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning "the son of Enlil", a title, given to the god Nergal, linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the sun. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, with the purpose of sending a plague against the Greeks (the reasoning behind a god of the plague becoming a god of healing is
The Maghreb known as Northwest Africa or Northern Africa, Greater Arab Maghreb, Arab Maghreb or Greater Maghreb, or by some sources the Berber world and Berbery, is a major region of North Africa that consists of the countries Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. It additionally includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara and the cities of Melilla and Ceuta; as of 2018, the region has a population of over 100 million people. In historical English and European literature, the region was known as the Barbary Coast or the Barbary States, derived from the native Berbers. Sometimes it was referred to as the Land of the Atlas, derived from the Atlas Mountains. In current Berber language media and literature, the region is part of; the region is defined as much or most of northern Africa, including a large portion of Africa's Sahara Desert, excluding Egypt, part of Mashriq. The traditional definition of the region that restricted it to the Atlas Mountains and the coastal plains of Morocco, Algeria and Libya was expanded by the inclusion of Mauritania and of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
During the era of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula, the Maghreb's inhabitants, the Muslim Berbers or Maghrebis, were known by Europeans as "Moors", or as "Afariqah". Morocco transliterates into Arabic as "al-Maghreb". Before the establishment of modern nation states in the region during the 20th century, Maghreb most referred to a smaller area, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlas Mountains in the south, it also included the territory of eastern Libya, but not modern Mauritania. As as the late 19th century, Maghreb was used to refer to the Western Mediterranean region of coastal North Africa in general, to Algeria and Tunisia, in particular; the region was somewhat unified as an independent political entity during the rule of the Berber kingdom of Numidia, followed by the Roman Empire's rule or influence. That was followed by the brief invasion of the Germanic Vandals, the brief re-establishment of a weak Roman rule by the Byzantine Empire, the rule of the Islamic Caliphates under the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Caliphate.
The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the Almoravid dynasty, Almohad Caliphate, Hammadid dynasty, Zirid dynasty, Marinid dynasty, Zayyanid dynasty, Wattasid dynasty - from the 8th to 13th centuries. The Ottoman Empire for a period controlled parts of the region. Mauritania, Tunisia and Libya established the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and economic integration in a common market, it was envisioned by Muammar Gaddafi as a superstate. The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Morocco's membership, putting Morocco's long cold war with Algeria to a rest. However, this progress was short-lived, the union is now dormant. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara re-emerged, reinforced by the unsolved border dispute between the two countries; these two main conflicts have hindered progress on the union's joint goals and made it inactive as a whole. However, the instability in the region and growing cross-border security threats revived the calls for regional cooperation, with foreign ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union declaring a need for coordinated security policy in May 2015 at the 33rd session of the follow-up committee meeting, which revived hope of some form of cooperation.
In classical antiquity, the Maghreb or portions of the region were known by various toponyms, including Barbary, Mauretania, Libya and the Land of the Atlas. The toponym maghrib is a geographical term that the Muslim Arabs gave to the region extending from Alexandria in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Etymologically it means both the place where the sun sets, it is composed of the prefix m−, which makes a noun out of the verb root, غرب. Muslim historians and geographers divided the region into three areas: al-Maghrib al-Adna, which included the lands extending from Alexandria to Tarabulus in the west, they disagreed, over the start of the eastern boundary. Some authors extend it as far as the sea of Kulzum and thus include Egypt and the country of Barca in the Maghrib. Ibn Khaldun does not accept this definition because, he says, the inhabitants of the Maghreb do not consider Egypt and Barca as forming part of Maghrib; the latter commences only at the province of Tripoli and includes the districts of which the country of the Berbers was composed in former times.
Maghribi writers repeated the definition of Ibn Khaldun, with a few variations in details. As of 2017 the term Maghrib is still used in opposition to Mashriq in a sense near to that which it had in medieval times, it denotes only Morocco when the full al-Maghrib al-Aksa is abbreviated. Certain politicians seek a political union of the North African countries, which they call al-Maghrib al-Kabir or al-Maghrib al-Arabi. Berber-language speakers now call this region Tamazɣa or Tama
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place, now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes; the history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great; the Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs; the many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids and obelisks.
Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were copied, its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world, its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy; the Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region.
In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid. Large regions of Egypt were traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, this is the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs and beads; the largest of these early cultures in upper Egypt was the Badari, which originated in the Western Desert. The Badari was followed by the Amratian and Gerzeh cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements; as early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East Canaan and the Byblos coast.
Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Nekhen, at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile, they traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east, initiating a period of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, jewelry made of gold and ivory, they developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, used well into the Roman Per