Volleyball is a popular team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules, it has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964. The complete rules are extensive, but play proceeds as follows: a player on one of the teams begins a'rally' by serving the ball, from behind the back boundary line of the court, over the net, into the receiving team's court; the receiving team must not let the ball be grounded within their court. The team may touch the ball up to 3 times, but individual players may not touch the ball twice consecutively; the first two touches are used to set up for an attack, an attempt to direct the ball back over the net in such a way that the serving team is unable to prevent it from being grounded in their court. The rally continues, with each team allowed as many as three consecutive touches, until either: a team makes a kill, grounding the ball on the opponent's court and winning the rally.
The team that wins the rally serves the ball to start the next rally. A few of the most common faults include: causing the ball to touch the ground or floor outside the opponents' court or without first passing over the net; the ball is played with the hands or arms, but players can strike or push the ball with any part of the body. A number of consistent techniques have evolved in volleyball, including spiking and blocking as well as passing and specialized player positions and offensive and defensive structures. In the winter of 1895, in Holyoke, William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director, created a new game called Mintonette, a name derived from the game of badminton, as a pastime to be played indoors and by any number of players; the game took some of its characteristics from other sports such as handball. Another indoor sport, was catching on in the area, having been invented just ten miles away in the city of Springfield, only four years before. Mintonette was designed to be an indoor sport, less rough than basketball, for older members of the YMCA, while still requiring a bit of athletic effort.
The first rules, written down by William G Morgan, called for a net 6 ft 6 in high, a 25 ft × 50 ft court, any number of players. A match was composed of nine innings with three serves for each team in each inning, no limit to the number of ball contacts for each team before sending the ball to the opponents' court. In case of a serving error, a second try was allowed. Hitting the ball into the net was considered a foul —except in the case of the first-try serve. After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game at its first exhibition match in 1896, played at the International YMCA Training School, the game became known as volleyball. Volleyball rules were modified by the International YMCA Training School and the game spread around the country to various YMCAs; the first official ball used in volleyball is disputed. The rules evolved over time: in 1916, in the Philippines, the skill and power of the set and spike had been introduced, four years a "three hits" rule and a rule against hitting from the back row were established.
In 1917, the game was changed from requiring 21 points to win to a smaller 15 points to win. In 1919, about 16,000 volleyballs were distributed by the American Expeditionary Forces to their troops and allies, which sparked the growth of volleyball in new countries; the first country outside the United States to adopt volleyball was Canada in 1900. An international federation, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, was founded in 1947, the first World Championships were held in 1949 for men and 1952 for women; the sport is now popular in Brazil, in Europe, in Russia, in other countries including China and the rest of Asia, as well as in the United States. Beach volleyball, a variation of the game played on sand and with only two players per team, became a FIVB-endorsed variation in 1987 and was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Volleyball is a sport at the Paralympics managed by the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled. Nudists were early adopters of the game with regular organized play in clubs as early as the late 1920s.
By the 1960s, a volleyball court had become standard in all nudist/naturist clubs. Volleyball has been part of the Summer Olympics program for both men and women since 1964. A volleyball court is 9 m × 18 m, divided into equal square halves by a net with a width of one meter; the top of the net is 2.43 m above the center of the court for men's competition, 2.24 m for women's competition, varied for veterans a
Sport of athletics
Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, walking race; the results of racing events are decided by finishing position, while the jumps and throws are won by the athlete that achieves the highest or furthest measurement from a series of attempts. The simplicity of the competitions, the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most competed sports in the world. Athletics is an individual sport, with the exception of relay races and competitions which combine athletes' performances for a team score, such as cross country. Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC; the rules and format of the modern events in athletics were defined in Western Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th century, were spread to other parts of the world. Most modern top level meetings are conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations and its member federations.
The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The foremost international athletics meeting is the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which incorporates track and field, marathon running and race walking. Other top level competitions in athletics include the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the World Para Athletics Championships; the word athletics is derived from the Ancient Greek ἀθλητής from ἆθλον or ἆθλος. The term was used to describe athletic contests in general – i.e. sporting competition based on human physical feats. In the 19th century, the term athletics acquired a more narrow definition in Europe and came to describe sports involving competitive running, walking and throwing; this definition continues to be the most prominent one in the United Kingdom and most of the areas of the former British Empire. Furthermore, foreign words in many Germanic and Romance languages which are related to the term athletics have a similar meaning.
In much of North America, athletics is synonymous with sports in general, maintaining a more historical usage of the term. The word "athletics" is used to refer to the sport of athletics in this region. Track and field is preferred, is used in the United States and Canada to refer to most athletics events, including racewalking and marathon running. Athletic contests in running, walking and throwing are among the oldest of all sports and their roots are prehistoric. Athletics events were depicted in the Ancient Egyptian tombs in Saqqara, with illustrations of running at the Heb Sed festival and high jumping appearing in tombs from as early as of 2250 BC; the Tailteann Games were an ancient Celtic festival in Ireland, founded circa 1800 BC, the thirty-day meeting included running and stone-throwing among its sporting events. The original and only event at the first Olympics in 776 BC was a stadium-length running event known as the stadion; this expanded to include throwing and jumping events within the ancient pentathlon.
Athletics competitions took place at other Panhellenic Games, which were founded around 500 BC. The Cotswold Olimpick Games, a sports festival which emerged in 17th century England, featured athletics in the form of sledgehammer throwing contests. Annually, from 1796 to 1798, L'Olympiade de la République was held in revolutionary France, is an early forerunner to the Modern Summer Olympic Games; the premier event of this competition was a running event, but various ancient Greek disciplines were on display. The 1796 Olympiade marked the introduction of the metric system into the sport. Athletics competitions were held about 1812 at the Royal Military College, in 1840 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire at the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt; the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich held an organised competition in 1849, a regular series of closed meetings open only to undergraduates, was held by Exeter College, Oxford from 1850. The annual Wenlock Olympian Games, first held in 1850 in Wenlock, incorporated athletics events into its sports programme.
The first modern-style indoor athletics meetings were recorded shortly after in the 1860s, including a meet at Ashburnham Hall in London which featured four running events and a triple jump competition. The Amateur Athletic Association was established in England on 1880 as the first national body for the sport of athletics and began holding its own annual athletics competition – the AAA Championships; the United States began holding an annual national competition – the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships – first held in 1876 by the New York Athletic Club. Athletics became codified and standardized via the English AAA and other general sports organisations in the late 19th century, such as the Amateur Athletic Union and the Union des sociétés françaises de sports athlétiques. An athletics competition was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and it has been as one of the foremost competitions at the quadrennial multi-sport event since. For men only, the 1928 Olympics saw the introduction of women's events in the athletics programme.
Athletics is part of the Paralympic Games since the inaugural Games in 1960. Athletics has a high-profile during major championships the Olympics, but otherwise is less popular. An internation
British Overseas Territories
The British Overseas Territories or United Kingdom Overseas Territories are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories; these territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of scientific personnel, they all share the British monarch as head of state. As of April 2018 the Minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, is the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN; the other three territories are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas. The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: The term "British Overseas Territory" was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981.
Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were referred to as British Crown Colonies. Although the Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man are under the sovereignty of the British monarch, they are in a different constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom; the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are themselves distinct from the Commonwealth realms, a group of 16 independent countries each having Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch, from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 countries with historic links to the British Empire. With the exceptions of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Territories retain permanent civilian populations. Permanent residency for the 7,000 civilians living in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is limited to citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Collectively, the Territories encompass a population of about 250,000 people and a land area of about 1,727,570 square kilometres.
The vast majority of this land area, 1,700,000 square kilometres, constitutes the uninhabited British Antarctic Territory, while the largest territory by population, accounts for a quarter of the total BOT population. At the other end of the scale, three territories have no civilian population. Pitcairn Islands, settled by the survivors of the Mutiny on the Bounty, is the smallest settled territory with 49 inhabitants, while the smallest by land area is Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula; the United Kingdom participates in the Antarctic Treaty System and, as part of a mutual agreement, the British Antarctic Territory is recognised by four of the six other sovereign nations making claims to Antarctic territory. Early colonies, in the sense of English subjects residing in lands hitherto outside the control of the English government, were known as "Plantations"; the first, colony was Newfoundland, where English fishermen set up seasonal camps in the 16th century. It is now a province of Canada known as Labrador.
It retains strong cultural ties with Britain. English colonisation of North America began in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, the first successful permanent colony in Virginia, its offshoot, was settled inadvertently after the wrecking of the Virginia company's flagship there in 1609, with the Virginia Company's charter extended to include the archipelago in 1612. St. George's town, founded in Bermuda in that year, remains the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the New World. Bermuda and Bermudians have played important, sometimes pivotal, but underestimated or unacknowledged roles in the shaping of the English and British trans-Atlantic Empires; these include maritime commerce, settlement of the continent and of the West Indies, the projection of naval power via the colony's privateers, among other areas. The growth of the British Empire in the 19th century, to its territorial peak in the 1920s, saw Britain acquire nearly one quarter of the world's land mass, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa.
From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the larger settler colonies – in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa – first became self-governing colonies and achieved independence in all matters except foreign policy and trade. Separate self-governing colonies federated to become Canada, South Africa, Rhodesia; these and other large self-governing colonies had become known as Dominions by the 1920s. The Dominions achieved full independence with the Statute of Westminster. Through a process of decolonisation following the Second World War, most of the British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean gained independence; some colonies becam
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.
Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete or consecutively, with one winner; some sports allow a "tie" or "draw". A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs. Sport is recognised as system of activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, other organisations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports.
However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, draughts, Go and xiangqi, limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports. Sport is governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be crossing a line first, it can be determined by judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression. Records of performance are kept, for popular sports, this information may be announced or reported in sport news. Sport is a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sport drawing large crowds to sport venues, reaching wider audiences through broadcasting.
Sport betting is in some cases regulated, in some cases is central to the sport. According to A. T. Kearney, a consultancy, the global sporting industry is worth up to $620 billion as of 2013; the world's most accessible and practised sport is running, while association football is its most popular spectator sport. The word "sport" comes from the Old French desport meaning "leisure", with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being "anything humans find amusing or entertaining". Other meanings include. Roget's defines the noun sport as an "activity engaged in for relaxation and amusement" with synonyms including diversion and recreation; the singular term "sport" is used in most English dialects to describe the overall concept, with "sports" used to describe multiple activities. American English uses "sports" for both terms; the precise definition of what separates a sport from other leisure activities varies between sources. The closest to an international agreement on a definition is provided by SportAccord, the association for all the largest international sports federations, is therefore the de facto representative of international sport.
SportAccord uses the following criteria, determining that a sport should: have an element of competition be in no way harmful to any living creature not rely on equipment provided by a single supplier not rely on any "luck" element designed into the sport. They recognise that sport can be physical mind, predominantly motorised co-ordination, or animal-supported; the inclusion of mind sports within sport definitions has not been universally accepted, leading to legal challenges from governing bodies in regards to being denied funding available to sports. Whilst SportAccord recognises a small number of mind sports, it is not open to admitting any further mind sports. There has been an increase in the application of the term "sport" to a wider set of non-physical challenges such as video games called esports due to the large scale of participation and organised competition, but these are not recognised by mainstream sports organisations. According to Council of Europe, European Sports Charter, article 2.i, "'Sport' means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels."
There are opposing views on the necessity of competition as a defining element of a sport, with all professional sport involving competition, governing bodies requiring competition as a prerequisite of recognition by the International Olympic Committee or SportAccord. Other bodies advocate widening the definition of sport to include all physical activity. For instance, the Council of Eu
Province of Cádiz
Cádiz is a province of southern Spain, in the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is the southernmost part of mainland Spain, as well as the southernmost part of continental Europe, it is bordered by the Spanish provinces of Huelva, Málaga, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Its area is 7,385 square kilometers, its capital is the city of Cádiz, which has a population of more than 128,000. The largest city is Jerez de la Frontera with 208,896 inhabitants, another important city is Algeciras with just over 114,000 inhabitants; the entire province had a population of 1,240,175, of whom about 600,000 live in the Bay of Cádiz area. Its population density is 167.93 per square kilometer. The province encompasses 44 municipalities. According to a roster developed by the Council of Tourism and Sport of Andalusia on 27 March 2003, there are six traditional or touristic comarcas in the Province of Cádiz: Bahía de Cádiz Campiña de Jerez Campo de Gibraltar Bajo Guadalquivir La Janda Sierra de Cádiz This area comprises towns and cities on the shores of the Bay of Cádiz on the west-central coast of the province: Cádiz Chiclana El Puerto de Santa María Puerto Real San Fernando This fertile area only includes two municipalities, both large in area: Jerez de la Frontera San José del Valle The towns that extend into the rural hinterlands north of Gibraltar are: Algeciras Jimena de la Frontera Castellar de la Frontera San Roque La Línea de la Concepción Los Barrios Tarifa The towns of this area called the "Bajo Guadalquivir", are: Chipiona Rota Sanlúcar de Barrameda Trebujena Towns included in La Janda, an area in the southwestern part of the province, are: Alcalá de los Gazules Barbate Benalup-Casas Viejas Conil de la Frontera Medina Sidonia Paterna de Rivera Vejer de la Frontera Towns included in the Cádiz Mountains area, in the northeastern part of the province, include: Alcalá del Valle Algar Algodonales Arcos de la Frontera Benaocaz Bornos El Bosque El Gastor Espera Grazalema Olvera Prado del Rey Puerto Serrano Setenil de las Bodegas Torre Alháquime Ubrique Villaluenga del Rosario Villamartín Zahara de la Sierra The entire province of Cádiz has a Mediterranean climate, but with large differences in summer temperatures between the three official stations in Cádiz and Tarifa depending on position relative to the coastline.
Tarifa is exceptionally cool for such a southerly parallel in Europe, but winter temperatures are mild throughout the province with less difference between localities than in summer. Average yearly rainfall is 521 mm in Cádiz, 573 mm in Jerez, 603 mm in Tarifa; this is comparable to much cloudier climates further north in Europe, in spite of the high number of sunshine hours in the province. The Cádiz region is much wetter than the arid Almería province further east in Andalusia. In 2014 the unemployment rate was the highest in the country; the main industry is tourism from non-coastal Spanish cities and the UK. Its once-important shipbuilding industry is now in crisis due to competition from South Korea and China. There are factories of Delphi, it exports sherry as well as alimentary products. Sherry production John Harvey & Sons in Jerez de la Frontera Gonzalez Byass Olive groves Fishing Ports, as in Cádiz and Algeciras. Cork products from the Alcornocales cork-oak forests Navantia Airbus CASA Delphi Ford Cepsa Lufthansa CityLine Endesa Acerinox The province of Cádiz has many kilometers of beaches and the highest number of Blue Flags of all coastal provinces in Europe.
Some of these beaches are wild and far from big urban areas. One of the attractions of the area is its contrast to the mass tourism on the Mediterranean coast. There are extensive nature reserves in the region and the unspoilt feel of the area is heightened by the presence of wild animals including cows and horses on many stretches of beach; the Costa de la Luz has traditionally been a popular destination for Spaniards wanting to enjoy the beach while avoiding the stifling heat of the Mediterranean Coast, although until this unspoilt Atlantic coastline was little known to foreign visitors. One of the factors that brought the region to the attention of foreign holidaymakers was the growing realisation that its Southern reaches are one of the world's best locations for wind sports. Tarifa, located on the Strait of Gibraltar at the southernmost point of mainland Europe, has become Europe's foremost kitesurfing destination due to the area's unique wind phenomena, reliably sunny summer weather and the variety of beaches at locations such as Los Canos de Meca, Punta Paloma and, most famously, Playa de Los Lances where in the summer months you will see over 1,000 kites in the air.
The local economy has benefited from the wind sport explosion: there are more than 50 kite schools in Tarifa and hundreds of shops and hotels serving the many thousands of kitesurfers who visit every year. Notable beaches: Playa La Barrosa in Chiclana de la Frontera Playa La Victoria in Cádiz Playa de Levante in El Puerto de Santa María Playa de Bolonia in Tarifa Playa de Camposoto in San Fernando Los Canos de Meca Playa de Los Lances in Tarifa Carnival of Cádiz Feria de Jerez Semana Santa in all municipalities of the Province Horse racing in Sanlúcar de Barrameda Circuito Permanente de Jerez White T
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain; the landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of, a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people Gibraltarians. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne; the territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point, it remains strategically important. Today Gibraltar's economy is based on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refuelling; the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was rejected.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar from around 50,000 years ago has been discovered at Gorham's Cave. The caves of Gibraltar continued to be used by Homo sapiens after the final extinction of the Neanderthals. Stone tools, ancient hearths and animal bones dating from around 40,000 years ago to about 5,000 years ago have been found in deposits left in Gorham's Cave. Numerous potsherds dating from the Neolithic period have been found in Gibraltar's caves of types typical of the Almerian culture found elsewhere in Andalusia around the town of Almería, from which it takes its name. There is little evidence of habitation in the Bronze Age, when people had stopped living in caves. During ancient times, Gibraltar was regarded by the peoples of the Mediterranean as a place of religious and symbolic importance; the Phoenicians were present for several centuries since around 950 BC using Gorham's Cave as a shrine to the genius loci, as did the Carthaginians and Romans after them. Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin.
Mons Calpe was considered by the ancient Greeks and Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. There is no known archaeological evidence of permanent settlements from the ancient period, they settled at the head of the bay in. The town of Carteia, near the location of the modern Spanish town of San Roque, was founded by the Phoenicians around 950 BC on the site of an early settlement of the native Turdetani people. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar came under the control of the Vandals, who crossed into Africa at the invitation of Boniface, the Count of the territory; the area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania for 300 years, from 414 until 711 AD. Following a raid in 710, a predominantly Berber army under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from North Africa in April 711 and landed somewhere in the vicinity of Gibraltar. Tariq's expedition led to the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula.
Mons Calpe was renamed the Mount of Tariq, subsequently corrupted into Gibraltar. In 1160 the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built, it received the name of Medinat al-Fath. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462 Gibraltar was captured by 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia. After the conquest, Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of 4350 conversos from Cordova and Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain. Subsequently most of the population left the town with many settling nearby; as the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated, which ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence. Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic location. In the 18th century, the peacetime military garrison fluctuated in numbers from a minimum of 1,100 to a maximum of 5,000; the first half of the 19th century saw a significant increase of population to more t