The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain
The category of Fiesta of National Tourist Interest in Spain is an honorary designation given to festivals or events held in Spain and that offer real interest from the tourism perspective. The Brotherhood of the Black Christ of Cáceres From 1 to 6: Fiestas Mayores de Almansa.www.agrupaciondecomparsas.com First Sunday of Pentecost, La Caballada of Atienza. First Sunday of May, Fiestas Aracelitanas. Lucena. Http://www.virgendearaceli.com First Sunday of May, Pilgrimage of San Benito Abad. El Cerro de Andévalo http://www.sanbenitoelcerro.com First weekend of May: Day of the Almadía. Burgi. Http://www.almadiasdenavarra.com First week of May: Fiesta de las Cruces, Córdoba. Fiesta of the first Friday of May, in Jaca. 1-2. Romería de Nuestra Señora de la Estrella. Navas de San Juan. Fiestas de la Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Fiestas de la Santísima Vera Cruz. Caravaca de la Cruz. Fiesta de la Santa Cruz. Feria. 3 al 14. Festival de los Patios Cordobeses. Córdoba 10-15. Fiestas Patronales de Santo Domingo.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada. 14-18. Fiestas Patronales de Madrid. Madrid. 14-18. Fiestas Hispano-Arabs in honor to Saint Boniface. Petrer. 17. Festa de la Llana. Ripoll. L'aplec del cargol. 31. Pilgrimage of San Isidro Labrador. Realejo Alto. May 31-June 1. Festa Major de Sant Feliu de Pallerols. Last week of May: Feria de Córdoba. Variable date. Feria de Mayo de Dos Hermanas - Seville Second Sunday. Festas de San Antón. Gastronomic Fiesta da Solla, Catoira First Friday; the Coso Blanco. Castro Urdiales. 4-6. A Rapa das Bestas of A Estrada. 4-12. Els Bous a la Mar. Dénia. Fiestas del Cordero. Lena. A Rapa das Bestas of Viveiro. 5-11. International Rafting of the River Noguera-Pallaresa. Sort. 10-12. Festival of the Cider of Nava. Nava. 11. Festas de San Benitiño de Lérez. Pontevedra. 12. Aplec de la Sardana. Olot. 12. Romería Regional de San Benito Abad. San Cristóbal de La Laguna. 16. Fiestas de la Virgen del Carmen. San Pedro del Pinatar. 19-22. Commemorates Fiestas to the Battle of Bailén. Bailén. 20-23. Tortosa Renaissance Festival..
22-23. Dance of the Stilts. Anguiano. 24. Festes Tradicionals de Santa Cristina. Lloret de Mar. 24-30. Fiestas Patronales de Santa Ana. Tudela. 25. Fiesta del Pastor. Cangas de Onís. 26. Fiesta de Los Vaqueiros d'Alzada. Luarca. 1-8. Fiestas of the Wine. Valdepeñas. 3-6. Fiestas of the Mutiny. Aranjuez. 3-8. Feria y Fiestas en Honor a María Santísima de la Sierra Cabra 4-9. Moros y Cristianos of Villena. Villena. 5-6. Fiestas del Santo Niño. Majaelrayo. 6 and 9. The Cascamorras. Baza and Guadix 6. Festes de la Beata. Santa Margalida. 6-10. Moros y Cristianos of Caudete. Caudete. 7-8. Festes de la Mare de Déu de la Salut. Algemesí. 7-8. Moros y Cristianos of L'Olleria. L'Olleria. Around day 8. Feria y Fiestas de Nuestra Señora de Consolación. Utrera. 8. Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles. Alájar. 8. Fiesta de la Virgen de La Guía. Llanes. 8. Fiesta de la Virgen Nuestra Señora de las Nieves. La Zarza 8. Fiestas de Nuestra Señora del Pino. Teror. 8-9. Festes de la Mare de Déu de l'Ermitana. Peñíscola. 9-12. International Festival of Folklore in the Mediterranean.
11-14. Pilgrimage of Virxe da Barca. Muxía. 12-15. Festa Major and Correbou. Cardona. 12-15. Fiestas Patronales de Graus in honor to Santo Cristo and San Vicente Ferrer. Graus. 13. Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora de Chilla. Candeleda. 13. Pilgrimage to la Virgen de Gracia. San Lorenzo de El Escorial. 14. Bullfighting in the Sea. Candás. 15. Toro de la Vega. Tordesillas. 15-24. Festes de Santa Tecla. Tarragona17-23. Carthaginians and Romans. Cartagena. 17-21. Real Feria y Fiesta de la Vendimia. La Palma del Condado. 19. Day of America in Asturias. Oviedo. 20. Pilgrimage of Santísimo Cristo del Caloco. El Espinar. 18-20. Fiestas de San Mateo of Camarena de la Sierra. 20-26. Fiestas de San Mateo of Logroño. Logroño. 24. La Mercè. Barcelona. 27. Pilgrimage in Honor to the Saints Martyrs Cosmas and Damian. Mieres. 27. Day of Campoo. Reinosa. Festes de la Sagrada Família i el Santíssim Crist. La Vall d'Uixó. First weekend of October, Fiestas de Nuestra Señora de los Prado. Garganta de los Montes. 4-12. Festas de San Froilán, Lugo. 6-13. Festa of the Seafood.
O Grove. Around day 12. Fiestas del Pilar. Zaragoza 10-13. Moros y Cristianos of Callosa d'En Sarrià. Callosa d'En Sarrià. 17-19. As San Lucas. Mondoñedo. Third Sunday of October. Pilgrimage of Valme. Dos Hermanas. Fiesta de los Humanitarios de San Martín. Moreda de Aller. Feria de todos los santos. Cocentaina. Fiestas of International Tourist Interest of Spain BOE - Order of 29 September 1987 regulating the declarations of International and National Tourist Interest Effective through June 8, 2006. Local fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain Calendar in iCalendar format
Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1,668 mm Iberian gauge, the 1,435 mm standard gauge and the 1,000 mm metre gauge networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company Adif. The name "Renfe" is derived from that of the former Spanish National Railway Network, RENFE created on 24 January 1941 with the nationalisation of Spain's railways; as per EU Directive 91/440, RENFE was divided into Renfe-Operadora and ADIF on 1 January 2005. At the same time, the existing RENFE double-arrowed logo, first introduced in 1971 and given a facelift in 1983, with a sans-serif font, again in 2000, with a mixed-case italic font, has been replaced by a dark purple lower-case wordmark designed by Interbrand, replaces some of the separate logos used by the other sectors, although the old RENFE logo remains in use in some stations in Spain and on maps to indicate an ADIF station; the Railway Sector Act, 2003 separated the management and construction of rail infrastructure from train operation.
The first activity is now the responsibility of Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias, the legal successor of RENFE, while the newly created Renfe-Operadora owns the rolling stock and remains responsible for the planning and operation of passenger and freight services. Renfe Operadora inherited the management model of the business units of the old RENFE, which made Renfe Operadora responsible for the operation of the following passenger and freight services. In January 2006, Renfe Operadora restructured the main business units into four: Dirección General de Servicios Públicos de Cercanías y Media Distancia: responsible for commuter services, medium-distance high-speed rail AVE services and medium-range regional services. However, control of some Cercanías services were transferred to Spain's Autonomous communities. Dirección General de Servicios de Larga Distancia: responsible for long-distance intercity and high-speed rail services. Dirección General de Servicios de Mercancías y Logística: responsible for freight services.
Dirección General de Fabricación y Mantenimiento: responsible for rolling stock maintenance and manufacture The Spanish state railways are engaged in a transformation and modernisation project. Key to this effort is a major overhaul of their out-dated ICT systems through an ICT renewal project scheduled for completion at the end of 2010 under the responsibility of Corporate Director of Information Systems Óscar Gómez Barbero. So far, the company has introduced improvements to their internet ticket sales and adopted new ICT management practices within a "more industrial" organisational model, though Mr. Gomez has publicly acknowledged the difficulties in transforming what still remains a hierarchical organisation. In June 2013, Renfe's board agreed to restructure the organisation into four separate companies, responsible for: Operating passenger trains; the company operates some 12,000 km of 7,000 km of them electrified. Most of the tracks are constructed to the broad "Iberian gauge" of 1,668 mm, the same as that used in Portugal but wider than the international gauge of 1,435 mm, standard in neighbouring France, most of western and central Europe, most of the rest of the world.
The newer high-speed network has been built to the international standard gauge of 1,435 mm in anticipation of its eventual connection to the rest of the European railway system. For this reason, the 1,435 mm gauge is termed "European gauge" in Spain; the Spanish high-speed system is called AVE. The logo incorporates a feature; the high-speed lines are built to the standard European gauge. Construction of the high-speed rail line between Madrid and Seville began in 1988 and operation commenced in 1991. Train speed on the Seville line is 300 km/h; the second high-speed rail line was completed in 2007 with the inaugural service commencing at 06:00 on 20 February 2008. The operational speed on this route is 350 km/h; the greater part of the line was placed into service on 11 October 2003, with connection to Huesca from Zaragoza. The third high-speed line was opened in November 2005, followed by the spur from Córdoba to Málaga as far as Antequera in 2007. Another high-speed route from Madrid to Valladolid was opened in 2007, the line from Madrid to Valencia was opened in 2010 and the first stage of the high-speed line in Galicia opened in 2011.
A line to Lisbon is being designed. Other lines operated by Renfe include Euromed, a moderate-speed line between Barcelona and Alicante. In addition to intercity transport, R
Province of Tarragona
Tarragona, is a province of the southern part of Catalonia. It is bordered by the provinces of Castelló, Saragossa and Barcelona and by the Mediterranean Sea; the province's population is 795,902, about one fifth of whom live in Tarragona. Some of the larger cities and towns in Tarragona province include Reus, Salou, El Vendrell, Valls, Amposta; this province has 183 municipalities. The province is a popular tourist destination. There are Roman Catholic cathedrals in Tortosa. After the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the late eighth century, this part of Spain came under the control of the Umayyad Caliphate and most of the Iberian peninsula was known as Al-Andalus, was dominated by Muslim rulers. Abd al-Rahman I founded an independent dynasty that survived in the region until the 11th century. After the Muslim conquest, the bishopric of Tarragona came under the jurisdiction of the metropolitans of Narbonne or Auch in southern France. In 1089, this was reorganised, it came under the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Vich, in 1118, after Tarragona had been reconquered, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tarragona was established.
The province of Tarragona is in the northeast of Spain with a coast on the Mediterranean Sea. Much of the province is hilly or mountainous and the main feature is the broad valley of the River Ebro and the coastal plain, backed by the Catalan ranges. In general the industrial development is on the coast and inland is predominantly forest and agricultural land; the Mediterranean Sea lies to the southeast of the province, the province of Barcelona lies to the northeast, Lleida lies to the north, Zaragoza to the northwest, Teruel to the west and Castellón to the southwest. The climate is Mediterranean with warm, wet winters; the area of the province is 6,500 square kilometres. The main crops are cereals, fruit, olives and silk; the province has some mineral resources. Quarrying for aggregate has caused ground water levels to fall and the environment has been adversely affected by the arrival of invasive species such as the zebra mussel in the Riba-roja d'Ebre reservoir on the Ebro, the invasive fish Gambusia in the Ebro delta and chemical contamination in the Flix reservoir beside, a chemical works and hydro-electric plant.
As well as the port city of Tarragona, the province has much to offer for the tourist. There are Catalan villages to visit, historic sites, sandy beaches, rocky shores, crags and woodlands and several wildlife reserves; the area has been publicised under the Costa Daurada brand. The city of Tarragona may have been founded by the Phoenicians and was a major city in Roman times that they called Tarraco. There are many archaeological remains from that period but little remains of the second century amphitheatre; the Les Ferreres Aqueduct has survived intact. It was built to supply water to the ancient city and is part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000; the city houses a cathedral, dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which combines Romanesque and Gothic architectural features. There are many historic churches and convents; the Catalan authorities have designated four villages as "family holiday destinations". These are Calafell, Cambrils, La Pineda and nearby Vila-seca, Salou.
Salou is the site of the PortAventura World. The Costa Daurada is served by Reus Airport which receives tourist traffic from passengers journeying to the beach resorts of Salou and Cambrils as well as those travelling to Barcelona, it is a destination of low cost flights provider Ryanair, planes fly to Reus from many different European and North African locations. The province has good road and rail links to Barcelona and southwards to Valencia and Andalusia along the coastal strip, high-speed rail services from Tarragona to Madrid started in 2008. There are several monasteries in the province that can be visited by following the "Cistercian Monastery Route"; the best known is the Cistercian monastery of Poblet in the comarca of Conca de Barberà, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Other monasteries on the route include the Santes Creus, in the municipality of Aiguamúrcia, Vallbona de les Monges. Other attractions of the province include the wine; the "Penedès Wine and Cava Route" is a tourist trail offering wine-related activities.
There are festivals celebrating local fare, where local gastronomic specialities are eaten, including calçots in Valls, Xató a sauce served with fish or an endive salad. List of communities in Tarragona Comarques of Catalonia
The Cardó Massif known as Cardó-Boix Massif, is a mountain massif in the Baix Ebre comarca, in Catalonia, Spain. This massif is composed of a number of mountain ranges located on the left side of the Ebro river near Tortosa; the massive calcareous cliffs of the Serra de Cardó form the eastern side of the spectacular gorges through which the Ebro River winds its way in the final stage of its course, separating the Ebro Valley from the Mediterranean coastal area. The ranges cover an area of over 340 km2, extending from Rasquera in the north, to Benifallet in the south and eastwards through El Perelló until reaching the Mediterranean Sea between L'Ampolla and L'Ametlla de Mar. Highway N-340 crosses the eastern side of the massif and Autopista AP-7 skirts the easternmost foothills by the seashore. All the ranges are part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range; the main peak is Xàquera known as La Creu de Santos in the Serra de Cardó, another important summit is Buinaca, located in the Serra del Boix.
Balma de Cabrafeixet is a prehistoric site below the Morral de Cabrafeixet escarpment with cave paintings. The entrance to the cave has been closed with an iron bar door to prevent vandalism. Another cave, Cova de la Mallada, is located nearbyThere are many wind turbines located on different ridges of the massif, the Parc Eòlic de les Colladetes and the Parc Eòlic de les Calobres; the main ranges of the massif are: Serra de Cardó, the westernmost range and the highest. It is covered with snow in the winter; the eastern slopes are covered with low Mediterranean shrub, while its western side, below the jagged peaks, is forested. Autovia C-12 cuts across the westernmost end of the range, above the Ebro Gorges; the mineral water coming from springs near the ancient monastery located at the heart of the range was one of the first waters to be bottled in Spain. Serra del Boix, highest point Buinaca 764 m; the slopes are covered with low bush, among which Buxus predominates. This range occupies a central position in the massif and in some geographical works gives its name to the whole massif.
The particular high rocky area with original rock formations where the highest peaks are located is known as "Les Moles". There are wind turbines atop the main eastern ridge. Serra de Gaviots, highest point 603 m; this deforested range occupies a central position, but has smoother and less rocky crests than the ones above. There is a large wind farm along the ridge. Like the Serra del Boix, the higher altitudes have snow in the winter. Montaspre, highest point 527 m, the southwestern foothills of the Serra de Cardó range, rising near Bítem. Serra de Collredó, highest point Creu de Collredó 380 m, rounded hills covered by olive trees and Mediterranean forest where many small country cottages have been developed. Serra de les Veles, highest point Coll de l'Àliga 94 m, is formed by the low southernmost foothills of the massif; this small range is crossed by highways and has been gutted by sand and gravel extraction, where the pits are used as landfills. These lower ranges rarely have snow in cold winters.
The Cardó Monastery known as Sant Hilari de Cardó or Desert de Cardó, was a large monastery located in the Cardó Valley, a deep valley in these mountains. It was closed down due to the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal in 1835 during Isabella II of Spain's rule; the Desamortización or secularization of the place brought monastic life in the monastery, the many hermitages surrounding it, to an end. The monastery can be reached by a paved road from Rasquera. In the late 19th century the monastery was transformed into a spa, which became a successful place among the Catalan elite until the Spanish Civil War. By mid 20th century, only a water bottling plant was functional in the area. There was a project to transform the ruined former monastery and spa premises into a luxury resort, but the current financial crisis in Spain thwarted the plans. Access is not allowed to the grounds of the former spa, but abandoned construction equipment can be seen from a distance among the half-ruined buildings.
The small abandoned hermitages scattered about the area close to the former monastery, some of them perching atop karstic rock needles, are popular with hikers. Catalan Pre-Coastal Range Mountains of Catalonia Camino Natural del Ebro Balneario de Cardó El Cabrafeixet Top Kayak - De Miravet a Benifallet - Kayaking in the Ebro Gorges
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona