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
The Americas comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they comprise the New World. Along with their associated islands, they cover 8% of Earth's total surface area and 28.4% of its land area. The topography is dominated by the American Cordillera, a long chain of mountains that runs the length of the west coast; the flatter eastern side of the Americas is dominated by large river basins, such as the Amazon, St. Lawrence River / Great Lakes basin, La Plata. Since the Americas extend 14,000 km from north to south, the climate and ecology vary from the arctic tundra of Northern Canada and Alaska, to the tropical rain forests in Central America and South America. Humans first settled the Americas from Asia between 17,000 years ago. A second migration of Na-Dene speakers followed from Asia; the subsequent migration of the Inuit into the neoarctic around 3500 BCE completed what is regarded as the settlement by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The first known European settlement in the Americas was by the Norse explorer Leif Erikson.
However, the colonization never became permanent and was abandoned. The Spanish voyages of Christopher Columbus from 1492 to 1502 resulted in permanent contact with European powers, which led to the Columbian exchange and inaugurated a period of exploration and colonization whose effects and consequences persist to the present. Diseases introduced from Europe and West Africa devastated the indigenous peoples, the European powers colonized the Americas. Mass emigration from Europe, including large numbers of indentured servants, importation of African slaves replaced the indigenous peoples. Decolonization of the Americas began with the American Revolution in the 1770s and ended with the Spanish–American War in the late 1890s. All of the population of the Americas resides in independent countries; the Americas are home to over a billion inhabitants, two-thirds of which reside in the United States, Brazil, or Mexico. It is home to eight megacities: New York City, Mexico City, São Paulo, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá, Lima.
The name America was first recorded in 1507. Christie's auction house says a two-dimensional globe created by Martin Waldseemüller was the earliest recorded use of the term; the name was used in the Cosmographiae Introductio written by Matthias Ringmann, in reference to South America. It was applied to both North and South America by Gerardus Mercator in 1538. America derives from the Latin version of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci's first name; the feminine form America accorded with the feminine names of Asia and Europa. In modern English and South America are considered separate continents, taken together are called America or the Americas in the plural; when conceived as a unitary continent, the form is the continent of America in the singular. However, without a clarifying context, singular America in English refers to the United States of America. In the English-speaking world, the term America used to refer to a single continent until the 1950s: According to historians Kären Wigen and Martin W. Lewis, While it might seem surprising to find North and South America still joined into a single continent in a book published in the United States in 1937, such a notion remained common until World War II.
By the 1950s, however all American geographers had come to insist that the visually distinct landmasses of North and South America deserved separate designations. This shift did not seem to happen in Romance-speaking countries, where America is still considered a continent encompassing the North America and South America subcontinents, as well as Central America; the first inhabitants migrated into the Americas from Asia. Habitation sites are known in Alaska and the Yukon from at least 20,000 years ago, with suggested ages of up to 40,000 years. Beyond that, the specifics of the Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. Widespread habitation of the Americas occurred during the late glacial maximum, from 16,000 to 13,000 years ago; the traditional theory has been that these early migrants moved into the Beringia land bridge between eastern Siberia and present-day Alaska around 40,000–17,000 years ago, when sea levels were lowered during the Quaternary glaciation.
These people are believed to have followed herds of now-extinct pleistocene megafauna along ice-free corridors that stretched between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. Another route proposed is that, either on foot or using primitive boats, they migrated down the Pacific coast to South America. Evidence of the latter would since have been covered by a sea level rise of hundreds of meters following the last ice age. Both routes may have
Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of prehispanic Mesoamerica into several periods: the Paleo-Indian, the Archaic, the Preclassic or Formative, the Classic, the Postclassic and Postcolonial. The periodization of Mesoamerica is based on archaeological and modern cultural anthropology research; the endeavor to create cultural histories of Mesoamerica dates to the early twentieth century, with ongoing work by archeologists, ethnohistorians and cultural anthropologists. 10,000–3500 BCE The Paleo-Indian period or era is that which spans from the first signs of human presence in the region, to the establishment of agriculture and other practices and subsistence techniques characteristic of proto-civilizations. In Mesoamerica, the termination of this phase and its transition into the succeeding Archaic period may be reckoned at between 10,000 and 8000 BCE, although this dating is approximate only and different timescales may be used between fields and sub-regions. Before 2600 BCEDuring the Archaic Era agriculture was developed in the region and permanent villages were established.
Late in this era, use of pottery and loom weaving became common, class divisions began to appear. Many of the basic technologies of Mesoamerica in terms of stone-grinding, pottery etc. were established during this period. 2000 BCE–250 CEDuring the Preclassic Era, or Formative Period, large-scale ceremonial architecture, writing and states developed. Many of the distinctive elements of Mesoamerican civilization can be traced back to this period, including the dominance of corn, the building of pyramids, human sacrifice, jaguar-worship, the complex calendar, many of the gods; the Olmec civilization developed and flourished at such sites as La Venta and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán succeeded by the Epi-Olmec culture between 300–250 BCE. The Zapotec civilization arose in the Valley of Oaxaca, the Teotihuacan civilization arose in the Valley of Mexico, the Maya civilization began to develop in the Mirador Basin and the Epi-Olmec culture in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec expanding into Guatemala and the Yucatán Peninsula.
250–900 CEThe Classic Period was dominated by numerous independent city-states in the Maya region and featured the beginnings of political unity in central Mexico and the Yucatán. Regional differences between cultures grew more manifest; the city-state of Teotihuacan dominated the Valley of Mexico until the early 8th century, but we know little of the political structure of the region because the Teotihuacanos left no written records. The city-state of Monte Albán dominated the Valley of Oaxaca until the late Classic, leaving limited records in their undeciphered script. Sophisticated arts such as stuccowork, sculptural reliefs, mural painting and lapidary developed and spread during the Classic era. In the Maya region, under considerable military influence by Teotihuacan after the "arrival" of Siyaj K'ak' in 378 CE, numerous city states such as Tikal, Calakmul, Copán, Palenque, Cobá, Caracol reached their zeniths; each of these polities was independent, although they formed alliances and sometimes became vassal states of each other.
The main conflict during this period was between Tikal and Calakmul, who fought a series of wars over the course of more than half a millennium. Each of these states declined during the Terminal Classic and were abandoned. 900–1521 CEIn the Postclassic Period many of the great nations and cities of the Classic Era collapsed, although some continued, such as in Oaxaca and the Maya of Yucatán, such as at Chichen Itza and Uxmal. This is sometimes seen as a period of increased warfare; the Postclassic is viewed as a period of cultural decline. However, it was a time of technological advancement in architecture and weaponry. Metallurgy came into use for jewelry and some tools, with new alloys and techniques being developed in a few centuries; the Postclassic was a period of rapid movement and population growth—especially in Central Mexico post-1200—and of experimentation in governance. For instance, in Yucatán,'dual rulership' replaced the more theocratic governments of Classic times, whilst oligarchic councils operated in much of Central Mexico.
It appears that the wealthy pochteca and military orders became more powerful than was the case in Classic times. This afforded some Mesoamericans a degree of social mobility; the Toltec for a time dominated central Mexico in the 9th–10th century collapsed. The northern Maya were for a time united under Mayapan, Oaxaca was united by Mixtec rulers in the 11th–12th centuries; the Aztec Empire arose in the early 15th century and appeared to be on a path to asserting dominance over the Valley of Mexico region not seen since Teotihuacan. Spain was the first European power to contact Mesoamerica and its conquistadores and a large number of native allies conquered the Aztecs. By the 15th century, the Mayan'revival' in Yucatán and southern Guatemala and the flourishing of Aztec imperialism evidently enabled a renaissance of fine arts and science. Examples include the'Pueblan-Mexica' style in pottery, codex illumination, goldwork, the flourishing of Nahua poetry, the botanical institutes established by the Aztec elite.
1521-1821 CEThe Colonial Period was initiated with Spanish conquest, which ended the hegemony of the Aztec Empire. It was accomplished with
The Muisca Confederation was a loose confederation of different Muisca rulers in the central Andean highlands of present-day Colombia before the Spanish conquest of northern South America. The area, presently called Altiplano Cundiboyacense, comprised the current departments of Boyacá, Cundinamarca and minor parts of Santander with a total surface area of 25,000 square kilometres. According to some Muisca scholars the Muisca Confederation was one of the best-organized confederations of tribes on the South American continent. Modern anthropologists, such as Jorge Gamboa Mendoza, attribute the present-day knowledge about the confederation and its organization more to a reflection by Spanish chroniclers who predominantly wrote about it a century or more after the Muisca were conquered and proposed the idea of a loose collection of different people with different languages and backgrounds. In the times before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca, the central part of present-day Colombia; the central authorities of Bacatá in the south and Hunza in the north were called zipa and zaque respectively.
Other rulers were the iraca priest in sacred City of the Sun Sugamuxi, the Tundama of Tundama and various other caciques. The Muisca spoke Chibcha, in their own language called Muysccubun; the Muisca people, different from the other three great civilisations of the Americas. Their settlements were small and consisted of bohíos. Roads were present to connect the settlements with each other and with the surrounding indigenous groups, of which the Guane and Lache to the north, the Panche and Muzo to the west and Guayupe and Tegua to the east were the most important. Early Amerindian settlers led a hunter-gatherer life among still extant megafauna living in cool habitats around Pleistocene lakes, of which the humedales in Bogotá, Lake Suesca, Lake Fúquene and Lake Herrera are notable examples. Multiple evidences of late Pleistocene to middle Holocene population of the Bogotá savanna, the high plateau in the Colombian Andes, have been found to date; as is common with caves and rock shelters, Tequendama was inhabited from around 11,000 years BP, continuing into the prehistorical and Muisca periods, making it the oldest site of Colombia, together with El Abra, located north of Zipaquirá and Tibitó, located within the boundaries of Tocancipá.
The oldest human remains and the oldest complete skeleton were discovered at Tequendama and has been named "Hombre del Tequendama" or Homo Tequendama. Other artefacts have been found in Sueva and Zipacón. Just west of the Altiplano, the oldest archaeological remains were found; the Herrera Period is a phase in the history of Colombia. It is part of the Andean preceramic and ceramic, time equivalent of the North American pre-Columbian formative and classic stages and age dated by various archaeologists; the Herrera Period predates the age of the Muisca people, who inhabited the Altiplano Cundiboyacense before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca and postdates the lithic formative stage and prehistory of the eastern Andean region in Colombia. The Herrera Period is defined as ranging from 800 BCE to 800 AD, although some scholars date it as early as 1500 BCE. Ample evidence of the Herrera Period has been uncovered on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense and main archaeologists contributing to the present knowledge about the Herrera Period are scholars Ana María Groot, Gonzalo Correal Urrego, Thomas van der Hammen, Carl Henrik Langebaek Rueda, Sylvia M. Broadbent, Marianne Cardale de Schrimpff and others.
The Muisca were polytheistic and their religion and mythology was connected with the natural area they were inhabiting. They had a thorough understanding of astronomical parameters and developed a complex luni-solar calendar. According to the calendar they had specific times for sowing and the organisation of festivals where they sang and played music and drank their national drink chicha in great quantities; the most respected members of the community were mummified and the mummies were not buried, yet displayed in their temples, in natural locations such as caves and carried on their backs during warfare to impress their enemies. Their art is the most famous remnant of their culture, as living spaces and other existing structures have been destroyed by the Spanish who colonised the Muisca territories. A primary example of their fine goldworking is the Muisca raft, together with more objects made of gold, tumbaga and cotton displayed in the Museo del Oro in Bogotá, the ancient capital of the southern Muisca.
The Muisca were a predominantly agricultural society with small-scale farmfields, part of more extensive terrains. To diversify their diet, they traded mantles, gold and salt for fruits, coca and cotton cultivated in lower altitude warmer terrains populated by their neighbours, the Muzo, Yarigui, Guayupe, Tegua, Sutagao and U'wa. Trade of products grown farther away happened with the Calima and Caribbean coastal communities around the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; the Muisca economy was self-sufficient regarding the basic supplies, thanks to the advanced technologies of the agriculture on raised terraces by the people. The system of trade was well established pr
The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America, it is 181,000 km2 in area, is entirely composed of limestone. The proper derivation of the word Yucatán is debated. Hernán Cortés, in the first of his letters to Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, claimed that the name Yucatán comes from a misunderstanding. In this telling, the first Spanish explorers asked what the area was called and the response they received, "Yucatan", was a Yucatec Maya word meaning "I don't understand what you're saying." Others claim that the source of the name is the Nahuatl word Yocatlān, "place of richness". The Yucatán Peninsula is the site of the Chicxulub crater impact, created 66 million years ago by an asteroid of about 10 to 15 kilometres in diameter at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
The Yucatán Peninsula comprises a significant proportion of the ancient Maya lowlands, was the center of the Mayan civilization. There are many Maya archaeological sites throughout the peninsula. Indigenous Maya and Mestizos of partial Maya descent make up a sizable portion of the region's population, Mayan languages are spoken there; the peninsula comprises the Mexican states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo, as well as large parts of Belize and Guatemala's Petén Department. In the late historic and early modern eras, the Yucatán Peninsula was a cattle ranching, logging and henequen production area. Since the 1970s, the Yucatán Peninsula has reoriented its economy towards tourism in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Once a small fishing village, Cancún in the northeast of the peninsula has grown into a thriving city; the Riviera Maya, which stretches along the east coast of the peninsula between Cancún and Tulum, houses over 50,000 beds. The best-known locations are the former fishing town of Playa del Carmen, the ecological parks Xcaret and Xel-Há and the Maya ruins of Tulum and Coba.
The peninsula is the exposed portion of the larger Yucatán Platform, all of, composed of carbonate and soluble rocks, being limestone although dolomite and evaporites are present at various depths. The whole of the Yucatán Peninsula is an unconfined flat lying karst landscape. Sinkholes, known locally as cenotes, are widespread in the northern lowlands. According to the Alvarez hypothesis, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs at the transition from the Cretaceous to the Paleogene Period, the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, 65 million years ago was caused by an asteroid impact somewhere in the greater Caribbean Basin; the buried Chicxulub crater is centered off the north coast of the peninsula near the town of Chicxulub. The now-famous "Ring of Cenotes" outlines one of the shock-waves from this impact event in the rock of ~66 million years of age, which lies more than 1 km below the modern ground surface near the centre, with the rock above the impact strata all being younger in age; the presence of the crater has been determined first on the surface from the Ring of Cenotes, but by geophysical methods, direct drilling with recovery of the drill cores.
The Arrowsmith Bank is a submerged bank located off the northeastern end of the peninsula. Due to the extreme karst nature of the whole peninsula, the northern half is devoid of rivers. Where lakes and swamps are present, the water is marshy and unpotable. Due to its coastal situation, the whole of the peninsula is underlain by an extensive contiguous density stratified coastal aquifer, where a fresh water lens formed from meteoric water floats on top of intruding saline water from the coastal margins; the thousands of sinkholes known as cenotes throughout the region provide access to the groundwater system. The cenotes have long been relied on by contemporary Maya people. Short and tall tropical jungles are the predominant natural vegetation types of the Yucatán Peninsula; the boundaries between northern Guatemala and western Belize are still occupied by the largest continuous tracts of tropical rainforest in Central America. However, these forests are suffering extensive deforestation. Like much of the Caribbean, the peninsula lies within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt, with its uniformly flat terrain it is vulnerable to these large storms coming from the east.
The 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season was a bad season for Mexico's tourism industry, with two forceful category 5 storms hitting, Hurricane Emily and Hurricane Wilma. The 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season was a typical year which left the Yucatán untouched, but in the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane season Yucatán was hit by Hurricane Dean Dean left little damage on the peninsula despite heavy localized flooding. Strong storms called nortes can descend on the Yucatán Peninsula any time of year. Although these storms pummel the area with heavy rains and high winds, they tend to be short-lived, clearing after about an hour; the average percentage of days with rain per month ranges from a monthly low of 7% in April to a high of 25% in October. Breezes can have a cooling effect, humidity is high, particularl
A drill is a tool used for making round holes or driving fasteners. It is fitted with either a drill or driver, depending on application, secured by a chuck; some powered drills include a hammer function. Drills vary in speed and size, they are characteristically corded electrically driven devices, with hand operated types decreasing in popularity and cordless battery powered ones proliferating. Drills are used in woodworking, machine tool fabrication and utility projects. Specially designed versions are made for medicine and miniature applications. Around 35,000 BC, Homo sapiens discovered the benefits of the application of rotary tools; this would have rudimentarily consisted of a pointed rock being spun between the hands to bore a hole through another material. This led to the hand drill, a smooth stick, sometimes attached to flint point, was rubbed between the palms; this was used by many ancient civilizations around the world including the Mayans. The earliest perforated artifacts, such as bone, ivory and antlers found, are from the Upper Paleolithic era.
Bow drill are the first machine drills, as they convert a back and forth motion to a rotary motion, they can be traced back to around 10,000 years ago. It was discovered that tying a cord around a stick, attaching the ends of the string to the ends of a stick, allowed a user to drill quicker and more efficiently. Used to create fire, bow-drills were used in ancient woodwork and dentistry. Archaeologists discovered a Neolithic grave yard in Mehrgrath, Pakistan dating from the time of the Harappans, around 7,500–9,000 years ago, containing 9 adult bodies with a total of 11 teeth, drilled. There are hieroglyphs depicting Egyptian carpenters and bead makers in a tomb at Thebes using bow-drills; the earliest evidence of these tools being used in Egypt dates back to around 2500 BCE. The usage of bow-drills was spread through Europe, Africa and North America, during ancient times and is still used today. Over the years many slight variations of bow and strap drills have developed for the various uses of either boring through materials or lighting fires.
The core drill was developed in ancient Egypt by 3000 BC. The pump drill was invented during Roman times, it consists of a vertical spindle aligned by a piece of horizontal wood and a flywheel to maintain accuracy and momentum. The hollow-borer tip, first used around the 13th century, consisted of a stick with a tubular shaped piece of metal on the end, such as copper; this allowed a hole to be drilled while only grinding the outer section of it. This separates the inner stone or wood from the rest, allowing the drill to pulverize less material to create a sized hole. While the pump-drill and the bow-drill were used in Western Civilization to bore smaller holes for a larger part of human history, the Auger was used to drill larger holes starting sometime between Roman and Medieval ages; the auger allowed for more torque for larger holes. It is uncertain when the Bit was invented, it is a type of hand crank drill. The brace, on the upper half, is where the user turns it and on the lower part is the bit.
The bit is interchangeable. The auger uses a rotating helical screw similar to the Archimedean screw-shaped bit, common today; the gimlet is worth mentioning as it is a scaled down version of an auger. In the East, churn drills were invented as early as 221 BC during the Chinese Qin Dynasty, capable of reaching a depth of 1500 m. Churn drills in ancient China were built of wood and labor-intensive, but were able to go through solid rock; the churn drill appears in Europe during the 12th century. In 1835 Isaac Singer is reported to have built a steam powered churn drill based on the method the Chinese used. Worth discussing are the early drill presses. Drill presses consisted of the powered drills that could be raised or lowered into a material, allowing for less force by the user; the next great advancement in drilling technology, the electric motor, led to the invention of the electric drill. It is credited to Arthur James Arnot and William Blanch Brain of Melbourne, Australia who patented the electric drill in 1889.
In 1895, the first portable handheld drill was created by brothers Wilhem & Carl Fein of Stuttgart, Germany. In 1917 the first trigger-switch, pistol-grip portable drill was patented by Decker; this was the start of the modern drill era. Over the last century the electric drill has been created in a variety of types and multiple sizes for an assortment of specific uses. There are many types of drills: some are powered manually, others use electricity or compressed air as the motive power, a minority are driven by an internal combustion engine. Drills with a percussive action are used in hard materials such as masonry or rock. Drilling rigs are used to bore holes in the earth to obtain oil. Oil wells, water wells, or holes for geothermal heating are created with large drilling rigs; some types of hand-held drills are used to drive screws and other fasteners. Some small appliances that have no motor of their own may be drill-powered, such as small pumps, etc. Bow - A simple rotational hand-operated tool of prehistoric origin.
Brace - A woodworker's brace has a ‘U’ formed wrench/outline, utilized to tran
Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán Municipality in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The site is located on a low mountainous range rising above the plain in the central section of the Valley of Oaxaca where the latter's northern Etla, eastern Tlacolula, southern Zimatlán & Ocotlán branches meet; the present-day state capital Oaxaca City is located 9 km east of Monte Albán. The excavated civic-ceremonial center of the Monte Albán site is situated atop an artificially-leveled ridge, which with an elevation of about 1,940 m above mean sea level rises some 400 m from the valley floor, in an defensible location. In addition to the monumental core, the site is characterized by several hundred artificial terraces, a dozen clusters of mounded architecture covering the entire ridgeline and surrounding flanks; the archaeological ruins on the nearby Atzompa and El Gallo hills to the north are traditionally considered to be an integral part of the ancient city as well.
Besides being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán's importance stems from its role as the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic center for close to a thousand years. Founded toward the end of the Middle Formative period at around 500 BC, by the Terminal Formative Monte Albán had become the capital of a large-scale expansionist polity that dominated much of the Oaxacan highlands and interacted with other Mesoamerican regional states such as Teotihuacan to the north; the city had lost its political pre-eminence by the end of the Late Classic and soon thereafter was abandoned. Small-scale reoccupation, opportunistic reutilization of earlier structures and tombs, ritual visitations marked the archaeological history of the site into the Colonial period; the etymology of the site's present-day name is unclear, tentative suggestions regarding its origin range from a presumed corruption of a native Zapotec name to a colonial-era reference to a Spanish soldier by the name Montalbán or to the Alban Hills of Italy.
The ancient Zapotec name of the city is not known, as abandonment occurred centuries before the writing of the earliest available ethnohistorical sources. Being visible from anywhere in the central part of the Valley of Oaxaca, the impressive ruins of Monte Albán attracted visitors and explorers throughout the colonial and modern eras. Among others, Guillermo Dupaix investigated the site in the early 19th century CE, J. M. García published a description of the site in 1859, A. F. Bandelier visited and published further descriptions in the 1890s. A first intensive archaeological exploration of the site was conducted in 1902 by Leopoldo Batres General Inspector of Monuments for the Mexican government under Porfirio Diaz, it was however only in 1931 that large-scale scientific excavations were undertaken under the direction of Mexican archaeologist Alfonso Caso. In 1933, Eulalia Guzmán assisted with the excavation of Tomb 7. Over the following eighteen years Caso and his colleagues Ignacio Bernal and Jorge Acosta excavated large sections within the monumental core of the site, much of what is visible today in areas open to the public was reconstructed at that time.
Besides resulting in the excavation of a large number of residential and civic-ceremonial structures and hundreds of tombs and burials, one lasting achievement of the project by Caso and his colleagues was the establishment of a ceramic chronology for the period between the site's founding in ca. 500 BCE to end of the Postclassic period in CE 1521. The investigation of the periods preceding Monte Albán's founding was a major focus of the Prehistory and Human Ecology Project started by Kent Flannery of the University of Michigan in the late 1960s. Over the following two decades this project documented the development of socio-political complexity in the valley from the earliest Archaic period to the Rosario phase preceding Monte Albán, thus setting the stage for an understanding of the latter's founding and developmental trajectory. In this context, among the major accomplishments of Flannery's work in Oaxaca are his extensive excavations at the important formative center of San José Mogote in the Etla branch of the valley, a project co-directed with Joyce Marcus of the University of Michigan.
A further important step in the understanding of the history of occupation of the Monte Albán site was reached with the Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the Valley of Oaxaca Project begun by Richard Blanton and several colleagues in the early 1970s. It is only with their intensive survey and mapping of the entire site that the real extension and size of Monte Albán beyond the limited area explored by Caso became known. Subsequent seasons of the same project under the direction of Blanton, Gary Feinman, Steve Kowalewski, Linda Nicholas, others extended the survey coverage to the entire valley, producing an invaluable amount of data on the region's changing settlement patterns from the earliest times to the arrival of the Spanish in CE 1521; as indicated by Blanton's survey of the site, the Monte Albán hills appear to have been uninhabited prior to 500 BCE. At that time, San José Mogote was the major population center in the valley and head of a chiefdom that controlled much of the northern Etla branch.
As many as three or four other smaller chiefly centers controlled other sub-regions of the valley, including Tilcajete in the southern Valle Grande branch and Yegüih in the Tlacolula arm to the east. Competition and warfare seem to have characterized the R