Hallstatt is a small town in the district of Gmunden, in the Austrian state of Upper Austria. Situated between the southwestern shore of Hallstätter See and the steep slopes of the Dachstein massif, the town lies in Salzkammergut region, on the national road linking Salzburg and Graz. Hallstatt is known for its production of salt, dating back to prehistoric times, gave its name to the Hallstatt culture, the archaeological culture linked to Proto-Celtic and early Celtic people of the Early Iron Age in Europe, c.800–450 BC. Hallstatt is at the core of the "Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape" declared as one of the World Heritage Sites in Austria by UNESCO in 1997. In 1846, Johann Georg Ramsauer discovered a large prehistoric cemetery at the Salzberg mines near Hallstatt, which he excavated during the second half of the 19th century; the excavation would yield 1,045 burials, although no settlement has yet been found. This may be covered by the village, which has long occupied the entire narrow strip between the steep hillsides and the lake.
Some 1,300 burials have been found, including around 2,000 individuals, with women and children but few infants. Nor is there a "princely" burial, as found near large settlements. Instead, there are a large number of burials varying in the number and richness of the grave goods, but with a high proportion containing goods suggesting a life well above subsistence level; the community at Hallstatt exploited the salt mines in the area, worked from time to time since the Neolithic period, from the 8th to 5th centuries BC. The style and decoration of the grave goods found in the cemetery are distinctive, artifacts made in this style are widespread in Europe. In the mine workings themselves, the salt has preserved many organic materials such as textiles and leather, many abandoned artefacts such as shoes, pieces of cloth, tools including miner's backpacks, have survived in good condition. Finds at Hallstatt extend from about 1200 BC until around 500 BC, are divided by archaeologists into four phases: Hallstatt A-B are part of the Bronze Age Urnfield culture.
Phase A saw Villanovan influence. In this period, people were buried in simple graves. In phase B, tumulus burial becomes common, cremation predominates. Little is known about this period in which the typical Celtic elements have not yet distinguished themselves from the earlier Villanova-culture; the "Hallstatt period" proper is restricted to HaC and HaD, corresponding to the early European Iron Age. Hallstatt lies in the area where the western and eastern zones of the Hallstatt culture meet, reflected in the finds from there. Hallstatt D is succeeded by the La Tène culture. Hallstatt C is characterized by the first appearance of iron swords mixed amongst the bronze ones. Inhumation and cremation co-occur. For the final phase, Hallstatt D, daggers to the exclusion of swords, are found in western zone graves ranging from c. 600–500 BC. There are differences in the pottery and brooches. Burials were inhumations. Halstatt D has been further divided into the sub-phases D1-D3, relating only to the western zone, based on the form of brooches.
Major activity at the site appears to have finished for reasons that are unclear. Many Hallstatt graves were robbed at this time. There was widespread disruption throughout the western Hallstatt zone, the salt workings had by become deep. By the focus of salt mining had shifted to the nearby Hallein Salt Mine, with graves at Dürrnberg nearby where there are significant finds from the late Hallstatt and early La Tène periods. Much of the material from early excavations was dispersed, is now found in many collections German and Austrian museums, but the Hallstatt Museum in the town has the largest collection. Finds from the Hallstatt site There are no recorded notable events that took place in Hallstatt during Roman rule or the early Middle Ages. In 1311, the Hallstatt citizens were vested with market rights by Queen dowager Elizabeth, a sign that it had not lost its economic value. Today, apart from production of salt, which since 1595 has been transported 40 kilometres from Hallstatt to Ebensee via a brine pipeline, tourism plays a major factor in the town's economic life.
Tourists are told that Hallstatt is the site of "the world's oldest pipeline", constructed 400 years ago from 13,000 hollowed-out trees. There is so little space for cemeteries that every ten years bones used to be exhumed and removed into an ossuary, to make room for new burials. A collection of elaborately decorated skulls with the deceased's name, date of death inscribed on them is on display at the local chapel; until the late 19th century, it was only possible to reach Hallstatt via narrow trails. The land between the lake and mountains was sparse, the town itself exhausted every free patch of it. Access between houses on the river bank was by boat or over the upper path, a small corridor passing through attics; the first road to Hallstatt was only built in 1890, along the west shore by rock blasting. This secluded and inhospitable landscape counts as one of the first places of human settlement due to the rich sources of natural salt, which have been mined for thousands of years in the shape of hearts owing to the use of antler picks.
Some of Hallstatt's oldest archaeological finds, such as a shoe-last celt, date back to around 5500 BC. In 1846 Johann Georg Ramsauer discovered a large prehistoric cemetery near the current location of Hallstatt. Ramsauer's wor
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina, known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, located within the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is largest city. Bosnia and Herzegovina is an landlocked country – it has a narrow coast at the Adriatic Sea, about 20 kilometres long surrounding the town of Neum, it is bordered by Croatia to the north and south. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, the northeast is predominantly flatland; the inland, Bosnia, is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip, has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and the country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries.
In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country; this was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period and Herzegovina was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, it was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina has grown at double digit rates in recent years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural environment and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe.
The country is home to three main ethnic groups or constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second, Croats third. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. Minorities, defined under the constitutional nomenclature "Others", include Jews, Poles and Turks. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is limited, as the country is decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third unit, the Brčko District, governed under local government; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 cantons. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks in terms of human development, has an economy dominated by the industry and agriculture sectors, followed by the tourism and service sectors; the country has a social security and universal healthcare system, primary- and secondary-level education is tuition-free.
It is a member of the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, PfP, CEFTA, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean upon its establishment in July 2008. The country is a potential candidate for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan; the first preserved acknowledged mention of Bosnia is in De Administrando Imperio, a politico-geographical handbook written by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in the mid-10th century describing the "small land" of "Bosona". The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could derive from Illyrian *"Bass-an-as"), which would derive from the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh"—meaning "the running water". According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia "adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks ".
The name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stjepan Vukčić Kosača's title, "Herceg of Hum and the Coast". Hum Zahumlje, was an early medieval principality, conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century; the region was administered by the Ottomans as the Sanjak of Herzegovina within the Eyalet of Bosnia up until the formation of the short-lived Herzegovina Eyalet in the 1830s, which remerged in the 1850s, after which the entity became known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. On initial proclamation of independence in 1992, the country's official name was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but following the 1995 Dayton Agreement and the new constitution that accompanied it the official name was changed to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia has been inhabited by humans since at least the Neolithic age; the earliest Neolithic population became known in the Antiquity as the Illyrians. Celtic migrations in the 4th century BC were notable. Concrete historical e
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
Haute-Garonne is a department in the southwest of France named after the Garonne river. Its main city and capital is Toulouse. Haute-Garonne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, it was created from part of the former province of Languedoc. The department was larger; the reduction in its area resulted from an imperial decree dated 21 November 1808 and which established the neighbouring department of Tarn-et-Garonne, to the north. The new department, created in response to the pleadings of various locally powerful politicians, took territory from five surrounding departments including Haute-Garonne; the districts lost to Tarn-et-Garonne in 1808 were those of Castelsarrasin. Haute-Garonne is part of the current region of Occitanie and is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn and Ariège, it borders Spain in the south. The department is crossed by the upper course of the Garonne River for nearly 200 kilometers; the borders of the department follow the river.
The Garonne enters France from Spain at the town of Fos, goes through Toulouse and leaves the department. The extreme south of the department lies in the Pyrenees mountain range and is mountainous; the highest elevation is the Peak of Perdiguère, at 3,222 meters above sea level. This department was the political base of former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin; the President of the General Council is Pierre Izard of the Socialist Party. The inhabitants of the department are called Haut-Garonnais; the greatest population concentration is around Toulouse. The south of the department is quite sparsely populated. More than a million people inhabited the department at the last census in 1999. Young people are well represented with 55% of the population under the age of 40 and of those, 16% are between the ages of 20 and 29; this is. The largest towns are: The department has four ski resorts. Peyragudes, 55 km of slopes Luchon-Superbagnères, 30 km of slopes Le Mourtis, 22 km of slopes Bourg-d'Oueil Cantons of the Haute-Garonne department Communes of the Haute-Garonne department Arrondissements of the Haute-Garonne department General council website Prefecture website Tourism website Photography Panoramics 360° website
A necklace is an article of jewelry, worn around the neck. Necklaces may have been one of the earliest types of adornment worn by humans, they serve ceremonial, magical, or funerary purposes and are used as symbols of wealth and status, given that they are made of precious metals and stones. The main component of a necklace is the chain, or cord that wraps around the neck; these are most rendered in precious metals such as gold and platinum. Necklaces have additional attachments suspended or inset into the necklace itself; these attachments include pendants, amulets and precious and semi-precious materials such as diamond, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Prehistoric peoples used natural materials such as feathers, bone and plant materials to create necklaces, but by the Bronze Age metallic jewelry had replaced pre-metallic adornments. Necklaces were first depicted in the statuary and art of the Ancient Near East, early necklaces made of precious metals with inset stones were created in Europe.
In Ancient Mesopotamia, cylinder seals were strung and worn as jewelry. In Ancient Babylon, necklaces were made of carnelian, lapis lazuli and gold, made into gold chains. Ancient Sumerians created necklaces and beads from gold, lapis lazuli and carnelian. In Ancient Egypt, a number of difference necklace types were worn. Upper-class Ancient Egyptians wore collars of organic or semi-precious and precious materials for religious and funerary purposes; these collars were ornamented with semi-precious, glass and hollow beads. Beads made from a variety of precious and semi-precious materials were commonly strung together to create necklaces. Gold, fashioned into stylized plant and insect shapes were common as well. Amulets were turned into necklaces. In Ancient Crete necklaces were worn by all classes. Pendants shaped into birds and humans were worn, in addition to paste beads. In Ancient Greece, delicately made gold necklaces created with repoussé and plaited gold wires were worn. Most these necklaces were ornamented with blue or green enameled rosettes, animal shapes, or vase-shaped pendants that were detailed with fringes.
It was common to wear long gold chains with suspended cameos and small containers of perfume. New elements were introduced in the Hellenistic period. Ancient Etruscans used granulation to create granulated gold beads which were strung with glass and faience beads to create colorful necklaces. In Ancient Rome necklaces were among the many types of jewelry worn by the Roman elite. Gold and silver necklaces were ornamented with foreign and semi-precious objects such as amber, amethyst and diamond. In addition, ropes of pearls, gold plates inset with enamel, lustrous stones set in gold filigree were worn. Many large necklaces and the materials that adorned the necklaces were imported from the Near East. In the empire, following barbarian invasions and gaudy jewelry became popular. In the Byzantine era, ropes of pearls and embossed gold chains were most worn, but new techniques such as the use of niello allowed for necklaces with brighter, more predominant gemstones; the Early Byzantine Era saw a shift to distinctly Christian jewelry which displayed the new Christian iconography.
2000 B. C. E. – 400 C. E: Bronze amulets embossed with coral were common. In Celtic and Gallic Europe, the most popular necklace was the heavy metal torc, made most out of bronze, but sometimes out of silver, gold, or glass or amber beads. 400 C. E. – 1300 C. E: Early European barbarian groups favored wide, intricate gold collars not unlike the torc. Germanic tribes wore gold and silver pieces with complex detailing and inlaid with colored glass and semi-precious stones garnet. Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian groups worked in silver, due to a deficit of gold, wrought patterns and animal forms into neck-rings. In the Gothic period necklaces were uncommon, though there are a few records of diamond and pearl necklaces, it was not until the adoption of lower necklines in the Middle Ages that necklaces became common. 1400 C. E. – 1500 C. E: During the Renaissance it was fashionable for men to wear a number of chains and pendants around their necks, by the end of the 15th century the wealthiest men would wear great, shoulder covering collars inlaid with gems.
Women wore simpler pieces, such as gold chains, or strung beads or pearls. By the end of the period, more adorned pieces were common among the wealthy in Italy.1500–1600 C. E: Long pearl ropes and chains with precious stones were worn. In the latter half of the century, natural adornments, such as coral and pearl, were joined with enamel and metals to create intricate pendants. Jeweled, delicately framed cameo pendants were popular as well. Chokers, last worn in antiquity made a resurgence at this time.1600–1700: Few men in the Baroque period wore jewelry, for women necklaces were unsophisticated a simple strand of pearls or delicately linked and embellished strands of metal with small stones. In the century, after the invention of new diamond cutting techniques, priority was for the first time given to the jewels themselves, not their settings. Miniatures grew in popularity, were ofte
Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, the processes by which they change over time. Geology can include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology overlaps all other earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science. Geology describes the structure of the Earth on and beneath its surface, the processes that have shaped that structure, it provides tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of rocks found in a given location, to describe the histories of those rocks. By combining these tools, geologists are able to chronicle the geological history of the Earth as a whole, to demonstrate the age of the Earth. Geology provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, the Earth's past climates. Geologists use a wide variety of methods to understand the Earth's structure and evolution, including field work, rock description, geophysical techniques, chemical analysis, physical experiments, numerical modelling.
In practical terms, geology is important for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, evaluating water resources, understanding of natural hazards, the remediation of environmental problems, providing insights into past climate change. Geology is a major academic discipline, it plays an important role in geotechnical engineering; the majority of geological data comes from research on solid Earth materials. These fall into one of two categories: rock and unlithified material; the majority of research in geology is associated with the study of rock, as rock provides the primary record of the majority of the geologic history of the Earth. There are three major types of rock: igneous and metamorphic; the rock cycle illustrates the relationships among them. When a rock solidifies or crystallizes from melt, it is an igneous rock; this rock can be weathered and eroded redeposited and lithified into a sedimentary rock. It can be turned into a metamorphic rock by heat and pressure that change its mineral content, resulting in a characteristic fabric.
All three types may melt again, when this happens, new magma is formed, from which an igneous rock may once more solidify. To study all three types of rock, geologists evaluate the minerals; each mineral has distinct physical properties, there are many tests to determine each of them. The specimens can be tested for: Luster: Measurement of the amount of light reflected from the surface. Luster is broken into nonmetallic. Color: Minerals are grouped by their color. Diagnostic but impurities can change a mineral’s color. Streak: Performed by scratching the sample on a porcelain plate; the color of the streak can help name the mineral. Hardness: The resistance of a mineral to scratch. Breakage pattern: A mineral can either show fracture or cleavage, the former being breakage of uneven surfaces and the latter a breakage along spaced parallel planes. Specific gravity: the weight of a specific volume of a mineral. Effervescence: Involves dripping hydrochloric acid on the mineral to test for fizzing. Magnetism: Involves using a magnet to test for magnetism.
Taste: Minerals can have a distinctive taste, like halite. Smell: Minerals can have a distinctive odor. For example, sulfur smells like rotten eggs. Geologists study unlithified materials, which come from more recent deposits; these materials are superficial deposits. This study is known as Quaternary geology, after the Quaternary period of geologic history. However, unlithified material does not only include sediments. Magmas and lavas are the original unlithified source of all igneous rocks; the active flow of molten rock is studied in volcanology, igneous petrology aims to determine the history of igneous rocks from their final crystallization to their original molten source. In the 1960s, it was discovered that the Earth's lithosphere, which includes the crust and rigid uppermost portion of the upper mantle, is separated into tectonic plates that move across the plastically deforming, upper mantle, called the asthenosphere; this theory is supported by several types of observations, including seafloor spreading and the global distribution of mountain terrain and seismicity.
There is an intimate coupling between the movement of the plates on the surface and the convection of the mantle. Thus, oceanic plates and the adjoining mantle convection currents always move in the same direction – because the oceanic lithosphere is the rigid upper thermal boundary layer of the convecting mantle; this coupling between rigid plates moving on the surface of the Earth and the convecting mantle is called plate tectonics. The development of plate tectonics has provided a physical basis for many observations of the solid Earth. Long linear regions of geologic features are explained as plate boundaries. For example: Mid-ocean ridges, high regions on the seafloor where hydrothermal vents and volcanoes exist, are seen as divergent boundaries, where two plates move apart. Arcs of volcanoes and earthquakes are theorized as convergent boundaries, where one plate subducts, or moves, under another. Transform boundaries, such as the San Andreas Fault system, resulted in widespread powerful earthquakes.
Plate tectonics has provided a mechan
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k