It lasted from around 3100 to 2000 BCE and is most famous for its gallery grave megalithic tombs which incorporate a port-hole slab separating the entrance from the main burial chamber. In the chalk valley of the River Marne rock-cut tombs were dug to a similar design. Some have examples of megalithic art with images of axes, breasts and necklaces carved on their walls.
Diagnostic artefacts include transverse arrowheads, antler sleeves and crude, flat-based cylindrical and bucket-shaped pottery decorated with appliqué cordons. The SOM culture had trade links with neighbouring cultures enabling the use of Callaïs and Grand Pressingy flint imported from Brittany and the Loire and later, the use of copper.
The culture seems to have had strong links with other areas and may have arisen from a composite of influences as indicated by the gallery grave design common across Europe and the pottery types which have comparators in Western France from 2600BC and also in Brittany, Switzerland and Denmark.
Chalcolithic Europe, the Chalcolithic (also Aeneolithic, Copper Age) period of Prehistoric Europe, lasted roughly from 3500 to 1700 BC.
It was a period of Megalithic culture, the appearance of the first significant economic stratification, and probably the earliest presence of Indo-European speakers.
The economy of the Chalcolithic, even in the regions where copper was not yet used, was no longer that of peasant communities and tribes: some materials began to be produced in specific locations and distributed to wide regions. Mining of metal and stone was particularly developed in some areas, along with the processing of those materials into valuable goods.Chasséen culture
Chasséen culture is the name given to the archaeological culture of prehistoric France of the late Neolithic (stone age), which dates to roughly between 4500 BC and 3500 BC. The name "Chasséen" derives from the type site near Chassey-le-Camp (Saône-et-Loire).
Chasséen culture spread throughout the plains and plateaux of France, including the Seine basin and the upper Loire valleys, and extended to the present-day départments of Haute-Saône, Vaucluse, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Pas-de-Calais and Eure-et-Loir. Excavations at Bercy (in Paris) have revealed a Chasséen village (4000 BC - 3800BC) on the right bank of the Seine; artifacts include wood canoes, pottery, bows and arrows, wood and stone tools.
Chasséens were sedentary farmers (rye, panic grass, millet, apples, pears, prunes) and herders (sheep, goats, oxen, pigs). They lived in huts organized into small villages (100-400 people). Their pottery was little decorated. They had no metal technology (which appeared later), but mastered the use of flint.
By roughly 3500 BC, the Chasséen culture in France gave way to the late Neolithic transitional Seine-Oise-Marne culture (3100BC - 2000 BC) in Northern France and to a series of archaeological cultures in Southern France.Gallery grave
A gallery grave is a form of megalithic tomb built primarily during the Neolithic Age in Europe in which the main gallery of the tomb is entered without first passing through an antechamber or hallway. There are at least four major types of gallery grave (complex, transepted, segmented, and wedge-shaped), and they may be covered with an earthen mound (or "tumulus") or rock mound (or "cairn").History of Belgian Limburg
The Belgian province of Limburg in Flanders (Dutch speaking Belgium) is a region which has had many names and border changes over its long recorded history. Its modern name is a name shared with the neighbouring province of the Netherlands, with which it was for a while politically united (under French and then Dutch rule from 1794 until 1839). And in turn both of these provinces received their modern name only in the 19th century, based upon the name of the medieval Duchy of Limburg which was actually based in neighbouring Wallonia, in the town of Limbourg on the Vesdre.
For much of its recorded history, most of what is now called Belgian Limburg was known as Loon (French Looz). Loon was a medieval county, and when the line of the Counts died the area became part of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège but was still often referred to as the "land of Loon" (land van Loon in Dutch). The original capital of medieval Loon is today officially called Borgloon, and the capital of the province is now Hasselt.
In Roman times, Belgian Limburg, and probably also at least parts of the Dutch province and the medieval Duchy, were in the Civitas Tungrorum, which had its capital in Tongeren.History of Belgium
The history of Belgium extends before the founding of the modern state of that name in 1830. Belgium's history is therefore intertwined with those of its neighbours: the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg. For most of its history, what is now Belgium was either a part of a larger territory, such as the Carolingian Empire, or divided into a number of smaller states, prominent among them being the Duchy of Brabant, the County of Flanders, the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and County of Luxembourg. Due to its strategic location and the many armies fighting on its soil, since the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), Belgium has often been called the "battlefield of Europe" or the "cockpit of Europe". It is also remarkable as a European nation which contains, and is divided by, a language boundary between Latin-derived French and Germanic Dutch.
Belgium's modern shape can be partly traced back at least as far as the "Seventeen Provinces" within the Burgundian Netherlands. These lands straddled the ancient boundary of the Scheldt that had divided medieval France and Germany, but they were brought together under the House of Valois-Burgundy, and unified into one autonomous territory by their heir Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, in his Pragmatic Sanction of 1549. The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) later led to the split between a northern Dutch Republic and the Southern Netherlands from which Belgium and Luxembourg developed. This southern territory continued to be ruled by the Habsburg descendants of the Burgundian house, at first as the "Spanish Netherlands". Invasions from France under Louis XIV led to the loss of what is now Nord-Pas-de-Calais to France, while the remainder finally became the "Austrian Netherlands". The French Revolutionary wars led to Belgium becoming part of France in 1795, bringing the end of the semi-independence of areas which had belonged to the Catholic church. After the defeat of the French in 1814, a new United Kingdom of the Netherlands was created, which eventually split one more time during the Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839, giving three modern nations, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
The ports and textile industry of Belgium were important back into the Middle Ages, and modern Belgium was one of the first countries to experience an Industrial Revolution, which brought prosperity in the 19th century but also opened a political dichotomy between liberal businessmen and socialist workers. The king set up his own private colonial empire in the Belgian Congo, which the government took over after a major scandal in 1908. Belgium was neutral but its strategic location as a pathway to France made it an invasion target for Germany in 1914 and 1940. Conditions under the occupation were severe. In the postwar period Belgium was a leader in European unification, as a founding member of what has become the European Union. Brussels is now host to the headquarters of NATO and is the de facto capital of the European Union. The colonies became independent in the early 1960s.
Politically the country was once polarized on matters of religion and, in recent decades, it has faced new divisions over differences of language and unequal economic development. This ongoing antagonism has caused far-reaching reforms since the 1970s, changing the formerly unitary Belgian state into a federal state, and repeated governmental crises. It is now divided into three regions: Flanders (Dutch-speaking) in the north, Wallonia (French-speaking) in the south, and bilingual Brussels in the middle. There is also a German-speaking population along the border with Germany that was granted to Prussia in the Congress of Vienna in 1815 but added to Belgium following the 1919 Treaty of Versailles following World War I. German is the third official language of Belgium.Horgen
Horgen is a municipality in the district of Horgen in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland.
It is one of the larger towns along the south bank of the Lake of Zurich.
On 1 January 2018 the former municipality of Hirzel merged into the municipality of Horgen.Horgen culture
The Horgen culture is one of several archaeological cultures belonging to the Neolithic period of Switzerland. The Horgen culture may derive from the Pfyn culture and early Horgen pottery is similar to the earlier Cortaillod culture pottery of Twann, Switzerland. It is named for one of the principal sites, in Horgen, Switzerland.Megalithic architectural elements
This article describes several characteristic architectural elements typical of European megalithic (Stone Age) structures.Megalithic art
Megalithic art refers to the use of large stones as an artistic medium. Although some modern artists and sculptors make use of large stones in their work, the term is more generally used to describe art carved onto megaliths in prehistoric Europe.
Megalithic art is found in many places in Western Europe although the main concentrations are in Malta, Ireland, Brittany and Iberia. Megalithic art started in the Neolithic and continued into the Bronze Age. Although many monument types received this form of art the majority is carved on Neolithic passage graves. Megalithic art tends to be highly abstract and contains relatively few representations of recognisable real objects. Megalithic art is often similar to prehistoric rock art and contains many similar motifs such as the 'cup and ring mark', although the two forms of rock carving also have large stylistic differences. The meaning of megalithic art is the subject of much debate.
Weathering and vandalism have affected many examples of the art and little of it remains to day.Netherlands
The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland, [ˈneːdərlɑnt] (listen)) is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.
The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, and the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed 'the world's legal capital'.Netherlands literally means 'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above sea level, and nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of roughly 41,500 square kilometres (16,000 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres (13,000 sq mi)—the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products (after the United States), owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, and intensive agriculture.The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion, prostitution and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, and became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, and quality of life, as well as happiness.Prehistoric Europe
Prehistoric Europe is the designation for the period of human presence in Europe before the start of recorded history, beginning in the Lower Paleolithic. As history progresses, considerable regional irregularities of cultural development emerge and increase. The region of the eastern Mediterranean is, due to its geographic proximity, greatly influenced and inspired by the classical Middle Eastern civilizations, and adopts and develops the earliest systems of communal organization and writing. The Histories of Herodotus (from around 440 BC) is the oldest known European text that seeks to systematically record traditions, public affairs and notable events. In contrast, the European regions furthest away from the ancient centers of civilization tended to be the slowest, regarding acculturation. In Northern and Eastern Europe in particular, writing and systematic recording was only introduced in the context of Christianization, after 1000 CE.Prehistory of Brittany
This page concerns the prehistory of Brittany.Prehistory of France
Prehistoric France is the period in the human occupation (including early hominins) of the geographical area covered by present-day France which extended through prehistory and ended in the Iron Age with the Celtic "La Tène culture".
Stone tools indicate that early humans were present in France at least 1.57 million years ago.Wéris megaliths
The Wéris megaliths are a group of megalithic monuments found near the village of Wéris, in the province of Luxembourg, in Belgium.