As mentioned on the European main page, ancient history is still a white spot and even the period as under mentioned is far from certain.
The period before 8,000 BC is unknown, the only prove that during this time Europe was inhabited can be found in the grottos in France and Germany. Most likely was the Northern part of Europe covered with ice but that is far from proven because the glacial period from before this time is still disputable.
The timeline handed by Historians looks like this :
Glacial period.... from the North to present Belgium, to present Frankfurt am Main in Germany and most parts of present Russia.
The introduction and effects of settled agriculture in western and central Europe. As people establish themselves in one location for longer durations, they experience a change in attitude toward their surroundings, reflected in types of burials, grave goods, and monuments.
ca. 5500 BC Groups of farmers begin to settle in Europe. The cultivation of wheat and barleycrops from the Near East ?becomes established in eastern Europe and moves gradually westward.
ca. 5000900 BC Rock faces in the Alps, such as Val Carmonica in northern Italy, Monte Bego in France, and Totes Gebirge in Austria, are carved with animals, buildings, and warriors, perhaps engaged in martial rituals.
ca. 45003500 BC Early farmers make and use unpainted pottery incised with linear ornament. Early on, close similarities link pieces made at great distances from each other; later, there is more variation from region to region.
ca. 42002000 BC Organized groups erect monumental stone burials ?? in northwestern Europe, as in the Morbihan region in southern Brittany. The one at e Longue, for example, built ca. 4100 BC., incorporates a chamber with a corbelled dome and a passage faced with huge slabs. Other important stone burials ?? we can find in The Netherlands and Germany (called Hunebeds)
ca. 3000 BC The ox-drawn plow, made of wood and known some thousand years before, begins to change the face of agriculture in Europe. Farmers clear forests to make way for larger fields and honor cattle with ritual burial.
ca. 28001800 BC Potters of Atlantic Europe and the British Isles make vessels of a distinctive shape, nicknamed "beakers" by early archaeologists. The beakers are buried in tombs that seem to belongto warriors with greater mobility and a stronger acquisitive impulse than their ancestors.
ca. 23001500 BC The Unitice culture, named after a cemetery near Prague, emerges across central Europe. Flat burials with no mounds are the rule. Bodies are frequently arranged according to gender and oriented with respect to the points of the compass.
This period is marked by the rise of warrior elites in western and central Europe. Distinguished by ritual, wealth, and equestrian culture, these elites collect weapons and precious trinkets, which archaeologists have found buried in their graves.
ca. 2000 BC Builders arrange a variety of megaliths from Wales at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. Although the exact use and meaning of the structure remains unexplained, it probably served in a ceremony associated with the changing of the seasons. Impressive mounds in central Germany cover tombs equipped with tools for carpentry and metalwork. The monumentality and wealth of the burials suggest the esteem and power that belonged to artisans skilled in the extraction and working of metal, a new enterprise in central Europe.
ca. 1800 BC Horses and a culture of horsemanship arrive in central Europe from the steppes to the east. With these comes a style of ornament composed of C-shaped scrolls and compass-drawn circles, earlier used to decorate horse trappings. Goods begin to travel widely between cultures north and south. Spearheads, swords, and imported jewelry appear in European tombs, as do pins with wheel-shaped heads, which may refer to the chariot, a powerful status symbol. Throughout Europe, small groups seek status by controlling metals and other resources and acquiring the outward signs of wealth.
ca. 1200 BC Metalworking, already known in Europe for over a thousand years, increases dramatically. Smiths handle larger quantities of bronze and gold and exploit sophisticated techniques such as lost-wax casting and casting in molds in many pieces. A shift in funerary practice begins. In place of inhumation burial, cremation becomes the norm; the ashes are interred, usually with a few grave goods, in urns placed in cemetery grounds. The change seems to indicate new religious concepts, which hold the materiality of the body less important and leave precious objects largely to the living.
The Celts conquer and settle much of western and central Europe, acquiring wealth through raids and conquests. Archaeological evidence suggests that during this time the Celts master sophisticated metalworking technology and engage in trade with distant partners. By the end of the period, Celtic society has attained relative stability, punctuated by increasing conflict with armies of the Roman empire.
ca. 800 BC Ironworking becomes widespread. Artisans skilled in bronze probably also work the new material, using techniques developed for bronze.
ca. 750 BCExploitation of salt sources, trade, and ironworking contribute to the wealth and distinction of the settlements near Halstatt in modern Austria. The site has an exceptionally rich cemetery. Among the objects found in the graves are fibulae, or brooches for clothes, indicating a refined metalworking aesthetic and a taste for personal adornment. The horse, which often appears as a decorative motif, suggests the values of an aristocratic culture.
ca. 700 BC Transportation and trade engage energy and creativity in central Europe. People build wooden track ways over marshy areas to facilitate the movement of carts. The scale of these enterprises suggests regional organization of workforces and apportionment of materials. At about the same time, magnificent burials for a few involve inhumation of the body in the cart used for the funeral procession.
ca. 500 BC Trade items from Massilia (present-day Marseille), a Greek colony founded around 600 BC. on the Mediterranean, travel up the Rhe valley and are welcomed as prestige objects among the peoples of northern Europe. An example is the Vix tomb in Burgundy, which contained a meter-high bronze krater as well as a complete wine service, Attic ceramics, and fittings for a funerary wagon.
ca. 450 BCA period of mass migration begins, as the Celtic-speaking peoples of northern Europe move southward.
ca. 250 BC Celtic culture has overtaken most of western Europe, including the British Isles and northern Italy. But Italian Celts begin to face an ever more powerful opponent: the Roman Republic.
The above timeline of Western Europe, handed by modern Historians, is still far from proven and counts many hiatus.
5851 BCJulius Caesar's campaigns subdue Gaul (the region roughly corresponding to modern France) to Roman dominion. Although the initial shock to local culture is considerable, later generations in Gaul are increasingly receptive to Roman culture in all its forms.
Much of the territory of western and central Europe is subject to Roman rule, and lands outside Roman dominion are still influenced by Roman goods and practices. In the early part of the period, the stability of the empire encourages stability on its borders. The subsequent weakening of Roman power allows neighbouring Franks, Goths, and other tribal groups to settle and ultimately control the empire's western provinces.
43 ADThe Roman conquest of Britain begins. Roman culture becomes well established among the Britons. In the 130s AD., Emperor Hadrian builds a wall many miles long across the Northumbrian hills, marking the north western limit of the Roman empire.
Note : The ruins of Hadrian's Wall form the most spectacular Roman remains in Britain. The mighty wall ran across the whole width of Britain, from Wallsend (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.. The wall was originally 15feet high with 6 foot battlements on top of that. It was begun in about 120 AD. on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian, and was manned until it was abandoned in 383.
60s AD Germanic peoples, whom the Romans call barbarians, revolt against Roman rule. Queen Boadicea leads one uprising in Britain in 61 AD., and Claudius Civilis another in present The Netherlands in 69 AD. (See Tacitus book IV and book XIV) The region above the Rhine river in the Lowlands, dominated by the Frisians, was never conquered by the Romans and became the Northern border of the Roman Empire.
ca. 100 AD The Romans involve local elites in the administration of provincial centers, including public works and cultural life. Marketplaces, public squares (fora), civic buildings, temples, theaters, bath complexes, and triumphal arches adorn the cities of the provinces; Roman roads speed transportation and aqueducts supply water. Local people adopt Roman culture in all its forms, including dress, religion, artistic style, and the Latin language.
ca. 160180 AD Conflict between Roman armies and Germanic tribes on the borders of the empire increases, notably in Dacia, in present-day Romania. There, the emperor Marcus Aurelius leads the Roman army into the great Marcomannic Wars against the Marcomanni and the Quadi.
ca. 240280 AD The Roman empire is regularly attacked by Germanic peoples such as the Goths on the Danube and the Alemans and Franks on the Rhine. This insecurity leads to a succession of soldier-emperors who rule for only a few years before being overthrown by a competitor.
4th century AD Internal conflict and ongoing pressure on the borders of the Roman empire lead to the incorporation of barbarian leaders and their followers into the Roman army.
345 AD The missionary Ulfilas converts the Goths to Arian Christianity, a heretical teaching that views Christ as less divine than the Father. From the Goths this belief spreads to other Germanic tribes.
ca. 400 AD Mass migrations of Germanic tribes north of the Roman empire disrupt the rhythm of life in the provinces and create widespread disorder. In the face of uncertainty and chaos, patrons lose interest in civic building efforts and other architectural endeavors. Artists invest time and precious materials in small, portable works.
Early Anglo-Saxon England
We know very little of the first several hundred years of the Anglo-Saxon, or "English", era, primarily because the invaders were an illiterate people. Our earliest records of them are little more than highly inventive lists of rulers. We know that they established separate kingdoms, the Saxons settling in the south and west, the Angles in the east and north, and the Jutes on the Isle of Wight and the mainland opposite. They probably thought of themselves as separate peoples, but they shared a common language and similar customs.
ca. 430 AD Angles and Saxons, tribes from southern Denmark, raid the east coast of Britain and settle there. The island is divided into two spheres of influence: the west, where a Romanized, Christian culture prevails, and the east, where unlettered pagan Anglo-Saxons predominate.
482 AD Clovis I becomes king of the Salian Franks when his father, Childeric I, a commander in the Roman army, dies. By the time of Clovis' death in 511, he had established the Frankish kingdom as the dominant force in what had been the Roman province of Gaul (France). Clovis astutely converts to Orthodox Christianity in circa 486, thus gaining the wary trust of Byzantine rulers. Though his descendants, known as the Merovingian's, would never wield the territorial power he once held, many of them nonetheless would be honored by Constantinople with titles such as consul and patrikios.
496 AD Clovis I, king of the Salian Franks, converts with all his entourage to Christianity. Various Frankish leaders had headed petty kingdoms in Gaul earlier in the fifth century A.D. Clovis' early embrace of Roman Christianity and his subsequent military victories earn him wider dominion. When he dies, the Frankish kingdom is among the most powerful in western Europe.
The rise of the Merovingian Kings should be the prelude to the alliance with the Popes regarding the power over Europe, from this time on the Nobles suppressed the people with the agreement of the Roman Catholic Church (Popes).
Their is an old saying :
The Pope to the King "Keep the people poor than I keep them dumb"
This agreement was the beginning of the, so called, "DARK AGES" and should last for 1,000 years. In this period there was nearly no progress in the evolution of the " lower" citizens of Europe and the Nobles and Popes were only fighting and murdering each other to gain power.
More info : http://www.21stcenturyradio.com/merovingian-twyman.htm and http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html
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