History of Europe

The history of Europe covers the people inhabiting the European continent since it was first populated in prehistoric times to the present.

Europa regina, 1570 print by Sebastian Münster of Basel Homo erectus migrated from Africa to Europe before the emergence of modern humans. The bones of the earliest Europeans are found in Dmanisi,Georgia, dated at 1.8 million years ago. Lézignan-la-Cèbe in France and Kozarnika in Bulgaria are also amongst the oldest Palaeolithic sites in Europe.

The earliest appearance of anatomically modern people in Europe has been dated to 35,000 BC, usually referred to as the Cro-Magnon man. Some locally developed transitional cultures (Szeletian in Central Europe and Châtelperronian in the Southwest) use clearly Upper Palaeolithic technologies at very early dates.

Nevertheless, the definitive advance of these technologies is made by the Aurignacianculture. The origins of this culture can be located in what is now Bulgaria (proto-Aurignacian or Bachokirian) and Hungary (first full Aurignacian). By 35,000 BC, the Aurignacian culture and its technology had extended through most of Europe. The last Neanderthals seem to have been forced to retreat during this process to the southern half of the Iberian Peninsula.

Around 24,000 BC two new technologies/cultures appeared in the south-western region of Europe: Solutrean and Gravettian. The Gravettian technology/culture has been theorised to have come with migrations of people from the Middle East, Anatolia, and the Balkans.

The earliest settlers to Prehistoric Europe came during the paleolithic era. The adoption of agriculture around 7000 BC ushered in the neolithic age.

Some of the best-known civilizations of prehistoric Europe were the Minoan and the Mycenaean, which flourished during the Bronze Age until they collapsed in a short period of time around 1200 BC.

The Treasury of Atreus, or Tomb of Agamemnon in Mycenae 1250 BCE

History of Europe