europe dates back longer then you think it does, Homo erectus and Neanderthals settled Europe long before the emergence of modern humans, Homo sapiens. The earliest appearance of anatomically modern people in Europe has been dated to 35,000 BC. Evidence of permanent settlement dates from the 7th millennium BC in Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. The Neolithic reached Central Europe in the 6th millennium BC and parts of Northern Europe in the 5th and 4th millennium BC. There is no prehistoric culture that covers the whole of Europe. For short introductions to the various cultures like Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
The first well-known literate civilization in Europe was that of the Minoans of the island of Crete and later the Myceneans in the adjacent parts of Greece, starting at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. Around 400 BC, the La Tene culture spread over most of the interior as far as the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), and later Anatolia. The Etruscans inhabited central Italy and Lombardy, where they were displaced by the Celts, who mingled with earlier residents of Iberia to produce a unique Celtiberian culture. As the Celts did not use a written language, knowledge of them is piecemeal. The Romans encountered them and recorded a great deal about them; these records and the archaeological evidence form our primary understanding of this extremely influential culture. The Celts posed a formidable, if disorganized, competition to the Roman state, that later colonized and conquered much of the southern portion of Europe.
europe kept growing through the ages, Bronze Age, Iron Age, dark age to the middle ages.
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