Atlantic Europe

Atlantic Europe

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Atlantic Europe is a geographical
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 and anthropological
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 term for the western portion of Europe which borders the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. The term may refer to the idea of Atlantic Europe as a cultural unit and/or as an biogeographical region
Biogeography
Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species , organisms, and ecosystems in space and through geological time. Organisms and biological communities vary in a highly regular fashion along geographic gradients of latitude, elevation, isolation and habitat area...

.

It comprises the western (Atlantic) part of Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 (Spain and Portugal), north and western France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. Some authors also include Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

, north Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

.

Weather and overall physical conditions are relatively similar along this area (with the exception of parts of Scandinavia and the Baltic
Baltic region
The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and Baltic Rim refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.- Etymology :...

), resulting in similar landscapes with common endemic plant and animal species. From a strictly physical point of view most of the Atlantic European shoreline can be considered a single biogeographical region
Biogeography
Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species , organisms, and ecosystems in space and through geological time. Organisms and biological communities vary in a highly regular fashion along geographic gradients of latitude, elevation, isolation and habitat area...

. Physical geographers
Physical geography
Physical geography is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the...

 label this biogeographical area as the European Atlantic Domain, part of the Euro-Siberian botanic region.

Origins


Archaeologists have noted that the prehistoric peoples of Atlantic Europe presented some common traits, as shown by artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

 and architectural styles found in the region which attest to at least some form of trade
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 link. In addition, a number of genetic studies seem to interrelate specific groups of population in parts of Atlantic Europe in contrast with, for example, Central or Mediterranean Europe.

Some examples of early cultural contact are the European Megalithic Culture and the Atlantic Bronze Age
Atlantic Bronze Age
The Atlantic Bronze Age is a cultural complex of the Bronze Age period of approximately 1300–700 BC that includes different cultures in Portugal, Andalusia, Galicia, Armorica and the British Isles.-Trade:...

, or "carp's tongue sword complex
Carp's Tongue complex
In archaeology, the Carp's Tongue complex refers to a tradition of metal working from south eastern England during the later Bronze Age. It is part of the Ewart Park Phase that dates from the ninth century BC....

". This refers to an industry mainly based on the west coast of France and Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

 but which clearly had links with societies in Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 and Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, as evidenced by products such as the carp's tongue sword and the end winged axe, which were widely bought and sold along the routes of the Atlantic seaways.

Atlantic Europe is also a term often used in reference to the territory occupied by the Celtic-speaking
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

 peoples and Celtic influenced people of western Europe.

Culture at present


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A number of authors have postulated that there still is a cultural continuum in Atlantic Europe, forming a cultural unit which has its roots in prehistoric times but remained until today mostly thanks to sea trade. Geographers
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 also mention the influence of the natural environment in the construction of a similar cultural landscape
Cultural landscape
Cultural Landscapes have been defined by the World Heritage Committee as distinct geographical areas or properties uniquely "..represent[ing] the combined work of nature and of man.."....

 along the western European coasts.
Some of the first geographers to consider this idea of Atlantic Europe were Otero Pedrayo
Otero Pedrayo
Ramón Otero Pedrayo was a Galician geographer, writer and intellectual. He was a key member of the Galician cultural and political movement Xeración Nós.-Biography:...

 and Orlando Ribeiro
Orlando Ribeiro
Orlando Ribeiro was a Portuguese geographer and historian.-Biography:Orlando Ribeiro was born in Lisbon, Portugal.Ribeiro devoted his life to the teaching and research in Geography and is often labelled as one of the main reformist of this science in Portugal. He graduated in Geography and History...

. Pedrayo stated in his studies about Galicia that this territory was marked by a strong "Atlantic character", not Mediterranean, despite the fact of being part of a Mediterranean state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 (Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

). On the other hand, while researching about his native Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Ribeiro deepened the concepts of Atlantic Europe and Mediterranean Europe, linking southern Portugal more towards the Mediterranean culture and central and northern Portugal (together with Galicia and Asturias) to a pan-Atlantic European culture.

This idea would be further developed from the 1950s onwards by authors such as P. Flatrès, Emyr Estyn Evans
Emyr Estyn Evans
Emyr Estyn Evans ,often referred to simply as E. E. Evans, was a Northern Irish geographer and archaeologist, whose primary field of interest was the Irish neolithic...

, A. Bouhier, Meynier, J. García Fernández, Patrick O'Flanagan
Patrick O'Flanagan
Patrick O'Flanagan is an Irish geographer and academic.-Career:He is emeritus professor of the at University College Cork, Ireland. He was the former Head of this department...

, Barry Cunliffe
Barry Cunliffe
Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, CBE, known professionally as Barry Cunliffe is a former Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford, a position held from 1972 to 2007...

, Carlos Ferrás Sexto
Carlos Ferrás Sexto
Carlos Ferrás Sexto is a Galician geographer and academic.Carlos Ferrás is a senior lecturer at the Department of Geography of the University of Santiago de Compostela...

 and Xoán M. Paredes (among others).
Patrick O'Flanagan, based on the theories of Pedrayo and Ribeiro, states that Atlantic Europe is a cultural reality that stretches along the coastal fringe of Europe, from Norway to South-Central Portugal (down to the Santarem
Santarém
-In Portugal:* Santarém District, a district in Portugal* Santarém Municipality, a municipality in that district* Santarém, Portugal the seat of the above district* Roman Catholic Diocese of Santarém, Portugal-Other:* Santarém cheese, a Portuguese goat cheese...

 area), and including Britain and Ireland.

Bob Quinn
Bob Quinn (Irish filmmaker)
Bob Quinn is an Irish filmmaker, writer and photographer.-Selected filmography:* Poitín * The Atlantean Trilogy * Budawanny * The Bishops Story * Atlantean 2: Navigatio...

 in his documentary series Atlantean speculates that western European Celtic culture
Celtic culture
Culture of Celtic Europe and modern Celtic identity*Ancient Celtic culture*Celtic music**Insular art*Celtic music*Gaelic culture**Culture of Ireland**Culture of Scotland**Culture of the Isle of Man*Culture of Wales*Culture of Cornwall*Culture of Brittany...

 is actually an earlier, pre-Celtic, Atlantic culture that included Atlantic Europe and people of the Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 such as Berbers and that it continues today.

Atlantic Europe in politics


There is a multi-national association of regions, which acts as a co-ordinator of Atlantic European regions and its interests. This is the Atlantic Arc Commission. Operative since 1989, it includes 26 regions from four member States - Great Britain, France, Spain and Portugal. The Atlantic Arc Commission is one of the seven Geographical Commissions in the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe.

See also

  • Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA)
    Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA)
    The point of origin of R1b is thought to lie in Eurasia, most likely in Western Asia. T. Karafet et al. estimated the age of R1, the parent of R1b, as 18,500 years before present....

  • Atlantic Modal Haplotype
    Atlantic Modal Haplotype
    In human genetics, the Atlantic Modal Haplotype or haplotype 15 is a Y chromosome haplotype of Y-STR microsatellite variations, associated with the Haplogroup R1b. It was discovered prior to many of the SNPs now used to identify subclades of R1b and references to it can be found in some of the...

  • Celts and Viking
    Viking
    The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

    s
  • Oceanic climate
    Oceanic climate
    An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...


External links