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[References for this review may be found at <Nyland>]
There are traces of human settlement by prehistoric peoples, especially in the Périgord, but the earliest attested inhabitants in the south-west were the Aquitani, who were not proper Celtic people, but more akin to the Iberians (see Gallia Aquitania). Although a number of different languages and dialects were in use in the area during ancient times, it is most likely that the prevailing language of Aquitaine during the late pre-historic to Roman period was an early form of the Basque language. This has been demonstrated by various Aquitanian names and words that were recorded by the Romans, and which are currently easily readable as Basque. Whether this Aquitanian language (Proto-Basque) was a remnant of a Vasconic language group that once extended much farther, or whether it was generally limited to the Aquitaine/Basque region is not known. One reason the language of Aquitaine is important is because Basque is the last surviving non-Indo-European language in western Europe and it has had some effect on the languages around it, including Spanish and, to a lesser extent, French.
The original Aquitania (named after the inhabitants) at the time of Caesar's conquest of Gaul included the area bounded by the Garonne River, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean. The name may stem from Latin 'aqua', maybe derived from the town "Aquae Augustae", "Aquae Tarbellicae" or just "Aquis" (Dax, Akize in modern Basque) or as a more general geographical feature.
Under Augustus' Roman rule, since 27 BC the province of Aquitania was further stretched to the north to the River Loire, thus including proper Gaul tribes along with old Aquitani south of the Garonne (cf. Novempopulania and Gascony) within the same region. In 392, the Roman imperial provinces.
French is the official language of the region in modern times. Many residents also have some knowledge of Basque, of a variety of Occitan (Gascon, Limousin, or Languedocien), or of the Poitevin-Saintongeais dialect of French.
In 2005, 78,000 children were learning Occitan as a second language in state schools and 2,000 were enrolled in Occitan-medium private schools. Basque speakers number about 73,000, concentrated in the far south of the region:
Labourd: 37% of the population (38,600 bilingual, 24,000 able to read and understand)
Lower Navarre and Soule: 76% of the population (28,000 bilingual, 7,000 able to read and understand)
Fourteen Celtic tribes and twenty Aquitanian tribes occupied the northern parts of the Pyrenees and, from the country of the Cemmenus to the ocean, bounded by two rivers: the Garumna (Garonne) and the Liger (Loire). The major tribes are listed at the end of this section. There were more than twenty tribes of Aquitani, but they were small and lacking in repute; the majority of the tribes lived along the ocean, while the others reached up into the interior and to the summits of the Cemmenus Mountains, as far as the Tectosages.
The name Gallia Comata was often used to designate the three provinces of Farther Gaul, viz. Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Belgica, and Aquitania, literally meaning ‘long-haired Gaul’, as opposed to Gallia Bracata ‘trousered Gaul’, a term derived from bracae (‘breeches’, the native costume of the northern ‘barbarians’) for Gallia Narbonensis.
Most of the Atlantic coast of the Aquitani was sandy and thin-soiled; it grew millet, but was unproductive with respect to other products. Along this coast was also the gulf held by the Tarbelli; in their land, gold mines were abundant. Large quantities of gold could be mined with a minimum of refinement. The interior and mountainous country in this region had better soil. The Petrocorii and the Bituriges Cubi had fine ironworks; the Cadurci had linen factories; the Ruteni and the Gabales had silver mines.
According to Strabo, the Aquitani were a wealthy people. Luerius, the King of the Arverni and the father of Bituitus who warred against Maximus Aemilianus and Dometius, is said to have been so exceptionally rich and extravagant that he once rode on a carriage through a plain, scattering gold and silver coins here and there.
The Romans called the tribal groups pagi. These were organized into larger super-tribal groups that the Romans called civitates. These administrative groupings were later taken over by the Romans in their system of local control.
Aquitania was inhabited by the following tribes: Agesinales, Ambilatri, Anagnutes, Arverni, Ausci, Autobroges, Basabocates, Belendi, Bercorates, Bergerri, Bipedimui, Cadurci, Cambolectri, Camponi, Cocossati, Consoranni, Cubi, Elui|, Elusates, Gabales, Latusates, Lemovices, Mandubii, Monesi, Nitiobriges, Onobrisates, Osquidates, Osquidiales, Petrocorii, Petrogoti, Pictones, Ruteni, Ruthenes, Santoni, Sassumini, Sediboniates, Sennates, Sibyllates, Sottiates, Succasses, Tarbelli, Tolosanes, Uliarus, Vassei, Vellates, Vellavii, Venami, Veneti (Veneticć), Vibisci, Vornates.
This point has the heaviest concentrations through-out the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi River basins and the eastern United States. Concentrations are fewer in the United States Great Plains and Canada. Clovis points are rarely found west of the Continental Divide and into the Artic region of Canada and Alaska. This point is not reported into the coastal regions of Alaska and Canada, which indicates that it was brought to America by a different route. This point is not reported from the ice shelf regions of the Canadian interior. Genuine Clovis Points have not been found in northeastern Siberia from where they might have been transported to North America. The technology undoubtedly originates in the Aquataine Region of southwestern France and northwestern Spain, from whence it was carried in ancient times across the Atlantic Ocean to America. Ancient navigators could have followed glaciated coastlines that periodically occurred in the northern Atlantic Ocean over the millennia.