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D. W. MacDowall, W. Ball, Gregory L. Possehl, Maurizio Taddei, C. Fabrègues, E. Errington, N. Hatch Dupree, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom and F. Tissot

Country of some 647,500 sq. km in the middle of the steppe and desert zone of Eurasia. It is bounded on the north by the Amu (Oxus) River and the republics of Central Asia, on the west by Iran and on the south and east by the Indian subcontinent. In the Pamir Mountains to the north-east, a narrow tongue of land known as the Wakhan corridor links the country with China (...

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Albania  

Kristo Frashëri, Gjergj Frashëri, Dhorka Dhamo, Andon Kuqali and Sulejman Dashi

Country in south-eastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and adjacent to northern Greece. The country covers c. 28,500 sq. km and has a population of c. 4 million. The capital is Tiranë. Albania is predominantly mountainous, with a narrow zone of fertile land along the coast (...

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Country in North Africa with its capital at Algiers.

Algeria is the second largest country in Africa, with an area of c. 2,400,000 sq. km. Extending south from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sahara, it is bordered to the west by Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania, to the south by Mali and Niger and to the east by Libya and Tunisia. Geographically Algeria can be divided into three regions: the most populated region of the coastal Atlas range (including the Kabylie Mountains) and small plains in the north; the salt flats and high plateau of the Saharan Atlas range; and the desert (including the Hoggar Mountains), which comprises four-fifths of the country. Most of the population (33 million, ...

Article

Marie-Louise Bastin

African country bordered by Congo and Zaïre to the north, Zambia to the east and Namibia to the south. It has a long Atlantic coastline to the west. Officially included in the political area of Southern Africa, Angola is more closely linked by ancestral tradition to Central African culture. It has a total area of 1,246,700 sq. km and a population of ...

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Group of Caribbean Islands comprising Cuba, Republic of, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, the last divided into Haiti, Republic of and the Dominican Republic. Prior to contact with the Spanish colonists, the art of the Greater Antilles was relatively unified. However, after colonization traditions soon separated....

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Irene Fanning, Mario Tesler, Jorge Glusberg, Nelly Perazzo, Christopher Hartop, Ruth Corcuera, Marta Arciprete de Reyes, Julieta Zunilda Vaquero and Marta Calvo

South American country. It is bordered to the north by Bolivia and Paraguay, to the north-east by Brazil and Uruguay, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and to the west by Chile (see fig.). Buenos Aires is the capital city, and the country is divided administratively into several areas. The mild and fertile Pampa region in the centre accounts for the country’s agricultural wealth; the Andes in the west range from dry, hot, northern peaks to sub-Antarctic Patagonia; the arid north-west is rich in mineral reserves. The north is covered by subtropical forest, known as the Chaco. Mesopotamia, to the north-east, is enclosed by two great rivers, the Paraná and the Uruguay, which the Spanish expeditioners followed in search of the gold and silver that they believed Argentina (‘the land of silver’) concealed. This varied hinterland has, nevertheless, remained underdeveloped at the expense of the over-populated capital; around a third of the total population of 32,609,000 lives there and in the surrounding province. The majority of the population is of European, particularly Spanish and Italian, origin, although there are also communities of East Asian immigrants. The population of African descent that was introduced through slavery during colonial rule has all but disappeared, not least as a result of an epidemic of yellow fever in ...

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Lucy Der Manuelian, Armen Zarian, Vrej Nersessian, Nonna S. Stepanyan, Murray L. Eiland and Dickran Kouymjian

Country in the southern part of the Transcaucasian region; its capital is Erevan. Present-day Armenia is bounded by Georgia to the north, Iran to the south-east, Azerbaijan to the east and Turkey to the west. From 1920 to 1991 Armenia was a Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR, but historically its land encompassed a much greater area including parts of all present-day bordering countries (...

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Terry Smith, Michael Spens, Graeme Sturgeon, Terence Lane, Kevin Fahy, Margaret Legge, Geoffrey R. Edwards, Judith O’Callaghan, Jennifer Sanders, Nancy Underhill, Robert Smith and Joyce McGrath

Country and island continent. It is the world’s smallest continent (area c. 8.5 million sq. km), located between the Indian and Pacific oceans south of South-east Asia, in latitudes parallel to those of the Sahara Desert (see fig.). With an average elevation of only 300 m, Australia is also the lowest continent, its ancient landforms being heavily eroded. The most prominent feature is the Great Dividing Range, the highlands of which run the full length of eastern Australia and recur in the island of Tasmania; in the western half of the continent are extensive plateaux and ridges, with vast desert areas in the centre. The extreme north is tropical, lying within the monsoon belt north of the Tropic of Capricorn; off the north-eastern coast is the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef. Australia has extensive coastal plains and tablelands, those along the east coast being the most heavily populated parts of the country; the vegetation is typically dry, open woodland dominated by eucalypts. The Australian Aboriginal peoples arrived ...

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Walter Krause, Mario Schwarz, Eckart Vancsa, Ingonda Hannesschläger, Inge Podbrecky, Matthias Boeckl, Gottfried Biedermann, Margit Stadlober, Lothar Schultes, Peter König, Maria Pötzl-Malíková, Wolfgang Huber, Renate Wonisch-Langenfelder, Eva B. Ottillinger, Gabriele Ramsauer, Barbara Wild, A. Kenneth Snowman, Dora Heinz, Angela Volker, Alfred Auer, Oskar Seber, Sieglinde Fraunlob and Gregor M. Lechner

Central European country, bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. It is divided into nine provinces: Styria, Tyrol, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna, Burgenland, and Carinthia. The country is landlocked and is characterized geographically by its mountainous landscape. Its population is concentrated mainly in the river valleys, especially along the River Danube and its surrounding plains, with the most important centres developing at the junctions of major north–south routes with those running from east to west, for example at Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz, Graz, and the capital, Vienna (...

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E. R. Salmanov, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Transcaucasian republic on the west side of the Caspian Sea, bounded by the Dagestan republic of the Russian Federation to the north, the Republic of Georgia and the Republic of Armenia to the west, and Caucasus Mountains to the north and west (see fig....

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Perween Hasan and Hameeda Hossain

Country in the north-east of the Indian subcontinent, bounded in the south by the Bay of Bengal, on the south-east by Burma (Myanmar) and on all other sides by India. Although a small country of 144,000 sq. km, it supports a population of 147 million (...

Article

Sergey Kuznetsov

Country in Europe bordering Russia to the east, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the north-west (see fig.). It covers 207,600 sq. km of gently rolling plain and in 1992 it had a population of c....

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Johan Decavele, Frieda van Tyghem, Jean van Cleven, M. Smeyers, Hans Vlieghe, J. Vanbergen, J. W. Klinckaert, Lynn F. Jacobs, Cynthia Lawrence, Hugo Lettens, L. Pil, Stéphane Vandenberghe, Ria Lombaerde-Fabri, Claire Dumortier, Mireille Jottrand, Isabelle Verhoeven, Timothy Schroder, Leo de Ren, Lieven Daenens, Peter Hornsby, G. van Hemeldonck, Erik Duverger, Patricia Wardle, Marc Umans, Herwig Todts, Yolande Morel-Deckers, Luc Verpoest and Alfred Willis

West European country bordering to the north with the Netherlands, the east with Germany, the south-east with Luxembourg, and the south with France. For 65 km it borders the North Sea to the west (see fig.). The rivers Scheldt, Leie, Meuse, and Sambre, which run through Belgium, have their estuaries north of the country, which therefore belongs geographically mainly to the Lower-Rhine plain; the Ardennes form an indented plateau in the south with a high-point of 692 m. The country is bisected by the Germanic-Romanic language border and is divided into ten provinces, three communities (Flanders, which is Dutch-speaking; Wallonia, which is French-speaking; and the German-speaking community of Eupen–Malmédy–Sankt-Vith), and, with the bilingual capital Brussels, into three regions. The Belgian state, created in ...

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Belize  

Lita Hunter Krohn

Central American country. Bordered by Mexico on the north, Guatemala on the west and south and the Caribbean Sea on the east (see fig.), its total land area is c. 23,300 sq. km. Its population of c. 250,000 (1999) contains a vast variety of ethnic groups. There are three types of ...

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Codjovi Joseph Adande

Country in West Africa bordered by Togo to the west, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north and Nigeria to the east. To the south it has a short coastline (c. 125 km) on the Gulf of Guinea. The capital is Porto Novo. The population of 4,591,000 (UN estimate, ...

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Françoise Pommaret

The country lies on the southern slopes of the Himalaya, bounded by the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China to the north and India to the south, east and west (see fig.). The capital is Thimphu. The country’s various languages, with the exception of Nepali, belong to the Tibeto–Burman group, and the state religion is Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism. (For a discussion of Vajrayana Buddhism, ...