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During the Iron Age, Celtic culture, deriving from the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, arrived from Central Europe.Brythonic was the spoken language during this time.
The earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late ninth century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
England became a unified state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world.
The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations.
Roughly 11,000 years ago, when the ice sheets began to recede, humans repopulated the area; genetic research suggests they came from the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula.
As the seas rose, it was separated from Ireland 10,000 years ago and from Eurasia two millennia later.
By heating together tin and copper, which were in abundance in the area, the Beaker culture people made bronze, and later iron from iron ores.
The development of iron smelting allowed the construction of better ploughs, advancing agriculture (for instance, with Celtic fields), as well as the production of more effective weapons.
How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe that was less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons (Eald-Seaxe) of Old Saxony between Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany.
similarly, the Welsh name for the English language is "Saesneg". The name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain.
The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain (which lies in the North Atlantic) in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller named islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries.
England's terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England.