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During the Neolithic period, the region was inhabited by Pre-Celtic tribes, who built religious and funerary monuments, megaliths, dolmens and menhirs, which still survive in areas on the periphery of Lisbon. The Indo-European Celts invaded in the first millennium BC, mixing with the Pre-Indo-European population, thus giving rise to Celtic-speaking local tribes such as the Cempsi. Archaeological findings suggest there were Phoenician influences dating back to 1200 BC, leading some historians to believe that a Phoenician trading post might have occupied the center of the present city. The sheltered harbour in the Tagus River estuary was an ideal spot for a settlement and provided a secure port for provisioning of Phoenician ships travelling to the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall. The Tagus settlement was also an important center of commercial trade with inland tribes, providing an outlet for the valuable metals, salt, and salted-fish they collected, and for the sale of the Lusitanian horses renowned in antiquity. Although Phoenician remains from the 8th century BC were found beneath the Mediaeval Sé Cathedral, modern historians believe that Lisbon was an ancient autochthonous settlement (Roman oppidum) and that, at most, it maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians which accounted for Phoenician pottery and artifacts. Following the disintegration of the Roman empire there were barbarian invasions; between 409 and 429 the city was occupied successively by Sarmatians, Alans, and Vandals. The Germanic Suebi, also controlled the region of Lisbon until 585. On 6 August 711, Lisbon was taken by Muslim forces. These conquerors, who were mostly Berbers and Arabs from North Africa and the Middle East, built many mosques and houses, rebuilt the city wall and established administrative control, while permitting the diverse population (Muladi, Mozarabs, Berbers, Arabs, Jews, Zanj, and Saqaliba) to maintain their socio-cultural lifestyles. In 1108 the city was conquered by Norwegian crusaders led by Sigurd I on their way to the Holy Land as part of the Norwegian Crusade, but was reconquered by Moorish Almoravids in 1111. In 1147, as part of the Reconquista, crusader knights led by Afonso I of Portugal besieged and reconquered Lisbon. The city, with around 154,000 residents at the time, was returned to Christian rule. Most of the Portuguese expeditions of the Age of Discovery left from Lisbon during the 15th to 17th centuries, including Vasco da Gama's expedition to India in 1497. In 1506, 3000 Jews were massacred in Lisbon. The 16th century was Lisbon's golden era: the city was the European hub of commerce between Africa, India, the Far East and, later, Brazil, and acquired great riches by exploiting the trade in spices, slaves, sugar, textiles, and other goods. This period saw the rise of the exuberant Manueline style in architecture, which left its mark in many 16th century monuments (including Lisbon's Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, which were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites).
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