Neolithic colonists integrated with the indigenous people, gradually changing their lifestyles from a nomadic life of hunting and gathering, to become settled farmers about 6,000 BP – the Neolithic Revolution.
Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries and tourism.
Wales' 2010 gross value added (GVA) was £45.5 billion (£15,145 per head, 74.0% of the average for the UK, and the lowest GVA per head in Britain).
This form also appears at times in literary references, as in the pseudohistorical "Historia Regum Britanniae" of Geoffrey of Monmouth, where the character of Camber is described as the eponymous King of Cymru.
Continuous human habitation dates from the end of the last ice age, between 12,000 and 10,000 years before present (BP), when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from central Europe began to migrate to Great Britain.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962.
Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.
Wales was free of glaciers by about 10,250 BP, the warmer climate allowing the area to become heavily wooded.
The post-glacial rise in sea level separated Wales and Ireland, forming the Irish Sea.
Doggerland was submerged by the North Sea and, by 8,000 BP, the British Peninsula had become an island.
John Davies has theorised that the story of Cantre'r Gwaelod's drowning and tales in the Mabinogion, of the waters between Wales and Ireland being narrower and shallower, may be distant folk memories of this time.
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century.