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In addition, a number of linguists expert in ancient Celtic have presented compelling evidence that the Tartessian language, once spoken in parts of SW Spain and SW Portugal, is at least proto-Celtic in structure.Modern archeology and research shows a Portuguese root to the Celts in Portugal and elsewhere.The names Callaici and Cale are the origin of today's Gaia, Galicia.Another, romantic theory has it that Cala was the name of a Celtic goddess (drawing a comparison with the Gaelic Cailleach a supernatural hag).
These explanations however would require the pre-Roman language of the area to have been a branch of Q-Celtic, which is not generally accepted.
During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope (1488), Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India (1497–98) and the European discovery of Brazil (1500).
During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, and the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia.
The region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians, Celtici and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia, after 45 BC until 298 AD.
The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and then by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula.