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In the 21st century, scholars derive the name of the ancient Callaeci either from Proto-Indo-European *kal-n-e H In any case, Galicia, being per se a derivation of the ethnic name Kallaikói, means 'the land of the Galicians'.The name evolved during the Middle Ages from Gallaecia, sometimes written Galletia, to Gallicia.Galicia was later influenced by the Bell Beaker culture.Its rich mineral deposits of tin and gold led to the development of Bronze Age metallurgy, and to the commerce of bronze and gold items all along the Atlantic coast of Western Europe.The historical denomination Galiza became popular again during the end of the 19th and the first three-quarters of the 20th century, and is still used with some frequency today.The Xunta de Galicia, the local devolved government, uses 'Galicia.' The Royal Galician Academy, the institution responsible for regulating the Galician language, whilst recognizing 'Galiza' as a legitimate current denomination, has stated that the only official name of the country is Galicia.

This coincides with the spelling of the Castilian Spanish name.

In 410, the Germanic Suebi established a kingdom with its capital in Braga (Portugal); this kingdom was incorporated into that of the Visigoths in 585.

In 711, the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate invaded the Iberian Peninsula conquering the Visigoth kingdom of Hispania by 718, but soon Galicia was incorporated into the Christian kingdom of Asturias by 740.

During the Middle Ages, the kingdom of Galicia was occasionally ruled by its own kings, but most of the time it was leagued to the kingdom of Leon and later to that of Castile, while maintaining its own legal and customary practices and culture.

From the 13th century on, the kings of Castile, as kings of Galicia, appointed an Adiantado-mór, whose attributions passed to the Governor and Captain General of the Kingdom of Galiza from the last years of the 15th century.

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