The history of Central Asia

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The history of Central Asia has been determined primarily by the area's climate and geography. The aridity of the region makesagriculture difficult, and its distance from the sea cut it off from much trade. Thus, few major cities developed in the region. Nomadic horse peoples of the steppe dominated the area for millennia.


History of Central Asia
External influences
Return of indigenous rule
Conquest of the steppes
Since 1991

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 ‘‘The history of Central Asia’’  


Teacher: prof. Shevyakova T.V.


Student: Nauanova Asem


    1. History of Central Asia
    2. Prehistory
    3. External influences
    4. Return of indigenous rule
    5. Conquest of the steppes
    6. Since 1991  

The history of Central Asia has been determined primarily by the area's climate and geography. The aridity of the region makesagriculture difficult, and its distance from the sea cut it off from much trade. Thus, few major cities developed in the region. Nomadic horse peoples of the steppe dominated the area for millennia.

Relations between the steppe nomads and the settled people in and around Central Asia were marked by conflict. The nomadic lifestyle was well suited to warfare, and the steppe horse riders became some of the most militarily potent people in the world, due to the devastating techniques and ability of their horse archers.


Periodically, tribal leaders or changing conditions would organize several tribes into a single military force. A few of these tribal coalitions included the Huns' invasion of Europe, Turkic migrations into Transoxiana, the Wu Hu attacks on China and most notably the Mongol conquest of much of Eurasia.



History of Central Asia



Recent genetic studies have concluded that humans arrived in the region 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, making the region one of the oldest known sites of human habitation. The archaeological evidence of population in this region is sparse, whereas evidence of human habitation in Africa and Australia prior to that of Central Asia is well-known. Some studies have also identified this region as the likeliest source of the populations who later inhabited Europe, Siberia, and North America.

The region is also often considered to be the source of the root of the Indo-European languages.


External influences  


Turkic expansion began in the 6th century, and following the Göktürk emipre, Turkic tribes quickly spread westward across all of Central Asia. The Turkic speaking Uyghurs were one of many distinct cultural groups brought together by the trade of the Silk Route at Turfan in Chinese Central Asia. The Uyghurs, primarily pastoral nomads, observed a number of religions including Manichaeism, Buddhism, and Nestorian Christianity. Many of the artifacts from this period were found in the 19th century in this remote desert region of China.


Return of indigenous rule  


Over time, as new technologies were introduced, the nomadic horsemen grew in power. The Scythians developed the saddle, and by the time of the Alans the use of the stirrup had begun. Horses continued to grow larger and sturdier so that chariots were no longer needed as the horses could carry men with ease. This greatly increased the mobility of the nomads; it also freed their hands, allowing them to use the bow from horseback. Using small but powerful composite bows, the steppe people gradually became the most powerful military force in the world. From a young age, almost the entire male population was trained in riding and archery, both of which were necessary skills for survival on the steppe. By adulthood, these activities were second nature. These mounted archers were more mobile than any other force at the time, being able to travel forty miles a day with ease.


Conquest of the steppes  


The lifestyle that had existed largely unchanged since 500 BCE began to disappear after 1500. An important change in the world economy in the fourteenth and fifteenth century was brought about by the development of nautical technology. Ocean trade routes were pioneered by the Europeans, who were cut off from the Silk Road by the Muslim states that controlled its western termini. The trade between East Asia, India, Europe, and the Middle East began to move over the seas and not through Central Asia. The disunity of the region after the end of the Mongol Empire also made trade and travel far more difficult and the Silk Road went into steep decline.


Since 1991  


From 1988 to 1992, a free press and multiparty system developed in the Central Asian republics as perestroika pressured the local Communist parties to open up. Despite these reservations and fears, since the late 1980s, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan have gradually moved to centre stage in the global energy markets and are now regarded as key factors of the international energy security. Azerbaijan and Kzakhstan in particular have succeeded in attracting massive foreign investment to their oil and gas sectors.

In the first part of 2008 Central Asia experienced a severe energy crisis, a shortage of both electricity and fuel, aggravated by abnormally cold temperatures, failing infrastructure, and a shortage of food.


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