Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture

By John S. Bowman | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Central Asian Republics

PRE-ISLAMIC CENTRAL ASIA: 70,000 B.C.–A.D. 652

Much of the early history of Central Asia is unknown. Because the geography of the region is not generally conducive to agriculture, the early inhabitants adopt a nomadic way of life and leave behind no written records. Various tribal confederations rise in dominance and establish an empire of sorts over the important oases and trade cities. These tribal confederations inevitably prove fragile, however, as internal strife and inadequate means of governance lead to the dissolution of power. Early examples of this sort of “nomadic empire” are the Scythians and Samartians, both of Iranian origin, and the Xiongnu, a Turkic-Mongol people who are most active in the Mongolian steppes, but who also come to control the Tarim Basin. Parthia, the great empire that was to dominate Mesopotamia in the third century B.C., had its origins on the southern steppes of present-day Turkmenistan. The Persians, the Chinese Han, the Indian king Kanishka, and the Macedonian armies of Alexander the Great all make inroads into Central Asia, contributing to the great confluence of culture still to be found in the region. However, the most significant events in terms of defining the ultimate cultural character of the region are the conquests of the Turkish khaghanate in the sixth century, and the ascendancy of Islam in the seventh through the tenth centuries.

70,000–55,000B.C.: The first settlements in Central Asia appear in the Ferghana Valley (present-day Uzbekistan) and in the Tien Shan range near Issyk-Kol.

5,000–3,000B.C.: Evidence from an archaeological site north of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan indicates that the Neolithic Jeitun civilization becomes one of the first cultures in Central Asia to make use of agriculture.

2000B.C.: Settlements typical of the Bronze Age Abdronovo appear throughout Kazakhstan. In the Amu Darya (Oxus) valley and near the Aral Sea Indo-Iranian tribes begin to settle the areas later known as Khorezm and Sogdiana.

1200B.C.: A Late Bronze Age people known as the Cimmerians settle in the Volga, the southern part of the Russian steppe.

Late 8th centuryB.C.: The Scythians supplant the Cimmerians in the Ukraine. The Scyth

-566-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 751

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?