HISTORY OF ASIA

Seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions such as, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe. The coastal periphery was the home to some of the world's earliest known civilizations, with each of the three regions developing early civilizations around fertile river valleys

These valleys were fertile because the soil there was rich and could bear lots of root crops The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China shared many similarities and likely exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other notions such as that of writing likely developed individually in each area

MESOPOTAMIA

Other notions such as that of writing likely developed individually in each area. Cities, states and then empires developed in these lowlands he steppe region had long been inhabited by mounted nomads, and from the central steppes they could reach all areas of the Asian continent. The northern part of the continent, covering much of Siberia was also inaccessible to the steppe nomads due to the dense forests and the tundra

SIBERIA

TUNDRA

A temple area in southeastern Turkey at Göbekli Tepe dated to 10000 BC has been seen as the beginning of the "Neolithic 1" culture

9000 BC to 4500 BC

Göbekli Tepe

This site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherers since there is no permanent housing in the vicinity

This temple site is the oldest known manmade place of worship

By 8500–8000 BC farming communities began to spread to Anatolia(present day Turkey), North Africa and north Mesopotamia

The prehistoric Beifudi site near Yixian in Hebei Province, China, contains relics of a culture contemporaneous with the Cishan and Xinglongwa cultures of about 7000–8000 BC, neolithic cultures east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap between the two Northern Chinese cultures

Around 5500 BCE the Halafian culture appeared in the Levant, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia, based upon dryland agriculture. In southern Mesopotamia were the alluvial plains of Sumer and Elam. Since there was little rainfall irrigation systems were necessary. The Ubaid culture flourished from 5500 BCE

The Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, ruled an area from Greece and Turkey to the Indus River and Central Asia during the 6th to 4th centuries BC. Alexander the Great conquered this empire in the 4th century BC

Bronze Age (4500 BC–500 BC)

The Qin Dynasty (Chinese: 秦朝; pinyin: Qín Cháo) was the first ruling dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. The Han Dynasty (simplified Chinese: 汉 朝; traditional Chinese: 漢朝; pinyin: Hàn Cháo ;206 BCE – 220 CE) was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms (220–265 CE).Spanning over four centuries, the period of the Han Dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history

Many ancient civilizations were influenced by the Silk Road, which connected China, India, the Middle East and Europe.

The Islamic Caliphate and other Islamic states took over the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, and later expanded into the Indian subcontinent and Malay archipelago

Middle Ages (600–1500)

The Mongol Empire conquered a large part of Asia in the 13th century, an area extending from China to Europe. Marco Polo was not the first Westerner to travel to the Orient and return with amazing stories of this different culture, but his accounts published in the late 13th and early 14th centuries were the first to be widely read throughout Europe

Chola Dynasty of south India, annexed most of south-east Asia during 10th-11th century. The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 12th century onwards, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, although Sindh and Multan were captured in 8th century.

The Russian Empire began to expand into Asia from the 17th century, eventually taking control of all of Siberia and most of Central Asia by the end of the 19th century

Modern period (1500–present)

The Ottoman Empire controlled Turkey and the Middle East from the 16th century onwards. In the 17th century, the Manchu conquered China and established the Qing Dynasty, although this was in decline by the nineteenth century and had been overthrown in 1912

• Suleiman The Magnificent

Suleiman - was the tenth and longestreigning Emperor, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system.

Tughra of Suleiman the Magnificent

In the 16th century, the Mughal Empire controlled much of India and initiated second golden age for India. China was largest economy in the world for much of the time followed by India till the 18th century

The European powers had control of other parts of Asia by the 1900s, such as British India, French Indochina, Spanish East Indies, and Portuguese Macau and Goa. The Great Game between Russia and Britain was the struggle for power in the Central Asian region in the nineteenth century.

The Trans-Siberian Railway, crossing Asia by train, was complete by 1916. Parts of Asia remained free from European control, although not influence, such as Persia, Thailand and most of China. In the twentieth century, Imperial Japan expanded into China and Southeast Asia during the Second World War.

After the war, many Asian countries became independent from European powers. During the Cold War, the northern parts of Asia were communist controlled with the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China, while western allies formed pacts such as CENTO and SEATO.

Conflicts such as the Korean War, Vietnam War and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were fought between communists and anti-communists. In the decades after the Second World War, a massive restructuring plan drove Japan to become the world's second-largest economy, a phenomenon known as the Japanese post-war economic miracle.

The Arab-Israeli conflict has dominated much of the recent history of the Middle East. After the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, there were many new independent nations in Central Asia

Today China, India, South Korea, Japan and Russia play important roles in world economics and politics. China today is second largest economy of the world and fastest growing economy. India is the second fastest growing economy with second largest population after China.

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