History of Central Asia
In the Middle of Paleolithic period, from 100,000 to 35,000 years ago, people in central Asia were isolated from Europe and elsewhere by ice sheets, seas and swamps. The Homo Sapiens neandertalensis remains found at Aman kutan cave near Samarkand date roughly to 100,000 to 40,000 years ago, and are the earliest known human remains in central Asia.
Central Asia’s recorded history begins in the 6th century B.C., when the large Achemenid Empire of Iran held three satrapies beyond the Amu-Darya, (Oxus) river: Sogdiana, Khorezm, and Saka. Sogdiana was the land between Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya, called transoxiana by Greeks and Movarannahr by Arabs. Khorezm lay on the lower reaches of the Amu-Darya south of the Aral Sea Saka extending indefinitely over the steppes beyond the Syr -Darya and including the Tian Shan range, was the home of nomadic warriors.In 330 B.C Alexander the Great has defeated the last Achemenid Darius III. 329 he crossed Amu-Darya and occupied Central Asia.
In 138 B.C. Chinese general Chang Chien came to Ferghana desiring to purchase famous Ferghana “Heavenly Horses” which sweated blood. He found that local merchants are very interesting in his dress made of silk. Parthia was the most voracious foreign consumer of Chinese silk at the close of the embassies and inaugurated official bilateral trade along the caravan route that lay between them. With this the Silk Route was born.
In the 1st century B.C. the Kushans (descendants of Chinese Yue-Zhin Tribe) controlled northern India, Afghanistan and Sogdiana from its core in Ghandara region. At its height in the first centuries after Christ, it was one of the four great powers of the world. Along with, China and Parthia. For a thousand of years after the birth of Christ, Central Asia,s was scene of pendulum-like shifts of power between the nomadic hordes of the Heartland (South Siberia ) and the sedentary civilizations of Eurasia’s periphery. Both sought to profit from Central Asia,s long –distance trade routes. Meanwhile the Turks, namesake of today’s Turkistan, appeared on the scene at this time. In 3rd century A.D . Sogdiana was occupied by Sassanids of Iran. They lost their possessions in the 4th century to Hunz, the Hunz were followed by the Turks of Turks Khanads in the 6th century. In the 8th century Arabs came to Central Asidia and converted people to Islam. By the 9th century Central Asia had given rise to the peaceable and affluent Samanid Dynasty.
By the early 10th century, internal strife at court had weakened the Samanid Dynasty and opened the door for two Turkic tribes to divide up the empire: the Ghaznevids in Khorasan south of the Amu-Darya and the Qarakhanids in Transoxiana and the steppe region beyond the Syr-Darya. In 1219 Jenghiz Khan brought his 200,000 army and covered whole Central Asia. After death in 1227 his empire was divided in to three parts. Central Asia mostly was under Chagatay, second son of Jenghiz Khan.
The fracturing of the Mongol Empire immediately led to resurgence of the Turkic peoples. From one minor tribe near Samarkand rose tyrant Timur (Tamerlane)
After assembling an army and wresting Transoxiana from Chagatay rule. Timur went on a spectacular nine year rampage, which ended in 1395 with modern day Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the Caucasus. He also despoiled northern India (the founder of India,s Moghul Dynasty, Babur, was his grandson). From 1409 until 1449, Samarkand was governed by the conqueror,s mild, scholarly grandson, Ulugbek. In 1500 Muhammad Sheybani brought the Uzbeks to Central Asia. He defeated the last Timurids and established Uzbek control over the most territory of Central Asia. after them in the mid 18th century three Uzbek Dynasties divide empire into three parts: the Kungrats established Khiva Khanate, the Mangits-Bukkara Emirates and the Mings-Kokand Khanate. Meanwhile on the northern territories there was the Great horde of the Nomad Kazaks.
In 1864 Kokand was occupied by Russians, in 1865 Tashkent also felt. In 1868 Bukhara was made a protectorate. Khiva Khanate felt in 1873. After battle in Geok-Tepe in 1881 and occupation of Mery in 1884 whole Turkmenistan became the Russian territory.
After the Great October Revolution in 1917 on the territory of Central Asia five Soviet Republics appeared. The Uzbek and Turkmen SSR in 1924, Tajik SSR in 1929, The Kyrgyz and Kazak SSR in 1936. In 1991 all Central Asian countries proclaimed.
Uzbekistan is bordered by Afghanistan to the north, Kyrgystan to northeast and Tajikistan to the east. Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai mountain ranges dominate the south and east and the Kuzui Kum desert lies to the northeast. The Aril Sea bound the northwest autonomous region of Karakasl pakistan and the Sparely populated ustyurt Plateau with its vast cotton fields.
Language: The official language is Uzbek and Russian.
Under the Uzbekistan Constitution, there is full religious freedom. However Uzbek are predominantly Suni Muslim with Shia as well forming a small number. Russian orthodox and Jewish minorities coexist with full harmony.
Som (cym) is national currency for Dollar comparison. Money may be exchanged at Banks or moneychangers. US $, DM and SFr are welcome. But cheques and credit cards will not be accepted also USD $ bills prior to 1990 will not be exchanged. Likes all states of former Soviet Union crime has aggravated in Uzbekistan also however the usual care which travelers in any foreign country should take will be sufficient.
Uzbekistan has an extreme continental climate. It is generally warm in the south and cold in the north. Average temperature in December is – 8C in the North and O.C in the South. During the summer, temperature can climb to 40 C.