Central Asia

Central Asia was once a very rich part of the world. Because Central Asia was in the middle of Asia, they could sell things west on the Silk Road to Mesopotamia, south to India, and east to China.

First, Central Asia was the home of herders. People rode horses and herded cattle across huge grasslands. They ate yogurt and cheese and steak. They hunted and fought with bows and arrows. Sometimes people left Central Asia and moved to other places: first the Yamnaya, the Indo-Europeans, then in the Middle Ages the Turks and the Mongols. But by that time, many of them were farmers. They grew peaches and melons and apples, and sold them to their neighbors. They invented bowed instruments like violins. They built big cities – Samarkand and Merv and Tashkent and Kandahar. They manufactured and exported high quality steel and carpets. They were very rich.

But then things changed. New kinds of ships, compasses and clocks made it safer to travel on the oceans than it had been before. Ships moved steel and cotton and sugar much cheaper than camels and donkeys did, so more and more trade went by ship. Central Asia’s position in the middle of the land was a disadvantage now. And they were much poorer than they had been before.

14 09, 2017

Who were the Scythians? Central Asian history

By |2019-09-05T05:39:15-07:00September 14th, 2017|Central Asia|Comments Off on Who were the Scythians? Central Asian history

Scythian history: A Scythian milking a sheep (Tolstaja Mogila kurgan, Ukraine, 400 BC) Scythians lived in Central Asia The Scythians were a large group of loosely connected people who lived in [...]

11 09, 2017

Scythian art history – Central Asian art

By |2019-09-05T06:00:05-07:00September 11th, 2017|Central Asia|Comments Off on Scythian art history – Central Asian art

Scythian deer from about 700-500 B.C. It is made out of gold, and it's now in St. Petersburg. The Scythians were horse-riding nomads, who traveled around the western part of Central Asia taking care of [...]

10 09, 2017

Late Middle Ages timeline 1100-1500 AD

By |2020-01-13T04:51:00-08:00September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History, When|Comments Off on Late Middle Ages timeline 1100-1500 AD

The Mongol court (1200s AD) - Late Middle Ages timeline The Little Ice Age After the warming trend of 1000 AD came a colder period around 1300 AD called the Little Ice Age. [...]

7 09, 2017

Steel history – medieval to modern steel

By |2018-09-10T06:07:42-07:00September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|Comments Off on Steel history – medieval to modern steel

Steel history: a Safavid steel helmet (Iran, 1500s AD) Medieval steel from India and Iran The wars after the collapse of the Mongol Empire in the 1300s stopped steel production in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. [...]

7 09, 2017

What is opium? World history of medicine and drugs

By |2017-09-07T09:33:48-07:00September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|1 Comment

Opium poppy flower Opium comes from a kind of poppy flower. It evolved around 100 million years ago in West Asia and Central Asia. People probably realized as soon as they got to West Asia, about 60,000 [...]

7 07, 2017

Alexander the Great and the Silk Road

By |2019-01-22T05:41:36-08:00July 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Greeks, History|Comments Off on Alexander the Great and the Silk Road

Alexander in the east: Darius' palace at Persepolis Alexander reaches Afghanistan When Alexander finished conquering Persia (modern Iran), he burned Darius' great palace at Persepolis: only ruins are left today. [...]

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