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Uzbekistan History in Brief

Uzbekistan has a rich history, which goes as far back as the remote ages. According to archeologists, this land is one of the most ancient man's habitats. Within the last 50 years alone there have been found here several sites of a primitive man of Stone Age. The most famous ones are Teshiktash and Amankutan.

The fertile lands, wonderful water supply, warm climate promoted the development of agriculture. The vast non-irrigated parts of deserts and steppes adjoining the agricultural areas served as pastures for cattle breeding. While evolving, the inhabitants of these lands established many-sided relations with their neighbors. Three main factors - geographical, economic and social ones, predetermined the formation on the territory of Transoxiana (the lands between Amudarya and Syrdarya) of such ancient states as Sogdiana, Bactria, Khorezm, Margiana and some others.

Over the high fortress walls of big cities with their noisy markets and quarters of craftsmen, there worked skillful weavers; potters made and burnt dishes; armourers hammered swords and helmets; jewellers made wonderful decorations. The works of local masters were famous not only in the neighboring countries but also outside Central Asia.


The countries of the ancient East waged regular wars with each other. The purpose of those wars was the conquest of lands, capture of slaves and other valuable trophies. The riches of the region, its peculiar geographical location, attracted many foreign invaders. In the second half of the 1st century B.C., the states, located on the territory of present Uzbekistan, were conquered by the Akhemenid rulers, thus forming the eastern satrapies of Akhamenid empire. In the 6th century the territory of Central Asia was lorded by the Persian kings. In 329-327 B.C., this region was conquered by Alexander the Great. Later on, on the ruins of Macedonian empire there appeared new state formations. Bactria and Sogdiana first joined the Selevkids state, and in later period they became a part of Greko-Bactrian state and Kushan empire. In the 6th century, Transoxiana was included in the Turkish kaganate that consolidated various tribes of Altai, Semirechie and Central Asia.

The periods of economic and cultural growth were replaced by the epochs of deep economic decline due to the numerous invasions. However, there always continued the development process. The Great Silk Road that connected two points of the world - China and Rome, played an important role in this development. According to the historical chronicles, the idea of building this unique transcontinental road belonged to the Chinese emperor. The idea was suggested after a story of a Chinese messenger who had returned to his native country in 125 B.C. after long travels and had narrated about the "western" countries he had seen. It turned out that behind the Great Chinese Wall, behind the endless steppes and deserts there were powerful states, such as Khorezm, Sogdiana and others with an advanced original culture.


It is noteworthy that the foreigners not only brought their own culture to this part of the world but also adopted local cultural traditions. Owing to this peculiar symbiosis, today the archaeologists find the remains of wonderful palaces, beautiful statues and wall pictures. There are many evidences to the fact that economics, construction engineering and arts developed here. Zoroastrianism and Buddhism were two dominant religions among the peoples inhabiting Central Asia. In big cities there could be found the communities of Manichaeans, Christians and Jews. There are many records testifying to the cultural relations of the country with India, Iran and Syria.

In the 7th and early 8th centuries the Arabs invaded the territory of Central Asia. The period of Samanids reign that followed this invasion was characterized by the prosperity of the cities, which developed into big centers of commerce and culture. Later, this region was conquered by Gaznevids, Karahanids and Seljuks.

The scientists refer the formation of the nationalities inhabiting present-day Uzbekistan to the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. It was a long process. However, the direct reckoning of the time when ethnic, "modern" Uzbeks appeared, starts from the conquest of these lands first by Chengis Khan in the 13th century, and subsequently by Sheibani Khan in the 15th - 16th centuries. Soon after his invasion the tribes, that got the joint name "Uzbeks", migrated here and gradually assimilated with the local population.

Amir Timur

Amir Timur became one of the main champions of a centralized state. In the second half of the 14th century, having taken an advantage of disintegration of domains belonging to Chengis Khan's successors in Central Asia, he consolidated these kingdoms and founded a powerful state with the capital in Samarkand. In 1380 Amir Temur started series of his military campaigns to other countries. As a result, he conquered such countries as Iran, Caucasus, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Northern India.

Elimination of political and economic disintegration, setting up of a centralized state in the part of Central Asia that was called Movarounnahr, provided favorable conditions for the development of economics that had been undermined by the Mongol domination. Thanks to the political energy of Amir Temur, the governmental, social and military institutes were noticeably improved.

Development of science, architecture, town-planning, literature and arts during the reign of Amir Temur and his successors, can be considered a unique, globally important phenomenon. Incidentally, the boundaries of the state that was governed by Timur's prominent grandson Ulugbek , almost completely coincided with the boundaries of present Uzbekistan. Ulugbek is known in the world history not only as a political leader, but also as a prominent scientist, as a patron of arts and science. He constructed the astronomical observatory, which at that time had no analogues in the world.

It is common knowledge that each nation in due time goes through the period of its formation as well as through the period of its highest possible development due to the historically objective probability of a large number of energetic people to appear, who apply their abilities in various spheres of the community life, thus creating the basis for the unique upsurge of its development.


The chronicles of the medieval Movarounnahr also confirm this concept. The names of the great state leaders, scientists, thinkers and poets who lived and created here, whose achievements became a part of the world civilization treasury, are known in all the countries, all over the continents. Among them we can name Abu Ali Ibn Sino (Avicenna), who together with Hippokratus is considered to be a father of modern medicine; Al-Khorezmi after whose name algebra and algorithm were called; astronomer Ulugbek, who made for astronomy to stop being exclusively priest's sacrament and to become a science. This list can be supplemented with many other names, such as mathematician Abu Raikhon Beruni, poet Alisher Navoi, philosophers Bahauddin Nakshbandi, Al-Bukhari and Al Termezi and many others.

Up to now, palaces, mausoleums, madrassahs and minarets, built under Temurids, amaze the travelers with their beauty and magnificence. Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Shakhrisabz form the treasury of world history and are included into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

After certain decline caused by the invasion of Sheibani Khan, the development of cultures and civilizations in this region became evident once again. New khanates appeared - Bukhara, Kokand and Khiva khanates. Energy and spirit of people, their centuries-old traditions of lofty ideals and cultural wealth did not exhaust themselves.

Of course, neighboring Russia could not disregard this rather important from the geopolitical point of view region, which economically was also of a big interest. First of all Russia was interested in agricultural production - cotton and leather. In the late 40s - early 50s of the 19th century, the Russian empire started gradually to usurp these territories. In 1867, Turkestan governorship was founded with Tashkent as its center.


The period that followed the October revolution in Russia in 1917, opened one more page in the history of Uzbekistan. Soviet power was proclaimed in Turkestan region at the end of 1917 - the beginning of 1918. Later, in 1924, as a result of demarcation of Central Asia into national territorial entities, there was formed the Uzbek Soviet Socialistic Republic as a part of the USSR.

On August 31, 1991, on the Uzbekistan Supreme Soviet special session there was proclaimed the state's independence. On March 2, 1992, Uzbekistan became a member of the United Nations Organisation and entered into Helsinki process after having signed the summit's Final Act on security and co-operation. Today, independent republic of Uzbekistan is a member of a number of leading economic and financial organizations - Organization of Economic co-operation, Economic association of the Black Sea countries, European bank for reconstruction and development and other authoritative international institutions. The interest that many countries show in establishing business relations with Uzbekistan, arises not only because of high economic potential of Uzbekistan natural resources, but due to the country's economic policy aimed at rendering maximum assistance to integration process development both in the field of economics and all the other spheres of social life.

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