STONE AGE -
ZOROASTRIANS AND PERSIANS - Uzbekistan has been
where the main caravan roads the process of inhabiting the
territory of Uzbekistan dates back to the Stone Age the most
ancient information on the nationalities of Central Asia is
documented in the Avesta-the code of holy hymns of the
Zoroastrians lands were inhabited by Soghdians, Bactrians and
other nationalities. During the fourth, fifth, and sixth
centuries B.C., a greater part of the Central Asian lands was
under the power of the Persian dynasty of Akhemenids. The
above mentioned nationalities are described in Persian
original sources. Greek writers mentioned the existence of
Marakanda city (today's Samarkand) and Kiropol in Ferghana.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
In the third and fourth
centuries B.C., Central Asia was conquered by the Macedonians.
Conquest by Alexander the Great had a great effect on the economic
and cultural development of the peoples of the East, West and
Central Asia. In the middle of the third century B.C., the conquered
regions became independent and local dynasties came to power.
Bactria, which included the southern parts of Uzbekistan and
Tadjikistan, became the hub of the Greek- Bactrian empire and later
came under control of the Kushan empire. After the conquest of
Central Asia by Alexander the Great, studies of the subsequent
period depict development and the heyday of architecture, painting,
handcrafts, and music.
3) THE ARAB INVASION - During the seventh and eighth centuries,
Central Asia was conquered by the Arab Khalifat. The Arabs took over
these countries under the mission of spreading the new religion of
Islam. As a result, their conquest entirely changed the region's way
of life. Building construction, art and science declined under the
pressures of war and continued only in the middle of the nineth
century. This was connected with the creation of independent empires
ruled by the dynasties of the local aristocracy: the Tahirids and
Samanids. In the l0th century, the Arabs were forced to withdraw
their troops and the Samanids rose to power.
GENGHIZ KHAN AND
TAMERLANE - In 1220-1221 Central Asia could not withstand the invasion of
Genghiz-Khan's army. Many cities, such as Bukhara, Khorezm, and
Samarkand were destroyed. Thousands of people perished (in
Samarkand, only 50,000 out of a population of one million survived).
In the middle of the 14th century with the help of the famous
warlord Tamerlane the local people were freed from the Mongols.
Tamerlane began his succsessful marches to Iraq, India, Turkey, and
noth Africa that led to establishing one of the most powerful
medival empires, with Samarkand as the capital. Restoration and
development of the cities (Samarkand and Shakhrisabz, Tamerlane's
native town in particular), revived commerce, handyerafts, sceince
and the arts.
NOMADIC TRIBES In the 14th century Uzbek
nomadic tribes invaded from the north, conquering the small feudal
states of Timurids and formed thier own state (later to be called
Uzbekistan). The term " Uzbek" means "master" or
"lord" of oneself. The economics of Central Asia in the
past owed to stable relations with China, India and Europe. In the
2nd century B.C. caravan trade routes connected South-East Europe,
Iraq, Caucasus, and Central Asia with Mongolia and China, and is now
known as the great Silk Road. The Silk Road passed through the
centers of Central Asia - Samarkand, Bukhara, Marghilan,
Shakhrisabz, and Andijan.
In the second half of the 19th century the Bukhara, Khiva and
Kokand khanates were joined to the Russian Empire. During this
period agriculture was highly developed in Uzbekistan for one
specific reason: it was more economical to grow cotton in Central
Asia instead of importing it from the US. Cotton became the most
important agricultural item. The construction of railroads made its
impact on the development of trade and cultural relations between
Asia and Europe. That was when the country began to overcome its
earlier period of stagnation.
REVOLUTION - in 1917
changed the political situation in Turkestan and in 1922 Uzbekistan
became one of the republics of the USSR. Uzbekistan announced its
independence from Russia, and September l, 1991 was proclaimed as
its Independence Day.
Upon gaining its statehood,
Uzbekistan began to work out its own way of becoming a renewed,
developing sovereign democratic republic. The country is a
multinational state: more than 129 nationalities and national
minorities live there.