History of Central Asia
The Kushan Empire
The Kushan Empire ruled over Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India early in the common era. Learn more about this fascinating empire here!
Travel along the Silk Road: Across China, Stage 1
Trace the path of a Ming Dynasty porcelain flask as it moves from China to Istanbul, Turkey along the Silk Road.
Timeline of Central Asian History
Central Asia timeline, laying out the region's history from the Aryan invasion through the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Battle of Geok-Tepe
In the late 1870s and early 1880s, Russia conquered Central Asia once and for all. Their most formidable foe was the Akhal Teke tribe of Turkmen (then called Turcomen). Two battles at Geok-tepe, in 1879 and 1881, were key to the Russian colonization of Central Asia.
The Battle of Talas
The little-known but pivotal Battle of Talas River in 751 A.D. pitted the expanding Arab Moslem army against the forces of the Tang Dynasty Chinese Empire. China was defeated, which resulted in Central Asia becoming part of the Islamic world, and the diffusion of paper-making technology to the West.
Great Conquerors from Central Asia
Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Timur (Tamerlane) each spread terror through the civilized world. All three men had their roots in the vast steppes of Central Asia.
Black Death in Asia | Bubonic Plague
Although the Black Death, a medieval outbreak of bubonic plague, is usually associated with Europe, it began in Asia, and devastated cities there first. Learn more about the Black Death in Asia here.
History of Nestorian Christianity
Learn about Nestorian Christianity, one of the primary Christian churches in Asia in the pre-colonial era. Also known as the Church of the East.
The Crimean Tatars
Descended from the Golden Horde of the Mongol Empire, the Crimean Tatars flourished under Ottoman rule for centuries. However, in the 20th century, the Soviets brought the Crimean Tatars oppression, deportation, and genocide.
The Aral Sea
For decades, the Aral Sea has been evaporating into the dry air of Central Asia, starved of water by massive cotton and grape plantations.