The history of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions such as, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe.The coastal periphery was the home to some of the worlds earliest known civilizations, with each of the three regions developing early civilizations around fertile river valleys. These valleys were fertile because the soil there was rich and could bear lots of root crops.
The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China shared many similarities and likely exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other notions such as that of writing likely developed individually in each area. Cities, states and then empires developed in these lowlands.The steppe region had long been inhabited by mounted nomads, and from the central steppes they could reach all areas of the Asian continent.
The northern part of the continent, covering much of Siberia was also inaccessible to the steppe nomads due to the dense forests and the tundra. These areas in Siberia were very sparsely populated.The centre and periphery were kept separate by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus, Himalaya, Karakum Desert, and Gobi Desert formed barriers that the steppe horsemen could only cross with difficulty. While technologically and culturally the city dwellers were more advanced, they could do little militarily to defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However, the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horsebound force.
Thus the nomads who conquered states in the Middle East were soon forced to adapt to the local societies.Asias history would feature major developments seen in other parts of the world, as well as events that would affect those other regions. These include the trade of the Silk Road, which spread cultures, languages, religion, and disease throughout Afro-Eurasian trade. Another major advancement was the innovation of gunpowder in medieval China, which led to advanced warfare through the use of guns.9000 BCE to 4500 BCE A temple area in southeastern Turkey at Gobekli Tepe dated to 10000 BCE has been seen as the beginning of the “Neolithic 1” culture.
This site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherers since there is no permanent housing in the vicinity. This temple site is the oldest known man-made place of worship. By 8500??“8000 BCE farming communities began to spread to Anatolia, North Africa and north Mesopotamia.A report by archaeologist Rakesh Tewari on Lahuradewa, India shows new C14 datings that range between 8000 BCE and 9000 BCE associated with rice, making Lahuradewa the earliest Neolithic site in entire South Asia.The prehistoric Beifudi site near Yixian in Hebei Province, China, contains relics of a culture contemporaneous with the Cishan and Xinglongwa cultures of about 7000??“8000 BCE, neolithic cultures east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap between the two Northern Chinese cultures. The total excavated area is more than 1,200 square meters and the collection of neolithic findings at the site consists of two phases.Around 5500 BCE the Halafian culture appeared in the Levant, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia, based upon dryland agriculture.In southern Mesopotamia were the alluvial plains of Sumer and Elam.
Since there was little rainfall, irrigation systems were necessary. The Ubaid culture flourished from 5500 BCE.Bronze Age (4500 BCE??“1200 BCE) Main articles: Ancient Near East and Synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric culturesThe Chalcolithic period began about 4500 BCE, then the Bronze Age began about 3500 BCE, replacing the Neolithic cultures.The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300??“1300 BCE; mature period 2600??“1900 BCE) which was centered mostly in the western part of the Indian Subcontinent; it is considered that an early form of Hinduism was performed during this civilization. Some of the great cities of this civilization include Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. The cause of the destruction of these regions around 1700 BCE is debatable, although evidence suggests it was caused by natural disasters (especially flooding) and Indo-European invaders. These invaders are commonly referred to as the Aryan and their dominance created the Vedic period, which lasted from roughly 1500 BCE to 500 BCE.
During this period, the Sanskrit language developed and the Vedas were written, epic hymns that told tales of Aryan gods and wars. This was the basis for the Aryan religion, which would eventually sophisticate and develop into Hindusim, a religion based on the caste system of class (which consisted of the four varnas), the brahman priesthood, and the developing semi-monotheism.China and Vietnam were also centres of metalworking. Dating back to the Neolithic Age, the first bronze drums, called the Dong Son drums have been uncovered in and around the Red River Delta regions of Vietnam and Southern China.
These relate to the prehistoric Dong Son Culture of Vietnam. Song Da bronze drums surface, Dong Son culture, VietnamIn Ban Chiang, Thailand (Southeast Asia), bronze artifacts have been discovered dating to 2100 BCE.In Nyaunggan, Burma bronze tools have been excavated along with ceramics and stone artifacts. Dating is still currently broad (3500??“500 BCE).