Central Asia is a region in Asia. The countries in Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. The United Nations also includes Afghanistan as part of Central Asia.
People have lived in the region of Central Asia since prehistoric times. Most of the region was part of the Silk Road. It was a part of the Persian Empire until Alexander The Great captured it. When he died, the land was given to his general Seleucus. Seleucus slowly lost it to the Parthians. When the Parthians (the Parthians were Persians) lost power, the Sassanids added it to their own Persian empire. However, a couple years later, during about the 600's A.D, Arab armies spreading the faith of Islam quickly captured it. A while later, an Iranian dynasty got semi- autonomy under the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad. They were known as the Samanids. The Samanids controlled most of Central Asia and Northwestern Iran. They had power over this area during the 10th century. With them, Central Asian cities, such as Bukhara and Samarkand, grew in culture.
However, Turkish armies from this area took the region away from them. They were known as the Seljuk Turks. At the same time, Timur captured it. After his death, the Timurids ( the name of the people of the dynasty Timur founded) could not hold unto their empire. They lost it to the Mongols. When the Mongols captured it, burned it to the ground. A while later, some rulers decided to make their own empires under that of the Mongols. These empires were known as Khanates. During the 19th century the Russian Empire conquered these lands. Many years later, in 1991, all of the countries of Central Asia declared independence.
Uzbekistan has much cotton. Kazakhstan is rich because it has sold oil, gas and metals to Europe and China. Turkmenistan has adjusted better to independence from the Soviet Union than the other Central Asian countries, but it has been run by a dictatorship. Other than Kazakhstan, most of Central Asia are mostly underdeveloped.
- East Turkestan (Xinjiang, China)
- Kashmir (Northern Pakistan and India)
- Tajikistan (South-central Asia)
- Turkmenistan (South-central Asia)
- Mongolia (and Inner Mongolia, China)
- Soviet Union
- Soviet Central Asia
- General Map of Central Asia: I from 1874