The History of the present-day's  Tajikistan goes back to prehistoric times. From the 6th-4th century BC the  Persian Achaemenid Empire's satrapies (provinces) of Bactria and Sogdiana were  located in this region of Central Asia. In the 4th century BC this ternary came  under the rule of Alexander the Great who had destroyed the Persian Empire. Inthe 2nd century BC, after the overthrow of the Greeks in Bactria, a new state  called Tokharistan was formed in order to later, together with Sogdiana and  other areas of Central Asia, to become part of the tremendous Kushan Kingdom.The "Silk Road" from China and India led west through Tokharistan tothe Hellenic and Roman states. In the 5th century AD Sogdiana and Tokharistan  came under the power of the Hephtalites, and in the 6th century AD - under  nomadic Turkic tribes. At that very time (6th-7th century AD) numerous feudal  principalities emerged to be then by 8th century AD conquered by the Arabs. And  the present Tajik territory became part of the Baghdad Khaliphate. In 874 AD,after a long period of fighting, a feudal Tajik state was formed and ruled bythe local Samanid dynasty practically independent of Arabs, allowing the Tajik  nation to shape up from the ancient tribes of Bactrians, Sogdians, Tokhars and  others. A single language, Tajik language, started to prevail. Samanids state  peaceful thrived for more than 100 years. This was the real period of Muslim  Renaissance, which gave the world such geniuses Persian poets as Rudaki and  Ferdousi.

A new type of human being - theNeanderthal man - appeared in Central Asia at the Palaeolithic Age (about 100 -40 thousands years BC). At that period the human had settled down almostthroughout the territory of contemporary Uzbekistan. The ancient Palaeolithicsites had been found in Surkhan-Darya region, in Kashkadarya, Fergana andTashkent province. The burial of a Neanderthal boy had been discovered in theTeshiktash grotto - a striking illustration of presence of some religiousbeliefs at that time.

The EarlyPalaeolithic Age (40 - 12 thousands years BC) was a period of modern humanbeing formation - the Cro-Magnon man. At that time the natural habitat of manextended, community flat sites appeared and the quantity and diversity of toolsincreased. Stone had become a main material for manufacturing of tools. Peoplestarted occasional making fire by means of friction.

Rock paintingsfound in Zarautsay (Surkhan-Darya province) were done in red mineral paint(ochre) and are attributed to the Mesolithic Age (13 - 5 thousands years BC).

By the Neolithic Age (5 - 2 thousand BC) the process of tribe formationhad completed and as a result first human families appeared. Archaeologicalexcavations at the site of Djanbaz Kala (Bukhara region) have revealed theremains of large oval-shape dwellings and brass articles of that time.

At the end ofthe 10th century the Samanid state was disintegrated by Turkic tribes of theNorth. And the northern part of the Tajikistan has become part of theKarakhanids state while the south was controlled by the Ghaznevid state. At thebeginning of the 13th century Central Asia was invaded by Genghis Khan whosehuge Empire after his death in 1227 was split among his sons with main culturalareas of Central Asia becoming possessions of his second son Chagatai. In the14th century most of the present Tajik territory became part of Timur's(Tamerlane) Empire. Tamerlane managed to gain a great power with Samarkand asits capital. In the 16th century these lands belonged to Shaibanid state ofBukhara.

In the 17thand 18th centuries areas inhabited by Tajiks belonged to different khanates andstates. In the 1880's Central Asia was conquered by Russia and it was then thatTurkestan General Governorate was established by Russian tsar to include thenorthern areas of Tajikistan. After socialist Revolution in Russia, in April1918 the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialistic Republic (ASSR) was proclaimedas part of the Russian Soviet Socialist Federation. Since 1929 Tajikistanbecame Tajik SSR and a full-bodied member of the USSR. After dissolution of theUSSR in 1991 the Republic of Tajikistan was founded as an independent state anda member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.



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