Asia

Title

Asia

Description

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 world's 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 many 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.

Asia's 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.

Subject

Asia, history

Items in the Asia Collection

China from Empire to Republic: Missionary, Sinology and Literary Periodicals, 1817-1949
Note: This resource is only available to staff and students of UOW.

China from Empire to Republic: Missionary, Sinology and Literary Periodicals is a collection of seventeen English-language periodicals published in or about China during a period…

China Political Reports 1911-1970
Annual reports, consular summaries and occasional papers covering the period of the rise of communism, first and second world wars, declaration of the People's Republic of China and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. (This resource is only…

Southeast Asia Visions
Southeast Asia Visions is a collection of European travel accounts of pre-modern Southeast Asia from Cornell University Library's John M. Echols Collection. The site provides online access to more than 350 books written in English and French.

South Asia Archive
The South Asia Archive provides an extensive resource for students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences.
Focusing on South Asia, the Archive contains both serial and non-serial materials, including reports, rare books, and journal…

Singapore National Collection
The NHB is responsible for telling the Singapore story, sharing the Singaporean experience and imparting our Singapore spirit. Through the national collection, NHB curates heritage programmes and presents exhibitions to connect the past, present and…

KITLV Digital Image Library
The KITLV Digital Media Library is a collection of more than 190,000 digitised photographs, prints, drawings, maps, pamphlets, publications and songs particularly from Indonesia, the Dutch Indies, Suriname and the Caribbean. Additionally there are…

BookSG
BookSG is an online collection of digitised books and other printed materials (including rare and historical imprints) held in the National Library Singapore, selected works from the British Library's Oriental & India Office Collection and works…

National Archives of Singapore - Archives Online
The National Archives of Singapore (NAS) is the official custodian of Singapore's collective memory. Ranging from government files, private memoirs, historical maps and photographs to oral history interviews and audio-visual materials, the NAS is…

Hong Kong Government Reports Online (1842-1941)
Online access to pre-World War II issues of four major government publications, namely, Administrative Report, Hong Kong Sessional Papers, Hong Kong Hansard and Hong Kong Government Gazette. It contains a wide range of information, such as official…

Old HK Newspapers
The Old Hong Kong Newspapers Collection is a selective collection of major old Hong Kong Newspapers published from early Hong Kong to nowadays, aiming at preserving historical news reporting of Hong Kong for reference and research.

Anti-Communist Asia
Culled from the papers of former South Korean president Syngman Rhee and other sources, this collection depicts how anti-communist states, including including South Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines, interacted with one…

Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum, or TNM, established in 1872, is the oldest Japanese national museum, and the largest art museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of…

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