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Map of East Asia

Map of East Asia


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Map of East Asia - History

Map of Asia Minor

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Map of Asia Minor in New Testament Times

In New Testament times Asia referred to a Roman province located at the western part of what came to be known as Asia Minor. Asia Minor was the area between the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The provinces seen in the above map include: Asia, Bythinia and Pontus, Galatia, Pamphylia, Lycia, Cilicia, and Commagene.

The Bible Mentions a lot Concerning "Asia"

1 Corinthians 16:19 - The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Revelation 1:11 - Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Acts 6:9 - Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Acts 19:27 - So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

Acts 19:10 - And this continued by the space of two years so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:26 - Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

Acts 27:2 - And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia [one] Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.

1 Peter 1:1 - Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Acts 20:16 - For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

2 Corinthians 1:8 - For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

Acts 2:9 - Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

Acts 16:6 - Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

Acts 21:27 - And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

Acts 19:22 - So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

Acts 24:18 - Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

Revelation 1:4 - John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne

Acts 19:31 - And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring [him] that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

2 Timothy 1:15 - This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

Acts 20:18 - And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,


Map of East Asia - History

The 7 Churches of Revelation

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Map of the Seven Churches in Asia

Position of the seven churches in Asia Minor to whom the seven epistles in Revelation 1-3 were addressed. Asia was a term which in the books of the Maccabees actually means Asia Minor, which Antioch III (the Great) had to give up to the Roman province of Asia Proconsularis (formed after 133 B.C.), which embraced the regions of Mysia, Lydia, Caria, and Phrygia (see Rom 16:5 II Tim 1:15 Acts 1:4).

Revelation 1:4 - John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne

1.Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).
2.Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
3.Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).
4.Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).
5.Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).
6.Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that had endured patiently (3:10).
7.Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

Asia in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(orient). The passages in the New Testament where this word occurs are the following Ac 2:9 6:9 16:6 19:10,22,26,27 20:4,16,18 21:27 27:2 Ro 16:5 1Co 16:19 2Co 1:8 2Ti 1:15 1Pe 1:1 Re 1:4,11 In all these it may be confidently stated that the word is used for a Roman province which embraced the western part of the peninsula of Asia Minor and of which Ephesus was the capital. Full Article

Asia in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

Asia Minor in the First Century AD.

1. The Population:
The partition of Asia Minor into Roman provinces did not correspond to its ethnological divisions, and even those divisions were not always clearly marked. As is clear from the brief historical sketch given above, the population of Asia Minor was composed of many overlying strata of races, which tended in part to lose their individuality and sink into the original Anatolian type. Answering roughly to the above-mentioned separation of Asia Minor into two countries, and to its characterization as the meeting-place of East and West, we can detach from among a medley of races and institutions two main coexistent social systems, which we may call the native system, and the Hellenistic system. These systems (especially as the result of Roman government) overlap and blend with each other, but they correspond in a general way to the distinction (observed in the country by Strabo) between city-organization and life on the village system. A deep gulf separated these forms of society.

2. The Native Social System:
Under the Roman Empire, there was a continuous tendency to raise and absorb the Anatolian natives into Greek cities and Roman citizenship. But in the Apostolic Age, this process had not gone far in the interior of the country, and the native social system was still that under which a large section of the population lived. It combined the theocratic form of government with institutions derived from a preexistent matriarchal society. The center of the native community was the temple of the god, with its great corporation of priests living on the temple revenues, and its people, who were the servants of the god (hierodouloi compare Paul's expression, "servant of God"), and worked on the temple estates. The villages in which these workers lived were an inseparable adjunct of the temple, and the priests (or a single priest-dynast) were the absolute rulers of the people. A special class called hieroi performed special functions (probably for a period only) in the temple service. This included, in the ease of women, sometimes a service of chastity, sometimes one of ceremonial prostitution. A woman of Lydia, of good social position (as implied in her Roman name) boasts in an inscription that she comes of ancestors who had served before the god in this manner, and that she has done so herself. Such women afterward married in their own rank, and incurred no disgrace. Many inscriptions prove that the god (through his priests) exercised a close supervision over the whole moral life and over the whole daily routine of his people he was their Ruler, Judge, helper and healer.

3. Emperor Worship:
Theocratic government received a new direction and a new meaning from the institution of emperor-worship obedience to the god now coincided with loyalty to the emperor. The Seleucid kings and later the Roman emperors, according to a highly probable view, became heirs to the property of the dispossessed priests (a case is attested at Pisidian Antioch) and it was out of the territory originally belonging to the temples that grants of land to the new Seleucid and Roman foundations were made. On those portions of an estate not gifted to a polis or colonia, theocratic government lasted on but alongside of the Anatolian god there now appeared the figure of the god-emperor. In many places the cult of the emperor was established in the most important shrine of the neighborhood the god-emperor succeeded to or shared the sanctity of the older god, Grecized as Zeus, Apollo, etc. inscriptions record dedications made to the god and to the emperor jointly. Elsewhere, and especially in the cities, new temples were founded for the worship of the emperor. Asia Minor was the home of emperor-worship, and nowhere did the new institution fit so well into the existing religious system. Inscriptions have recently thrown much light on a society of Xenoi Tekmoreioi ("Guest-Friends of the Secret Sign") who lived on an estate which had belonged to Men Askaenos beside Antioch of Pisidia, and was now in the hands of the Roman emperor. A procurator (who was probably the chief priest of the local temple) managed the estate as the emperor's representative. This society is typical of many others whose existence in inner Asia Minor has come to light in recent years it was those societies which fostered the cult of the emperor on its local as distinct from its provincial side (see ASIARCH), and it was chiefly those societies that set the machinery of the Roman law in operation against the Christians in the great persecutions. In the course of time the people on the imperial estates tended to pass into a condition of serfdom but occasionally an emperor raised the whole or part of an estate to the rank of a city.

4. The Hellenistic System:
Much of inner Asia Minor must originally have been governed on theocratic system but the Greek city-state gradually encroached on the territory and privileges of the ancient temple. Several of these cities were "founded" by the Seleucids and Attalids this sometimes meant a new foundation, more often the establishment of Greek city-government in an older city, with an addition of new inhabitants. These inhabitants were often Jews whom the Seleucids found trusty colonists: the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14 ff) probably belong to this class. The conscious aim of those foundations was the Hellenization of the country, and their example influenced the neighboring cities. With the oriental absolutism of the native system, the organization of the Greek and Roman cities was in sharp contrast. In the earlier centuries of the Roman Empire these cities enjoyed a liberal measure of self-government. Magistracies were elective rich men in the same city vied with each other, and city vied with city, in erecting magnificent public buildings, in founding schools and promoting education, in furthering all that western nations mean by civilization. With the Greek cities came the Greek Pantheon, but the gods of Hellas did little more than add their names to those of the gods of the country. Wherever we have any detailed information concerning a cult in inner Anatolia, we recognize under a Greek (or Roman) disguise the essential features of the old Anatolian god. The Greeks had always despised the excesses of the Asiatic religion, and the more advanced education of the Anatolian Greeks could not reconcile itself to a degraded cult, which sought to perpetuate the social institutions under which it had arisen, only under their ugliest and most degraded aspects. "In the country generally a higher type of society was maintained whereas at the great temples the primitive social system was kept up as a religious duty incumbent on the class called Hieroi during their regular periods of service at the temple. . The chasm that divided the religion from the educated life of the country became steadily wider and deeper. In this state of things Paul entered the country and wherever education had already been diffused, he found converts ready and eager." This accounts for "the marvelous and electrical effect that is attributed in Acts to the preaching of the Apostle in Galatia" (Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, 96).

5. Roman "Coloniae":
Under the Roman Empire, we can trace a gradual evolution in the organization of the Greek cities toward the Roman municipal type. One of the main factors in this process was the foundation over inner Asia Minor of Roman colonies, which were "bits of Rome" set down in the provinces. These colonies were organized entirely on the Roman model, and were usually garrisons of veterans, who kept unruly parts of the country in order. Such in New Testament time were Antioch and Lystra (Iconium, which used to be regarded as a colony of Claudius, is now recognized to have been raised to that rank by Hadrian). In the 1st century Latin was the official language in the colonies it never ousted Greek in general usage, and Greek soon replaced it in official documents. Education was at its highest level in the Greek towns and in the Roman colonies, and it was to those exclusively that Paul addressed the gospel.

Christianity in Asia Minor.
Already in Paul's lifetime, Christianity had established itself firmly in many of the greater centers of Greek-Roman culture in Asia and Galatia. The evangelization of Ephesus, the capital of the province Asia, and the terminus of one of the great routes leading along the peninsula, contributed largely to the spread of Christianity in the inland parts of the province, and especially in Phrygia. Christianity, in accordance with the program of Paul, first took root in the cities, from which it spread over the country districts.

Christian Inscriptions, etc.:
The Christian inscriptions begin earliest in Phrygia, where we find many documents dating from the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd centuries AD. The main characteristic of those early inscriptions--a feature which makes them difficult to recognize--is their suppression as a rule of anything that looked overtly Christian, with the object of avoiding the notice of persons who might induce the Roman officials to take measures against their dedicators. The Lycaonian inscriptions begin almost a century later, not, we must suppose, because Christianity spread less rapidly from Iconium, Lystra, etc., than it did from the Asian cities, but because Greek education took longer to permeate the sparsely populated plains of the central plateau than the rich townships of Asia. The new religion is proved by Pliny's correspondence with Trajan (111-13 AD) to have been firmly established in Bithynia early in the 2nd century. Farther east, where the great temples still had much influence, the expansion of Christianity was slower, but in the 4th century Cappadocia produced such men as Basil and the Gregories. The great persecutions, as is proved by literary evidence and by many inscriptions, raged with especial severity in Asia Minor. The influence of the church on Asia Minor in the early centuries of the Empire may be judged from the fact that scarcely a trace of the Mithraic religion, the principal competitor of Christianity, has been found in the whole country. From the date of the Nicene Council (325 AD) the history of Christianity in Asia Minor was that of the Byzantine Empire. Ruins of churches belonging to the Byzantine period are found all over the peninsula they are especially numerous in the central and eastern districts. A detailed study of a Byzantine Christian town of Lycaonia, containing an exceptionally large number of churches, has been published by Sir W. M. Ramsay and Miss G. L. Bell: The Thousand and One Churches. Greek-speaking Christian villages in many parts of Asia Minor continue an unbroken connection with the Roman Empire till the present day. Full Article

The Bible Mentions "Asia" in many places:

Acts 6:9 - Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

1 Corinthians 16:19 - The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Revelation 1:11 - Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Acts 19:27 - So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

Acts 19:10 - And this continued by the space of two years so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:26 - Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

Acts 27:2 - And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia [one] Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.

1 Peter 1:1 - Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Acts 20:16 - For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

2 Corinthians 1:8 - For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

Acts 2:9 - Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

Acts 16:6 - Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

Acts 21:27 - And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

Acts 19:22 - So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

Acts 24:18 - Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

Revelation 1:4 - John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne

Acts 19:31 - And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring [him] that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

2 Timothy 1:15 - This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

Acts 20:18 - And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,


History

Due to its immense size and diverse populations, it is nearly impossible to offer a unified history of Asia. The continent is the birthplace of nearly all major religions in the world today, as well as a vast number of technological and civilizational advancements. West Asia is at times called the “Cradle of Civilization,” as it was here that Neolithic humans first began its transition from a nomadic to a sedentary lifestyle, inventing the wheel and basic agriculture in order to do so. The West Asia was also home to the first known human civilizations, such as Ancient Sumer and the ancient Assyrian, Babylonian, and Akkadian empires. Meanwhile, the Indus Valley Civilization (or Harappan Civilization) was the first known civilization formed in South Asia, and in East Asia the Xia Dynasty would be the first recorded account of Ancient China.


Contents

Early hominids Edit

About 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus left the African continent. [2] This species, whose name means "upright man", is believed to have lived in East and Southeast Asia from 1.8 million to 40,000 years ago. [3] Their regional distinction is classified as Homo erectus sensu stricto. [4] The females weighed an average of 52 kilograms (115 lb) and were on average 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) tall. The males weighed an average of 58 kilograms (128 lb) and were on average 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) tall. They are believed to have had a vegetarian diet with some meat. [3] They had small brains, when compared to the later Homo sapiens and used simple tools. [2]

The earliest human fossils found outside of Africa are skulls and mandibles of the Asian Homo erectus from Dmanisi (modern Republic of Georgia) in Caucasus, which is a land corridor that led to North Asia from Africa and Near East or Middle East. They are approximately 1.8 Ma (Megaannum, or million years) old. Archaeologists have named these fossils Homo erectus georgicus. [2] [5] [6] There were also some remains that looked similar to the Homo ergaster, which may mean that there were several species living about that time in Caucasus. Bones of animals found near the human remains included short-necked giraffes, ostriches, ancient rhinoceroses from Africa and saber-toothed tigers and wolves from Eurasia. [2] Tools found with the human fossils include simple stone tools like those used in Africa: a cutting flake, core and a chopper. [2]

The oldest Southeast Asian Homo fossils, known as the Homo erectus Java Man, were found between layers of volcanic debris in Java, Indonesia. [7] Fossils representing 40 Homo erectus individuals, known as Peking Man, were found near Beijing at Zhoukoudian that date to about 400,000 years ago. The species was believed to have lived for at least several hundred thousand years in China, [3] and possibly until 200,000 years ago in Indonesia. They may have been the first to use fire and cook food. [8]

Skulls were found in Java of Homo erectus that dated to about 300,000 years ago. [7] A skull was found in Central China that was similar to the Homo heidelbergensis remains that were found in Europe and Africa and are dated between 200,000 and 50,000 years ago. [9]

Homo sapiens Edit

Between 60,000 and 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens came to Southeast Asia by migrating from Africa, known as the "Out of Africa" model. [3] [7] [nb 1] Homo sapiens are believed to have migrated through the Middle East on their way out of Africa about 100,000 years ago. [10] [11] Near Nazareth, remains of skeletons, including a double grave of a mother and child, dating to about 93,000 years ago were found in a Jebel Qafzeh cave. Included among the remains was a skeleton of another species which was not Homo sapiens it had a "distinct and undivided browridge that is continuous across the eye sockets" and other discrepancies. [10]

Researchers believe that the modern human, or Homo sapiens, migrated about 60,000 years ago to South Asia along the Indian Ocean, because people living in the most isolated areas of the Indian Ocean have the oldest non-African DNA markers. Humans migrated into inland Asia, likely by following herds of bison and mammoth and arrived in southern Siberia by about 43,000 years ago and some people moved south or east from there. [12] [13] By about 40,000 years ago Homo sapiens made it to Indonesia, where a skull was found on Borneo in Niah Cave. [11]

Homo sapiens migration map, based upon DNA markers

Homo sapiens females weighed an average of 54 kilograms (119 lb) and were on average 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) tall. The males weighed an average of 65 kilograms (143 lb) and were on average 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) tall. They were omnivorous. As compared to earlier hominids, Homo sapiens had larger brains and used more complex tools, including, blades, awls, and microliths out of antlers, bones and ivory. They were the only hominids to develop language, make clothes, create shelters, and store food underground for preservation. In addition, language was formed, rituals were created, and art was made. [14]

Date Writing system Attestation Location Region
c. 2600–2500 BC Sumerian Cuneiform texts from Shuruppak and Abu Salabikh (Fara period) [15] [16] Mesopotamia Near East
c. 2400 BC Akkadian A few dozen pre-Sargonic texts from Mari and other sites in northern Babylonia [17] Syria Near East
c. 2400 BC Eblaite Ebla tablets Syria Near East
c. 2300 BC [18] Elamite Awan dynasty peace treaty with Naram-Sin Iran / Iraq Near East
c. 21st century BC Hurrian Temple inscription of Tish-atal in Urkesh [19] Mesopotamia Near East
c. 1650 BC Hittite Various cuneiform texts and Palace Chronicles written during the reign of Hattusili I, from the archives at Hattusa Turkey Near East
c. 1300 BC Ugaritic Tablets from Ugarit [20] Syria Near East
c. 1200 BC Old Chinese Oracle bone and bronze inscriptions from the reign of Wu Ding [21] [22] [23] China East Asia
c. 1000 BC Phoenician Ahiram epitaph Canaan Near East
c. 10th century BC Aramaic Near East
c. 10th century BC Hebrew Gezer calendar Canaan Near East
c. 850 BC Ammonite Amman Citadel Inscription [24] Jordan Near East
c. 840 BC Moabite Mesha Stele Jordan Near East
c. 800 BC Phrygian Asia Minor Near East
c. 800 BC Old North Arabian Northern Arabian Peninsula Near East
c. 800 BC Old South Arabian Southern Arabian Peninsula Near East
c. 600 BC Lydian [25] Anatolia Near East
c. 600 BC Carian [25] Anatolia Near East
c. 500 BC Old Persian Behistun inscription Iran Near East
c. 500-300 BC Tamil Brahmi cave inscriptions and potsherds in Tamil Nadu [26] [27] Sri Lanka / India South Asia
c. 260 BC Middle Indo-Aryan (Prakrit) Edicts of Ashoka [28] [29] (Pottery inscriptions from Anuradhapura have been dated c. 400 BC. [30] [31] ) India South Asia
c. 170–130 BC Pahlavi Iran Near East

North Asia Edit

Above China is North Asia or Eurasia, in which Siberia, [32] and Russian Far East are extensive geographical regions which has been part of Russia since the seventeenth century.

At the southwestern edge of North Asia is Caucasus. It is a region at the border of Europe and Asia, situated between the Black and the Caspian seas. Caucasus is home to the Caucasus Mountains, which contain Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus. The southern part of the Caucasus consists of independent sovereign states, whereas the northern parts are under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.

The Armenian Highland, in Prehistoric Armenia, shows traces of settlement from the Neolithic era. The Shulaveri-Shomu culture of the central Transcaucasus region is one of the earliest known prehistoric culture in the area, carbon-dated to roughly 6000–4000 BC. Another early culture in the area is the Kura-Araxes culture, assigned to the period of ca. 3300–2000 BC, succeeded by the Georgian Trialeti culture (ca. 3000–1500 BC).

The prehistory of Georgia is the period between the first human habitation of the territory of modern-day nation of Georgia and the time when Assyrian and Urartian, and more firmly, the Classical accounts, brought the proto-Georgian tribes into the scope of recorded history.

Central Asia Edit

Central Asia is the core region of the Asian continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the 'stans" (as the six countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of") [33] and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent. The countries are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.

East Asia Edit

China Edit

The earliest traces of early humans, Homo erectus, in East Asia have been found in China. Fossilized remains of Yuanmou Man were found in Yunnan province in southwest China and have been dated to 1.7 Ma. Stone tools from the Nihewan Basin of the Hebei province in northern China are 1.66 million years old. [34]

Early humans were attracted to what was the warm, fertile climate of Central China more than 500,000 years ago. [35] Skeletal remains of about 45 individuals, known collectively as Peking Man were found in a limestone cave in Yunnan province at Zhoukoudian. They date from 400,000 to 600,000 years ago and some researchers believe that evidence of hearths and artifacts means that they controlled fire, although this is challenged by other archaeologists. About 800 miles west of this site, near Xi'an in the Shaanxi province are remains of a hominid who lived earlier than Peking Man. [35]

Between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago, humans lived in various places in China, such as Guanyindong [36] in Guizhou, where they made Levallois stone artefacts. After 100,000 BCE, Homo sapiens lived in China and by 25,000 BCE the modern humans lived in isolated locations on the North China Plain, where they fished and hunted for food. They made artifacts of bone and shell. [35]

Starting about 5000 BCE humans lived in Yellow River valley settlements were they farmed, fished, raised pigs and dogs for food, and grew millet and rice. Begun during the late Neolithic period, they were the earliest communities in China. Its artifacts include ceramic pots, fishhooks, knives, arrows and needles. In the northwest Shaanxi, Gansu and Henan provinces two cultures were established by about the sixth millennium BCE. They produced red pottery. Other cultures that emerged, that also made pottery, include the Bao-chi and Banpo people of Shaanxi and the Chishan people of Hebei. [35]

The Yangshao people, who existed between 5000 and 2500 BCE, were farmers who lived in distinctive dwelling which were partly below the surface. Their pottery included designs which may have been symbols that later evolved into written language. Their villages were in western Henan, southwestern Shanxi and central Shaanxi. Between 2500 and 1000 BCE the Longshan culture existed in southern, eastern and northeastern China and into Manchuria. They had superior farming and ceramic making techniques to that of the Yangshao people and had ritualistic burial practices and worshiped their ancestors. [37] Subsequent dynasties include the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties, when the Old Chinese language developed. [38]

Taiwan Edit

The Prehistory of Taiwan ended with the arrival of the Dutch East India Company in 1624, and is known from archaeological finds throughout the island. The earliest evidence of human habitation dates back 50,000 years or more, [39] when the Taiwan Strait was exposed by lower sea levels as a land bridge. Around 5000 years ago farmers from mainland China settled on the island. These people are believed to have been speakers of Austronesian languages, which dispersed from Taiwan across the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The current Taiwanese aborigines are believed to be their descendants.

Korea Edit

Prehistoric Korea is the era of human existence in the Korean Peninsula for which written records did not exist. It, however, constitutes the greatest segment of the Korean past and is the major object of study in the disciplines of archaeology, geology, and palaeontology.

Japan Edit

Near East Edit

The Near East is a geographical term that roughly encompasses Western Asia. Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was originally applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire, but has since been gradually replaced by the term Middle East. The region is sometimes called the Levant.

At 1.4 million years, Ubeidiya in the northern Jordan River Valley is the earliest Homo erectus site in the Levant. [40]

Near East Bronze Age timeline

South Asia Edit

South Asia is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities, also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land (clockwise, from west) by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

The Riwat site in modern-day Pakistan contains a few artifacts – a core and two flakes – that might date human activity there to 1.9 million years ago, but these dates are still controversial. [41]

The South Asian prehistory is explored in the articles about Prehistoric Sri Lanka, India and Tamil Nadu

Bronze Age India timeline

Southeast Asia Edit

Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. [42] The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity. Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: (1) Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as Indochina, comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam and (2) Maritime Southeast Asia, comprising Brunei, Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore. [43]

The rich Sangiran Formation in Central Java (Indonesia) has yielded the earliest evidence of hominin presence in Southeast Asia. These Homo erectus fossils date to more than 1.6 Ma. [44] Remains found in Mojokerto have been dated to 1.49 Ma. [45]

Its history is told by region, including the Early history of Burma and Cambodia, as well as the articles about Prehistoric Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Skeleton remains were found of a hominid that was only 3 feet (0.91 m) tall as an adult in Indonesia on the island of Flores. It had a small brain and, nicknamed "the Hobbit" for its diminutive structure, was classified distinctly as Homo floresiensis. Evidence of H. floresiensis has been dated to be from 50,000 to 190,000 years ago, [46] after early publications suggested the small hominid persisted until as recently as 12,000 years ago. [47]


Resources of East Asia

Natural and mineral resources are unevenly distributed throughout East Asia. China, for example, is rich in natural resources. Mongolia and North Korea also have substantial mineral resources. However, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have limited natural resources. Even so, these latter three nations have grown into major economic powers.

LAND AND FORESTS

The number of mountains in East Asia means that the amount of land available for agriculture is limited. For this reason, China's population is concentrated in the east, where river basins are located. The land in these valleys is highly productive, allowing the Chinese to grow rice and many other crops. In contrast, the mountainous western regions of China are more sparsely populated.

Forests are also abundant in the region. China, Japan, Taiwan, and both North Korea and South Korea all have forest resources. Japan has been able to keep most of its forests in reserve by buying timber and other forest products from other regions of the world.

MINERAL AND ENERGY RESOURCES

China has large energy reserves of petroleum, coal, and natural gas, and Korea has coal reserves. Japan also has deposits of coal. China's resources have enabled it to be self-sufficient for much of its history. In contrast, Japan's shortage of resources has forced it to trade for what it needs.

China's mineral resources include iron ore, tungsten, manganese, molybdenum, magnesite, lead, zinc, and copper. North and South Korea possess important tungsten, gold, and silver reserves. Japan has reserves of lead, silver, and coal.

WATER RESOURCES

China's long river systems are important to the country's economy. They provide crop irrigation, hydroelectric power, and transportation. To control flooding on the Chang Jiang and produce more electricity, China is building the Three Gorges Dam. The Huang He and Xi Jiang also provide hydroelectric power and a means of transportation.

People in East Asia look to the sea for food. In fact, Japan has developed one of the largest fishing industries in the world. Japanese factory ships process huge amounts of seafood for human consumption throughout the world, as well as in Japan. You will read about East Asia's climate zones in the next section. You will also read about its vegetation.


What Is East Asia Like Today?

After World War II (about 1945), East Asia grew into a powerful region. Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea exploded with growth. They built new factories and businesses. People had jobs and comfortable houses. Health and education improved. The standard of living increased.

These three countries are also democracies. People have freedom of speech and vote for their leaders. They can own property. The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy. This is a form of government in which a king or queen is the head of state but has limited powers. Japan has an emperor, which is like a king. The emperor is head of state, but has no power. He is a symbol of Japan.

China and North Korea are communist countries. The communist party runs the government. The economy is planned by the state. North Korea follows a path of isolationism. They have very little contact with other countries. Government policies kept these two countries very poor.

In the 1980s, China changed its policies. The economy is now growing fast. Some people can own businesses. Today, China is a world economic force. Many people have moved to the cities to find factory jobs. Their standard of living is better. But farmers in rural areas are still very poor. Wages are low. This fast growth has created serious environmental problems. Cars and factories pollute the air and water. Like many growing countries, China is also losing forests and farmlands to factories and cities.

Mongolia is slightly larger that Alaska. Almost half of the people still herd animals. Because of their nomadic way of life, Mongolian culture stresses the importance of horse skills. Even in the cities, many Mongolians still live in tents called yurts. They speak their own language.

For many years, Mongolia was influenced by the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Mongolians worked to I build a democratic government. The number of people moving to the cities is increasing. The urban population is growing slowly. Because the land is so rugged and wild, the people of Mongolia still face shortages of food and water.

North Korea countryside

Horse skills are still important in Mongolian culture.
Shanghai, China
This tent-like dwelling is called a yurt.


The map below shows Western Asia and the Middle East, today a hot spot for political and religious unrest, full-scale wars, and a theater of proxy conflicts between the two most powerful countries - the USA and Russia.

Fatima Masumeh Shrine in Qom, Iran.
Image: Diego Delso

The Middle East, sometimes also called Near East, is a region at the crossroads between Asia, Africa, and Europe, and since centuries the scene for cultural exchange, trade, and warlike conflicts.

The area has seen many rulers, from the Phoenicians, the Sumerians, the Parthians, and Romans, to the Ottomans, Arabs and Persians, and in recent history, the British and the French.

The region includes the ancient landscapes of the Fertile Crescent, where settled farming first emerged. It was the site of Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization within the Tigris–Euphrates river system. The Levant situated along the Eastern Mediterranean, the Anatolian Peninsula (Asia Minor), now occupied by Turkey, the Sinai Peninsula, the only part of Egypt's territory in Asia , and the Arabian peninsula, the world's largest peninsula.

By conventional political definition, the countries in the Middle East are Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the State of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip), Syria, and the Asian part of Turkey. Situated on the Arabian peninsula are Bahrain, an island in the Persian Gulf, Qatar, located on a peninsula itself, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in east, Oman in the southeast, Yemen in the south, and Saudi Arabia in the center.

Map of Southwestern Asia and the Middle East


Map of the Middle East between Africa, Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia.

The map shows Southwestern Asia and the Middle East, Africa's Red Sea coast, the Arabian Peninsula, the eastern Mediterranean Sea, countries in the Middle East with international borders, the national capitals, and major cities.

You are free to use above map for educational purposes, please refer to the Nations Online Project.

More about the Middle East


Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a valley in southern Jordan to the east of Aqaba Jordan's only coastal city.
Photo: Ibrahim nabeel salah

The Middle East in southwestern Asia is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea in the northwest, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the north, the Red Sea in the west, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea in the south, and by the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf in southeast.

Except for the narrow coastal regions, large parts of the Middle East features steppe, shrubland, and desert landscapes, occasionally interrupted by wadis. The largest deserts are the Syrian and the Arabian Deserts.


Climate
The coastal regions of the Mediterranean Sea offer a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa), which is characterized by hot, dry summers and cool, humid winters. Central eastern Turkey and northwestern Iran are located in a transition zone between the temperate European climate and the arid Arabian deserts and have a humid continental climate. Most of the Middle East has a hot desert climate (BWh), which is generally hot, sunny, and dry all year round.

Ethnic groups
Arabs constitute the largest ethnic group in the Middle East. Iranians are the second largest group, followed by Turkish speaking people, the Kurds, and Israelis.

Languages
The main languages are Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, and Hebrew.

Religions
Three major religions originate from the Middle East, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

Economy
The economies of the Middle East range from very poor countries (like Syria, Palestinian territories, and Yemen) to extremely wealthy nations (like Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE).
Some countries in the Middle East are heavily dependent on exporting only oil and oil-related products (such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait).
Industries in the Middle East region include oil and oil-related products, agriculture products like cotton, cattle, and dairies, textiles and leather products.
Israel is in the Top 10 of the world's biggest arms exporters.


Asia Maps: Digital Collections

Major digital collections of maps of Asia, regions within Asia, and individual countries can be found at the following selected sites. This list is certainly not exhaustive, and will be updated frequently – please send your comments and suggestions of additional useful Asia map sites to us at [email protected]

Robert Murowchick
Associate Director, BUCSA

Comprehensive Digital Map Collections:

Originally a collaboration between Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland and The Great Britain Historical GIS Project (University of Portsmouth, UK), this fantastic collection now indexes some 400,000 maps dating from 1550 to 2000 representing the collections contributed by 35 participating libraries and archives around the world. Searches can be undertaken by entering a term or by drawing a rectangle on a world map, with yields a list of relevant maps on the right side of the page. The individual maps are zoomable, although the quality of the resolution depends upon the nature of the scan provided by the source institution.

Europeana Collections
The superb Europeana website brings together the finest digital images from participating national libraries, archives, and museums across Europe, now totaling more than 53 million images. To find maps, in the initial search window enter the region or country of interest and “map”. A search for “China map”, for example, yields over 4,600 maps, images, and texts.

WWW Virtual Library: History of Cartography: Images of early maps on the web: 10. Asia
This site contains links to hundreds of online digital map collections, organized by country and region.

The Library of Congress holds the world’s most comprehensive map collection “…numbering over 5.5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including over 19,000 cds/dvds.” A small but growing subset of this collection is available online in digital form. A search for particular regions or countries yields a list and thumbnail images of relevant holdings. The “Discovery and Exploration” collection holds a number of high-resolution maps of Asia from the 15 th through 19 th c.

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
This collection, originally the private collection of David Rumsey and now housed at Stanford University, contains more than 150,000 maps and other cartographic items from the 16 th through 21 st centuries, with more than 1000 maps in its Asia collection. Individual maps are zoomable, and are of very high resolution.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas: Asia
The UT map collection in the Perry-Castañeda Library contains more than 250,000 maps, of which about 1/3 have been digitized and are available online. Searches are very straightforward in a cascading list Asiaàregionsàindividual countries. Selected historical, thematic, and topographic maps are included. Of particular interest are comprehensive collections of US AMS (Army Map Service) sheets.

Harvard Map Collection – Harvard College Library
The Harvard Library map collection is one of the largest and oldest collections in the US. Established in 1818, it now holds 400,000 maps, 6,000 atlases, and 5,000 reference books. A subset of these are now available in digital form at http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/maps/digitalmaps/. The process for viewing a map is a bit circuitous: When you undertake a search, you will see a list of found maps click on “full record,” then click on the HGL ID (Harvard Geospatial Library ID) link. Add the map to your shopping cart the compressed image will be sent to your e-mail account as a .zip file. When uncompressed, you are rewarded with a spectacularly detailed image in .jp2 format.

Digital Collections, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries
A search for “map” yields over 9,000 scanned images further refine your search with additional search terms (e.g. India map Japan map)

American Geographical Society Library Digital Map Collection (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Excellent digital scans drawn from the American Geographical Society (AGS) map collection browsable and searchable by country.

John Carter Brown Map Collection, Brown University
The John Carter Brown library at Brown University (Providence, RI USA) contains more than 13,000 items, including over 4,000 maps. The Asian collection provides high-resolution zoomable scans of over 300 maps dating between the early 16 th c. and the late 19 th c.

Asian Maps Collection, University of Southern California
This USC collection focuses on East and Southeast Asia, with a particularly interesting Sea of Korea Collection of northeast Asian maps dating from 1601 to 1895.

Historical Maps of Asia, University of Alabama
Historical Maps of East Asia, University of Alabama
Organized chronologically, these digitized maps are viewable and zoomable but only in a relatively small window.

Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine
Small but superb collection of world maps built around the core collections of Eleanor and Lawrence M.C. Smith, and Harold and Peggy Osher includes about 50 high-resolution maps of Asia and individual countries from the 15 th -19 th centuries.

Antiquarian Map Vendors with important Asia collections:

A number of antiquarian map dealers also consistently maintain rich offerings of Asia-related maps viewable as high-resolution images. These include:

Notable Collections of Asian Regions and Countries:

Maps of China

Maps of China in the David Rumsey Map Collection
Presents 540 high-resolution maps from the mid-16th through the 20th centuries.

Maps of China, Library of Congress
This site presents more than 400 scanned maps selected from the Library of Congress’s collection of more than 5,000 maps of China

Shanghai Maps Database (Virtual Shanghai), Osaka City University
Straightforward collection of medium-resolution scans of nearly 800 maps of Shanghai from 1858 to 2008.

Several interesting Chinese blog sites provide maps of varying scan quality. Many surprises are to be found, as long as the pop-up ads don’t annoy you. The content is constantly changing as users upload additional materials. These blogs include:
Historical Maps of Nanjing南京老地(160图)


East Asia

The foundation of the undergraduate study of East Asia is our transnational and comparative survey sequence, HILD 10-11-12. We introduce the major developments and interactions of China, Japan, and Korea from the invention of writing until today, and teach how to read carefully, think critically, discuss productively, and write about history. Upper division courses teach basic narratives of the past, but also focus on East Asian society, institutions, religions, material culture, family, gender, and revolutions. Outside the History Department we work with colleagues in Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Transnational  Korean Studies.

We train graduate students to specialize in particular research fields (modern China, pre-modern China, and modern Korea) and to teach courses spanning the history of the whole region. The PhD program in Modern Chinese History is one of the most highly regarded in the world. In annual research papers and their dissertations, students are free to explore a variety of topics in the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the late imperial and Republican periods as well as in the newly emerging field of the history of the People’s Republic. Topics have included ethnicity, gender, border regions, environment, art history, science studies, visual culture, consumer behavior, urban studies, social movements, intellectual history, transnational dynamics, physical culture, migration, politics, material culture, urban/rural interface, media studies, maritime history, and religion.

UCSD’s Modern Chinese History Program graduates have published their dissertations with top presses. The new program in modern Korean history, supported by five Korean Studies faculty members in Arts and Humanities (and the Korea-Pacific Program in IR/PS)  and by a five-year $600,000 grant from the Academy of Korean Studies as a Core University Program for Transnational Korean Studies, is unique in that studying Korea in the context of its relationships with other countries, regions, and partners and in terms of questions about race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, colonialism/neo-imperialism, migration/diaspora, and globalization.

As scholars we share a commitment to respectful treatment of the people of the past and their real experiences and thoughts. Our interests are

  • Global: How did the Silk Road connect the two ends of Eurasia for thousands of years? What do contemporary urban lifestyles and state policy mean for the future of the world? How did Ming and Chosŏn Korea interact? How were Hollywood conventions adapted in China’s own film-making? What were the social and cultural linkages of the two Koreas and Japan within the Cold War framework?
  • Political and Institutional: How do individuals and communities manage within the framework of an autocratic state (imperial, Communist, colonialist) underpinned by an ideology of popular livelihood?
  • Cultural: How do religion, entertainment, literature, technology, fashion, and intellectual debate create and reflect changing socio-economic realities?
  • The family and the individual: What are the histories of love and of intimacy, of faithfulness and of honor, and of gendered or sexualized study and of labor, at the intersection of public and private life?

We collaborate across disciplines in programs like Critical Gender Studies edit collective volumes and special editions of journals serve on the boards of scholarly journals sponsor visiting scholars create reading groups teach abroad in Asia and Europe and cooperate with colleagues and graduate students in China, Japan, Korea, and Europe as well as within the California system and the U.S.

We also share a commitment to reaching beyond the University. We publish books on current and historical issues intended for the broader public design museum and library exhibits work on documentary films manage websites appear on radio programs and television and speak publicly to business leaders, politicians, docents, museum-goers, high-school teachers, and citizens around the world.


Watch the video: ΧΑΡΤΗΣ- Ανατολική Ελλάς Σάρδεων (May 2022).