Moldova the Republic of Moldova, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north and south. The capital city is Chișinău. Most of the Moldovan territory was a part of the Principality of Moldavia from the 14th century until 1812, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Ottoman Empire and became known as Bessarabia. In 1856, southern Bessarabia was returned to Moldavia, which three years united with Wallachia to form Romania, but Russian rule was restored over the whole of the region in 1878. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Bessarabia became autonomous and the independent Moldavian Democratic Republic until it was integrated into Romania in 1918 following a vote of its assembly; the decision was disputed by Soviet Russia, which in 1924 allowed the establishment, within the Ukrainian SSR, of a Moldavian autonomous republic on partial Moldovan-inhabited territories to the east of the Dniester. In 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, leading to the creation of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, which included the greater part of Bessarabia and the westernmost strip of the former MASSR.
On 27 August 1991, as the dissolution of the Soviet Union was under way, the Moldavian SSR declared independence and took the name Moldova. The Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994; the strip of the Moldovan territory on the east bank of the Dniester river has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990. Due to a decrease in industrial and agricultural output following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the service sector has grown to dominate Moldova's economy and is over 60% of the nation's GDP, its economy is the poorest in Europe in per capita terms and has the lowest Human Development Index in the continent. Moldova is the least visited country in Europe by tourists with only 11,000 annually recorded visitors from abroad. Moldova is a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government, it is a member state of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and aspires to join the European Union.
The name "Moldova" is derived from the Moldova River. The origin of the name of the river remains unclear. According to a legend recounted by Moldavian chroniclers Dimitrie Cantemir and Grigore Ureche, Prince Dragoș named the river after hunting an aurochs: following the chase, the prince's exhausted hound Molda drowned in the river; the dog's name, given to the river, extended to the Principality. For a short time in the 1990s, at the founding of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the name of the current Republic of Moldova was spelled "Moldavia". After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country began to use Moldova; the name Republic of Moldova is designated by the United Nations. The prehistory of Moldova covers the period from the Upper Paleolithic which begins with the presence of Homo sapiens in the area of Southeastern Europe some 44,000 years ago and extends into the appearance of the first written records in Classical Antiquity in Greece. In 2010 N. K. Anisjutkin discovered Oldowan flint tools at Bayraki.
During the Neolithic stone-age era, Moldova's territory stood at the centre of the large Cucuteni–Trypillia culture that stretched east beyond the Dniester River in Ukraine and west up to and beyond the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. The people of this civilization, which lasted from 5500 to 2750 BC, practised agriculture, raised livestock and made intricately-designed pottery. In antiquity, Moldova's territory was inhabited by Dacian tribes. Between the 1st and 7th centuries AD, the south was intermittently under the Roman, Byzantine Empires. Due to its strategic location on a route between Asia and Europe, the territory of modern Moldova was invaded many times in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, including by Goths, Avars, Magyars, Cumans and Tatars. Friar William of Rubruck, who visited the court of the Great Khan in the 1250s, listed "the Blac", or Vlachs, among the peoples who paid tribute to the Mongols, but the Vlachs' territory is uncertain. Rubruck described "Blakia" as "Assan's territory" south of the Lower Danube, showing that he identified it with the northern regions of the Second Bulgarian Empire.
The Bolohoveni, a Vlach population, is mentioned by the Hypatian Chronicle in the 13th century. The chronicle shows that this land is bordered on the principalities of Halych and Kiev. Archaeological research identified the location of 13th-century fortified settlements in this region. Alexandru V. Boldur identified Voscodavie, Voloscovti, Volcovti and their other towns and villages between the middle course of the rivers Nistru/Dniester and Nipru/Dnieper; the Bolohoveni disappeared from chronicles after their defeat in 1257 by Daniel of Galicia's troops. In the early 13th century, the Brodniks, a possible Slavic–Vlach vassal state of Halych, were present, alongside the Vlachs, in much of the region's territory. On the border between Halych and the
Latvia the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states, it is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2; the country has a temperate seasonal climate. After centuries of Swedish and Russian rule, a rule executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis; the country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.
The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic and a highly developed country according to the United Nations Human Development Index, its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule and Soviet occupation, Latvia is home to a large number of ethnic Russians, some of whom have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all.
Until World War II, Latvia had significant minorities of ethnic Germans and Jews. Latvia is predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, predominantly Roman Catholic; the Russian population are Eastern Orthodox Christians. Latvia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, WTO. For 2014, the country was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014. A full member of the Eurozone, it began using the euro as its currency on 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats; the name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes, which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians. Henry of Latvia coined the latinisations of the country's name, "Lettigallia" and "Lethia", both derived from the Latgalians; the terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland".
Around 3000 BC, the proto-Baltic ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Balts established trade routes to Byzantium, trading local amber for precious metals. By 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians, Selonians, Semigallians, as well as the Finnic tribe of Livonians speaking a Finnic language. In the 12th century in the territory of Latvia, there were 14 lands with their rulers: Vanema, Bandava, Duvzare, Megava, Pilsāts, Upmale, Sēlija, Jersika, Tālava and Adzele. Although the local people had contact with the outside world for centuries, they became more integrated into the European socio-political system in the 12th century; the first missionaries, sent by the Pope, sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12th century, seeking converts. The local people, did not convert to Christianity as as the Church had hoped. German crusaders were sent, or more decided to go on their own accord as they were known to do. Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ikšķile, in 1184, traveling with merchants to Livonia, on a Catholic mission to convert the population from their original pagan beliefs.
Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians by force of arms. In the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of today's Latvia. Together with Southern Estonia, these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia. In 1282, the cities of Cēsis, Limbaži, Koknese and Valmiera, became part of the Hanseatic League. Riga became an important point of east-west trading and formed close cultural links with Western Europe. After the Livonian War, Livonia fell under Lithuanian rule; the southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Duchy of Livonia. Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of
Uzbekistan also the Republic of Uzbekistan, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. The sovereign state is a secular, unitary constitutional republic, comprising 12 provinces, one autonomous republic, a capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north. Along with Liechtenstein, it is one of the world's only two doubly landlocked countries. What is now Uzbekistan was in ancient times part of the Iranian-speaking region of Transoxiana and Turan; the first recorded settlers were Eastern Iranian nomads, known as Scythians, who founded kingdoms in Khwarezm, Sogdia and Margiana. The area was incorporated into the Persian Empire and, after a period of Macedonian Greek rule, was ruled by the Persian Parthian Empire and by the Sasanian Empire, until the Muslim conquest of Persia in the 7th century; the Muslim conquest in the 7th century converted the majority of the population, including the local ruling classes, into adherents of Islam. During this period, cities such as Samarkand and Bukhara began to grow rich from the Silk Road.
The local Khwarezmian dynasty, Central Asia as a whole, were decimated by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. After the Mongol Conquests, the area became dominated by Turkic peoples; the city of Shahrisabz was the birthplace of the Turco-Mongol warlord Timur known as one of Genghis Khan's grandchildren, who in the 14th century established the Timurid Empire and was proclaimed the Supreme Emir of Turan with his capital in Samarkand. The area was conquered by Uzbek Shaybanids in the 16th century, moving the centre of power from Samarkand to Bukhara; the region was split into three states: Khanate of Khiva, Khanate of Kokand, Emirate of Bukhara. It was incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, with Tashkent becoming the political center of Russian Turkestan. In 1924, after national delimitation, the constituent republic of the Soviet Union known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991.
Uzbekistan has a diverse cultural heritage due to strategic location. Its first major official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by 85% of the population. Russian has widespread use as a governmental language. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks and others. Muslims constitute 79% of the population while 5% of the population follow Russian Orthodox Christianity, 16% of the population follow other religions or are non-religious. A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan is a member of the CIS, OSCE, UN, the SCO. While a democratic republic, by 2008 non-governmental human rights organizations defined Uzbekistan as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights". Following the death of Islam Karimov in 2016, the second president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, started a new course, described as a A Quiet Revolution and Revolution from Above, he stated he intended to abolish cotton slavery, systematic use of child labour, exit visas, to introduce a tax reform, create four new free economic zones, as well as amnestied some political prisoners.
The relations with neighboring countries of Tajikistan and Afghanistan drastically improved. However, the Amnesty International report on human rights in the country for 2017/2018 described continued repressive measures, including forced labour in cotton harvesting, restrictions on movements of'freed' prisoners; the Uzbek economy is in a gradual transition to the market economy, with foreign trade policy being based on import substitution. In September 2017, the country's currency became convertible in the market rates. Uzbekistan is a major exporter of cotton; the country operates the largest open-pit gold mine in the world. With the gigantic power-generation facilities of the Soviet era and an ample supply of natural gas, Uzbekistan has become the largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Renewable energy constitutes more than 23% of the country's energy sector, with hydroelectricity and solar energy having 21.4% and 2% respectively. Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres, it is the 56th largest country in the 42nd by population.
Among the CIS countries, it is the 2nd largest by population. Uzbekistan lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N, longitudes 56° and 74° E, it stretches 1,425 kilometres from west to east and 930 kilometres from north to south. Bordering Kazakhstan and the Aralkum Desert to the north and northwest and Afghanistan to the southwest, Tajikistan to the southeast, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Uzbekistan is one of the largest Central Asian states and the only Central Asian state to border all the other four. Uzbekistan shares a short border with Afghanistan to the south. Uzbekistan is a landlocked country, it is one of two doubly landlocked countries in the world (that is, a country completel
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k
A cartridge is a type of pre-assembled firearm ammunition packaging a projectile, a propellant substance and an ignition device within a metallic, paper or plastic case, made to fit within the barrel chamber of a breechloading gun, for the practical purpose of convenient transportation and handling during shooting. Although in popular usage the term "bullet" is used to refer to a complete cartridge, it is used only to refer to the projectile. Cartridges can be categorized by the type of their primers — a small charge of an impact- or electric-sensitive chemical mixture, located at the center of the case head, inside the rim of the case base, in a sideway projection, shaped like a pin or a lip, or in a small nipple-like bulge at the case base. Military and commercial producers continue to pursue the goal of caseless ammunition; some artillery ammunition uses the same cartridge concept. In other cases, the artillery shell is separate from the propellant charge. A cartridge without a projectile is called a blank.
One, inert is called a dummy. One that failed to ignite and shoot off the projectile is called a dud, one that ignited but failed to sufficiently push the projectile out of the barrel is called a squib; the primary purpose is to be a handy all-in-one for a shot. In modern, automatic weapons, it provides the energy to move the parts of the gun which make it fire repeatedly. Many weapons were designed to make use of a available cartridge, or a new one with new qualities; the cartridge case seals a firing chamber in all directions excepting the bore. A firing pin ignites it; the primer compound deflagrates, it does not detonate. A jet of burning gas from the primer ignites the propellant. Gases from the burning powder expand the case to seal it against the chamber wall; these propellant gases push on the bullet base. In response to this pressure, the bullet will move in the path of least resistance, down the bore of the barrel. After the bullet leaves the barrel, the chamber pressure drops to atmospheric pressure.
The case, elastically expanded by chamber pressure, contracts slightly. This eases removal of the case from the chamber. To manufacture brass for cartidges, a sheet of brass is punched into disks; these disks go through a series of punches and dies and are annealed and washed before moving to the next series of dies. Making bullets involves simular type of maching as for making brass cases; the projectile can be made of anything. Lead is a material of choice because of high density, ductility; the propellant was long gunpowder, still in use, but superseded by better compositions, generically called Smokeless powder. Early primer was fine gunpowder poured into a pan or tube where it could be ignited by some external source of ignition such as a fuse or a spark. Modern primers are shock sensitive chemicals enclosed in a small capsule, ignited by percussion. In some instance ignition is electricity-primed, there may be no primer at all in such design; the case is made of brass because it is resistant to corrosion.
A brass case head can be work-hardened to withstand the high pressures of cartridges, allow for manipulation via extraction and ejection without tearing the metal. The neck and body portion of a brass case is annealed to make the case ductile enough to allow reforming so that it can be reloaded many times. Steel is used in some plinking ammunition, as well as in some military ammunition. Steel is less expensive than brass. Military forces consider small arms cartridge cases to be disposable, one-time-use devices. However, case weight affects how much ammunition a soldier can carry, so the lighter steel cases do have a military advantage. Conversely, steel is more susceptible to contamination and damage so all such cases are varnished or otherwise sealed against the elements. One downside caused by the increased strength of steel in the neck of these cases is that propellant gas can blow back past the neck and into the chamber. Constituents of these gases condense on the chamber wall; this solid propellant residue can make extraction of fired cases difficult.
This is less of a problem for small arms of the former Warsaw Pact nations, which were designed with much larger chamber tolerances than NATO weapons. Aluminum cased; these are not reloaded as aluminum fatigues during firing and resizing. Some calibers have non-standard primer sizes to discourage reloaders from attempting to reuse these cases. Plastic cases are used in shotgun shells and some manufacturers offer polymer centerfire cartridges. Paper had been used in the earliest cartridges. Critical cartridge specifications include neck size, bullet weight and caliber, maximum pressure, overall length, case body diameter and taper, shoulder design, rim type, etc. Ever
Tajikistan the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with an area of 143,100 km2 and an estimated population of 8.7 million people as of 2016. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, China to the east; the traditional homelands of the Tajik people include present-day Tajikistan as well as parts of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. The territory that now constitutes Tajikistan was home to several ancient cultures, including the city of Sarazm of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including the Oxus civilisation, Andronovo culture, Nestorian Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam; the area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Achaemenid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Samanid Empire, Mongol Empire, Timurid dynasty, the Russian Empire, subsequently the Soviet Union. Within the Soviet Union, the country's modern borders were drawn when it was part of Uzbekistan as an autonomous republic before becoming a full-fledged Soviet republic in 1929.
On 9 September 1991, Tajikistan became an independent sovereign nation when the Soviet Union disintegrated. A civil war was fought immediately after independence, lasting from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Like all other Central Asian neighbouring states, the country, led by President Emomali Rahmon since 1994, has been criticised by a number of non-governmental organizations for authoritarian leadership, lack of religious freedom and widespread violations of human rights. Tajikistan is a presidential republic consisting of four provinces. Most of Tajikistan's 8.7 million people belong to the Tajik ethnic group. Many Tajiks speak Russian as their second language. While the state is constitutionally secular, Islam is practiced by 98% of the population. In the Gorno-Badakhshan Oblast of Tajikistan, despite its sparse population, there is large linguistic diversity where Rushani, Ishkashimi and Tajik are some of the languages spoken.
Mountains cover more than 90% of the country. It has a transition economy, dependent on remittances and cotton production. Tajikistan is a member of the United Nations, CIS, OSCE, OIC, ECO, SCO and CSTO as well as an NATO PfP partner. Tajikistan means the "Land of the Tajiks"; the suffix "-stan" is Persian for "place of" or "country" and Tajik is, most the name of a pre-Islamic tribe. According to the Library of Congress's 1997 Country Study of Tajikistan, it is difficult to definitively state the origins of the word "Tajik" because the term is "embroiled in twentieth-century political disputes about whether Turkic or Iranian peoples were the original inhabitants of Central Asia."Tajikistan appeared as Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan in English prior to 1991. This is due to a transliteration from the Russian: "Таджикистан". In Russian, there is no single letter j to represent the phoneme /ʤ/, therefore дж, or dzh, is used. Tadzhikistan is the most common alternate spelling and is used in English literature derived from Russian sources.
"Tadjikistan" is the spelling in French and can be found in English language texts. The way of writing Tajikistan in the Perso-Arabic script is: تاجیکستان. Cultures in the region have been dated back to at least the 4th millennium BCE, including the Bronze Age Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex, the Andronovo cultures and the pro-urban site of Sarazm, a UNESCO World Heritage site; the earliest recorded history of the region dates back to about 500 BCE when much, if not all, of modern Tajikistan was part of the Achaemenid Empire. Some authors have suggested that in the 7th and 6th century BCE parts of modern Tajikistan, including territories in the Zeravshan valley, formed part of Kambojas before it became part of the Achaemenid Empire. After the region's conquest by Alexander the Great it became part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, a successor state of Alexander's empire. Northern Tajikistan was part of Sogdia, a collection of city-states, overrun by Scythians and Yuezhi nomadic tribes around 150 BCE.
The Silk Road passed through the region and following the expedition of Chinese explorer Zhang Qian during the reign of Wudi commercial relations between Han China and Sogdiana flourished. Sogdians played a major role in facilitating trade and worked in other capacities, as farmers, carpetweavers and woodcarvers; the Kushan Empire, a collection of Yuezhi tribes, took control of the region in the first century CE and ruled until the 4th century CE during which time Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism were all practised in the region. The Hephthalite Empire, a collection of nomadic tribes, moved into the region and Arabs brought Islam in the early eighth century. Central Asia continued in its role as a commercial crossroads, linking China, the steppes to the north, the Islamic heartland, it was temporarily under the control of the Tibetan empire and Chinese from 650–680 and under the control of the Umayyads in 710. The Samanid Empire, 819 to 999, restored Persian control of the region and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara which became the cultural centres of Iran and the region was known as Khorasan.
The Kara-Khanid Khanate conquered Transoxania (which corresponds wit