The hoard is often known as the Bactrian gold. The ornaments include necklaces set with stones, medallions. After its discovery, the hoard went missing during the wars in Afghanistan, until it was rediscovered, a new museum in Kabul is being planned where the Bactrian gold will eventually be kept. The heavily fortified town of Yemshi-tepe, just five kilometres to the northeast of modern Sheberghan on the road to Akcha, is half a kilometre from the now-famous necropolis of Tillia-tepe. Several coins dated up to the early 1st century CE, with none dated later, a silver coin was found in one of the tombs from the reigns of the Parthian king Mithridates II, who ruled c. The coin was found in tomb III, and was held in the hand of the defunct woman. An imitation gold coin of Parthian King Gotarzes I was found in the hand of the defunct woman in tomb 6. The fact that this coin is in gold, and not silver or bronze as is usually the case for Parthian coinage, the coin is counterstamped with the frontal depiction of what might have been a local chieftain.
The counterstamp was added so as to not damage the portrait of the Parthian king, a gold coin was found in tomb III showing the bust in profile of the wreath-crowned Roman Emperor Tiberius. On the reverse is an enthroned, sumptuously draped female figure holding a spray, coins of this type were minted in the city of Lugdunum in Gaul, between 16 and 21 CE. A Buddhist gold coin from India was found in tomb IV, on the reverse, it depicts a lion with a nandipada, with the Kharoshthi legend Sih vigatabhay. On the obverse, an almost naked man wearing an Hellenistic chlamys. The legend in Kharoshthi reads Dharmacakrapravata and it has been suggested that this may be an early representation of the Buddha. Finally, a worn coin has been identified as belonging to the Yuezhi chieftain Heraios. It is thought that the site belonged to Sakas, although some suggest the Yuezhi or eastern Parthians as an alternative, several of the artifacts are highly consistent with a Scythian origin, such as the royal crown or the polylobed decorated daggers discovered in the tombs.
Several of the defuncts exhibited ritual deformation of the skull, a practice which is documented among Central Asian nomads of the period. These pieces have much in common with the famous Scythian gold artifacts recovered thousands of kilometers west on the banks of the Bosphorus, a high cultural syncretism pervades the findings, however. The artifacts were intermixed with items coming from much farther and this seems to be a testimony to the richness of cultural influences in the area of Bactria at that time
Samarkand, alternatively Samarqand or Samarcand, is a city in modern-day Uzbekistan and is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia, by the time of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, it was the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, the city was ruled by a succession of Iranian and Turkic peoples until the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220. Today, Samarkand is the capital of Samarqand Region, and Uzbekistans second largest city, the city is noted for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. In the 14th century it became the capital of the empire of Timur and is the site of his mausoleum, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque remains one of the citys most notable landmarks. The Registan was the ancient center of the city, the city has carefully preserved the traditions of ancient crafts, gold embroidery, silk weaving, engraving on copper, ceramics and painting on wood.
In 2001, UNESCO added the city to its World Heritage List as Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures, the name probably originates in the Sogdian words asmara, stone and kand, town. Along with Bukhara, Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia, archeological excavations held within the city limits as well as suburban areas unearthed evidence of human activity as early as 40,000 years old, in the late Paleolithic era. A group of Mesolithic era archeological sites were discovered at Sazagon-1, the Syob and Dargom canals, supplying the city and its suburbs with water, appeared around the 7th to 5th centuries BC. There is no evidence when Samarkand was founded. Researchers of the Institute of Archeology of Samarkand argue for the existence of the city between the 8th and 7th centuries BC, Samarkand has been one of the main centres of Sogdian civilization from its early days. By the time of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia it had become the capital of the Sogdian satrapy, Alexander the Great conquered Samarkand in 329 BC.
The city was known as Maracanda by the Greeks, written sources offer small clues as to the subsequent system of government. They tell of an Orepius who became ruler not from ancestors, while Samarkand suffered significant damage during Alexanders initial conquest, the city recovered rapidly and under the new Hellenic influence flourished. There were major new construction techniques, oblong bricks were replaced with square ones and superior methods of masonry, Alexanders conquests introduced into Central Asia classical Greek culture, at least for a time the Greek models were followed closely by the local artisans. After the Kushan era the city declined, it did not really revive until the 5th century, Samarkand was conquered by the Sassanians around 260 AD. Under Sassanian rule, the became an essential site for Manichaeism. After the Hephtalites conquered Samarkand, they controlled it until the Göktürks, in an alliance with the Sassanid Persians, the Turks ruled over Samarkand until they were defeated by the Sassanids during the Göktürk–Persian Wars
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
Turkmenistan has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. In medieval times, Merv was one of the cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by the Russian Empire in 1881, Turkmenistan figured prominently in the movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, Turkmenistan possesses the worlds fourth largest reserves of natural gas resources. Most of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert, since 1993, citizens have received government-provided electricity and natural gas free of charge. Turkmenistan was ruled by President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov until his death in 2006, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was elected president in 2007. According to Human Rights Watch, Turkmenistan remains one of the world’s most repressive countries, after suspending the death penalty, the use of capital punishment was formally abolished in the 2008 constitution. Historically inhabited by the Indo-Iranians, the history of Turkmenistan begins with its annexation by the Achaemenid Empire of Ancient Iran.
In the 8th century AD, Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia, part of a powerful confederation of tribes, these Oghuz formed the ethnic basis of the modern Turkmen population. In the 10th century, the name Turkmen was first applied to Oghuz groups that accepted Islam, There they were under the dominion of the Seljuk Empire, which was composed of Oghuz groups living in present-day Iran and Turkmenistan. Turkmen soldiers in the service of the played a important role in the spreading of Turkic culture when they migrated westward into present-day Azerbaijan. In the 12th century and other tribes overthrew the Seljuk Empire, in the next century, the Mongols took over the more northern lands where the Turkmens had settled, scattering the Turkmens southward and contributing to the formation of new tribal groups. The sixteenth and eighteenth centuries saw a series of splits and confederations among the nomadic Turkmen tribes, by the 16th century, most of those tribes were under the nominal control of two sedentary Uzbek khanates and Bukhoro.
Turkmen soldiers were an important element of the Uzbek militaries of this period, in the 19th century and rebellions by the Yomud Turkmen group resulted in that groups dispersal by the Uzbek rulers. According to Paul R. Spickard, Prior to the Russian conquest, Russian forces began occupying Turkmen territory late in the 19th century. From their Caspian Sea base at Krasnovodsk, the Russians eventually overcame the Uzbek khanates, in 1916 the Russian Empires participation in World War I resonated in Turkmenistan, as an anticonscription revolt swept most of Russian Central Asia. In 1924 the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic was formed from the tsarist province of Transcaspia, by the late 1930s, Soviet reorganization of agriculture had destroyed what remained of the nomadic lifestyle in Turkmenistan, and Moscow controlled political life. The Ashgabat earthquake of 1948 killed over 110,000 people, during the next half-century, Turkmenistan played its designated economic role within the Soviet Union and remained outside the course of major world events
Tashkent is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan. The officially registered population of the city in 2012 was about 2,309,300, due to its position in Central Asia, Tashkent came under Sogdian and Turkic influence early in its history, before Islam in the 8th century AD. After its destruction by Genghis Khan in 1219, the city was rebuilt, in 1865 it was conquered by the Russian Empire, and in Soviet times witnessed major growth and demographic changes due to forced deportations from throughout the Soviet Union. Today, as the capital of an independent Uzbekistan, Tashkent retains a multi-ethnic population with ethnic Uzbeks as the majority, during its long history, Tashkent has had various changes in names and political and religious affiliations. Tashkent was settled by ancient people as an oasis on the Chirchik River, in ancient times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer capital of the Kangju confederacy. In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, the town and the province were known as Chach, the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi refers to the city as Chach.
Later the town came to be known as Chachkand/Chashkand, meaning Chach City, the principality of Chach had a square citadel built around the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, some 8 kilometres south of the Syr Darya River. By the 7th century AD, Chach had more than 30 towns, the Buddhist monk Xuánzàng 玄奘, who travelled from China to India through Central Asia, mentioned the name of the city as Zhěshí 赭時. The Chinese chronicles Suí shū 隋書, Běi shǐ 北史 and Táng shū 唐書, in the early 8th century, the region was conquered by Muslim Arabs. The modern Turkic name of Tashkent comes from Kara-Khanid rule in the 10th century, after the 16th century, the name evolved from Chachkand/Chashkand to Tashkand. The modern spelling of Tashkent reflects Russian orthography and 20th-century Soviet influence, the city was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1219 and lost much of its population as a result of the Mongols destruction of the Khwarezmid Empire in 1220. Under the Timurid and subsequent Shaybanid dynasties the citys population and culture gradually revived as a prominent strategic center of scholarship, commerce, in 1809, Tashkent was annexed to the Khanate of Kokand.
At the time, Tashkent had a population of around 100,000 and was considered the richest city in Central Asia and it prospered greatly through trade with Russia, but chafed under Kokand’s high taxes. The Tashkent clergy favored the clergy of Bukhara over that of Kokand, before the Emir of Bukhara could capitalize on this discontent, the Russian army arrived. While a small contingent staged an attack, the main force penetrated the walls. Although defense was stiff, the Russians captured the city two days of heavy fighting and the loss of only 25 dead as opposed to several thousand of the defenders. Chernyayev, dubbed the Lion of Tashkent by city elders, staged a campaign to win the population over. The Tsar liberally rewarded Chernyayev and his men with medals and bonuses, but regarded the general as a loose cannon
Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts, Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America, archaeology is considered a sub-field of anthropology, archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology as a field is distinct from the discipline of palaeontology, Archaeology is particularly important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world, Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and eventually analysis of data collected to learn more about the past, in broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, the science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts. Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, in Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Antiquarians, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, one of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England.
John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other monuments in southern England. He was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings and he attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum and these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and even human shapes, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard, the importance of concepts such as stratification and context were overlooked. The father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington and he undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798, funded by Sir Richard Colt Hoare. Cunnington made meticulous recordings of neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, one of the major achievements of 19th century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy.
The idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton, the application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing, according to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems.
The overall period is characterized by use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques, tin must be mined and smelted separately, added to molten copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia. It has a population of approximately 32 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in the north and its territory covers 652,000 km2, making it the 41st largest country in the world. The land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khiljis, Hotaks, the political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a state in the Great Game between British India and the Russian Empire. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, King Amanullah unsuccessfully attempted to modernize the country and it remained peaceful during Zahir Shahs forty years of monarchy. A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a series of wars that devastated much of Afghanistan.
The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, the root name Afghan was used historically in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, and the suffix -stan means place of in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more specifically in a historical sense, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. An important site of historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites. The country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and it has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, and the Islamic Empire.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic, urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, and the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan, Afghanistan, in more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well, after 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic people from Central Asia began moving south into Afghanistan, among them were many Indo-European-speaking Indo-Iranians.
These tribes migrated further into South Asia, Western Asia, the region at the time was referred to as Ariana
The Karakum Desert, spelled Kara-Kum and Gara-Gum, is a desert in Central Asia. Its name means Black Sand in Turkic languages, in reference to the soil that lies beneath the sandy surface of much of the desert. It occupies about 70 percent, or 350,000 km², the population is sparse, with an average of one person per 6.5 km². Rainfall is sparse, ranging from 70 to 150 mm per year, covering much of present-day Turkmenistan, the Karakum Desert lies east of the Caspian Sea, with the Aral Sea to the north and the Amu Darya river and the Kyzyl Kum desert to the northeast. In modern times, with the shrinking of the Aral Sea, although the level of the Aral Sea has fluctuated over its existence, the most recent level drop was caused by the former Soviet Union building massive irrigation projects in the region. Although the North Aral Sea is currently rising, the South Aral Sea is still dropping, the sands of the Aral Karakum are made up of a salt-marsh consisting of finely-dispersed evaporites and remnants of alkaline mineral deposits, washed into the basin from irrigated fields.
The dust blown on a full east-west airstream carry pesticide residues that have found in the blood of penguins in Antarctica. Aral dust has found in the glaciers of Greenland, the forests of Norway. The Karakum Desert is home to the Darvaza Gas Crater, 40°15′08. 40″N 58°26′23. 10″E The area has significant oil and natural gas deposits. To the south the Murghab and Tejen rivers flow out of the Hindu Kush Mountains, flow west, the desert is crossed by the second largest irrigation canal in the world, the Kara Kum Canal, which brings water from the Amu Darya to southern regions of the desert. Construction on the canal was started in 1954 and completed in 1958 and it is 1,375 km in length, and carries 13-20 km³ of water annually. Leakages from the canal have created lakes and ponds along the canal, within the Karakum are the Uly Balkan, a mountain range in which archaeologists have found human remains dating back to the Stone Age. The oases of Mary and Tejen are noted for cotton growing, the desert is crossed by the Trans-Caspian Railway.
Kyzylkum Desert List of deserts by area Gonur Depe site in the Karakum Desert photos and about the Karakum Desert TravelBlog Darvasa Craters, Entrance to Hell
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used mainly for documentation in libraries and increasingly by archives, the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero license, the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, and an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format
Those from southern Russia and Crimea are often referred to as Northern Pontic, in contrast to those from South Pontus, which strictly speaking is Pontus proper. The Pontic Greeks had a presence in the region of Pontus, Georgia. Nowadays, due to intermarriage, the exact number of Greeks from the Pontus. After 1988, Pontian Greeks in the Soviet Union started to migrate to Greece settling in and around Athens and Thessaloniki, and especially Greek Macedonia. The largest communities of Pontian Greeks around the world are, In Greek mythology the Black Sea region is the region where Jason and the Argonauts sailed to find the Golden Fleece. The Amazons, female warriors in Greek Mythology lived in Pontus and minority lived in Taurica, the warlike characteristics of Pontic Greeks had once said to have been derived of Amazons of Pontus. The first recorded Greek colony, established on the shores of ancient Anatolia, was Sinope on the Black Sea. The settlers of Sinop were merchants from the Ionian Greek city state of Miletus, after the colonization of the shores of the Black Sea, known until to the Greek world as Pontos Axeinos, the name changed to Pontos Euxeinos.
Xenophon mentions that when at the sight of sea they shouted Thalatta and they were Greeks too and, according to Xenophon, they had been there for over 300 years. A whole range of trade flourished among the various Greek colonies, soon Trebizond established a leading stature among the other colonies and the region nearby become the heart of the Pontian Greek culture and civilization. This region was organized circa 281 BC as a kingdom by Mithridates I of Pontus, whose ancestry line dated back to Ariobarzanes I, a Persian ruler of the Greek town of Cius. Nevertheless, the kingdom survived as a Roman vassal state, now named Bosporan Kingdom and based in Crimea, until the 4th century AD, when it succumbed to the Huns. The rest of the Pontus became part of the Roman Empire, Pontus was the birthplace of the Komnenos dynasty, which ruled the Byzantine Empire from 1082 to 1185, a time in which the empire resurged to recover much of Anatolia from the Seljuk Turks. However it took the Ottomans 18 more years to defeat the Greek resistance in Pontus.
During the Ottoman period a number of Pontian Greeks converted to Islam, in fact, the second half of the nineteenth century saw large numbers of such pro-Russian Pontic Greeks from the Pontic Alps and Erzerum province resettle in the area around Kars. The mountainous vilayet of Kars was ceded to the Russian Empire following the Russo-Turkish war that culminated in the 1878 Treaty of San Stefano, in 1916 Trabzon itself fell to the forces of the Russian Empire, fomenting the idea of an independent Pontic state. As the Bolsheviks came to power with the October Revolution, Russian forces withdrew from the region to take part in the Russian Civil War, in 1917–1922, there existed an unrecognized state by the name Republic of Pontus, led by Chrysanthus, Metropolitan of Trebizond. In 1917 Greece and the Entente powers considered the creation of a Hellenic autonomous state in Pontus, in 1919 on the fringes of the Paris Peace Conference Chrysanthos proposed the establishment of a fully independent Republic of Pontus, but neither Greece nor the other delegations supported it
Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan, is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world. Located in Central Asia, it is a unitary, presidential republic, comprising twelve provinces, one autonomous republic and a capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five landlocked countries, Kazakhstan to the north, Tajikistan to the southeast, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Once part of the Turkic Khaganate and Timurid Empires, the region that includes the Republic of Uzbekistan was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991, Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The countrys official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population, Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks and others.
A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims, Uzbekistan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, UN, and the SCO. While officially a republic, non-governmental human rights organizations define Uzbekistan as an authoritarian state with limited civil rights. Uzbekistans economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, uranium, despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which imports in favour of domestic import substitution. Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres and it is the 56th largest country in the world by area and the 42nd by population. Among the CIS countries, it is the 4th largest by area, Uzbekistan lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N, and longitudes 56° and 74° E. It stretches 1,425 kilometres from west to east and 930 kilometres from north to south, Uzbekistan shares a short border with Afghanistan to the south.
Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country and it is one of two doubly landlocked countries in the world, the other being Liechtenstein. In addition, due to its location within a series of endorheic basins, less than 10% of its territory is intensively cultivated irrigated land in river valleys and oases. The rest is vast desert and mountains, the climate in the Republic of Uzbekistan is continental, with little precipitation expected annually. The average summer high temperature tends to be 40 °C, while the winter low temperature is around −23 °C. Uzbekistan has a rich and diverse natural environment, the Aral Sea used to be the fourth-largest inland sea on Earth, acting as an influencing factor in the air moisture and arid land use. Since the 1960s, the decade when the misuse of the Aral Sea water began, it has shrunk to less than 50% of its former area, reliable, or even approximate data, have not been collected, stored or provided by any organization or official agency