The territory of modern Uzbekistan is one of the centers of origin and development of human civilization and has a nearly 3,000-year history of statehood. Archaeological finds in the territories of Selengur, Kulbulak and Teshiktash monuments prove that the first human settlements on the territory of Uzbekistan were founded hundreds of thousands of years ago.


The emergence of ancient agrocultures in Central Asia dates back to 3-2 millennium BC. In the second half of the 3 - the first half of 2nd millennium BC - in the upper reaches of the Amu Darya already existed settlements, which participated in the development and trade of Badakhshan lapis lazuli and had connection with the Harappan civilization in India. During the second millennium BC - Through Central Asia and adjacent steppe there was migration to the south (India), Southeast (Media and Persia), East (East Turkestan - Tochars) Indo-Iranian (Aryan) tribes.

The group of eastern Iranian tribes settled in jases in the territory of Central Asia. Bones of domestic animals, wheat and barley and stone graters were discovered in the ancient settlement of farmers in the lake Zamanbaba Zarafshan River Basin. The Eneolithic and Bronze Age area of ​​over 90 hectares was found near Pendjikent’s Sarazm village settlement of farmers. Ancient agricultural settlements discovered in the valley Surhandarya - settlements Sapallitepa and Djarkutan.

Archaeological sites of the Bronze Age in the territory of Khorezm were called Tazabagyabsky farming culture. Settlement of farmers Kokcha, Kavat-3 and others were founded in the middle of the 2nd millennium. There are traces of ancient canals. At the beginning of the 1st millennium BC Khorezm formed Amirabad culture with advanced irrigation techniques. Gradually the population of Ferghana Valley moves to a sedentary lifestyle and engage in agriculture. Chust agricultural culture in the Ferghana Valley dates fr om the end of 2 - start of the 1st millennium BC. Such cities as Samarkand, Merv, Er-Kurgan, Ahsiket, Khiva were founded in the first millennium. This is the birth time of the Zoroastrian "Avesta" and the heroic epic.


The oldest state association of Central Asia is ancient Bactrian kingdom (written sources called it Bahdi in "Avesta", Baktrish in Behistun inscriptions, Bactriana – by ancient authors), which had ties with Assyria, New Babylon, the Medes, Indian states. According to ancient historians, during the hegemony of Assyria, in the 9-7 centuries BC "Assyrian campaign" was held to Bactria to establish control over lapis lazuli. According to Ctesias of Cnidus, who lived at the court of Artaxerxes II (404-358), as early as the 8th century BC there was a large Bactrian kingdom, which was attacked by Assyrian troops led by King Nin - the husband of the legendary Semiramida and even became part of Assyria. One of the documents states that the king Ashurbanipal calls for help fr om troops fr om Bactria and Sogdiana. According to Ctesias, during the war of Media and Assyria bactrians first acted as allies of the Assyrians, and then switches over to the Medes.

In 7-6 centuries BC the ancient Bactrian kingdom territory covered valleys of Surkhan, Kashkadarya and Zarafshan, included Margiana and Sogdiana. Products of Bactrian masters of gold, stone and bronze gained fame in China, Persia and Europe. The largest cities located on site Kyzyltepa, Er-Kurgan, Uzunkir and Afrasiab. The time traveler fr om afar would see Bactrian city silhouette - a powerful citadel towering over adobe dwellings, craft workshops and outbuildings. Quintus Curtius Rufus wrote: "Nature of Bactria is rich and diverse. In some places, trees and vineyards give juicy fruits in abundance, rich soil irrigated by numerous sources. Where the soil is soft, bread is sawn, and the rest are left as pasture land". The main occupation of the population was irrigated agriculture. An important role in society played a craft and trade.


Ancient northern trade routes fr om the region were controlled by Khorezm, referred to as Hvarizam in "Avesta", Hvarazmish - in Behistun scripts, Horasm - in the writings of Arrian and Strabo. Ancient culture of Khorezm, destroyed during the Arab invasion in the 8th century, consisted of nearly two thousand years. Khorezm was the holy land "ayran vaychah" of Avesta - the center of the ancient cults for the entire region. State associations already existed on the territory of Khorezm in the 7-6 centuries BC.

Archaeological evidence suggests that in the second quarter of the 1st millennium BC in this region there was a powerful irrigation network, fed fr om the Amu Darya. In the middle of the 6th century BC Khorezm was conquered by the Persians, who took gems, pottery, jewelery and craftsmen fr om Khorezm. Top builders went to build the royal palaces.

In the construction of the palace of Darius I at Susa it is reported that dark blue gems fr om Khorezm were used. In 5-4 centuries BC Khorezm seeks independence fr om the Persians. Fr om the 4-3 centuries BC there was a Kharezmian writing, the largest religious and administrative center, the royal residence - Toprak-kala, the ancient mausoleum, temple and observatory - Coy Krylgan-Kala existed. Greek sources say that winter 329-328 BC Kharizmian king Farisman concluded a peace treaty with Alexander the Great.


In 334 B.C., Alexander began marching to Asia. Having conquered the Minor Asia, Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt, and Iran Alexander, entered the territory of Central Asia in spring 329, crossing Hindukush Mountains. Bess, the Satrap of Bactria and Sogd, who had accepted the title of King and name of Artakserks, left Bactria and ran to the other side of Amudarya, territory of Sogdiana, after he had known that Alexander had come near. Alexander crossed Amudarya surreptitiously. Bess could not avoid him because at that time his recent supporters - Spitamen and Datafern - imprisoned him. They sent their messengers to Alexander with offer to send his force to capture Bess. In Nautak (north-western part of Kashkadarya Valley) Alexander conquered several fortresses. Having left his garrison in Marakand, he took a tour to the Land of Saks, Syrdarya. On their way to Marakand, the Macedonians had faced tough resistance of local population - the Usturshan highlanders. Alexander was hardly wounded.

The "riverside barbarians" began to revolt fr om back with defeating the Macedonian garrisons. At the same time, Sogdians led by Spitamen began to revolt. The Sogdians adjoined Baktrians. Spitamen had stood openly against Alexander and halted the Macedonian garrison in Marakand. Over the short period of time, on the bank of Syrdarya, the Macedonians built their fortress of Alexandria Distant (Alexandria Eskhata). Alexander hurriedly accomplished peace with Saks and threw his basic forces against Spitamen. The regular retaliatory actions of Greek-Macedonian armies in the territory of Sogd fr om autumn 329 till the same period in 328 did not bring results, which Alexander expected. After two years of wearisome and unsuccessful struggle he changed his tactics and went for rapprochement with local elites. Kwint Kursye Roof writes: "He ordered to give cities and lands of those who persisted in insubordination to those barbarians, who have obeyed". As a result, Alexander could involve a significant number of local dynasties and formed military contingencies from Sogdians and Baktrians in his campaign. In autumn 328 the decisive battle between Alexander and Spitamen took place, in which Spitamen had lost and ran to desert, wh ere his recent allies executed him. Having conquered the mountain fortresses of Horien and Oxiart in Gissar mountains, Alexander married the daughter of Oxiart - Roxanne, thus related with local elite. Having appointed the king of Sogd, Oropiya, one of the representatives of Sogdian elite, who took sides with Alexander, he finished the conquest of Central Asia. Crossing through Amudarya, in the very summer of 327, he passed through Hindukush and began his famous Indian campaign.

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