While in Africa one can follow the very first traces of
man, it is in Asia that one finds the earliest highly
developed societies. From this we know the first testimonies
of farming and cattle breeding in the world, the first use
of metal and the oldest writing. The development of culture
went different ways in the different parts of the continent,
whose varied nature offers very different living conditions
- from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the belt of the
monsoon in the south and from the deserts and steppes of
Central Asia to the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
AbbreviationFinder.org, the oldest finds from Asia date approx. one million years
back. Tools from the Oldowan culture and from the older
acheulé are known from Ubaydiyya in Israel. The oldest
representatives of the species Homo erectus found
in China are the skull from Lantien, ca. 0.8 million years
old and older than the Beijing man from Zhoukoudian, whose
age is estimated at between 0.5 and 0.25 million. year.
Javanese man is considered as old as found from Lantien, ie.
between 0.9 and 0.7 million year. In older mansion politics,
various tooling cultures existed: the Acheulé with handles
in West Asia and parts of India and a culture, Soan, based
on pebble tools in most of India and Southeast
From 200,000-90,000 years ago, both eastern and western
Asia are known for so-called archaic Homo sapiens
types from, for example, Dali in China, as well as Zuttiyeh
and Qafzeh in Israel. They usher in the transition to the
Middle Palaeolithic and thus to a more developed culture,
the mosquito. In this era, ca. 200,000-40,000 BC, human
physical development went in different directions. The
Neanderthal lived in Europe, Western and Central Asia, where
funerals occur for the first time. In the other parts of
Asia, the development of Homo erectus over early
Homo sapiens types to the modern man. By the end of
the Middle Palaeolithic, human settlement existed across
much of Asia. The lowering of sea level during the last ice
age enabled immigration to Japan for approx. 90,000 years
In the younger mansion, ca. 40,000-9300 BC, all of Asia
was populated by the living human type. Off for approx.
32,000 years ago, Siberia's steppes were inhabited by a
people who hunted mammoth, wild horse, reindeer and bison.
At a settlement in Malta near the river Angara, for approx.
23,000 years ago made small female and animal figures of
mammoth tooth. The oldest Siberian rock paintings with
animal motifs are from Younger Palaeolithic. The lowering of
the sea during the last ice age enabled immigration from
Siberia to North America across the Bering Strait. In the
warmer parts of Asia, the population became more dependent
on plant food, and some of the traits that characterize
later farming communities came to fruition. In Japan, cut
stone axes from approx. 25,000 and ceramics, the oldest in
the world, from approx. 10,000 BC
At the end of the Late Palaeolithic (epipalaeolithic),
ca. 12,000-10,000 BC, the Natuf culture was widespread in
the Near East. People lived in villages, collected wild
cereals and hunted wild sheep, goats and gazelles. After
approx. 9000 BC there were early Neolithic villages in the
Near East whose inhabitants cultivated wheat and barley and
kept domestic animals, but did not yet produce pottery.
Settlement mounds (teller) testifies to permanent
settlement from 9,500 to 9,000 BC, such as Jericho in the
Jordan Valley, Abu Hurayra in Syria and Tepe Guran in Iran.
From 8500 BC were found in the small hills of Asia Minor,
for example Cayönü Tepesi and Can Hassan, and 7000-5500 BC
created the first urban communities to witness developed
social, economic and religious organization, such as Çatal
Hüyük in southeastern Turkey. In the period 5500-3000 BC
complex social systems were developed in West Asia. Temple
cities characterize the Ubaid period, and in subsequent
periods Uruk and Jemdet Nasr emerge Mesopotamia's first
states. The oldest wedge writing is known from Uruk ca. 3500
While cold-hammered copper was known in the Near East
before 7000 BC, forged copper became common after ca. 5000
BC and bronze from approx. 3500 BC Natural deposits of
copper and tin were exploited in other parts of Asia for the
production of bronze 3000-2000 BC. The iron first used by
the Hittites in Asia Minor extended to the other parts of
Asia towards 1000 BC.
In India and Pakistan, arable farming and cattle breeding
are known from 7000-5000 BC A highlight was reached with the
Indus culture, ca. 2500-1700 BC, whose cities were centers
of crafts and commerce and for the cultivation of barley,
wheat, rice, millet and cotton. First, approx. 700 BC arose
around the Ganges River a number of urban states which, like
other centers in the Indian Peninsula, were engulfed by the
Maurya dynasty 400-300 BC.
In Turkmenistan, farming began 7000-6000 BC with the
Djeitun culture. On the steppes of Central Asia lived from
approx. 2500 BC a semi-nomadic people who domesticated
horses and camels buried their dead in burial mounds and
from Andronovo culture ca. 1500 BC bronze used. From the
Steppes were the expansive nomadic people who from 800-600
BC are known as gunmen and sarmatians. From Pazyryk in
Altaj, the rich first tomb is known from 500-300 BC.
In northern China, the oldest Neolithic village culture,
Yangshao, which was based on millet cultivation and pig
farming, can be traced back to ca. 7000 BC During the
Longshan culture, 2500-1800 BC, larger fortified urban
communities and signs of the emergence of an armed elite
existed around the Huang He (Hwang Ho) river, pointing
towards the Shang dynasty.
Rice cultivation began in southern China approx.
6000-5000 BC and in Southeast Asia approx. 2000 BC The use
of metal was known in Thailand and Vietnam from 2000-1500
BC, but first developed significantly in the Dong Son
culture with the use of iron. From this time, fortified
cities emerged and centralization began. It continued around
AD when the first temple towns were founded in the Mekong
Delta, from which trade with other kingdoms in West and East
Asia was conducted.
Both before and after the introduction of rice
cultivation on the floodplains of Thailand, Vietnam and
Cambodia there were hunters, collectors and fishermen who
used simple stone tools, the so-called Hoabinh culture,
which is known from kitchen encounters on the coasts and
from the rocky caves that supplemented the hunt with plant
food collection. In northern Thailand, Indonesia and the
Philippines, some peoples have lived at the Stone Age level
right up to the present day.
In Japan, thousands of kitchen meetings originate from
the Iomon period, whose population lived from fishing,
gathering and hunting, until farming began to grow wheat and
beans. 4000 BC Millet was grown from ca. 1000 BC and rice
from around 300 BC Bronze and iron were first used
extensively during the Yayoi period, 300 BC-300 AD, as a
result of influences from the Han Dynasty in China.