Mongolian cave paintingMongolian stone tools

First evidences of human

Archaeological evidence places early Stone Age human habitation in the southern Gobi 500,000 years ago. Central Asian steppes were usually inhabited by nomadic tribes, sometimes united in confederations of varying sizes. These nomads usually herded animals, traded and raided more agricultural peoples and each other. However, every now and then, large nomadic confederations formed that threatened China, and sometimes the Middle East, Europe and beyond.


Deer Stone Hunnu warrior

Hunnu period (aka Xiongnu) (3rd – 1st century B.C.)

The establishment of the Hunnu state at the heartland of Central Asia in the 3rd century B.C. landmarks the beginning of the statehood on the territory of Mongolia. At the peak of its power, the Hunnu confederacy stretched from Lake Baikal in the north to the Great Wall of China in the south and from the Tian Shan mountains in the west to the Greater Khingan ranges in the east.

Xianbei Period (1st century B.C. - 1st century A.D.)

The Xianbei that were under the Hunnu rebelled in 93 B.C. ending the Hunnu domination in Mongolia and were consolidated into a state under Tanshihuai in 147 A.D.

Joujan Period (1st – 4th century)

A branch of the Xianbei, the Joujan were consolidated under Mugulyu. Shelun assumed the title of Kagan in 402 landmarking the establishment of the state of the Joujan Kaganate. The Joujan Kaganate was finally defeated by the Turks in 555.

Hunnu Gold and Silver Artifact Human Stone

Turkic Period (4th century – 6th century)

The Turks (Göktürks) of Altai that were subjects of the Joujan revolted in 552 establishing the Turkic Kaganate.Chinese dynasties Qi and Zhou surrendered in 570 and began paying tribute to the Göktürks.

Uyghur Period (6th – 7th century)

The Uyghurs, who were subjects to the Göktürks, revolted in 745 and founded the Uyghur Empire (Kaganate) which replaced the Eastern Turkic Kaganate. The culture and economy of the Uighur Kaganate were more advanced than those of its predecessors. The Uyghur Kaganate fell under an invasion of the Yeniseyan Kyrgyz in 840.

Khitan Period (8th – 10th century)

The Kidans, an ethnic group whose language belonged to the Mongolic group, established Kidan state in 911. Later it became to be called Liao State. The Jurjens, who were subjects to the Kidans, rebelled in 1113 and established in 1125 the Jin Dynasty which replaced the Liao Dynasty.


MONGOL PERIOD (12-16th century)

Chinggis Khaan aka Genghis Khan Mongol cavalry attack Mongol warrior Mongol horde

The 12th century Mongolia is characterized by rivalry of numerous tribes, confederations and khanlyks. The confederations of core Mongol tribes were transforming into a statehood in the early 12th century and became to be known as Hamug Monggol.
Temujin was born at the Yesugei Bagatur, a grandson of the first khan of Hamug Monggol.
Later, Temujin united all the Mongol tribes after a long struggle and was proclaimed as Chinggis Khaan (also known as Genghis Khan in the West). Beginning in 1206, Chingghis Khaan and his successors consolidated and expanded the Mongol Empire into the largest contiguous land empire in the world history. After Chingghis Khan's death, the empire was divided into four kingdoms, or "Khanates". The Mongol Empire began to fall apart in 1368.


The 17th-20th century period was the most tragic for the Mongols. During this period Mongolia was ruled by the Manchu dynasty of Qing, who divided Mongolia into two main administrative districts – Outer and Inner Mongolia, wiped out the cultural progress of the Mongols achieved during the imperial period and Mongolia was thrown back to the primitive state until the renaissance of the 20th century This period is known for brutal tortures and wide spread of diseases.
Movement for Independence
With the fall of the Qing Dynasty, Mongolia declared to restore its independence in 1911. In 1924, after the death of the religious leader and king Bogd Khan, a People's Republic of Mongolia was proclaimed with support from the Soviets and became the second communist country in the world.


For over 70 years as a formally sovereign yet satellite country of the Soviet Union Mongolia had both negative and positive periods. In 1937 the destruction of Buddhist monasteries and start of Stalinist purges left more than thousands of monasteries ruined and 30,000 people, mostly Buddhists lamas, dead. On the other hand, the Soviet influence also brought to Mongolia infrastructure for transportation, communication and civil services such as education and health services. During communist times Mongolia attained a 98% literacy rate, one of the highest around the world, and saw drastically reduced rates of infant and child mortality. Adult health improved greatly with the introduction of education in sanitary measures, and the advent of running water and sewage systems. Many Mongolians were sent to Russian to receive educations in scientific, engineering, and medical professions.


The beginning of perestroika and glasnost in the USSR strongly influenced Mongolian politics even though Mongolia was a sovereign nation. The decline of communism in the Soviet Union and its collapse in Eastern Europe, combined with these two policies, were enough to lead to the peaceful Democratic Revolution of 1990. This, in turn, allowed Mongolia to begin engaging in economic and diplomatic relations with more Western countries. The nation finished its transition from a communist state to a multi-party democracy with the ratification of a new constitution in 1992.