Asia (/ˈeɪʒə/ⓘ, UK also /ˈeɪʃə/) is the largest continent in the world by both land area and population. It covers an area of more than 44 million square kilometers, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8% of Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population, having more people than all other continents combined.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1,800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)
Angkor Wat was built at the behest of the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat more than 5 kilometres (3 mi) long and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls. The modern name Angkor Wat, alternatively Nokor Wat, means "Temple City" or "City of Temples" in Khmer. Angkor (អង្គរângkôr) meaning "city" or "capital city", is a vernacular form of the word nokor (នគរnôkôr), which comes from the Sanskrit/Pali word nagara (Devanāgarī: नगर). Wat (វត្តvôtt) is the word for "temple grounds", also derived from Sanskrit/Pali vāṭa (Devanāgarī: वाट), meaning "enclosure". (Full article...)
Cyprus possesses a history that is among the most ancient in the world. The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC; it is home to some of the oldest water wells on record. The island's most prominent Neolithic settlement is Khirokitia, notable for being proof of the existence of structured societies residing in fortified villages, practicing communal farming. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BC, who left a lasting impact on the island's culture, language, and architecture; to this day the majority of Cypriots identify as ethnic Greeks, and Cyprus is the only country other than Greece where Modern Greek is an official language. (Full article...)
Choe Bu (Korean: 최부, 1454–1504) was a Korean diarist, historian, politician, and travel writer during the early Joseon Dynasty. He was most well known for the account of his shipwrecked travels in China from February to July 1488, during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). He was eventually banished from the Joseon court in 1498 and executed in 1504 during two political purges. However, in 1506 he was exonerated and given posthumous honors by the Joseon court.
Choe's diary accounts of his travels in China became widely printed during the 16th century in both Korea and Japan. Modern historians also refer to his written works, since his travel diary provides a unique outsider's perspective on Chinese culture in the 15th century. The attitudes and opinions expressed in his writing represent in part the standpoints and views of the 15th century Confucian Korean literati, who viewed Chinese culture as compatible with and similar to their own. His description of cities, people, customs, cuisines, and maritime commerce along China's Grand Canal provides insight into the daily life of China and how it differed between northern and southern China during the 15th century. (Full article...)
Image 50Detail of Chinese silk from the 4th century BCE. The characteristic trade of silk through the Silk Road connected various regions from China, India, Central Asia, and the Middle East to Europe and Africa. (from History of Asia)
Image 51Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of Goguryeo (from History of Asia)
Image 63The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 AD to 2003 AD according to Angus Maddison's estimates. Before 18th century, China and India were the two largest economies by GDP output. (from Asian Century)
Image 67The third Inter-Korean Summit, which was held in 2018, between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un. It was a historical event that symbolized the peace of Asia. (from History of Asia)