Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the 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. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people () constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.
In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 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 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...)
Jordan (Arabic: الأردن; tr. Al-ʾUrdunn [al.ʔur.dunː]), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, within the levant region, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel and the West Bank of Palestine. The Dead Sea is located along its western borders, and the country has a 26-kilometre (16 mi) coastline on the Red Sea in its extreme south-west. Amman is the nation's capital and largest city, as well as the economic, political and cultural centre.
Modern-day Jordan has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic
period. Three stable kingdoms emerged there at the end of the Bronze Age
. Later rulers include the Nabataean Kingdom
, the Persian Empire
, the Roman Empire
, the Rashidun
, and Abbasid Caliphates
, and the Ottoman Empire
. After the Great Arab Revolt
against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I
, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned
by Britain and France. The Emirate of Transjordan
was established in 1921
by the Hashemite
, then Emir
, Abdullah I
, and the emirate became a British protectorate
. In 1946, Jordan became an independent state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan
, but was renamed in 1949 to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
after the country captured
the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War
and annexed it until it was lost to Israel in 1967
. Jordan renounced its claim to the territory in 1988
, and became the second Arab state to sign a peace treaty
in 1994. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League
and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation
. The sovereign state is a constitutional monarchy
, but the king holds wide executive
powers. (Full article...
Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Ṭughj ibn Juff ibn Yiltakīn ibn Fūrān ibn Fūrī ibn Khāqān (8 February 882 – 24 July 946), better known by the title al-Ikhshīd (Arabic: الإخشيد) after 939, was an Abbasid commander and governor who became the autonomous ruler of Egypt and parts of Syria (or Levant) from 935 until his death in 946. He was the founder of the Sunni Ikhshidid dynasty, which ruled the region until the Fatimid conquest of 969.
The son of Tughj ibn Juff
, a general of Turkic
origin who served both the Abbasids and the autonomous Tulunid
rulers of Egypt and Syria, Muhammad ibn Tughj was born in Baghdad
but grew up in Syria and acquired his first military and administrative experiences at his father's side. He had a turbulent early career: he was imprisoned along with his father by the Abbasids in 905, was released in 906, participated in the murder of the vizier al-Abbas ibn al-Hasan al-Jarjara'i
in 908, and fled Iraq
to enter the service of the governor of Egypt, Takin al-Khazari
. Eventually he acquired the patronage of several influential Abbasid magnates, chiefly the powerful commander-in-chief Mu'nis al-Muzaffar
. These ties led him to being named governor first of Palestine
and then of Damascus
. In 933, he was briefly named governor of Egypt, but this order was revoked after the death of Mu'nis, and Ibn Tughj had to fight to preserve even his governorship of Damascus. In 935, he was re-appointed to Egypt, where he quickly defeated a Fatimid invasion and stabilized the turbulent country. His reign marks a rare period of domestic peace, stability and good government in the annals of early Islamic Egypt. In 938 Caliph al-Radi
granted his request for the title of al-Ikhshid
, which had been borne by the rulers of his ancestral Farghana Valley
. It is by this title that he was known thereafter. (Full article...
A road passing through a part of Tokyo which was destroyed in the 10 March 1945 air raid
On the night of 9/10 March 1945, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) conducted a devastating firebombing raid on Tokyo, the Japanese capital city. This attack was code-named Operation Meetinghouse by the USAAF and is known as the Great Tokyo Air Raid in Japan. Bombs dropped from 279 Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers burned out much of eastern Tokyo. More than 90,000 and possibly over 100,000 Japanese people were killed, mostly civilians, and one million were left homeless, making it the most destructive single air attack in human history. The Japanese air and civil defenses proved largely inadequate; 14 American aircraft and 96 airmen were lost.
The attack on Tokyo was an intensification of the air raids on Japan
which had begun in June 1944. Prior to this operation, the USAAF had focused on a precision bombing
campaign against Japanese industrial facilities. These attacks were generally unsuccessful, which contributed to the decision to shift to firebombing. The operation during the early hours of 10 March was the first major firebombing raid against a Japanese city, and the USAAF units employed significantly different tactics from those used in precision raids, including bombing by night with the aircraft flying at low altitudes. The extensive destruction caused by the raid led to these tactics becoming standard for the USAAF's B-29s until the end of the war. (Full article...
Did you know...
- ... that after a secret purchase from Europe, the Special Group became the first Indian troops to be equipped with the AK-47?
- ... that British Army officer Sir Augustus FitzGeorge served as equerry to his father, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, and accompanied Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, on his visit to India?
- ... that Claude Batchelor, a former trumpet player with the 1st Cavalry Division Band, was convicted on charges related to collaboration with China during the Korean War?
- ... that on a 1932 visit to the Soviet Union, S. Ramanathan was not allowed to meet Joseph Stalin because the Indian politician had also met with Trotskyists?
- ... that the Famine Inquiry Commission has been criticized by scholars and Indian nationalists for exonerating the British government of responsibility for the 1943 Bengal famine?
- ... that Bambang Suryadi, a politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, was buried with the flag of the party above him?
- ... that although the 2018 release Hamari Paltan was promoted as the last film of veteran Indian actor Tom Alter, another one featuring him premiered later that same year?
- ... that Huang Weilu was the chief designer of China's first submarine-launched ballistic missile?
- ... that effigies of Soedjono Hoemardani, a personal assistant to Indonesian president Suharto, were burnt by students protesting foreign investment?
- ... that Farooq Khan headed the Kashmiri Special Operations Group credited with the killing of more than 2,000 militants between 1994 and 1996?
Updated: 12:33, 18 May 2021
In the news
The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.
Jeju, South Korea
A Confucian ritual ceremony in
India's middle-class population of 300 million is growing at an annual rate of 5%. Shown here is an upmarket area in
Map of Marco Polo's travels
Sun temple at Konarka, Odisha
Projected GDP of 7 largest economies in 2050.
Here a Jesuit, Adam Schall von Bell (1592–1666), is dressed as an official of the Chinese Department of Astronomy.
East Asian cultural sphere
The 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.
Map of Asia for early 20th century
Daian-ji temple at Nara, Japan
The Qing Empire in 1820, marked the time when the Qing began to rule these areas.
Western Zhou dynasty in China
Population concentration and boundaries of the
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Byzantine and Sassanian Empires in 600 AD
Tyumen built in 1768
The Russian Znamensky Cathedral in
Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un. It was a historical event that symbolized the peace of Asia.
The third Inter-Korean Summit, which was held in 2018, between South Korean president
Chicken tikka, a well-known dish across the globe, reflects the amalgamation of South Asian cooking styles with those from Central Asia.
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.
Detail of Chinese
Language families in South Asia
Contemporary political map of Asia
Projected shares of global GDP by region to 2050
Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of
Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, which was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010.
||Central Asia, Conflicts, East Asia, Imperialism, Kamboja-Dvaravati Route, Mesopotamia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia
||Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, East Asia, Far East, Himalayas, Indian subcontinent, Malay peninsula, North Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Suez Canal, Tibetan Plateau, Ural Mountains
||Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, Commonwealth of Independent States, Imperialism, Silk Road, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
||Cinema, Cuisine, Eastern philosophy, Films, Film festivals, Literature, Music, Religion
||Indigenous peoples, Languages, Politics, Studies