The first traces of human activity within the territory of Kyrgyzstan go to epoch of early or lower Paleolithic. Monument of that time was the stone tool found by A.P. Okladnikov in 1953 in the Central Tien Shan, on the left bank of On-Archa river. Technique of stone tool processing allows us to date the time of its manufacture as 300 thousand years ago. A similarly manufactured tool was found in Khodja-Bakyrgan-Sai in the South of Kyrgyzstan.
Eneolithic Period is represented only by the ancient part of the drawings made on the rocks of Saimaly-Tash natural boundary. This is a tremendous cult center of Eneolithic and bronze period to the middle ages.
Pastoral peoples of Central Asia of the middle of the 1st millennium BC were called "saks" in the sources. These were warlike tribes that played an active role in political events in Central Asia in the first millennium BC.
The Empire of the Huns dominated on the territory of Central Asia in the 3rd century BC. In 201 BC, Mode (Maodun) conquered Gegun (Kyrgyz) possession, which was located in the Eastern Tien Shan at that time. The Maodun reign became an important initial milestone in the history of the Kyrgyz people: the ethnonym "Kyrgyz" was first mentioned in the Chinese annals in 201.
The successors of Saks were the Usuns. After occupation of Semirechye, Jungaria and Central Tien-Shan, they created one of the most ancient states. In 71 BC the Usun ruler Kyunbag in alliance with the Khan's Empire inflicted a crushing defeat to the Huns. At that time part of Kyrgyzstan was a part of the State of Davan in Fergana Valley. Davan (according to ancient Persian sources - Parkana) was a densely populated country. Fergana horses, which China sought to acquire for their cavalry, were especially famous. In 104-99 BC Davan asserted independence in the fight against the Khan's Empire.
In the middle of the VI century the Turkic Khaganate was established in Altai (551-744). In 70-ies of the VI century it reached the peak of its power, its territory stretched from Khingan to the North Caucasian plains, from the headwaters of the Yenisei River to the headwaters of the Amu Darya River. In 603, the Turkic Khaganate was officially divided into the Eastern and Western Khaganates.
The West Turkic Khaganate (603-704) occupied a vast territory - from East Turkistan, the foothills of the Tien-Shan and Semirechye, to the North Caucasus. Administrative-political and main trade center was Suyab town (Ak-Beshim ruins near Tokmak town).
After the collapse of the Western Turkic Khaganate the Turgesh Khaganate existed within the territory of Kyrgyzstan (704-746). In 746 it was invaded by the Karluks. The State of the Karluks consisted of a strong union of nomadic tribes. VIII-IX centuries were marked by the domination of the Karluks Khaganate in Semirechye and Tien Shan. During this period the State of Yenisei Kyrgyz in Southern Siberia began to dominate. As a result of 20-year war with the Uighurs (820-841), Kyrgyz defeated them. The defeat of the Uyghur Khaganate and conquer of the vast territories of Central Asia has led to the creation of the Great Kyrgyz Khaganate.
After the formation of Karakhanid Khaganate (X – beginning of the XII century) Islamic culture began to spread within the territory of Kyrgyzstan. This meant the rapid growth of urban culture, writing system, literature, and history. The great thinkers Yusuf Balasaghuni and Mahmud Kashgari created their masterpieces.
After the conquest of Central Asia by Genghis Khan the Chagatai ulus was established. It followed by State of Haidu and Mogolistan. During the period of Mogolistan the Kyrgyz people entered the historical arena. Mogolistan historian Muhammad khaidar called them "wild lions of Mogolistan", which demonstrates their political supremacy in the above-mentioned region.
In the second half of XV-XVI centuries the Kyrgyz people finally gained their present ethnic appearance and mainly occupied the territory of Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai Mountains.
Starting since the mid XVII to mid XVIII centuries the Kyrgyz people defended their independence because of the invasion of the Dzungarian Khanate.
In the mid 60-ies of XVIII century the southern Kyrgyz people, and then in 20-30-ies of XIX century the northern Kyrgyz people fall under the influence of the Kokand Khanate. In the late XVII and early XIX centuries the northern Kyrgyz tribes began to independently establish contact with Russia. In 1785, the Sarybagysh leader Atake baatyr sent his first representatives to Russia. In 1855 the Bugu tribe accepted Russian citizenship, which meant the beginning of the accession process of Kyrgyzstan. In 1868, the northern part of Kyrgyzstan finally acceded to Russia, and the southern part was conquered after the suppression of the anti-Kokand uprising in 1876.
Administrative-territorial governance of Russia began to act in Kyrgyzstan in 1867. The tsarist immigration and tax policies strengthened national and economic pressure. The first anti-colonial uprising of people in Central Asia took place in Fergana Valley, Andijan, in 1898.
The accession process has led to a gradual change in the economic and commercial life of the Kyrgyz people. Progressive events, such as study of geography, nature, history and culture of the Kyrgyz people, have started. However, the tsarist colonial policy led to the uprising of 1916 that ended with tragedy.
The Soviet period
The October Revolution (1917) in Russia, establishment of the Socialist system, the right of peoples to self-determination and formation of the USSR, became a crucial milestone in the history of Kyrgyzstan.
After formation of the Kara-Kyrgyz autonomous oblast (October 14, 1924) the development of the Kyrgyz Statehood of the Soviet type began, which allowed acquiring full sovereignty in 1991 without political complications.
The era of socialism has transformed Kyrgyzstan, made it industrial and agricultural. Diversified industry, construction industry and construction sector, transport, communications, technically equipped agriculture, trade and other types of services have become organic parts of a single economic complex of the Republic. In general, the problem of employment of labor resources has been successfully resolved, material living standards of people has increased.
The fuel-energy complex has developed especially successfully, in which the share of coal industry in the 1980-s accounted for up to 40% of coal produced in Central Asia. The energy sector, non-ferrous metallurgy successfully developed, where the production of antimony, mercury, rare earth and other non-ferrous metals took the leading position. Antimony produced by Kadamjay factory is a quality benchmark in the international market. Products of the Khaidarkan mercury plant has been supplied to more than 40 countries around the world. The livestock farming played leading role in agriculture. Kyrgyzstan held the third place in the USSR in absolute terms of sheep production, after only Russia and Kazakhstan.
In terms of growth of national income Kyrgyzstan was ahead of the Union republics such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Turkmenistan, and Estonia. Cities and settlements emerged and developed, and scientific and technological revolution has become part of not only industrial development, but also social component.
It should be noted that the people of Kyrgyzstan have made their commendable contribution to the victory in the Great Patriotic War; 360 thousand Kyrgyz people were sent to the existing army. They have bravely fought on all fronts, 73 of them have been awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, and 21 have been awarded Order of Glory of three degrees. Kyrgyzstan became a reliable bastion of the unified military-economic organism of the country; evacuated enterprises not only recovered, but also expanded their production capacity.
One of the main directions of cultural development was the eradication of illiteracy, creation of a new education system, higher education institutions and secondary specialized educational establishments, training highly qualified personnel successfully functioned. In the formation and development of science a greater role was played by the Kyrgyz branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1943), which received the status of Republican Academy of Sciences in December, 1954.
The national professional literature begins with the creation of the writing system based on the Kyrgyz language. A special place in the national and world literature belongs to Ch. Aitmatov, whose works have been translated into more than 80 languages of the peoples of the world. Professional Kyrgyz art - theatrical, musical, and visual and cinematography successfully developed.
Along with the indisputable positive moments the Soviet period was marked by the negative moments of a totalitarian regime that led to the tragedy of many human destinies.
Since 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new page in the long history of the Kyrgyz people opened. On 31 August Kyrgyzstan declared itself a sovereign state and entered a phase of reform. The former totalitarian-authoritarian communist regime was replaced by the authoritarian-democratic regime. The principles of democratic governance were implemented, instead of the so-called public property (state-owned) various forms of ownership with the priority of private property were introduced. A planned economy was replaced by a market economy, the previously socially homogenous society sharply differentiated. Communist ideology gave way to the bourgeois-liberal, collective consciousness was superseded by individualist consciousness.
In socio-political terms, the Republic has acquired all the attributes of statehood, became an equal member of the world community. However, the breakdown of economic relationships of the former Soviet Union has adversely affected the socio-economic situation in the Republic. Due to increasing inflationary process in 1993, there was introduced a national currency (som), which allowed it to pursue independent financial and monetary policy. In the same year the first Constitution of a sovereign Kyrgyzstan was adopted. However, the shortcomings of market reforms have led to a high budget deficit and the Republic becomes the agro-industrial, and about half of the population lives below the poverty line.
The high degree of corruption, the sharp differentiation of the society, criminalization, and the authoritarianism of the regime twice led Kyrgyzstan for the overthrow of the existing regime of power (March 24, 2005 and April 7, 2010). After a transitional Interim Government a parliamentary republic is established in Kyrgyzstan; the Jogorku Kenesh (parliament) is provided with broad powers.
Difficult socio-economic situation forces Kyrgyzstan to pursue a multi-vector policy, the country establishes the necessary contacts for the purpose of inflow of appropriate investment into the Republic. Kyrgyzstan became a member of the United Nations Organization (UN), the World Trade Organization, the Organization for security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UNESCO, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States (CCTS), undertakes the integration steps to the Customs Union, the Eurasian Economic Community, establishes contacts not only with countries of near but also of far abroad.
In the spiritual life the sovereign Kyrgyzstan also underwent significant changes caused by the process of democratization. In this regard, a number of laws in the field of education is adopted in order to adapt it to market relationships. The negative consequences of the economic crisis affected the activities of scientific institutions, but they are, including the Academy of Sciences, are still trying to adapt in these difficult conditions and are concentrated on addressing priority directions of science development. Solicitous attitude to the cultural heritage, in particular to the masterpiece of oral national creativity - "Manas" epos has a great importance for the spiritual renewal of the society.
However, it should be noted that the negative processes especially affected the sphere of culture, which practically survives for account of the sponsorship of international organizations. Nevertheless, the state, despite certain difficulties, yet has adopted a series of measures for creation of its regulatory framework.