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Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Dushanbe is the capital and most populous city. Tajikistan is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. It is separated from Pakistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. Tajiks form the ethnic majority in the country and their national language is Tajik, a variety of Persian.

The territory was previously home to cultures of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, including the city of Sarazm, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of faiths and cultures, including the Oxus civilization, Andronovo culture, Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Islam. The area has been ruled by empires and dynasties, including the Achaemenid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Samanid Empire, and Mongol Empire. After being ruled by the Timurid Empire and Khanate of Bukhara, the Timurid Renaissance flourished. The region was later conquered by the Russian Empire and subsequently by the Soviet Union. Within the Soviet Union, the country's borders were drawn when it was part of Uzbekistan as an autonomous republic before becoming a full-fledged Soviet republic in 1929. (Full article...)

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Bactria (/ˈbæktriə/; Bactrian: βαχλο, Bakhlo), or Bactriana, was an ancient civilization in Central Asia based in the area south of the Oxus River (modern Amu Darya) and north of the mountains of the Hindu Kush, a basin around the northern border of modern Afghanistan, called today Tokharistan. Bactria was strategically located south of Sogdia and the western part of the Pamir Mountains. The extensive mountain ranges acted as protective "walls" on three sides, with the Pamir on the north and the Hindu Kush on south forming a junction with the Karakoram ranges towards the east.

Called "beautiful Bactria, crowned with flags" by the Avesta, the region is considered, in the Zoroastrian faith, to be one of the "sixteen perfect Iranian lands" that the supreme deity, Ahura Mazda, had created. One of the early centres of Zoroastrianism, and capital of the legendary Kayanian dynasty, Bactria is mentioned in the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great as one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire; it was a special satrapy, ruled by a crown prince or an intended heir. Bactria was the centre of Iranian resistance against the Macedonian invaders after the fall of the Achaemenid Empire in the 4th century BC, but eventually fell to Alexander the Great. After the death of Alexander, Bactria was annexed by his general, Seleucus I. (Full article...)
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... Tajikistan is the smallest nation in Central Asia by area, and is entirely landlocked? It is covered by mountains of the Pamir range, and more than fifty percent of the country is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) above sea level.


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