HOLT
CHAPTER 18
World
Geography
Today
Central Asia
Section 1: Natural Environments
Section 2: History and Culture
Section 3: The Region Today
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 1
Natural Environments
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World
Geography
Today
Objectives:
 What are the major landforms and rivers of Central
Asia?
 What climates, biomes, and natural resources does the
region have?
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 1
Natural Environments
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Landforms and rivers:
 The 5 countries of Central Asia are landlocked
 Kzakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzebekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan
 Stan means “land” in Turkish
 Landforms
 Shan means “mountain” in Chinese
 mountains—Altay Shan, Tian Shan, Pamirs, Kopet-Dag
 Glaciers are common in Central Asia’s mountains
 plateaus and plains—north and west from mountains
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 Caspian Sea is at the region’s western edge; it is the world’s
largest lake
HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 1
Natural Environments
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Landforms and rivers:
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 2 major rivers flow across Central Asia
 Amu Dar’ya, Syr Dar’ya (irrigation drains much of the
water from these rivers)
 Other rivers: Irtysh, Ob
 Lakes
 Lake Balkhash – shallow, contains freshwater and salt
water depending where you are in the lake
 Issyk-Kul – never freezes over; its warm water moderates
the area’s otherwise cold climate
 Valley – Fergana (densely populated; water
provided
byAND
theWINSTON
HOLT,
RINEHART
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Both the Amu Dar’ya and Syr
Dar’ya flow NW to the Aral Sea
Lake Balkhash –
Fresh water near Ili
River; salt water in
eastern portion
HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 1
Natural Environments
Climates, biomes, and
natural resources:
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
 generally harsh, arid and semi-arid climates (far removed from
oceanic influences); high mountains form a barrier from warm
moist winds from the Indian Ocean
 2 large deserts: Kara Kum (Black Sand)& Kyzyl Kum (Red Sand)
 some evergreen and deciduous forests; grasses and shrubs at lower
elevations; Saxaul (tree unique to Central Asia–burns like charcoal)
 animals—deer, pheasants, wild boar, snow leopard, antelope,
wildcats, wolves
 water a key resource; some hydroelectricity
 rich in energy and minerals—coal, oil, gas, copper, iron, lead,
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nickel, zinc
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Saxual treeSometimes a
bush, sometimes
a small tree –
Burns like
charcoal
Cute and cuddly snow leopard – endangered species
HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 2
History and Culture
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Objectives:
 How have various cultures and invaders affected the
region’s history?
 What are some features of Central Asian cultures?
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 2
History and Culture
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Central Asian history bears the
imprint of many invasions and
migrations.
 Humans have lived in Central Asia for thousands of years
 Alexander the Great brought Greek influences in the 300s B.C.
 Merchants promoted Silk Road trade – caravans of people
brought silk and other luxury goods from China
 Turkic peoples and Chinese established rule.
 Arabic peoples brought Islam in 751.
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 2
History and Culture
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
 Mongols conquered in 1218 and supported thriving culture
(Genghis Khan)
 Timur supported arts and science; after his death the empire broke up;
Europeans began to sail to East Asia avoiding the Silk Road; region
became isolated
 1800s Russian czars conquered and colonized region; settled
and built railroads.
 Called republics but under Soviet control (1917-1991)
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 Soviets built huge irrigation projects; established
cottonAND WINSTON
HOLT, RINEHART
Section 2
History and Culture
Cultural features:
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
 5 Central Asian countries lie in a region some call Turkistan
 Turkic customs and traditions dominate the area.
 Traditional activities include farming and nomadic herding; large
number of nomads; live in yurts (movable round house)
 Around two-thirds of the people speak Turkic languages; a
sizable minority speak Russian.
 Islam is the main religion of this area; Russians are Christians.
 Textiles of wool and silk are a traditional art, woven into hats
and carpets.
 Varied foods include tea, lamb, bread, rice, and fruit.
 Standard of living – literacy rate and life expectancy better than
world averages
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Section 3
The Region Today
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Objectives:
 How has the economy of Central Asia changed over
time?
 What are the region’s cities like?
 What issues must Central Asia face to improve its
economy?
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 3
The Region Today
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Economic changes:





Herders raise camels, cattle, goats, horses, and sheep
Crops include cotton, fruits, barley, rice, tobacco
Uzbekistan is world’s 3rd largest exporter of cotton
attempts to diversify cotton monoculture by adding new crops
countries
mixing dryland farming with irrigation (drylandSome
farming
uses
rainfall instead of irrigation)
have boycotted
 possible development of mining and industry but
manydue
skilled
cotton
to
workers leaving region and corruption, poor transportation
child labor
links, and a lack of cash have hurt development
issues
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HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 3
The Region Today
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Cities:
 few major cities, with few historic features; most people were
nomads
 Bukhara and Samarqand—still have colorful markets,
mosques
 Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, is the region’s largest city
 many plain, Soviet-era apartment buildings
 Kazakhstan – moved capital to Astana in 1997 (closer to
Russia and Europe)
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HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Golden mosque of Tilla-kori
madrassah in Samarqand
Tashkent’s beautiful
Soviet-era apartment buildings
HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
Section 3
The Region Today
HOLT
World
Geography
Today
Issues for economic
development:
 location—poor access to global trade
 Landlocked and Kazakhstan separates others from Russia
 Shipping long distances is costly
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 water problems—water shortages and usage conflicts
 Switching from command to market economy has not been
easy
 corruption and lack of democracy obstacles to economic
growth
 ethnic conflict and violence
 environmental damage by Soviets
HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON
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CHAPTER 18