chapter  1
28 Pages


In the twentieth century, Uzbekistan has emerged as home to the most powerful and populous political community in Central Asia. The appearance of Uzbekistan on the world stage is, however, a comparatively new phenomenon. Moreover, the Uzbek community itself is of relatively recent origin. Edward Allworth argues that the roots of Uzbek history can be traced to the fourteenth century. He thereby challenges the thesis popular among Soviet and Uzbek historians that the beginnings of Uzbek society and politics stretch back to the ancient civilisations of Central Asia, such as Achemedia, Bactria, Sogdia and Tokaria, and the rule of Alexander of Macedonia.1