It is impossible to point to a single people living in a certain place at a certain time as the progenitor of the modern Altaic speakers. The oldest known Turkic people are the Kyrgyz, of whom documents exist dating as far back as 200 BC. The Turks seem originally to have been a woodland, hunting people in the Altai Mountain region. In the 6th century AD they ruled an empire that extended from the borders of China to the Black Sea. Probably by this time their language had already become distinguishable from Mongolian. In later centuries most of the Turkic peoples fell under the domination of the Mongol Empire. As for the Tungus, virtually nothing is known of their development prior to the 17th century.