History Of Siberia
The early history of Siberia is greatly influenced by the sophisticated nomadic civilizations of the Scythians (Pazyryk) and Xiongnu (Noin-Ula), both flourishing before the Christian era. The steppes of South Siberia saw a succession of nomadic empires, including the Turkic Empire and the Mongol Empire. In the late Middle Ages, Tibetan Buddhism spread into the areas south of Lake Baikal.
A milestone in the history of the region was the arrival of the Russians in the 16th and 17th centuries, contemporaneous and in many regards analogous to the European colonization of the Americas. During the Russian Empire, Siberia was an agricultural province and served as a place of exile, among others for Avvakum, Dostoevsky, and the Decembrists. The 19th century witnessed the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, industrialization and the discovery of vast reserves of Siberian mineral resources.
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