Pre-Mongolian history before 13th century
Mongolia, a modern nation located between Siberia and China, is primarily wide-open steppes - an area in which livestock management, hunting, and a nomadic lifestyle have been optimal for thousands of years. As a result of dynamic competition for pasture and conquests by different groups, Central Asia was ruled by numerous powerful steppe empires: Xiongnu (3rd century BCE - 1st century CE), Turkish (552 - 745 CE), Uighur (744 - 840 CE), Liao (9th Empire (12th - 11th - 14th centuries CE) and Mongol centuries) succeeded one another. Those Uighur groups that gained power in the Mongolian steppes had similar languages and cultures to the ancient Turks who came before them. As a result, there are many archaeological sites in Mongolia associated with the Uighur people. Still, very few excavations have been done during this period (Waugh 2010).
Mongolia has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period (35,000-12,000 BCE). The iconic weapon of Mongolia, the bow and arrow, was first manufactured during the Mesolithic period (12,000–8000 BCE). Mongolia was home to settlements of varying sizes during the Neolithic period (8000-4000 BCE). Their remains provide essential information about Mongolia's conditions during these times. Khovd Aimag's Khoit Tsenkher Cave delivers some of the most impressive examples. Mongolia's wildlife has undergone considerable changes, as evidenced by monochrome paintings. The drawings show not only what appears to be Ovis ammon, or the Argali bighorn sheep, which is still found in Mongolia, and early camels, but also ostriches and elephants, suggesting that Mongolia was once much warmer.