The earliest settlement of homo sapiens in Khakassia dates back to the Middle Paleolite (the Stone Age), 40000 years ago. The settlement traces  were found in the Dvuglazka (Two-eyes) grotto (the Bogradsky district) and on the Syja paleolithic site in the Shirinsky district.

Khakassia is an "Archaeological Mecca"

In January 1722, the German scientist and traveler named Daniil Gottlieb Messerschmidt, arrived in Siberia at the invitation of Peter I. He carried out research excavations of an ancient burial mound on the banks of the Yenisei river, as he described in his diaries and notes.

A year earlier, on February 15, 1721, a decree of Peter I was issued, which said: “Curious things that are in Siberia should be bought by the Siberian governor, or whoever is subject to the present, at a price and, without remelting, sent to Berg and the Manufacturing Collegium, and in this, because of the same not melting, to report on these to His Majesty. One coffin with bones to bring without touching. Where there is such a find, make drawings for everything ”, – said the decree.

This is how the formation of the Siberian collection, the earliest archaeological collection of the Hermitage, began.

5000 years of Khakassia’s history is a constant movement of tribes and wars of peoples, the development of new technologies, the rise and fall of states, the change of cultures and ideologies. The Stone Age are replaced by the Bronze Age, and later by the Iron Age and the Middle Ages, there is an improvement in material and spiritual culture. Natural landscapes and climate, along with events in Asia that always reached Siberia, largely determined the course of the history of Khakassia. This magnificent land stays eternal and its every square meter keeps its secrets.

The first state in Southern Siberia emerged back in the 7th-3rd centuries BC. “Dinling-go” – this is how it is written in the ancient Chinese annals. Dinlings (who were also the representatives of the Tagar archaeological culture) belonged to a huge conglomerate of tribes known as the Scythians. In the 2nd century BC, the descendants of the Dinlings mixed with the Mongol-speaking descendants of the Hunnu. At about the same time, the Turkic-speaking tribes of the Kyrgyz came to this territory. They maintained their independence from the Turkic and Uighur Khaganates and by the 9th century AD became the military aristocratic elite of the medieval state called the Kyrgyz Kaganate, which controlled the entire territory of southern Siberia.

This state existed until the invasion of Genghis Khan’s troops in the XII century. During 13th-16th centuries Khakassia was a part of various political Mongol-Dzungarian formations. Some scholars (for example, V.Y. Butanaev) think that there was the domination of the medieval political union called Khongoray.

The process of accession of Siberia to the Russian Empire started in the 7th century. In 1628 the Krasnoyarsk stockaded town was founded. In 1707 Khakassia became a part of Russia. In 1727, the Treaty of Kyahta was signed between Russia and China, and since the 1750s the construction of the villages is underway, where the Cossack garrisons were located for the protection and development of new territories.

In the 17th-18th centuries, there is an active development of natural resources (gold, iron, salt, furs) and metallurgy. Since the 1820s, local self-government is formed – the Sagai and Kachinsk steppe dumas. At the same time peasants from the central provinces of the Russian Empire settle the territory of Southern Siberia. Since the 1820s, local self-government has been formed – the Sagai and Kachinsky steppe dumas while peasant from the central provinces of the Russian Empire settle territory of Southern Siberia.

Key dates in the History of Khakassia

Stone epoch
40 thousand years ago - 12 thousand years ago - the Paleolitic age.
12-11 thousand years ago - the 6th-5th centuries BC - the Mesolitic age.
Bronze epoch
4-3 thousand years ago - the Afanasyev culture.
the 3rd-the mid-2nd century BC - the Okunev culture
Iron epoch
the 2nd century BC - the 1st century AD - The Tesinsky stage of the Tagar Culture.
the 1st-5th centuries AD - the Tashtyk Culture
Middle Ages
201 BC - The invasion of the Hunnu and the destruction of the "Dinling-go" state.
The 6th-8th centuries. - the flourishing of the medieval Kyrgyz Kaganate state.
1207 - The Mongols attacked the territory of Khakassia.
1293 - The final fall of the Kyrgyz state
The development of Siberia
1628 – The foundation of Krasnoyarsk
1657, 1663 – Lovsan’s Khan campaign against the Yenisey Kyrgyz people.
1665-1687 – Irenek Khan’s campaign against the Russian Cossacks
1703 – The abduction of the Kyrgyz people to Dzungaria
1727 - The conclusion of the Treaty of Kyahta between Russia and China
1755 – The fall of the Dzungars and the frontier forts building
1822 – the formation of the Yenisey province, division into the Achinsk and Minusinsk districts
1823 – the foundation of the Abakan steppe Duma with the centre in Ust-Abakan
Recent History
1918 – the assertion of the Khakas Steppe self-management
1930 - The establishment of the Khakas autonomous region
1991 – The Khakass autonomous region was reorganized into The Khakas SSR
1992 – The Khakass autonomous region was renamed into the Republic of Khakassia comprising the Russian Federation
1995 – The adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Khakassia

The 20th century

The 20th century was a breaking point in the history of Khakassia. The republic was deeply influenced by the system changes of the Soviet Union. By 1925 the railway line connecting Achinsk and Munusinsk was built up to the Abakan river shore. In the 1930s the Khakass autonomous region was formed, the town of Abakan became the capital city of the Republic, an agricultural area was turned into an industrial region. The natural resources of Khakassia, mainly coal and agricultural products, were transported via the Trans-Siberian Railway, new industrial equipment for factories and an endless stream of immigrants come in return.

Nowadays the Republic of Khakassia is a well-developed multinational region with the good climate conditions and well-preserved traditional culture. Having good transport, it is attractive for tourists and comfortable for living. The traditions of the national festivals were maintained in Khakassia from ancient times.

The best places to learn about the history of Khakassia are the Khakas National Museum of Local lore, the complex of historical reconstructions “The ancestors’ village”, the Khakas National Museum reserve of Kazanovka and others. You can get all the information about the places of interest  in the Tourist information center of Khakassia.