Balochistan's landscape is composed of barren, rugged mountains and fertile land. During the summer, some regions of Balochistan are the hottest. Most of the land is barren, particurarly in the Iranian and Afghan side of the region, and it is generally sparsely populated. In the southMakranlies the desert through whichAlexander the Greatpassed with great difficulty.
Agriculture in the region is based on the cultivation ofkharifor winter crops. Cultivation is often located in alluvial fans, along river-courses, and in fertile areas which are maintained through artificial irrigation systems such asqanats(holes sunk in the ground to trap water) andgabarbands(low stone and earth mounds which create raised beds which, in turn, become saturated by rainfall and water run-off from the surrounding hills). In the southernMakranand oasis region (south of theChagai Hills) the date palm is grown and cultivated. Orange orchards are also typical in southern Balochistan, particularlyJhalawanandSarawan.
The earliest evidence of occupation in Balochistan is dated to the Paleolithic, represented by hunting camps and lithic scatters (chipped and flaked stone tools). The earliest settled villages in Balochistan date to the ceramic Neolithic (c. 7000-6000 BCE), including the sites of Mehrgarh (located in the Kachi Plain, east of Quetta) and Kile Gull Mohammad. These villages expanded in size during the subsequent Chalcolithic, while interaction was amplified. This involved the movement of finished goods and raw materials, including chank shell, Lapis lazuli, turquoise and ceramics. By 2500 BCE (the Bronze Age) Balochistan became part of theHarappancultural orbit, providing key resources to the expansive settlements of the Indus river basin to the east.
They are essentially known through their coins, which typically exhibit the bust of the ruler on the obverse, with long hair within a headband), and aswastikawithin aBrahmilegend on the reverse (usually silver coins) orKharoshthi(usually copper coins). The coins can mainly be found in theLoralaiarea of modern Pakistan.
Herodotusin 650 BC describes theParaitakenoias a tribe ruled byDeiokes, a Persian king, in northwestern Persia (History I.101).Arriandescribes how Alexander the Great encountered thePareitakaiinBactriaandSogdiana, and had them conquered byCraterus(Anabasis Alexandrou IV). ThePeriplus of the Erythraean Sea(1st century AD) describes the territory of theParadonbeyond the Ommanitic region, on the coast of modern Balochistan.
During theArabconquest of the Persian empire in the 8th century, Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians andsufisflocked from the rest of the Muslim world and many settled in Balochistan and its tributary state until the rise of theMughals. NumerousBalochtribes, anIranian people, moved into the area from the west in the 11th century to escape theSeljuk Turks.Western Balochistanwas conquered by Iran in the 19th century, and its boundary was fixed in 1872. Omani influence waned in the east andOman's last possession,Gwadar, was bought by Pakistan in 1958. In 1998, Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in the Pakistani province of Balochistan.
People from Balochistan as ethnic minorities in other countries
There is a small ethnic minority of people from Balochistan inCroatiawho settled there in the times of formerYugoslavia. Only 3579 people are recognized in Croatia as members of the Balochistan ethnic group. They have integrated into society well; their cultural center is near the city ofRijeka. Most of them speak Croatian language pretty well but have problems with hard Croatian letters as Č and Ć. They often participate in local traditional gatherings called "Marunada" (chestnut festival) presenting their own culture. In the times ofDrug Tito, Yugoslavia had good relations with third-world countries including Pakistan, Iraq and Iran. Many people from the Middle East came to Yugoslavia as students and stayed there building their families.