Indonesia is one of the earliest inhabited places. Being the world’s largest archipelago country with over 17,000 islands, and its strategic sea-lane location fostered inter-island and international trade. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history. This 4th largest country is populated by people of various migrations, creating a diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and languages.
The first people in Indonesia arrived about 40,000 years ago, then at the end of the last ice age, there came a new wave of people who at first hunted animals, collected shellfish and pick plants for food. Later, they learned to grow crops until by 700 BC, they knew how to make bronze, iron and started growing wet rice.
Together with trading business with Chinese and India started in early 400 BC, Hinduism and Buddhism were introduced to Indonesia also.
8th century AD was the flourishing time of Indonesian civilization. Meanwhile, Islam was brought to the island by Indian merchants.
In the early 16th century, Portuguese arrived, set the colonial time in Indonesia.