According to archeologist data, the first inhabitants of Primorye were Palaeasiatic and Tungus tribes, who probably came to this area 50-60 thousand years ago from inland Asia. The descendants of the Tungus-speaking tribes are still inhabiting Primorye and Priamurye. These are the Nanaians, the Udeges, and the Evenks, indigenous people of Primorsky region. In 698 AD the state of Bohai appeared in the territory, and it existed as long as 936 AD, and originated the ancestry of the above-mentioned peoples. The state of Bohai was an early-feudal medieval state of Eastern Asia, which developed its industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, art and cultural traditions.
From 1115 to 1234 the descendants of the Bohai people established a more powerful state - the Empire of Jurchengs, of the Golden Empire, that occupied the territory of modern Primorsky region, some part of China and Korea. Nomadic stock-raising and common agriculture formed their economic basis, as well as metallurgical industry, shipbuilding and the manufacture of luxury articles. The Golden Empire crumbled as a result of the Gengis Khan invasion. The Mongolians destroyed all cities, ports and the fleet of the Jurgengs. They killed or turned into slaves most of the country's population. The survivors hid themselves in the forests, and as time went on, they forgot the trades developed by the Bohaians and the Jurgengs. They got used to collecting the taiga gifts, fishing and hunting wild animals. The sites where the Bohai cities and fortresses were situated are carefully investigated now by the archeologists, and some of them became attractive destination for tourists who wish to see and touch the traces of remote history (e.g., tour "Medieval ways").
The Mongolians, the invaders of the Golden Empire, did not settle in Primorye, but left to China and Central Asian steppes. That is why for many centuries rich Primorye lands, unique in flora and fauna had not been cultivated. In the beginning of the 17th century, when the Russians first appeared in this land, the forefathers of today's small ethnic groups of the Far East were a primitive society.
In the 18 and early 19 centuries no state actually owned the lands of Primorye and Priamurye. A new era in Primorsjy history began in 1858, when Russian ocunt Muravyev signed the Treaty of Aigun with China, sealing Russia's claim to a chunk of Northeastern Asia along the Amur river. Primorsky region became Russian territory two years later, under the Treaty of Beijing.
Russian Kossacks were the first settlers in the region, coming to a strange land to protect a new stretch of the Russian border. (Tour "Ussury Kossacks") They were closely followed by farmers relocating from Western Russia. In the period from 1859 to 1882 ninety five settlements had been established in Primorye, including Vladivostok, Ussuriysk, Razdolnoye, etc. To protect the capital of Primorye, Vladivostok fortress was founded in 1870, that was considered the strongest marine fortress in the world. (You may see the remnants of the fortress fortifications during a tour "Vladivostok fortress" now). At the end of the 19th c. the coal-mining industry started developing. The region also exported sea-kale, timber, crabs, dried fish and sea-cucumbers. Thus, it took Primorye about half a century to enter into all-Russian economic and cultural process, and to establish close contacts with the neighboring countries. Vladivostok, having been granted a free port status (no taxes for most imported goods), attracted entrepreneurs from all over the world, and visitors from most countries can observe now beautiful memorial buildings that used to belong to Chinese, German, Swiss, Japanese, Finnish, American and other merchants. (tours "Architecture of Downtown", "Religious memorials", etc.).
The region was swept away by revolutions and the Civil war that racked Russia in the early 20th c. Numerous monuments throughout the region are vivid reminders of that time. The rest of the 20th c. was marked by continued industrial development, mounting and then dispelling tensions of the international borders, and development of foreign trade and closer international ties in the last decade of the 20th century.