The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, a former Portuguese colony occupied by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999, became in 2002 the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century. Its modern nationhood belies its ancient history. Archaeological data found on the island can be traced back at least 42,000 years, beyond most ancient European artifacts. The book provides a readable overview of the history of the country from the first traces of human habitation through Timor-Leste’s hard-won independence in May 2002.
Structured chronologically, the account begins with the earliest legends and moves quickly and concisely through the defining events that created and shaped the modern nation of Timor-Leste. The text is richly illustrated with over two hundred maps, engravings, and photographs. A detailed historical time line follows the text.