This indicates some form of communication between groups in Myanmar and other places, possibly through trade.
The country's 2014 census counted the population to be 51 million people.By the 9th century, several city-states had sprouted across the land: the Pyu in the central dry zone, Mon along the southern coastline and Arakanese along the western littoral.The balance was upset when the Pyu came under repeated attacks from Nanzhao between the 750s and the 830s.However, the Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics.Myanmar is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources.Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1997.
Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma.
In the 9th century, the Bamar people entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country.
The Pagan Kingdom fell due to the Mongol invasions and several warring states emerged.
In 2013, its GDP (nominal) stood at US$56.7 billion and its GDP (PPP) at US$221.5 billion.
In 1989, the military government officially changed the English translations of many names dating back to Burma's colonial period or earlier, including that of the country itself: "Burma" became "Myanmar". Many political and ethnic opposition groups and countries continue to use "Burma" because they do not recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military government or its authority to rename the country.
Following a coup d'état in 1962, it became a military dictatorship.