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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 an engaging overview of the history of the country from the earliest legends and first traces of human habitation through the defining events that led to independence.
The text is richly illustrated with over two hundred maps, engravings, and photographs. A detailed historical time line follows the text.