About THL > Introductions > Cultural Geography Resources > Historical & Cultural Geography Introduction
Tibet and the Greater Himalayas are characterized by a unique, high altitude, mountainous environment, which has shaped its cultural traditions. The Tibetan cultural region, which emerged with the rise of the Tibetan Empire in the seventh century, was marked by the social dominance of monasteries and clans. These gave rise to extraordinarily diverse historical polities, ranging from empires to valley-specific religious principalities to stateless areas. Our powerful alliance of researchers and local communities is collaborating on understanding the human and ecological realities of the region over historical time and into the present.