There is evidence of Neolithic settlement dating to 4000 BC at Asaviec in northern Belarus. During the third and second millennia BC, parts of present-day Belarus were settled by Finno-Ugric tribes, as well as groups migrating along the Dniepr river and from the southern Baltic. Slavic tribes, notably the Kryvichans, gained dominance between the 5th and 8th centuries AD, seeing off Huns and Avars from the eastern steppes. The territory came under the sway of Kyivan Rus during the 9th century, although the Duchy of Polotsk challenged Kyiv and Novgorod for control of the northern reaches until its decline in the late 12th century. The Duchy of Turau and Pinsk to the south also became powerful during this period.
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