Myanmar has a long and complex history. Many peoples have lived in the region and the history began. The first identifiable civilization is that of the Mon. The Mon probably began migrating into the area in about 300 BC, and their first kingdom Suwarnabhumi, was founded around the port of Thaton in about 300 BC.
The Pyu arrived in Myanmar in the 7th century and established city kingdoms at Binnaka, Mongamo, Sri Ksetra, and Halingyi. During this period, Myanmar was part of an overland trade route from China to India. By 849, the Burmans had founded a powerful kingdom centered on the city of Bagan and filled the void left by the Pyu. The kingdom grew in relative isolation until the reign of Anawrahta (1044 - 77) who successfully unified all of Myanmar by defeating the Mon city of Thaton in 1057.
After the collapse of Bagan authority, Myanmar was divided once again. The Burmans had restablished themselves at the city of Ava by 1364, where Bagan culture was revived and a great age of Burmese literature ensued. The kingdom lacked easily defendable borders, however, and was overrun by the Shan in 1527. Surviors of the destruction of Inwa eventually established a new kingdom centered on Taungoo in 1531 led by Tabinshwehti (reigned 1531-50), who once again unified most of Myanmar. A popular Burmese leader named Alaungpaya drove the Bago forces out of northern Myanmar by 1753, and by 1759 he had once again conquered Pegu and southern Myanmar while also regaining control of Manipur. He established his capital at Rangoon, now known as Yangon. Myanmar was known to the West ever since western explorers had heard of it. Marko Polo was the earliest known westerner who discovered Myanmar and introduced to the West.