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The border between Asia and the region of Oceania is usually placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago.

The Maluku Islands in Indonesia are often considered to lie on the border of southeast Asia, with New Guinea, to the east of the islands, being wholly part of Oceania.

The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several vastly different geographic meanings since their inception.

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The Don River became unsatisfactory to northern Europeans when Peter the Great, king of the Tsardom of Russia, defeating rival claims of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire to the eastern lands, and armed resistance by the tribes of Siberia, synthesized a new Russian Empire extending to the Ural Mountains and beyond, founded in 1721.

The major geographical theorist of the empire was actually a former Swedish prisoner-of-war, taken at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and assigned to Tobolsk, where he associated with Peter's Siberian official, Vasily Tatishchev, and was allowed freedom to conduct geographical and anthropological studies in preparation for a future book.

Almost all of Europe and the better part of Asia sit atop the Eurasian Plate, adjoined on the south by the Arabian and Indian Plate and with the easternmost part of Siberia (east of the Chersky Range) on the North American Plate.

The place name "Asia" in various forms in a large number of modern languages is of unknown ultimate provenience.

In Sweden, five years after Peter's death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia.

The Russians were enthusiastic about the concept, which allowed them to keep their European identity in geography.

Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, as well as many other religions.

Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography.

Tatishchev announced that he had proposed the idea to von Strahlenberg.

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