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Stretching back hundreds of thousands of years, recorded Bajoran history tells the story of a spiritual people trying to find their place among larger forces.
Half a million years ago, Bajorans were renowned for their accomplishments in science, mathematics, philosophy, and the arts. 10,000 years ago, orb-like artifacts called Tears of the Prophets first appeared on Bajor, ushering in a new era of spiritual connection between the Prophets on the one hand, non-corporeal beings living in a nearby wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant, and the Bajorans on the other hand, who created an entire religion around them. By the 16th century, Bajoran explorers used lightships to travel through their star system, where they stumbled upon tachyon eddies that propelled them all the way to the neighboring Cardassian system. Around 2319, the most dramatic episode in Bajoran history began, when the Cardassian Union started its occupation of Bajor. Many atrocities committed against the land and the people caused a fierce resistance movement to form, which eventually drove the Cardassians off in 2369. Despite several isolationist voices, the new Provisional Government of Bajor immediately sought out assistance and protection by the Federation. Bajor's planned accession to the Federation in 2373 was delayed, however, which permitted the planet to remain neutral when open war broke out between the Federation-Klingon alliance and a hegemonic power from the Gamma Quadrant called Dominion. While ongoing schemes to gain more power by Bajor's religious leader, Kai Winn Adami, finally led to her death, the Dominion was eventually defeated and the Treaty of Bajor formally ended the conflict.