Fergana Valley

While today, the Fergana Vallley is administrated by three different countries: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. in the past in was one place and even the indpendent Kingdom of Fergana in the 6th Century.  Three Kyrgyz Regions include parts of the valley: Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken,   (See my pages on these places)

The Fergana Valley is an intermountain basin in the north-eastern part of Central Asi, bounded in the north and north-west by the Kuramin and Chatkal Ranges, in the east and north-east by the Fergana Range, in the south by the Alay and Turkestan Ranges. It is connected to the Turan lowland by a narrow passage in the west of the valley, the so-called “Khujand Gates“.   In 329 BEC, Alexander the Great founded Alexandria Eschate (Farthest Alexandria) to the southwest of the Jaxartes river valley, site of the modern Khujand in Tajikistan.

Fergana Valley Map

The valley terrain has several distinctive features: the surrounding mountain ranges reach considerable altitudes of up to 5,000m (16,400 ft) above sea level in the south, up to 4,000m in the east, and up to 2,000-3,000m in the north and northwest;

The  foothill area is formed by low-mountain ranges, adyrs, and intermontane valleys; the central part is a proluvial-alluvial plain watered by the largest river in the region, the Syrdarya, with its main tributaries, the Naryn and Kara Rivers. The long valley is about 300km long for a maximum width of 140km


The main occupation is agriculture in the foothills, combined with livestock farming. Ethnically, the population consists of Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russians, and others.

The Feranga Valley in Pre-History

The area was first peopled in the Lower Paleolithic. There are sites of later Stone Age periods. During the Bronze Age (end of 3rd – beginning of 2nd millennium BC), the eastern and southeastern parts of the valley had a settled farming culture related to the Bactrian and Margian archeological complexes

The Late Bronze Age is represented by two cultures: Kayrak-Kum from cattle-farming tribes (common in the western part of the valley) and Chust (in the north, in the east and the southeast), a group of cultures with painted ceramics common at the end of the 2nd millennium BC in Bactria, Merv Oasis and Sogd .

The early Iron Age in the Fergana Valley is characterized by a rapid development of settled farming, and later of an urban culture and the coexistence of cattle-farming and settled agricultural peoples

Sites in Shorobat and Markhamat Complexes demonstrate this process. Pastoralists become less numerous and occupy peripheral areas of oases or concentrate in mountain valleys adjacent to Fergana


In the Kyrgyz part of the valley and bordering the mountain ranges, is a series of rock art sites: Saymaly-Tash, Sulayman-Too, Aravan Rock (Duldul-Ata), Ayrymach-Too (Surottuu-Tash), Surot-Say, and two dozen others, about 20 in all.  In addition to petroglyphs, there are rock paintings at Chiygen-Tash and Tash-Unkur (30km from Jalal-Abad City), near the Eshme village, near the southern slope of Katran-Too in the Batken district.

Some sites are located in the low-hill terrain belt (Sulayman-Too, Aravan Rock /Duldul-Ata, Ayrymach-Too/Surottuu-Tash, Kerme-Too, Sakhava, Kalchoku, Surotsay), and others are much higher (Saymaly-Tash, Suuk-Dobo, Baychechekey, and others).





Aravan Rock (Duldul-Ata)


Ayrymach-Too (Surottuu-Tash)




Kingdom of Fergana

The Kingdom of Fergana existed between the 3rd century BC and 6th century AD in what is now the Ferghana Valley of eastern Uzbekistan. It was probably the area known in classical Chinese sources as Dayuan.

In 329 BEC, Alexander the Great founded Alexandria Eschate (Farthest Alexandria) to the southwest of the Jaxartes river valley, site of the modern Khujand in Taijkistan. The city probably remained in contact with the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. It is believed that the Greeks of Alexandria Escate arrived in Urumqi and Kashgar in Xinjiang and had their first contacts with the Chinese around 220 BC.

Statues of Greek soldiers have been found in China, and Strabo indicated a belief that the Greeks extended their territory to the country of the Seres (Chinese) and the Phryni.

Chinese sources state that before the Muslim conquest, a Chinese embassy led by Zhang Qian visited the land of the dayuan or ta-yuan in 128 BC.

An Indian dynasty, perhaps of Greek origin, ruled the country; the Chinese called it the country of the Celestial Horses, and by 104 BC they were at war with Fergana.


The Feranga Valley on the Silk Road

The Early Middle Ages were marked by a series of significant socioeconomic and political events, ethnic and religious changes that had a radical impact on the further material and spiritual culture of the region

In the 6th century AD, the Turks established a khanate in Fergana. Following that, various khanates reigned over the area:

Karakhanids (11th-13th centuries)

the Karakhanids (12th century under the Kara-Kitai)


13th century under Mongol sovereignty of the Chagatai khan)

Timurid Khanate (1469 CE – 1504 CE)

(ending with Babur)

Uzbek Khanate (1504 CE – 1709 CE)

The Uzbek khanate of Andijan, after Bukhara

Khokand Khanate (1709 CE – 1876 CE)

the Uzbek khanate of Khokand

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