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History and culture

Ferghana is one of the oldest cultural oases in Central Asia. The Ferghana valley, or Fergana, is an inter-mountain basin in the upper reaches of the Syr Darya and its sources, surrounded by the Pamir—Alai and Tien Shan mountain systems. Only in the West, the valley is a narrow corridor, 9 km wide, coming out of the plain of the Hungry and Dalverzinsky steppes. Its greatest length is about 300 km, width - from 60 to 140 km; the total area within the Uzbek SSR is 19.2 thousand km2.


The Ferghana valley is distinguished by an abundance and variety of natural resources, so it is popularly called the pearl of Uzbekistan. There are all the necessary natural geographical conditions for human life and development since the earliest times of agriculture: fertile soil, favorable climate and an abundance of water resources. All this greatly contributed to the emergence of a settled agricultural culture here from the most ancient epochs. In ancient times, Ferghana was an independent historical and cultural oasis of Central Asia, similar to Bactria, Sogd, and Khorezm.


According to scientists, already in the second Millennium BC, when the decomposition of primitive communal relations begins, the first settled agricultural settlements appeared in the Ferghana valley, for example, Chust.


At the turn of the II-I Millennium BC, in the largest settlements there was a process of allocating citadels, that is, the beginnings of fortification and transformation of settlements into fortified cities. Numerous studies by archaeologists have shown that the appearance of such settlements was universally associated with the development of property stratification in society.


On the territory of the Ferghana valley, numerous monuments of the past have been preserved to this day-the ruins of ancient cities, fortresses, castles hidden by mudslides, as well as magnificent medieval public and religious buildings and many memorial buildings that reflect the art of local architects.


It is known from historical sources that when in the middle of the first Millennium BC Persian troops under the leadership of first king Cyrus and later Darius I came to the territory of Central Asia, they reached the Western borders of Ferghana, but did not penetrate deep into this area.


In 329 BC, the armies of Alexander the great invaded Central Asia. Here, in the fight against the Sogdians, who were repeatedly helped by the Saki warriors of the Central Asian steppes, the Greek conquerors were destined to learn the bitterness of defeat. Somewhere in the area of present-day Leninabad, Alexander the great fought with the "Saks who are beyond Sogd". On the banks of the Syr Darya, Alexander built his extreme Outpost — Alexandria Eshata (Far, or Extreme). According to recent archaeological research, it was located in the area of present-day Leninabad. The Macedonian conqueror did not penetrate further into the territory of Ferghana.


Archaeological research has revealed that in the VI-V century BC, three types of settlements were characteristic of Ferghana.


Large, well-fortified cities with external and internal walls and a citadel, which were the political and cultural centers of agricultural oases (for example, Ershi, the ancient capital of Ferghana). Small cities at that time were huge areas surrounded in several rows by powerful parallel walls, the space between which was mainly populated by citizens, the inner part of the settlement was usually devoid of buildings and was obviously intended for communal livestock, large residential areas were surrounded by a powerful wall, behind which were located residential and household buildings.


In the middle of the III century BC in Central Asia there are independent States-Parthian and Greco-Bactrian. During earthworks on the Ferghana canal, a copper coin was found imitating the coin of the Greek-Bactrian king Heliocles, testifying to the connections of Ferghana with Bactria.


Information about the events that took place on the territory of the Ferghana valley in the III century BC is very scarce. After the fall of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, new state entities appeared on the territory of Central Asia. Among them appears under the name Davan Ferghana. In the chronicle of the II century BC, it is said that in Davan the population consisted of 60,000 families, 300,000 souls, a combat army skilled in horse shooting, 60,000 people. There are more than 70 cities in the valley.


Let's turn to archaeology. Ancient monuments indicate that the first centuries of our era are characterized by a sharp increase in the number of settlements. In different parts of the Fergana valley scientists have studied the settlement Sangaktepe near the train station in Buvayda, was Mukkala near Kasan, Tshikapa about Aphicidal in the Leningrad district of Fergana region, Karamustafa in Bosscom area of the Andijan region, and several others . All of them were fortified around the perimeter with walls. Underlying cause can be traced to ancient and medieval cities (Uzgen, Ahsiket, Hakulabad cal settlement in the Andijan region, etc.). Among the buildings were found fortresses, manors and religious buildings. Changes in the social structure explain the scope of irrigation works, which could only be carried out if the number of slaves increased. As shown by archaeological excavations along the terrace of the Great Ferghana canal, traces of the largest and most significant canals in Ferghana belong to the first centuries of our era.


In the III—VI centuries ad, due to the invasion of nomadic tribes of Central Asia, the Turkization of Ferghana began.


By the middle of the V century ad, the formation of a semi-nomadic Eftalite state on the territory of Central Asia was completed. This period is associated with the disintegration of the slave system and the General social crisis. It is assumed that at the same time feudal relations arose in Ferghana, which developed intensively in the VIIITH centuries. The types of settlements gradually changed, which probably reflected the change in social relations. Fortified villages predominated, which were surrounded by fortress walls with gates. In the villages stood out ark-the residence of the ruler - and the actual city with residential and commercial and craft buildings-Shahristan.


With the Kasan—the city rate and the military-political center competing economic center of the country, Akhsiket. The number of cities — centers of oases did not exceed six (Kasan, Andukan, Ahsiket, Uzgen, etc.), and in total there were about a hundred significant settlements in Ferghana.


One of the most developed was the Kuva oasis, where the city of Kuva appeared, and in the rural district feudal castles rose above the mass of unprotected settlements. In Kuva, archaeologists found the remains of residential quarters and a Buddhist temple of the VI-VII centuries. During the excavations, coins, daggers, jewelry, iron, bronze and ceramic household items were found. The idea of the temple as a dwelling of the deity and a place of worship to him, the ancient architect decided by the synthesis of three arts-painting, sculpture and architecture, as evidenced by the fragments of monumental sculpture found there and the remains of wall paintings. This unique work reflects the ideological views of the population and the high state of artistic culture in Ferghana.


Studies of monuments of the VI-VII centuries have shown that the era of the early middle ages in the Ferghana valley was a period of gradual urbanization and the rise of material culture and art.


In the VII-VIII centuries ad, new conquerors invaded Central Asia-the Arabs, who partially settled here. Among the inhabitants of the captured areas, who had previously practiced Mazdeism, Buddhism, and some other beliefs, they introduced Islam.


The new religion left a strong imprint on the local way of life, material and spiritual culture, including architecture. Ferghana defended their country from the Arabs, who in 715 were led by the Governor of the Arab caliphs ' Kuteiba Ibn Muslim. Somewhere here he died and was buried. Until now, the local population points out his grave in the area of Jalalkuduk (Andijan region). During the eighth century, the inhabitants of Ferghana did not recognize Islam and repeatedly expelled the Arab governors, asserting their independence. The Arabs repeatedly sent their troops to Ferghana (after Kuteiba in 724). - Muslim Ibn Abu said, in 738 — Nasr Ibn Seyar, in 775 — Ahmed Ibn Asad).


Obviously, most of the hills that rise' throughout the Ferghana valley, keep the buildings of early feudalism of the VIVIII centuries, which are still waiting for their discoverers.

In the X century Ferghana was a part of the Samanid state, the center of which was Bukhara. Moreover, the Samanid Ismail Ibn Ahmed Nasr came from the region of Khatlam (Ketmentepa), i.e. he was actually a native of Ferghana. At this time, irrigation agriculture is widely developed here, and the irrigation network is being improved, which ensures the growth of production of wheat, sesame, grapes, cotton, etc. High-level achieve a variety of crafts and the art of building. In the cities there were commercial and industrial suburbs-rabads, which, as, for example, in Ahsyket, were surrounded by special walls of Poal-Maqdisi, " Ferghana consisted of forty villages with a Cathedral mosque, and the villages themselves were large in size." This indication is confirmed by archaeological data, as the large hills and the settlement do differ a great length (Acmac, Kocatepe, etc.).


Cities of medieval Ferghana in the IXX centuries were concentrated in the flat part of the valley. Here also passed the international trade route to the East, which went through southern Ferghana, headed from Kuva through Chuet to Osh, then led to Kurshab, Uzgen and Kashgar.


The dense population of Ferghana did not require, as in other regions of Central Asia, a network of roadside caravanserais. They were replaced by large villages located at a distance of less than one day of the caravan route.


In subsequent times, Ferghana acquired a new significance in the history of Central Asia. If under the Samanids it established its role in economic and cultural life, then under the Karakhanids (XI—XII centuries) it acted as an important political center.


In the XI—XII centuries. Uzgen retained and apparently strengthened its position as the capital of Ferghana. This is evidenced by historical data, as well as beautiful architectural monuments. The surviving monuments of this era, the Uzgen complex (mausoleums 1152, 1187, and a minaret of the XI century) and the mausoleum of Shah Fazil in the village of SAFEBOOT, which are located in the valley, now belonging to the Kirghiz SSR, allow one to trace the process of formation of architectural compositions and the development of artistic and decorative arts of Fergana Karakhanid period.


After the Mongol conquest in the 13th century, Ferghana experienced a political crisis that lasted for many centuries.


Construction activity in Ferghana was suspended, so there are no architectural monuments of this period on its territory.


At the end of the fourteenth century Timur included Ferghana in his Empire, after which it remained in the power of his descendants until the end of the dynasty. Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur, who ruled this region in 1494-1504, described the cities and towns of the Ferghana valley in Baburnama. From his notes we can gather information about the fortification of cities, palaces, country buildings and garden culture of the period. "The largest cities," Babur noted "were Andijan, Osh, Margilan, Isfara, Khojent, Havokand and Kani Badam." In the North of the valley, he mentions "Kasai and Ahsyket, which after Andijan was larger than other cities in Ferghana".


In the XVI century in Central Asia, the Uzbek Sheibanid dynasty was established, which, having made Bukhara the capital, annexed Ferghana to its power.


During this period, the volume of buildings in Ferghana construction is slightly reduced and decorative finishing is simplified. The architectural creativity of the masters was directed to the further development of structural forms, mainly in the vaulted ceilings of buildings, where they showed great ingenuity, excellent knowledge of the material and construction techniques. It was then that the monumental two-chamber mausoleums of Buston Buva, Bibi Buvayda, and Poshsho Pirim were created near Kokand. Extant monuments of the XVI century evidence shows that the construction art of Ferghana did not die out even during the period when it was a distant suburb of the Sheibanid state.


After the fall of the Sheibanids in 1710, the Kokand Khanate emerged on the territory of the Ferghana valley.,


During the XVIII century Ferghana, like the whole of Central Asia, experienced a General social crisis, which was aggravated by attacks of nomadic tribes. The situation changed only by the beginning of the XIX century, when the khans of Kokand consolidated their conquests by building fortresses and cities where Ferghana farmers, handcrafters and merchants settled.

In the Kokand Khanate, there were tendencies to unite the divided territory into a single state. State tasks were fully defined under Alimkhan (1800-1809), who managed not only to unite Ferghana under his rule, but also to subordinate the regions of Tashkent and Shymkent. The Kokand rulers were intensively built in the capital and other major settlements of the capital building is rich with decorative trim. Amongst them are the Urda Palace in Kokand, a number of madrassas in Andijan, Namangan, and Shakhrikhan. During the same period, many residential houses of citizens, richly decorated quarter mosques and memorial structures were built.


In the 60s of the last century, the conquest of Central Asia by Russia began and in 1876 its protectorate was established on the territory of the Ferghana valley. The cities of the Kokand Khanate at this time largely preserved their old feudal appearance. The centre was usually the market square (Chorsu), from which the radii of the departed the main street, and between them—the countless labyrinthine alleys and dead ends. Outside the city, there were orchards and vineyards. Many cities were divided into parts – Dakha. In Kokand and Andijan there were 4 dakhas, each had its own administrative officials — one Kazi (judge), one Ming Bashi (thousandth). The Dakha was divided into quarters — mahallaguzar, at the head of which stood mahalla elders. There was a mosque in every quarter of the city. In the Ferghana valley, many mosques of this period have been preserved with a peculiar layout and often unique painted ceilings (Sirli mosques in Namangan district, Pansot in Shakhrikhan, Jami in Kokand, House of “Zayniiddin bay” in Kuva etc.)


In Kokand, the Bazaar stood out, which in terms of size and trade turnover took the second place in Central Asia after Bukhara. The stratum of the commercial bourgeoisie has significantly increased and its capital has increased. Merchants vigorously built offices, stores, and warehouses, built new homes for themselves, and financed the construction or rebuilding of neighborhood mosques. Instead of modest small Adobe, frame, or mud buildings, large buildings of burnt brick with an iron roof appeared, often two-story, with street-facing facades, with glazed Windows, European-shaped doors, metal and stucco details. The projects were developed by experienced Russian architects and engineers II. A. Markeevich, G. M. Svarichevsky, V. S. Heintzelmann and others. This significantly changed the appearance of the Central part of the cities, populated mainly by merchants. In this regard, the development of Kokand is typical, where the good buildings of industrialists and capitalists, built in the Art Nouveau style, have been preserved. In the center of the city is the Russian-Asian Bank building P. X. Vodyaev (now Agrobank), the house of Potel R. T. Hove (now — long-distance telephone station), Dom A. Simhaev (it is Oil and Gas College), the home of his brother M. Simhaev (now the pedagogical Institute), the mansion of the brothers Mandalaki and (now kindergarten), the house of Knabe (now children's home № 7) and a number of other buildings that embody the distinctive attributes of the new style.


In most cases, new parts of Namangan, Andijan, and other cities were built next to the old cities of the Ferghana valley in 1877 according to pre-developed plans, with a radial ring construction, which was a new, progressive phenomenon in Central Asian urban planning. At the same time, by order of General M. D. Skobelev, a city was founded eight kilometers South of Margilan, named New Margilan, renamed in 1907 to the city of Skobelev, and in 1920 received its current name – Ferghana.


The suburbs changed less, keeping mostly their former appearance. The appearance of the homes of the local population was strongly affected by Shariah law, according to which a woman did not dare to show her face to an outsider man. The entrance to the house was arranged so that the courtyard from the street through the open front door was not visible. All residential and commercial buildings with windows and doors face the courtyard. The blank outer walls of houses and courtyards gave the streets of the old cities a peculiar appearance. The problem of adapting the dwelling to live in it for a long summer period, the architects solved by choosing the best orientation, the ratio of summer and winter rooms, setting a certain height, and skilful use of local building materials and enclosing structures that do not pass the hot rays of the sun. For the cities of Ferghana, the most characteristic was the southern orientation of the living rooms with ayvan located in front of them. The double wooden frame required in such a seismic zone as the Ferghana valley, and the considerable thickness of the mud walls made it possible to arrange deep niches in the interior — tokhcha, in which the bed was removed in the daytime and dishes were stored. The predominant type of heating was sandalwood, consisting of a low table under which a brazier with coals was placed. Heating by the muri fireplace was also used. Characteristic features of Ferghana housing are a peculiar layout and decorative finishing.


With the growth of local industry in the Ferghana valley, cities became the center of commercial and industrial enterprises: military-administrative centers, such as the cities were originally, began to quickly become overgrown with neighborhoods whose population was employed by these enterprises.


Despite the colonial system of government and the reactionary policy of tsardom, the accession of Ferghana, as well as all of Turkestan, to Russia was a progressive phenomenon in its objective consequences. The arbitrariness of the khans and bays was limited, trade relations developed, cities and industry grew, and irrigation facilities were built.


After the revolution, the Ferghana district was created under Soviet rule — an administrative and territorial unit of the Uzbek SSR that existed in 1926-1930. Ferghana district was established in 1926. The center of the district was designated the city of Kokand. As of 1929, the district was divided into 9 districts:


Altyaryk - center Altyaryk

Besharyk - center Besharik

Baghdad - center Bagdad

Kokand center of the city of Kokand

Rishtan - the center of town Rishtan

Kuva - center Kuva

Kudel - center Kudash

Margilan - center of Margilan

Ferghana - center of Ferghana

The population of the district in 1926 was 674.1 thousand people. Of these, Uzbeks-80.5%; Tajiks-9.4%; Russians-3.9%; Kyrgyz-1.9%. Like most districts of the USSR, the Ferghana district was abolished on July 30, 1930. Its districts were directly subordinated to the Uzbek SSR.

On October 1, 1938, the Ferghana region was established with the center - the city of Ferghana. Before 1941, the region consisted of 30 districts, 7 cities and 2 urban-type settlements. Within its large borders, the Fergana region existed for about two years, then, by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on March 6, 1941, the Andijan, Ferghana and Namangan regions were formed. According to the decree of the borders of Fergana region decreased three times, from the Fergana region was separated current districts of Namangan region: Kasansay district, Mingbulak district, Pop district, Chust district, Chartak district, Uychi district Turakurgan district, Yangikurgan district and other districts with the towns of Chust, Chartak, Kasansay, Uchkurgan. Andijan region was returned: Lenin district, Voroshilov district, Moskov district, Stalin district, Komsomol district, Ilyichev district, etc. districts with the cities of Lenins (Selen), Sovetabad, Ilyichev, Stalin, towns and district centers of the Russian village, Moscow, Topolino, Khanabad street, South Alalysis, Nefteprom, Sultanabad, Komsomolabad, Kirov, vanguard, etc. Committee town of Andijan region.


The Ferghana region includes Kuva, Yazvan, Altyaryk, Rishtan and other districts with the cities of Kokand, Margilan and the regional center of Ferghana.

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