Katta-Kurgan (Катта-Курган in Russian, also spelt Katta Qurghan and کته قورغان). A town on the road and railway between Bukhara and Samarkand in modern-day Uzbekistan. The name is Turkic and, roughly speaking, means 'Large Mound'. The town does not appear to be of any great antiquity, although after Alexander the Great's sack of Marakanda (Samarkand) the centre of cultural life in that part of the Zeravshan valley may briefly have shifted west to the region around Katta-Kurgan. According to F.F. Pospelov a fortress was built on the current site by the local saint Sufi Allayar and his two brothers, Farkhat-Atalyk and Allah-Nazar-bii, in 1095 AH/1684 AD, and the town subsequently grew up around it. It was the seat of a Bek (local Governor) under the rule of the Bukharan Manghit dynasty. In 1868, following the fall of Samarkand to the Russians and the annexation of the Upper Zeravshan Valley from Bukhara, it became the border town between Russian Turkestan and the Bukharan Emirate, and the centre of a district. In 1924 both entities were dissolved by the Soviet regime, and Katta-Kurgan was incorporated in the new Uzbek SSR.
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