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city, south-central Uzbekistan. It lies west of the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) on the Palvan Canal, and it is bounded on the south by the Karakum Desert and on the northeast by the Kyzylkum desert. A notorious slave market was centred there from the 17th to the 19th century. The city is also known for the Islamic architecture within its 590-acre (240-hectare) historic centre