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city, eastern Uzbekistan. It lies 19 miles (30 km) north of Fergana. Originally known as Margilan, it probably dates to the 2nd-1st century BC, when one branch of the great Silk Road to the Orient ran through the Fergana Valley. It was an important commercial town in the 10th-12th century AD, and one of the largest cities in the valley in the 16th century. It formed part of the khanate of Kokand in the 18th century, and in 1876 it was captured by the Russians. Margilon has long been celebrated throughout Central Asia for its silks, and it is now the most important silk centre in Uzbekistan. Pop. (1999 est.) 143,600.