Ferghana (Uzbek: Farg’ona/Фарғона; Persian: فرغانه Farghāna; Russian: Фергана́) is a city (population: 187,100), the capital of Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan, at the southern edge of the Fergana Valley in southern Central Asia, cutting across the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Fergana is about 420 km east of Tashkent, and about 75 km west of Andijan.
The fertile Fergana Valley was an important conduit on the Silk Roads (more precisely the North Silk Road), which connected the ancient Chinese capital of Xi’an to the west over the Wushao Ling Mountain Pass to Wuwei and emerging in Kashgar before linking to ancient Parthia,or on to the north of the Aral and Caspian Seas to ports on the Black Sea.
The ancient kingdom referred to as Dayuan (大宛, “Great Yuan”, literally “Great Ionians”) in the Chinese chronicles is now generally accepted as being in the Ferghana Valley. It is sometimes, though less commonly, written as Dawan (大宛. Dayuan were Greeks, the descendants of the Greek colonists that were settled by Alexander the Great in Ferghana in 329 BCE, and prospered within the Hellenistic realm of the Seleucids and Greco-Bactrians, until they were isolated by the migrations of the Yuezhi around 160 BCE. It has been suggested that the name “Yuan” was simply a transliteration of the words “Yona”, or “Yavana”, used throughout antiquity in Asia to designate Greeks (“Ionians”). Their capital was Alexandria Eschate.