City (pop., 2007 est.: 1,959,190), capital of Uzbekistan. Dating from about the 1st or 2nd century BCE, it was an important trade centre on the caravan routes to Europe and East Asia. The Arabs conquered it in the early 8th century; it fell to the Mongols in the 13th century and was under Turkish control in the 14th–15th century. Taken by the Russians in 1865, it was made the administrative centre of Turkistan in 1867, and a new European city grew up beside the old native one. The city was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1966. Today it is the main economic and cultural centre of Central Asia. Its many institutions of higher education include the Uzbek Academy of Sciences (1943).