The Fergana Valley or Farghana Valley is a region in Central Asia spread across eastern Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Divided into three subdivisions of the former Soviet Union, the valley is ethnically diverse, and in the early 21st century was the scene of ethnic conflict. A large triangular valley in what is an often dry part of Central Asia, the Fergana owes its fertility to two rivers, the Naryn and the Kara Darya, which run from the east, joining near Namangan, forming the Syr Darya river. The valley's history stretches back over 2300 years, when its population was conquered by Greco-Bactrian invaders from the west. Chinese chroniclers date its towns to more than 2100 years ago, as a path between Greek, Chinese, Bactrian and Parthian civilizations. It was home to Babur, founder of the Mughal Dynasty, tying the region to modern Afghanistan and South Asia. The Russian Empire conquered the valley at the end of the 19th century, and it became part of the Soviet Union from the beginning of the 20th. Its three soviet regional states gained independence in 1991. The area remains Muslim, populated by ethnically Uzbek, Tajiks, and Kyrgyz, often intermixed and not matching modern borders. As well there historically have been substantial Russian, Kashgarians, Kipchaks, Bukharan Jews and Romani minorities. Mass cotton cultivation, introduced by the Soviets, remains central to the economy, along with a wide range of grains, fruits and vegetables. There is a long history of stock breeding, leatherwork, and a growing mining sector, including deposits of coal, iron, sulfur, gypsum, rock-salt, lacustrine salt, naphtha, and some small known oil reserves.[source]