Besides the oases the desert is remarkable for two other valleys.
The other four oases lie parallel to and distant 100 to 150 m.
These oases were known and occupied by the Egyptians as early as 1600 s.c., and Kharga (q.v.) rose to special importance at the time of the Persian occupation.
It belongs to the series of oases (Uch-Turfan, Bai, Koucha, &c.) situated at the southern foot of the eastern T'ien-shan mountains.
Except on the scattered oases, where irrigation from springs and mountain streams has reclaimed small patches, the desert is barren and forbidding in the extreme.