TIFLIS, a government of Russian Transcaucasia, occupying the eastern portion of the great valley which stretches between the main Caucasus range and the Armenian highlands, from the Meskes Mountains eastward, and extending up into the higher regions on both north and south. The district of Akhaltsikh lies actually on the Armenian highlands. The government is rich in minerals, but only copper is. extracted, at Alaverdi and Akhtal; petroleum and other mineral springs are abundant. The government is drained by the Kura and its tributaries (Lyakhva, Aragva, Yora and Alazan), all of whose waters are largely used for irrigation; but in the lower parts of the valley there are extensive waterless steppes, Shirak and Karayaz, on the left bank of the Kura, which are chiefly inhabited by nomad Tatars. The area of the government is 15,601 sq. m. (17,140 with the Zakataly district), and the estimated populationin 1906 was 1,081,900. The government is divided into nine districts, the chief towns of which are Tiflis, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikh, Dushet, Gori, Signakh and Tela y. Agriculture is the principal occupation. Good silk is produced, especially in the region of Kakhetia. Livestock breeding is extensively carried on on the steppes. About one-fourth of the area is under forest. The natives exhibit remarkable skill in the manufacture of leather and metallic goods, felt, woollen stuffs (e.g. carpets and shawls) and gold embroidery.
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