Zeravshan River

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"Zarafshan River" redirects here. For the river in Xinjiang, China, see Yarkand River.
Zerafshan River in Ayni District, Tajikistan.
Location of Zerafshan River in Central Asia.
Zerafshan River and Samarkand from space.[1]

Zarafshan River (also Zaravshan or Zarafshon, Tajik: Дарёи ЗарафшонDaryai Zarafshon, Uzbek: Zeravshon, from the Persian word zar-afshān, زرافشان, meaning "the spreader of gold") is a river in Central Asia. Its name, "spreader of gold" in Persian, refers to the presence of gold-bearing sands in the upper reaches of the river. To the ancient Greeks it was known as the Polytimetus. It was also formerly known as Sughd River.

It rises at 39°30′N 70°35′E / 39.500°N 70.583°E / 39.500; 70.583 on the fringes of the Pamirs in Tajikistan, flowing due west for some 300 kilometres (190 mi), passing Penjikent before entering Uzbekistan at 39°32′N 67°27′E / 39.533°N 67.450°E / 39.533; 67.450, where it turns west-to-north-west, flowing past the legendary city of Samarkand, which is entirely dependent on the oasis thus created, until it bends left again to the west north of Navoiy and further to the south-west, passing Bukhara before it is lost in the desert beyond the city of Qorako‘l (Karakul), not quite reaching the Amu Darya, of which it was formerly a tributary.

Tajikistan aims to construct several hydro-electric power stations on Zerafshan River and has signed the MOU in November 2013 with Zarvon Corporation for the financing and construction of the plants. All previous MOU's have been voided.

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Further reading[edit]

  • В.В. Бартольд "К Истории Орошения в Туркестане" (Collected Works, Vol.3) (Москва) 1965
  • V.V. Barthold "Turkestan Down to the Mongol Invasion" (London) 1968
  • Robert Lewis "Early Irrigation in West Turkestan" Annals of the Association of American Geographers Vol.56 №.3 (Sept. 1966) pp467–491
  • Edgar Knobloch "Beyond the Oxus" (London) 1972