Talk:Amu Darya

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"a river with a watershed almost in reverse"[edit]

In the 'History' section, there is a paragraph that starts "the Amu Darya could be said to be a river with a watershed almost in reverse ...". This whole paragraph makes no sense to me, either gramatically, or logically - what is 'in reverse' about a river flowing from mountains to an obviously lower area? It also talks about the river stopping short of the Aral Sea, which is only true because of the use for irrigation, which is covered elsewhere in the article. This paragraph seems to have been in the article for years, but it just seems to confuse a reader, not inform or clarify. There are no references that might help explain what the original author meant. I propose deleting the paragraph entirely. Anyone object? Peace Makes Plenty (talk) 10:50, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Darya, river or sea[edit]

In my language Persian, Darya means Sea. If anyone want to revert it back to "River", please discuss it here first. Thank you.

Since this is an english encyclopedia, we should use "river" instead of "darya". Persian, Pashto, Uzbeki and other translations should be included in the text. The title of the article should be "Amu River". (Ketabtoon (talk) 18:32, 6 August 2009 (UTC))
I have removed the Pashto and Turkish translations, because, frankly, they are totally irrelevant in this article. The Pashto expression is derived from the Persian name and simply uses the Pashto word for "river" instead; the Turkish transliteration of "Jayhoun" is irrelevant as well. Tajik (talk) 20:53, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
You have to remember that both Pashto and Dari are the national and official languages of Afghanistan. Therefor, either both the translations should be deleted or neither of them. (Ketabtoon (talk) 22:24, 8 August 2009 (UTC))
First of all, the language is called Persian. Secondly, this is not about national or official languages, it's about the origin of the name, and that is clearly Persian (or Tajik). I will also remove Uzbek and Turkmen, because they are irrelevant as well - it only shows the different spellings of the name, but not its ultimate origin. May I remind you that you were the one who removed the Persian spelling of the name "Kandahar" in the respective article?! You clearly have double-standards. Tajik (talk) 11:38, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
The IP "" does not belong to me. The person who made that edit was from Pakistan and I am thousands of miles away from Pakistan. (Ketabtoon (talk) 13:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC))
You have removed the Pashto spelling of the name "Kabul" in the respective article and many other articles also (I have noticed Maidan Shar among other articles) even before. (talk) 13:18, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
  • The name of river comes from the city of Āmul (Khwarezmian?) so stop saying it's Persian. Please discuss content reversions on their talk page before reversions. So that we know the consensus. (talk) 13:18, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
"It allegedly derives its present name from the city of Āmul, which is said to have occupied the site of modern Chärjew in Turkmenistan." [1] It clearly states that the origin of the name is not Tajik. So how can Tajik claim that it is? I will undo the revision by Tajik and the so called Inuit from Iran. They are welcome to discuss it here first and provide us valid sources that Amu's origins are Tajik. (Ketabtoon (talk) 13:37, 9 August 2009 (UTC))
We can add "Amu Darya River" as English alternative name in the article lead and the native names in Pashto, Tajik, Turkmen etc. in parenthesis. (talk) 15:42, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
The name of the article is fine as it is. Darya is the Dari/Farsi translation of the word River. In Afghanistan, the Persian speakers call it "Darya e Amo" and Pashto speakers call it "De Amo Seend". The word "seend" stands for river in Pashto language. Therefor it would be a good idea to leave the name of the river as it is and add the native names in Pashto, Dari/Farsi, Turkmen, Uzbeki in parenthesis. (Ketabtoon (talk) 16:27, 9 August 2009 (UTC))
First of all, the word "Darya" is Persian, no need to have any discussion about that. Be it derived from whatever city, the name "Amudarya" is clearly Persian and all other languages, inclduing Pashto, have adopted that name (the only exceptions are languages that falsly refer to the river as "Jayhoon"). Anyone who wants to know the Pashto, Uzbek, or whatever name of the river can click on the sister-articles in the respective Wikis. I doubt that you can find reliable sources for "De Amo Seend". Tajik (talk) 17:27, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
We are not discussing the word "Darya" in here. In here we are talking about the word "Amu" and its origin. You claim that the origin of the word is Persian, but you do not provide us with any proof. I have quoted your favourite encyclopedia, britanica, and they say "It allegedly derives its present name from the city of Āmul, which is said to have occupied the site of modern Chärjew in Turkmenistan.". (Ketabtoon (talk) 20:18, 9 August 2009 (UTC))
No, we are not talking about "Amu", we are talking about the name Amu Darya in total - and that name is clearly Persian. You only cite Britannica when you like the message. In another article, you have promtly deleted the Britannica source (which is a clear act of vandalism!). Anyway, to keep the discussion shourt: the name "Amu" is also Persian. See ĀMOL (ĀMŪYA) in Encyclopaedia Iranica. BTW: you have been reported to admins. Tajik (talk) 00:44, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

De Amu Seend - د امو سيند[edit]

User Tajik doubts that I can find reliable sources for "De Amo Seend". I will provide some sources.

International sources:

Afghan Sources:

(Ketabtoon (talk) 21:05, 9 August 2009 (UTC))

Etymology of Oxus[edit]

Various etymologies have been suggested for the name "Oxos" (or preciously, Ôxus, Ωξος)

I suppose that:

The the root "Uks-", is derivated by name "S-akas" (i.e. Sacae, Sacians, or else Scythians).

The same root occurs in words:

  1. "Ukrayina" ( i.e. Ok(s)-raine)( = Ukraine, the modern European state)
  2. "Iaxartes" (i.e. Oks-arta) ( = Syr Darya, ancient river, in Central Asia)
  3. "Euxinus Pontus" (i.e. Oks-inus pontus) ( = the modern Black Sea) etc.

--IonnKorr 08:40, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Comment on the described direction of flow[edit]

The Amu Darya page currently says:

"One source of the Amu Darya is the Pamir River, which emerges from Lake Zorkul/Victoria, flowing east until Ishtragh, where it turns north and then east north-west through the Hindu Kush as the Panj"

That appears to be incorrect. The Pamir River, to my eye, appears to emerge from Lake Zorkul/Victoria/Sari Kul, heading more or less south-west until it gets to Ishtragh, then curves north, eventually makes more or less a U-turn and then proceeds south before turning around again and heads north-west, mostly, to the Aral Sea. The current description seems to be almost 180 degrees out of phase for the early stages.

Also, for what it is worth, Google Earth seems to be using "Ucdrag" as the spelling for Ishtragh, for which a bunch of different spellings seem to have been used in English.

Further, I believe that from the confluence of the Pamir and the Wakhan rivers the combined river is called the Panj (with various spellings) and not just the Pamir anymore. Finally, there appears to be some semi-consensus that the true source of the Amu Darya is the Wakhan, not the Pamir.

Source of the Oxus / Amu Darya; History of Exporation There had been conjecture for many centuries about the true source of the river. 12th C Chinese Bhuddist pilgims (Hweng Tsui) claimed a Dragon Lake in the Pamirs (Roof of the World); this was probably either SyrKul or Rang Kul. By the end of the 19th C there were four claimants: The first modern era claimant was Lt John Wood, who on an expedition in 1838 reached Syr Kul, the source of the Panj on the Great (or Big) Pamir (A Journey to the Source of the River Oxus; John Murray 1872). The other three claimants were all in the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan: French, Russian and Indian based explorers subsequently claimed that the Sarhad or Little Pamir River, either independently or flowing from Lake Chakmaktin in the Little Pamir was the source. The expedition of Lord Dunmore and Colonel Trotter (1892) determined that the waters from lake Chakmaktin actually flowed east and then north out of the Little Pamir, becoming the Murghab/Bartang River and finally joining the other Amu Darya (Oxus) contributaries north of Khorog at Rohan Vomar in modern Tajikistan. George Nathaniel Curzon (later Marquis of Keddleston and Viceroy of India) in 1894 Discovered the Ice Cave source at the eastern end of the Wakhan-i-Pamir, where the Wajkir River flows from a glacier at the apex of the Pamir Knot and confidently claimed this as the true source (George Nathaniel Curzon Journal of The Royal Geographical Society 1895). An expedition in 2007 (Bill Colegrave; Halfway House to Heaven, 2010) to all four possible sources concluded that none of the four was the true source. The true source is a stream rising in the mountains between the Great and Little Pamir. This stream divides into two as it reaches the watershed of the Little Pamir; one part flowing into Lake Chakmak and therefore being itself the source for the Bartang/Murghab branch and the other flowing west down the Little Pamir and becoming the Sarhad or Little Pamir River. Thus two of the four claimants are united into one primary source.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Billcolegrave (talkcontribs) 23:33, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

The Wikipedia page on the Panj is similarly confusing to me, by the way, since that is, in fact, the name of the Amu Darya at this stage.

I have no expertise of any kind on this and I base the comment on the true source on some interested reading from hundred-plus year old writing by Curzon, 50-plus year old writing by Tillman and other such material I have poked around in. I leave it to someone better informed to do something with this. This is one of the world's great rivers. I presume there is a lot of expertise floating around. 01:01, 3 December 2007 (UTC) Shankar

Notes and references[edit]

Native names[edit]

I added Tajik: дарёи Ому - Daryoi Omu, Dari: آمودریا - Âmudaryâ, Pashto: د آمو سيند‎ - də Āmu Sind, [Amudaryo] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help), Turkmen: Amyderýa in parenthesis. And I used the English version of the name in the article. The native spelling of a name should generally be included in the first line of the article, with a transliteration if the anglicization isn't identical; redirects from non-English names are encouraged. Where there is an English exonym for the subject, it should be mentioned, even if it is not the most common name in English language usage. (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) (talk) 06:45, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Syr Darya and Amu River[edit]

Funny to have 'Syr Darya' and 'Amu River' titled articles in one and the same encyclopedy, no? Isn't the greatly predominant (per Google), common English usage Amu Darya instead? Apcbg (talk) 19:25, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

What is the google result for both Amu Darya and Amu River? (Ketabtoon (talk) 21:11, 26 August 2009 (UTC))


Why should we have the Pashto term for Amu River When there are no Pashtuns along the Amu River. If we are adding random languages then we should add Baluchi, Nuristani, Chinese, and other languages spoken in Central Asia.--Inuit18 (talk) 03:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

It runs through Balkh and Kunduz provinces of Afghanistan where there is a huge amount of Pashtuns. Pashto is one of the 2 National and Official languages of Afghanistan. Any article of that scale that deals with Afghanistan should have Pashto.
We have the Pashto term for Amu River for the same reason that we have Arabic and Persian terms for Syr Darya. (Ketabtoon (talk) 14:10, 25 August 2009 (UTC))

most of the counties along the Amu Darya are only populated by Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Turkmens. If that is the case then why don't you add Persian for Paktika [8], Khost [9], and [10]. If Afghanistan has two official languages then in every article we should add Persian and Pashto and it shouldn't be removed by me or you.--Inuit18 (talk) 02:40, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

My friend, the problem is that you are not keeping a NPOV. You were the one who added Persian to Kandahar, but you want to remove Pashto from this article.
Actually, I was going to do that. Every Afghanistan-geography related article should include both Pashto and Persian. However, this should be discussed with other wikipedians who are involved with Afghanistan related articles. (Ketabtoon (talk) 13:13, 26 August 2009 (UTC))
I have moved the article to Amu Darya, because that is the common name in English and all other languages. See the article in Encyclopaedia Britannica: [11]. There is no need to mention different spellings of the SAME WORD. What is important for THIS article is its ENGLISH name (and that is - as can be seen in Britannica - "Amu Darya"), and its etymology which is - without any doubt - derived from Persian. Those who want to know the spelling of the name in Turkmen, Uzbek, Chinese, Russian, Pashto or whatever other language can easily click on the respective language in the sidebar. Tajik (talk) 15:18, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Restored to an older version and re-changed the name. Please follow wikipedia's rules and policies Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). (Ketabtoon (talk) 20:59, 26 August 2009 (UTC))
Have you actually read the naming convention?! As you can see in the Britannica article, "Amu Darya" is the most common name. Going by your logic, the article Afghanistan should be moved to "Afghanland" because that's the English translation ... *sigh* Tajik (talk) 20:04, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I would argue that the best-known name for the river in English is Oxus. I know Oxus and Jaxartes, but I can never remember which is called "Amu" now, and which is "Syr". In the spirit of WP:UE and also to avoid this sort of petty ethnic bickering, I suggest that this article should simply reside at Oxus. --dab (𒁳) 08:49, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

"Oxus" is an ancient name and should be mentioned in the first sentence of the article. But the most common modern name for the river - in English and other languages - is "Amu Darya". See Britannica, Encarta, Encyclopædia Iranica, etc. Tajik (talk) 09:51, 28 August 2009 (UTC)


I have reverted partially false (but good faith) and irrelevant edits by an IP. Tajik (talk) 15:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I have reverted good faith edits by User:David Straub. The spelling may be changed (although scholars use the standard DMG transliteration), but changing the link from "Greater Iran" to modern "Iran" is certainly wrong and misleading. Tajik (talk) 22:08, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


in Turkish. (but what is the etymology of that name? Gihon?) Böri (talk) 12:39, 31 January 2012 (UTC)


Right now we have Oxus from Vakhsh (which makes sense though unref'd), and Vakhsh from the Sanskrit. Does this really derive from Sanskrit, rather than some Indo-Iranian language that's actually in the area? Megalophias (talk) 15:13, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

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