Thursday, December 5, 2013

Uzboy River & The Khorasan Civilization


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"In the past, the Amu Darya (Oxus) of Central Asia in the east often changed course to empty into the Caspian through a now-desiccated riverbed called the Uzboy River, as did the Syr Darya farther north. ….

" It should be borne in mind that some of the land to the east of the Caspian Sea is actually some 28 metres below Mean Sea Level. Between it and the Aral the land rises gradually as a desert plain but in small pockets to as much as 340 metres, except small hilly areas, although there is the Nebit Dag Mountain at 1880m. There are, however, scores of depressions below MSL and ancient river beds, the UZBOY channel being one such….The major rivers are however significant in forming the landscape of the Sea of Aral…..The first and greatest is the Amu Darya, known to the Greeks as the OXUS, and to the Arabs as the Jaihun. It rises in Bactria and forms the border between Margiana and Sogdiana before passing into Chorasmii. It is also the eastern boundary of the Karakorum Desert. Originally it is thought to have flowed north towards the Aral with a tributary turning west through Sary Kamysh Lake towards the Caspian Sea…..This western arm was the UZBOY which is now a dry river channel, but flowed some 750Km from the branch in the Amu Darya river. A riverine civilisation existed along the banks from at least the 5th century BCE until the 16th century CE, when the water which had fed the Uzboy abruptly stopped flowing out of the main course of the Amu Darya. The Uzboy River simply dried up!…"….

UzBoy River…."Arab historians of the Middle Ages write that the Uzboy was a water course used by merchants who navigated it for centuries and had to overcome its several rapids. Its route to the Caspian Sea departed from the Sary Kamysh lake, that being its source, although the lake is fed by the Oxus, and flowed south to the town of Kurstysh, before the river turned west to the Caspian Sea and its outlet. The Uzboy thus carried the waters of the Oxus to the Caspian Sea, but only a small percentage of the total flow, because of its physical bed constraints….Thus it is hypothesized that a large amount of the Oxus river flow actually dissipated itself in the Karakorum desert area south of the Aral. It appears reasonable to consider that the Oxus (Amu Darya) could not carry more than 20-30 Km3 per year to the Sary Kamysh Lake, when the total flow of the Oxus towards the Aral was 60-70 Km3 per year. Thus it is considered only a small amount of the Oxus actually reached the southern Aral confines……..The second river is the Syr Darya, and it is a westerly flowing river as it approaches the Aral. The Syr Darya was known to the Greeks as the JAXARTES and to the Arabs as the Sayhun or Sihun. Rather late for our researches, but pertinent are the comments of Babur Sultan6, who wrote in 1530, “The Sayhun- Jaxartes- does not flow in any sea, but engulfs itself in sands very far downstream of the city of Turkistan”….The region between the Amu Darya or Oxus and the Syr Darya or Jaxartes has been known in history as Massagetae and later as Transoxiana. The Arabs called the region north of the Amu Darya, Mawaran-nahr, meaning literally, “The land beyond the river”.

"The Uzboy River (Uzboj) was a distributary of the Amu Darya which flowed through the northwestern part of the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan until the 17th century, when it abruptly dried up, destroying in the process the Khwarezm civilization which had thrived along its banks. (It was a part of the ancient region of Dahistan.)….Now a dry river channel and a center for archaeological excavations, the Uzboy flowed some 750 kilometers, from a branch in the Amu Darya River via Sarykamysh Lake to the Caspian Sea. A riverine civilization existed along the banks of the river from at least the 5th century BC until the 17th century AD, when the water which had fed the Uzboy abruptly stopped flowing out of the main course of the Amudarya. The Uzboy dried up, and the tribes which had inhabited the river's banks were abruptly dispersed, the survivors becoming nomadic desert dwellers…..In the early 1950s, construction work started to build a major irrigation canal roughly along the river bed of the former Uzboy. However, the project was abandoned soon after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953; later on, Qaraqum Canal was constructed along an entirely different, much more southerly, route."….

The Rivers of the Vedas…."The narratives of the Indian Veda’s provide a tantalising glimpse of geographical information. It is possible that the core region of Vedic culture was the landlocked area between the Oxus and Jaxartes river systems and up to the Hindu/Sindhu River. The g.Veda X 75.5 refers to some 55 rivers in the area. This archaic geography allows that the Hapta-Hindu or Sapta-Sindhu in Sanskrit might include the rivers Oxus and Jaxartes, and that the location of the Aral Sea and Lake Labnor might not then have been the same as now."….

The name of Khorasan is a combination of "Khor"(Sun) and "Asan" (the place of Rising). Thus Khorasan means the place of Sun Rising."

Tsvetsinskaya E.A., Vainberg B.I., V. Glushko E.V. "An integrated assessment of landscape evolution, long-term climate variability, and land use in the Amudarya Prisarykamysh delta", Journal of Arid Environments (2002)

Muradov, Ruslan "Mysteries of Dehistan", Turkmenistan (2009)


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….December 2013


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