River Zeravshan or Zaravshan is a relatively small river yet it plays an important role in Central Asia. It rises in the eastern Tajikstan Range and flows through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Zeravshan disappears in a desert near the Amu Darya river. The length of the river is 877 km. It is fed by several tributaries. The river also feeds channels used for irrigation of 560 thousand hectares of lands of Central Asia. The Zeravshan valley is densely populated mainly within Uzbekistan.
The most important cities of Central Asia, Samarkand and Bukhara are located on the banks of the river. The cities were built more than 2700 years ago and they still exist. The ruins of ancient Sarazm city, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, are also located on the territory.
The name of the river is translated as “gold-bearing” from Farsi, which refers to the gold-bearing sands near the upper points of the river. Ancient Greeks called it Politimet. Chinese travellers named it a noble river, Nami. It was also known as Sughd River.