Zeravshan (zyĕrəfshänˈ) [key], river, c.460 mi (740 km) long, rising in the Turkistan Range of the Pamir-Alai mountain system, in Tajikistan. It flows westward through the agricultural Zeravshan valley, then into Uzbekistan, past Samarkand and Bukhara, and disappears in the desert near the Amu Darya, N of Chärjew. The valley, irrigated by the Katta-Kurgan reservoir, is one of the chief oases of Central Asia and is on the site of the ancient Sogdiana. The Zeravshan Mountains, forming the southern watershed of the river, rise to c.18,480 ft (5,630 m). The range has coal and ore deposits.
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