Uzboy River

The Uzboy River (sometimes rendered Uzboj) was a river which flowed through the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan until the 18th century, when it abruptly dried up, destroying in the process the Turkmen civilization which had thrived along its banks.

Now a dry river channel and a center for archaeological excavations, the Uzboy flowed some 750 kilometers, from a branch in the Amudarya river to the Caspian Sea. [Letole, Rene, et. al., "Uzboy and the Aral regressions: A hydrological approach", Quaternary International, March 2007] A riverine civilization existed along the banks of the river from at least the 5th century B.C. until the 18th century, 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. [Kapuściński, Ryszard, "Imperium", pp 65-69]


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