This ancient name refers to a geographically vast area between the rivers Oxus (Āmū-Daryā) to the west and Iaxartes (Syr-Daryā) to the east (fig.1). Today, this region corresponds to Central Uzbekistan and Western Tadžikistan (fig.2). In its central portion the region consists mostly of irrigated lands located in the medium valleys of the two rivers and their tributaries, especially along the river Zeravshan, the Polytímētos of Greek sources, the rural area between Bukhara and Samarkand, where a civilization of great interest, of Iranian language and culture, developed from the 3rd century B.C. (later, then, than that of the neighbouring regions) and reached its peak between the 5th and 8th centuries A.D., becoming one of the most developed regions of Transoxiana. 

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