Social and Economic Change in the Pamirs, Tajikistan by Frank Bliss

By Frank Bliss

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Sample text

Rickmers also adds dog-rose, Ephedra and holly (1930: 63). 11 The most impressive artsha tree in the Roshorve area at an altitude of 3,100 m. The tree is probably several hundred years old and grows at the base of Pic Revolutija (6,667 m) (1997). 32 GENERAL FEATURES OF GORNO-BADAKHSHAN (quoted in Curzon 1896: 18). Among the wild plants along the river banks, wild roses and a whole gallery of buckthorns can be found (see Rickmers 1930: 97, pic. visa). At altitudes below 3,000 m, the only ‘forests’ of Pamir can be found.

11 One of the problems this posed was the possibility of the dam bursting one day and causing an enormous flood crest. This would not only destroy all life in Bartang but would also cause great damage in the Pyandsh all the way to southern Tajikistan. Further studies revealed this scenario to be unlikely because of the enormous width of the dam. In 1934 it was also observed that the lake had increased to a length of 60 km and a depth of 500 m. Since then, water flows into and out of the dam have achieved a balance and the lake has ceased growing (see Mursajew 1956: 250–251).

In fact, the entire region on both sides of the Pyandsh belonged to the Emirate of Bukhara and was only divided in 1895 according to the Pamir Convention. Since then, a part of Darwâs now belongs to Afghan Badakhshân while another part became the Darwâs rayon (district) of GBAO. In the light of this historical situation, every scientific study of ‘Pamir’ encounters the difficulty that each piece of information on ‘the Pamirs’, ‘Badakhshan’ and even the individual regions or socio-political units such as ‘Wakhân’, ‘Shugnân’ or, indeed, ‘Darwâs’, must be carefully examined to ascertain whether the former Soviet or the Afghan part is meant.

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