I understand that since the rise of the Soviet Union the Aral sea has dried up more and more due to irrigation from rivers diverting its water to other areas for the sake of agriculture.

But is it possible that a drying process started long before the Soviet Union?

This question gives some input on believed depth and salinity in the past. But what, allegedly, was the size of Aral sea in like the year 1000 CE (or even before that), and what information leads to that conclusion?


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Before the 1960s, the size of the Aral Sea was relatively consistent. However, the Aral Sea went through some "dry spells" during the 1st and 3rd centuries BCE. Going even further back, the Aral Sea dried up during the Early Pleistocene and was "refilled" during the Early Holocene. In other words, the Aral Sea probably looked the same in 1000 as it did in 1950. (Encyclopædia Brittanica)


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