How old is the Aral Sea?

Those who pay attention know that the Aral Sea is almost gone. As a matter of fact is is no longer a sea but a puddle. Multiple irrigation projects related to the diversion of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers are being blamed for this environmental crisis.
  • Technically, this article should have been called, "How old was the Aral sea"?
Aral-Sea-lake-world-projects-shrinkage.jpg

There used to be water here...

aral-sea-1.jpg

But... this article is not about our contemporary affairs. Let's try to figure out the real age of the body of water formerly known as the Aral Sea.

The Aral Sea: The Narrative
The Aral Sea depression was formed toward the end of the Neogene Period (which lasted from about 23 to 2.6 million years ago). Sometime during that process the hollow was partially filled with water - a portion of which came from the Syr Darya. In the early and middle parts of the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago), the region appears to have dried up, only to be inundated again sometime between the end of the Pleistocene and the early Holocene Epoch (i.e., after about 11,700 years ago) - the latter instance being the first time by the Amu Darya, which had temporarily changed its course from the Caspian to the Aral Sea.

aral-sea-2.jpg

After that, except for some relatively brief dry spells between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE, the two rivers’ combined flows generally maintained a high water level in the sea until the 1960s.
  • Essentially, the PTB tell us that the Aral sea is no less than 2,000 but most likely more than 1,000 years old.
  • Let's see if we are being told the truth.
KD: You know that they are not, but as far as the Aral Sea goes, the narrative is all over the place.

The Kerderi Group
Kerderi is a group of abandoned settlements located on the dried seafloor of what was once the Aral Sea, in Kazakhstan. Kerderi is thought to have been inhabited around the 14th century, when water levels were low enough to expose dry land.

Kerderi-1.jpg

It is not known when Kerderi was abandoned. However, some objects from Kerderi have been carbon-dated to as late as the start of the 16th century and historical evidence suggests that the Aral Sea began slowly refilling after 1570, when the Amu Darya river resumed its flow into the Aral.
  • Kerderi was completely flooded; at 1960 water levels, the settlement was inundated under 19 metres (62 ft) of water.
  • When the Soviets diverted the Amu Darya and Syr Darya after the 1960s, the Aral retreated once more, and Kerderi became accessible for the first time in modern history. The settlements were rediscovered in 2001.
  • They have since served as important evidence of the Aral Sea's historic changes in depth.
  • Kerderi
  • Secrets of the Aral Sea

There are three distinct sites at Kerderi, which have been named Kerderi-1, Kerderi-2, and Aral Asar. The settlements are known for the ruins of two mausoleums. The inhabitants of Kerderi-1 had access to fresh water from the Syr Darya, which once meandered nearby. Archaeological evidence shows the inhabitants grew rice and wheat, and also raised livestock. Aral Asar drew the benefits of trade as a stop on the Silk Road.

The Caspian Sea
One of the first things we need to understand is this. The Caspian Sea had a very different shape as recently as some 400 years ago. What we have today is just a tiny portion of the 1500-1600s version of the Caspian Sea.
  • I am not a professional overlayer, but it should give you a general idea of what happened sometime after 1640.
1640 vs. 2021
cs1.jpg

Source + Source

1635 vs. 2021
cs-2.jpg

Source + Source
I think the encircled locations define the size of the Caspian Sea of the past. Of course, most of the city names are bogus. The PTB renamed just about everything we know in most of the questionable areas of the world.

border-1.jpg


The Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was first mapped and described by A. Butakov in 1848-49, then studied by the Aral-Caspian Expedition of 1874, but it was most extensively investigated on several trips by L. Berg from 1900-06, resulting in an important monograph (1908).
  • We discovered America in 1492, but noone bothered to map the Aral Sea until 1848. Isn't it strange?
  • Luckily this is not really the case. There are plenty of maps suggesting that the area was mapped plenty of times.
Let's see when the Aral Sea was really formed. Something tells me that it was not as long ago as they want us to think.

1593
1593-map.jpg

Source

1610
1610-map.jpg

Source

1635
1635-map.jpg

Source

1655
1655-map.jpg

Source

1686
1686-map.jpg

Source

1698
1698-map.jpg

Source

1706
1706-map.jpg

Source

1719
1719-map.jpg

Source

1720
1720-map.jpg

Source

1730-37
1730-37-map.jpg

Source

1739
1739-map.jpg

Source

1741
1741-map.jpg

Source

1780-88
Central_Asia._Paris,_M._Bonne_1780-88-1.jpg

Source

1783
1783-map.jpg

Source

1786
1786-map.jpg

Source

1793
1793-map.jpg

Source

1801
1801-map.jpg

Source

1844
1844-map.jpg

Source

KD on Maps: Dating of some of the above maps is questionable, imho. In general, it appears that something major happened between 1655 and 1686. Over a half of the Caspian Sea just picked up and left.
  • The first time we can spot any body of water at the approximate location of the future Aral Sea is between 1730 and 1737.
  • We also have it named Lac Oxianes. Google translated Lacus Oxianes as Aral.
  • It appears that at first we had no lake or sea there. Than we had a lake. That lake was getting bigger and bigger, and became a sea.
I'm fairly confident that prior to approximately 1730 there were no Aral lakes or seas out there.

Dating
I keep on thinking that for some parts of the world, our texts and our maps are off by 100 years. There a few reasons for that, and this here is one of those. From the historical perspective, some things make more sense when this possible 100 year offset is taken into consideration.

Older Texts
1859

1859-text.jpg

Source

Is this how they were indoctrinating things and places?
  • Step 1. Mention Peter the Great who visited Paris in 1717 and already knew about the Aral Sea.
  • Step 2. Make a claim that due to this or that Caspian and Aral Seas were never one and the same.
  • Step 3. Put the above info into text books, and start teaching the narrative.
1762
1762-text1.jpg

Source

As we can see, in 1762 the Aral Sea-Lake was reported to be 150 miles long and 70 miles wide. This is consistent with the maps from the same time period. Compare this to 1960s:
  • The Aral Sea’s greatest extent from north to south was almost 270 miles, while from east to west it was just over 180 miles.
  • Looks like the size of the Aral Sea was never something constant.
Receding Waters
I do believe that the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea were one and the same prior to 1655-1686. But what's truly interesting is that our oval shaped Caspian Sea we see on the maps predating 1655, was not always that big. In my opinion, the oval shape was formed by the same cataclysmic event that triggered the Age of Discovery. The below Sabayil Castle can explain why I think so.

Sabayil Castle
In 1235 Shirvanshah Fariburz III had a fortification built on one of the rocky islands of the Baku bay which was subsequently called the Sabael Castle, Shahri Saba, Shahri Nau, the city under water, the caravanserai, the Bail rocks, etc. Wrapped in legends, the castle is completely under water at present and is about 350 meters distant from the shore.
  • In 1306 as a result of a strong earthquake in the south of the Caspian and the rise of the sea level the fortress sank into the water.
  • From the beginning of the XIV century and to the beginning of the XVIII century the building was flooded with the Caspian waters.
  • In 1723 in connection with the abatement of the water level in the Caspian the top of the tower appeared from beneath the water.
  • The upper part of the building is completely destroyed, only the lower part of the walls and the towers reaching in some places about 1,5-2 m high is surviving.
  • Source

sabayil-c-11.jpg

The archaeological investigations of the castle were carried out in 1939, 1940, 1946, 1962 and 1969. In the course of the excavations the foundations of 9 habitual premises were discovered, two of them had a hearth. About 700 stones with inscriptions, fragments of earthenware crockery of black and red baking, intact vessels, copper coins of Shirvanshah Kershasb (1203/4-24) and others were lifted from the bottom of the sea. Also were found the fragments of potter’s pipes of different diameters which seemed to be water-pipes. At present part of the stones lifted from the bottom of the sea are displayed in the museum of the Shirvanshahs’ Palace.

sabayil-11.jpg

In the early 19th century, well-known Azerbaijani historian A.Bakikhanov wrote:
  • The towers that can still be seen in the sea before the city of Baku, the walls, gravestones and descriptions written by historians about the former condition of this city show that what was urban 400 or 500 years ago is now submarine.
  • Presumably, these places will surface again sometime in the future.
  • Source
Arif Ardebili (born in 1311), a poet of the Middle Ages, noted in his well-known dastan (epic poem) "Farkhad-name" the view he had seen:
  • There is a fortress in the sea near Baku,
  • This new fortress went down in flood.
  • Source
Additional Sabayil Castle Sources:


KD summary: As far as I understand, some time prior to 1400, there was a major catastrophic event of biblical proportions. I do not know if it was the Noah's Flood, but it was the flood that changed the world. Once the waters receded, the oval Caspian sea was formed. At this point we are talking about the late 14th or early 15th century. Then, something happened again, this time between 1655 and 1686, and the oval Caspian Sea lost over 50% of its waters.
  • In approximately 1730, the Aral Sea started to form in the area previously occupied by the oval shaped Caspian Sea.
I find it ironic that our scientific and environmental communities are all freaking out over the disappearance of the Aral Sea. That's probably because they do not know that 200 years ago there was no Aral Sea.
  • Methinks, they need to be stripped of their degrees and statuses for their failure to notice that over the span of some 200 years, this world lost close to 70% of the Caspian See. The world did not even blink.
P.S. See post #16 of this article for some interesting info.
 
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Sounds like this map was created by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales.
  • De Sales challenged the young earth biblical 6,000-year-old date of creation which was popular in his day, instead believing on the basis of astronomical data that the earth was around 140,000 years old and that it took 40,062 years to cool down following its formation.
    • He however rejected the three-million-year-old date of the earth which was taught in India at the time.
  • 1792 Delisle de Sales Map of the Caspian Sea in 4 Eras (4 Maps)
Ran into the below map. Looks kind of similar. Allegedly was done by the same author.
1770-map.jpg

I do not remember when, and am not even sure if I remember correctly, but... I think I did hear at some point that the chemical composition of the Caspian Sea water was closer to that of the Arctic Ocean than it was to the Black Sea.
 
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  • VonCrisp

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    This article is fairly good. The saline composition varies greatly depending on which part of the Caspian you are in but it is pretty much a mix of everything. Fresh water and salty water from the previous connections to Arctic/ Atlantic - Med. Most freshwater in the Caspian flows in from the Volga.
    It is especially necessary to note that actually three ecosystems coexist in parallel within the borders of the Cas-
    pian: freshwater, brackish and hyperhaline and it promotes biological diversification of this lake
    The modern fauna and flora of the present Caspian Sea consists of the four main components: 1 – of
    Caspian origins; 2 – of arctic origins; 3 – of Atlantic and Mediterranean origins; 4 – of freshwater origins
    (Derzhavin, 1912; Knipovich, 1938; Berg, 1928; Zenkevich, 1963).
    The biodiversity of the Caspian Sea is 2.5 times poorer, than that of the Black sea (Table 4), or 5 times
    poorer, than that of the Barents Sea (Zenkevich, 1963). The main reason of this is probably its variable salin-
    ity. For the present freshwater fauna and flora, the water salinity is too high, and for the present marine spe-
    cies is low. Thus, the modern Caspian Sea is a real paradise for brackish water species originating both from
    marine, and from continental water bodies (Birstein, 1939; Mordukhai-Boltovskoy, 1979). However, in our
    opinion, the comparison with purely freshwater lakes shows that unstable salinity of the Caspian is more fa-
    vorable for diversification than for loss of biodiversity.
    Here is some more interesting stuff:
    Exotic species

    One of the most ancient groups of invaders into the Caspian is Arctic invaders.
    Most probably, they have penetrated here during the glaciation period. The following organisms can serve as an example of arctic invaders.

    One species of Polychaeta from the family Sabellidae - Manayunkia caspia probably penetrated into the Caspian from the Arctic region.
    There are many other arctic invaders in the Caspian Sea: Limnocalanus
    grimaldi, Mesidothea entomon glacialis, Pseudalibrotus caspius, P. platyceras, Pontoporeia affinis
    microphthalma, Gammaracanthus loricatus caspius, Mysis caspia, M. microphthalma, M. macrolepis, M.
    amblyops, Stenodus leucichthys, Salmo trutta, and Phoca caspia. How and when all these organisms invaded
    the Caspian Sea is not known.
    The official biography of the De Sales guy is interesting like you mentioned before... he/his outfit/library collection was controversial.

    I doubt that he would have just released/collected totally made up random maps with random features. Not sure if height/depth maps were available back in those days but his map comes close to the google earth flood map estimation. Naturally the google flood map only messes with the levels of water and doesn't take into account frozen/ ice regions (thinking of west US here or east Russia when it was still frozen) nor shifting tectonic plates.

    It is still very hard to see how the Caspian could have connected to the Persian gulf when checking floodmap.net. This info could either be made up/ a best researched guess of what the area could have looked like in the past or/and was real but the tectonic plates moved up. The question would be what kind of sources De Sales used.

    E9AC6A4C-B629-46BE-8C5A-24BEB95643DA.jpeg
    E178AC8E-FDEE-4F98-ADB6-C9D116E3BA5C.jpg
    Broadly speaking, four main geological basins make up the Caspian Sea area – the northern, middle, and southern Caspian basins, and the North Ustyurt basin. The northern basin, which encompasses just over a quarter of the sea's surface area, is shallow in depth.
    The form of the depression basins speaks for the Caspian - Black Sea - Aral - inflow from the Artic as one large body at some point in the past.

    Back to the question of where De Sales took his inspiration for the map his outfit published:

    It could have been possible that he tapped information of what we now call the Cenozoic era. "His" maps of the primitive world could potentially line up with the "estimated" maps even going as far as showing the Caspian - Bagdad link:

    9973720E-76BA-49FC-858F-377342CE26D3.jpeg
    So dates are to be discarded but it seems like De Sales was describing maybe Neogen period of the Cenozoic era:

    F280BEA1-55BF-4361-824F-00F0AE97A57D.jpeg


    0E076336-941E-4FC0-8423-6545AAE1BB1E.jpeg
    I will start looking into articles describing if maybe fossils of sea creatures were found in the mountains on that Bagdad - Caspian link.

    However if that is positive then the next question will be on how much detail of the De Sales primitive map was actually reality.

    It really begs the question how De Sales could have collected/possibly known about the "Gomphotherium landbridge / Bagdad - Caspian" linkage in those early days if that was indeed what he was pusblishing.

    Here is another interesting hypothesis:

    9BC4FF0D-7B05-44CB-BB78-5A31610A6CE2.jpeg
    • Palaeobiogeographical distribution of Boreli.smelo melo and B. melo curdiea: (a) late Early Miocene, 'early' Burdigalian; (b) latest Early-Early Middle Miocene, 'middle' Burdigalian-Langhian. Superimposed on the appropriate palinspastically restored base maps (Rogl, 1998, 1999a, b). Arrows indicate possible dispersal routes.
    10E270DF-2321-4B9E-8E26-28820E32624C.gif
     
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