By Ian D. Whyte
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Extra resources for A Dictionary of Environmental History
Shrinkage has been due to reduced inﬂow, mainly due to abstraction for irrigation. Annual inﬂow in 1960 was 63–65 km3. 5 km3, 37 Aral Sea though a minimum of 10 km3 is needed to prevent further shrinkage. Major changes in the volume of the sea are not new: former shorelines show that it has risen and fallen throughout the Holocene, with a range of at least 20 m and possibly over 40 m due to variations in climate and alterations in the courses of the rivers ﬂowing into it. Within the last 3,000 years human societies have played an increasing role through diverting water for irrigation and other purposes.
1500BC and AD1100 the Tiwanaku developed agriculture and population grew. They developed a distinctive high-yield farming technique based on growing crops on raised mounds surrounded by irrigation water which released heat at night to provide warmth for the crops. Between AD600 and AD800 Tiwanuku developed on an urban scale with a population of up to 30,000 and impressive monumental architecture. Around AD950 there was a signiﬁcant fall in precipitation around L Titicaca and agriculture seems to have collapsed, leaving a vacuum which was eventually to be ﬁlled by the Incas.
The livestock of the LBK people were probably often stall-fed due to a lack of open grazing. The LBK culture adapted agriculture to a very different climate from that of the Near E. Cultivation involved emmer and einkorn wheat with legumes and some barley. Fields were probably small with perhaps 10–30 ha for a community with a population of 20–60. Livestock rearing focused on cattle with some sheep and goats. New strains of cereals were developed to cope with moister conditions. They had a preference for particular habitats with well-drained, easilycultivated soils developed on deposits of windblown loess which had accumulated at the end of the ice age.