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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
New theory on Aral Sea
An ancient burial site has been discovered on the dried-out bed of the Aral Sea in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan.

The remains of the mausoleum date back some 600 years.

Some experts believe the discovery could be evidence that the Aral Sea has dried-up before and that its shrinkage might be a cyclical phenomenon.

The Aral was once the world's fourth largest inland sea, but within a generation it has shrunk by more than half. Since Soviet times much of the water that feeds it has been diverted to irrigate cotton.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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