The Indus Valley civilisation was wiped out 4,350 years ago by a 900-year-long drought, IIT Kharagpur scientists found. It was found that the rains played truant in the northwest Himalayas for 900 long years, drying up the source of water that fed the rivers along which the civilisation thrived
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A 900-year-long drought may have wiped out the Indus Valley Civilisation 4,350 years ago, scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur have found, rejecting the theory that a drought which lasted little over 200 years may have triggered the civilisation’s decline, Times of India has reported.
Researchers from the geology and geophysics department have been studying the monsoon’s variability for the past 5,000 years and have found that the rains played truant in the northwest Himalayas for 900 long years, drying up the source of water that fed the rivers along which the civilisation thrived. This eventually drove the otherwise hardy inhabitants towards the east and south, where rain conditions were better.
The monsoon variability study was conducted in the Tso Moriri Lake in Ladakh. This water body was fed by the same source as the rivers of the Indus Valley.
“The study revealed that from 2,350 BC (4,350 years ago) till 1,450 BC, the monsoon had a major weakening effect over the zone where the civilisation flourished. A drought-like situation developed, forcing residents to abandon their settlements in search of greener pastures,” said Anil Kumar Gupta, the lead researcher and a senior faculty of geology at the institute.
He added that the people gradually migrated from the Indus Valley to the Ganga-Yamuna valley in eastern and central Uttar Pradesh; Bihar and Bengal in the east; MP, south of Vindhyachal and south Gujarat in the south.
The study has found a place in this month’s edition of the prestigious Quaternary International Journal published by Elsevier.
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