April 25, 2018, 9:50 pm IST
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Drought caused the end of Indus Valley 

Drought caused the end of Indus Valley 

S. Sivadas, Apr 16, 2018

Experts from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, claim that the Indus Valley civilisation, which saw its doom nearly 4,350 years ago, was a result of a 900-year-long monster drought. The widely-accepted theory that a 200-year drought ended the civilisation may be extended by at least seven centuries.

That drought made people abandon their settlements in search of greener pastures and made them go towards the east and south, where here were better rains. These people gradually migrated towards the Ganga-Yamuna valley, towards eastern and central Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, south of Vindhyachal and south Gujarat.

Studying the monsoon variability for 5,000 years, the IIT experts from the geology and geophysics department are sure that for 900 long years, the rains played truant in the region. This eventually led to the drying up dried up the source of water which fed the rivers. Archaeologists and historians also found that the Indus Valley civilisation was not only limited to the Indus banks but had footprints along the Ravi, Chenab, Beas and Sutlej rivers as well.

The IIT group also studied 5,000-year monsoon variability in the Tso Moriri Lake in Leh-Ladakh that was also fed by the same glacial source. The team has identified the periods that had continuous spells of good monsoon as well as the phases of weak and near-no-monsoon. 

The scientists worked over a five-metre deep sediments geochemical parameters. These layers revealed the years of good and bad rains. They studied every five-millimetre depth of the sediment layer that indicated a span of eight to 10 years. A total of 520 samples were studied.

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