We have been studying it all wrong – not only the date but also the cause of the decline of Indus Valley Civilization.
The Indus Valley Civilization, as a new study conducted jointly by students from IIT-Kharagpur and ASI reveals, is not 5300 years old but over 8000 years old!
A map of the Indus Valley Civilization sites. BharatKalyan
But that is not all. The researchers also discovered evidences of a civilization dating before the Indus Valley Civilization, till now believed to have existed from 3300 BC to 1300 BC.
Anindya Sarkar, head of the department of geology and geophysics at IIT-Kgp, said that a technique called the ‘optically stimulated luminescence’ was used on the shards confirming that it was some 6000 years old (around 4000 BC).
“The technique placed the cultural levels of pre-Harappan Hakra phase as far back as 8,000 years,” said Sarkar.
In fact, the ASI had in 2012 declared had pushed back the starting date of the Harappan civilization on the basis of radio-metric dates from Bhirrana which placed the cultural remains of the pre-early Harappan to 7380 BC to 6201 BC.
Seals and other artefacts found in Bhirrana. BharatKalyan
Indus Valley Civilization, also known as Harappan Civilization because Harappa was the first site that was discovered, extended from the River Indus in Pakistan to the Ghaggar-Hakra River in Haryana, which some believe was once the Vedic River Saraswati.
The excavation site of Bhirrana in Haryana. ASI
Till now it was believed that the civilization almost collapsed overnight. The Europeans and left historians propounded the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ in support of their claim that Harappans were killed off by marauders.
But the researchers found something else.
The lost city of Mohen Jo-Daro, now in Pakistan. Colombia
And they also found that even as the monsoons declined, the people of the area did not disappear but changed the crop pattern to suit the climate change.
Very recently, the Aryan Invasion Theory was debunked with a scientific study of the walls of Dholavira in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Dholavira is another Indus Valley Civilization site. The research reveals that the walls were constructed to defend the city from tsunami and not invaders.
The study has been published in the ‘Nature’ journal on May 25.