Indus Valley civilisation also known as Harappan civilisation underwent a period of climate change about 4,000 years ago. One of the oldest civilisations to date, Indus civilisation’s ancient population in India used a variety of subsistence practices to cope with diverse environments.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK and Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh worked in north-west India between 2007 and 2014.
Based on the dynamics of adaptation and resilience in the face of a diverse and varied environmental context, scientists did the case study of the Indus Civilisation (3000-1300 BC).
Dayaram Sahni first discovered Harappa in 1921. It was named by John Marshall after the discovered site.
They studied how Indus populations in north-west India interacted with their environment, and how that environment changed during periods of climate change.
“For most ancient complex societies, water was a critical factor, and the availability of water and the way that it was managed and used provide critical insight into human adaptation and the resilience of subsistence practices,” said lead author Cameron Petrie of Cambridge.
The research suggests that this region was subject to climate change during the period when the Indus Civilisation was at its height (2500-1900 BC),
The study provides a good opportunity to study how an ancient society coped with diverse and varied ecologies and change in environmental parameters.
Indus Civilisation was situated close to a deep lake Kotla Dahar, which would have been primarily monsoonal.
“We argue that rather than being forced to intensify or diversify subsistence practices in response to climatic change, we have evidence for the use of millet, rice, and tropical pulses in the pre-urban and urban phases of the Indus Civilisation,”
“This evidence suggests that local Indus populations were already well adapted to living in varied and variable environmental conditions before the development of urban centres,” he said. The study was published in the journal Current Anthropology.
With PTI Inputs