900 Year Long Drought Led To Mass Migration From Indus Civilisation: IIT Kharagpur

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Kolkata: According to a study by IIT Kharagpur, the famed Indus Valley civilisation remained under severe drought for about 900 years around 4,350 years ago, which led to the people to abandon their settlements and migrate to south and and eastward regions of India, .

A team led by Professor Anil K Gupta of Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur has observed that the drought-like phase for the period of 900 years led to reduction in water supply because of the “very weak” Indian summer monsoon, which was under the influence of strong El Nino activity, the climate cycle in the Pacific ocean.

The civilisation was the most widespread among the ancient civilisations, covering an area about 1.5 million sq km – now comprising modern India, Pakistan, Baluchistan and Afghanistan.

It had a well-developed infrastructure, architecture, metallurgy, besides having trade relations and cultural ties with other concurrent civilizations across the world. A paper on the study has been accepted by Elsevier’s Quaternary International Journal, a highly respected scientific journal.

Around 4,200 years ago, the population of the Indus Valley Civilisation abandoned its major villages and urban settlements near Indus river, including Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and started migrating to the Ganga-Yamuna plains.
Diverse theories have been developed and debated over decades for the possible cause of displacement, such as droughts, destruction by major floods and foreign invasions, the statement said.

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