Harappan culture is 8,000 years old, how it survived

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Haryana, June 1: The Harappa civilization, along the Indus-Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys, is older than we know. Indian scientists and archaeologists said that it was not climate change alone, but other factors that led to the fall of the civilization.

Scientists also say that the people there did not give up when there was a climate change. A team of researchers from IIT Kharagpur, Institute of Archaeology, Deccan College Pune, Physical Research Laboratory and Archaeological survey of India (ASI) also reveal that the civilization is much older than mankind believes it to be.

Haryana

An official from the team said, "Our study suggests that the climate was probably not the sole cause of Harappan decline. Despite the monsoon decline, the civilisation did not disappear. The people changed their farming practices.They switched from water-intensive crops when monsoon was stronger to drought-resistant crops when it was weaker. Our work shows they did not give up despite the change in climate conditions," said Anindya Sarkar of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur and the lead investigator.Our study suggests that other causes, like change in subsistence strategy, by shifting crop patterns rather than climate change was responsible for the Harappan collapse."

The official further added, "These people shifted their crop patterns from the large-grained cereals like wheat and barley during the early part of intensified monsoon to drought-resistant species of small millets and rice in the later part of declining monsoon, and thereby changed their subsistence strategy."

The findings were revealed after a major excavation site of Bhirrana in Haryana that shows preservation from the pre-Harappan Hakra age down the matured age. As far as the age of the civilization is concerned, researches dated the pottery of the early Harappan time through a technique called optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). This is when they found the pottery to be beyond 6000 years old.

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