New evidence and research studies suggest Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) to be 8000 Years old and the most ancient one predating Egypt and Mesopotamia. The study was conducted by a group of researchers from ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), IIT Kharagpur and Deccan College, Pune. The new evidence stems from survey and research of various animal bones and pottery fragments from the Bhirrana, a small village in Haryana, India.
Reported as the oldest Indus Valley site, the researchers employed carbon dating and also used OSL (Optically Simulated luminescence) in probing the effects of climate change to the civilization’s decline. While more inspections are needed for intricate details, the current study suggests IVC is much older than previously thought.
As told to International Business Times by Anindhya Sarkar, professor at the department of Geology and geophysics at IIT, Kharagpur: “Our Study pushes back the antiquity to as old as 8th millennium before present and will have major implications to the evolution of human settlements in Indian sub-continent.”
While many theories like Climate change, Aryan Invasion, Geological plate movements, floods and Infectious diseases have been previously suggested for the civilization’s decline, the current team has come up with an alternate new theory. The researchers suggest, while the ancients depended upon heavy monsoons between 9000 and 7000 years for agriculture, they adapted to the changing weather patterns aftermath. Collected data indicates people modified their farming pattern by shifting to drought-restraint crops such as millet and rice rather than wheat and barley that required consistent water supply all over the year.
The change in agriculture pattern lead to de-urbanization as these harvested crops were of lesser yield and never needed large areas of storage which ultimately lead to small-scale personal storage of the yields leading to smaller groups and small scale building structures which might have steered towards abandonment of cities to smaller settlements rather than an abrupt decline of civilization.