When we talk about the oldest civilizations, we stumble upon the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Explore a little further we come across Mesopotamian and Chinese civilizations. Well now, it’s time to get our facts right. Recent study reveals that The Indus Valley Civilization, more famously known as Harappa Civilization is older than we thought it to be.
Scientists from IIT Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have uncovered evidence that Indus valley civilization is at least 8000 years old and not 5500 years old that we took it to be. It was present well before the Egyptian Civilization which existed between 7000 BC to 3000 BC and the Mesopotamian Civilization that bloomed between 6500 BC to 3100 BC. What more, they also discovered another civilization which predates even the Harappa and Mohenjo Daro civilization by a 1000 years.
“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,” Anindya Sarkar, a professor at the department of geology and geophysics at IIT-Kharagpur, said in a statement.
The team had actually set out to prove that the Indus Valley Civilization spread to areas apart from the known locations of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan and Lothal, Dholavira and Kalibangan in India to other Indian sites like Bhirrana and Rakhigarrhi in Haryana. Instead what they discovered was of much more importance. They claim to have found the oldest pottery and used a technique called “optically stimulated luminescence” to detect the age of shards of pottery they had unearthed. This will definitely bring a massive change in the study of history.
The excavation also yielded large quantities of animal remains like bones, teeth, horn cores of cow, goat, deer and antelope, which were “put through Carbon 14 analysis to decipher antiquity and the climatic conditions in which the civilization flourished” said Arati Deshpande Mukherjee of the Deccan College.
Other than this, the scientists claim to have found out the reason for the civilizations decline. Climate was not the sole reason for its decline. The change in the monsoon led to the people changing the pattern of crops they grew. They switched from water-intensive crops when monsoon was stronger to drought-resistant crops when it was weaker. “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,” Sarkar said.
The findings have been published in the journal Nature Scientific Report on May 25.
These ancient people have something to teach us, that is how to cope up with climatic changes which is the need of the hour. As of now, it looks like people have to get their facts correct and a change in history books. The world is going ahead as much as it is going back to re-write history.