Shifting monsoons seen as key factor in Harappan decline
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In what could be a warning sign for modern civilizations that sustain themselves with complex water diversion schemes, a new study of the Indus River Basin suggests that climate change led to the collapse Harappan Civilization almost 4000 years ago.
The Indus civilization was the largest —but least known — of the first great urban cultures that also included Egypt and Mesopotamia. At its height, the culture spread across about 600,000 square miles in what is now Pakistan, northwest India and eastern Afghanistan.
Like their contemporaries, the Harappans, named for one of their largest cities, lived next to rivers owing their livelihoods to the fertility of annually watered lands.
The new study suggests declining monsoons reduced the river flows and associated floodplain development that helped fuel the development of the Harappan culture by nurturing agricultural surpluses used to build wealth. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, climate and weather, Drought, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Harappan, Indus River, Indus Valley Civilization, Mesopotamia, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Leave a Comment »