Harappan civilisation much older than thought, predates Mesapotamia

The study believes that the civilisation came to its end nearly 3,000 years ago because of a drastic fall in monsoons.

Mumbai: In what may mark a significant shift in the study of the ancient world, a new research conducted by the Archaeological Society of India and the IIT-Kharagpur has revealed that the Indus Valley civilisation is much older than held before -- 8,000 BC to be more precise, in stark contrast to 5,500 BC as thought until now.

This puts the civilisation much ahead of other ancient civilisations such as the ancient Egyptians (7,000 BC to 3,000 BC) and the Mesapotamian civilisation (6,500 BC to 3,100 BC).

According to a media report, the research team also found evidences of a pre-Harappan civilisation that dates back to at least 1,000 years from the Indus valley civilisation.

The study published in the journal Nature also believes that the civilisation, which spread across the country from Indus to the banks of the vedic river Saraswati (Ghaggar-Hakra), came to its end nearly 3,000 years ago because of a drastic fall in monsoons.

The research also established three distinct phases in the civilisation ranging from an early phase characterised by pastoral and early village farming communities, followed by mature Harappan settlements which was highly sophisticated, organised and urbanised, which saw a developed arts and material culture.

In contrast, the late Harappan era was characterised by large scale de-urbanisation, abandonment, increased crime and even disappearance of the Harappan script.

The discovery came as the team attempted to establish that the civilisation proliferated to sites like Bhirrana and Rakhigarrhi in Haryana in addition to other places such as Mohenjo Daro, Lothal, Dholavira and Kalibangan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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