Climate change would have caused the decline of the Indus Valley civilization more than 3,000 years ago

Climate change would have caused the decline of the Indus Valley civilization more than 3,000 years ago


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During the research in which a new mathematical model was applied, paleoclimatic data from the last 5,700 years were analyzed to relate the variations in monsoon rains with the collapse of civilization.

The causes of the collapse of the Indus Valley culture, which flourished in the Bronze Age (more than 3,000 years ago) in Pakistan, southern Afghanistan and northwestern India, have remained unknown to scientists who have studied it. However, a new mathematical model provides evidence that points to climate change as the main factor.

The new mathematical model, developed by Nishant Malik, a researcher at the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA), shows that the effects of climate change, reflected in the changing patterns of the monsoon seasons and increased drought, could be a determining factor in the decline of that civilization.

Analysis of monsoon rainfall patterns

Thanks to the analysis of a particular oxygen isotope present in the stalagmites of a cave in northern India, scientists have been able to determine the patterns of monsoon rainfall in the Indus Valley region for the last 5,700 years.

Throughout the investigation, Malik applied the mathematical model of his authorship, in which it combines dynamic theory, used in climate analysis, with algorithm-based machine learning elements and information theory to artificially fill in some of the gaps in the paleoclimatic record.

After analyze monsoon rainfall patterns in the region during the known periods corresponding to the rise and collapse of the Indus Valley civilization, Malik managed to identify a major change in monsoon patterns as civilization began to mature, and then a reverse change that coincides with its decline..

Malik said he hopes his model will allow scientists to develop more automated methods for finding transitions in paleoclimate data, leading to additional important historical discoveries.

The Indus Valley Civilization - Harappa

The Indus Valley civilization, also known as the Harappan civilization, is along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia one of the first three civilizations of the northwestern part of South Asia.

During its heyday, between 2600 and 1900 BC, it occupied a territory of more than a million square kilometers in which they built hundreds of settlements and its two most important cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, both in present-day Pakistan.

The full text of the study wasrecently published in Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.


Video: Natural Climate Change Wiped the Harappan Civilization off the Map