Indian archaeologists have pre-dated Indus and Harappa Civilization by 2,500 years making it older than globally renowned ancient Egyptian (7000BC to 3000BC) and the Mesopotamian (6500BC to 3100BC) civilizations but leaving the mysterious cause for its sudden disappearance wide open and speculative as their script is still not deciphered.
Using a technique called optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) on potteries of Early Mature Harappan time, they found them to be nearly 8,000 years old, making the Indus Cvilization older by 2,500 years, than previously thought and taught to Indian students.
They excavated pottery from the site of Bhirrana in Haryana, part of settlements along the now dried up mythical Vedic river ‘Saraswati’, an extension of Ghaggar river in the Thar desert.
Latest theory is that the collapse of the Harappan civilisation in the Indus-Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys due to climate change but the truth is different and that the Indus Valley remains uncracked mystery for archaeologists still.
Researchers from IIT Kharagpur, Institute of Archaeology, Deccan College Pune, Physical Research Laboratory and Archaeological survey of India (ASI), in a paper published in Nature Scientific Report, said that it was not because of climate change for sure.
“Our study suggests that the climate was probably not the sole cause of Harappan decline. Despite the monsoon decline, they did not disappear. They changed their farming practices,” said Anindya Sarkar of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur citing the fact that they had opted for drought-resistant crops when it was a weaker monsoon.
The team insists that there is something else than climate that made the civilization extinct. If climate change was probably not responsible for Harappan civilisation collapse, what is that led to their extinction?
Interestingly, despite 100 years of excavations, archaeologists have failed to decipher the Indus Valley script. This remains the major “missing middle” in connecting with the civlization’s features unlike other civlizations.
Secondly, if it is older than Egyptian or the Mesopotamian civilizations, there is no trace of Indus in other civilizations making it either an isolated civilization or that its culture remained unique from others owing to possible harsh climate barriers.
The issue remains controversial unless we decipher the Indus script first and then study what our ancient folks were trying to tell us, the modern Indians.