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Friday, 9 March 2018

Intensified summer monsoon and the urbanization of Indus Civilization in northwest India

Yama Dixit, David A. Hodell, Alena Giesche, Sampat K. Tandon, Fernando Gázquez, Hari S. Saini, Luke C. Skinner, Syed A. I. Mujtaba, Vikas Pawar, Ravindra N. Singh & Cameron A. Petrie
Today the desert margins of northwest India are dry and unable to support large populations, but were densely occupied by the populations of the Indus Civilization during the middle to late Holocene. The hydroclimatic conditions under which Indus urbanization took place, which was marked by a period of expanded settlement into the Thar Desert margins, remains poorly understood. We measured the isotopic values (δ18O and δD) of gypsum hydration water in paleolake Karsandi sediments in northern Rajasthan to infer past changes in lake hydrology, which is sensitive to changing amounts of precipitation and evaporation. Our record reveals that relatively wet conditions prevailed at the northern edge of Rajasthan from ~5.1 ± 0.2 ka BP, during the beginning of the agricultural-based Early Harappan phase of the Indus Civilization. Monsoon rainfall intensified further between 5.0 and 4.4 ka BP, during the period when Indus urban centres developed in the western Thar Desert margin and on the plains of Haryana to its north. Drier conditions set in sometime after 4.4 ka BP, and by ~3.9 ka BP an eastward shift of populations had occurred. Our findings provide evidence that climate change was associated with both the expansion and contraction of Indus urbanism along the desert margin in northwest India.
 Location of (A) Urban Harappan sites at ∼4.6–4.5 ka BP and (B) Post- Urban Harappan after ~4.1–4.0 ka BP sites in NW India as denoted by the orange dots in each case. Note that the urban-Harappan sites are located on the margin of the Thar Desert and the post-urban Harappan sites are clustered to the right of paleolake Karsandi on the Indo-Gangetic plains. The location of Karsandi shown by the white triangle and other reported paleolakes in black triangles.

It is increasingly evident that the landscapes across which Indus populations lived were diverse in terms of climate, geology and ecology, and the patterns of cultural behavior and response to climate variability are unlikely to have been uniform throughout the Indus region16,24. The paleoclimate record from paleolake Karsandi clearly suggests there were areas receiving favorable rainfall in the period leading up to the development of Indus urban centres along the northern fringe of the Thar Desert in NW India. This evidence underscores the importance of reconstructing local conditions for understanding the degree of adaptation and resilience of ancient civilization exhibited to climate change.
Yog .

See also :
Adaptation to Variable Environments, Resilience to Climate Change: Investigating Land, Water and Settlement in Indus Northwest India
Oxygen isotope in archaeological bioapatites from India: Implications to climate change and decline of Bronze Age Harappan civilization
Holocene landscape dynamics in the Ghaggar-Hakra palaeochannel region at the northern edge of the Thar Desert, northwest India
The Chronology of Puranic Kings and Rigvedic Rishis in Comparison with the Phases of the Sindhu–Sarasvati Civilization
Painted Grey Ware Culture: Changing Perspectives

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Painted Grey Ware Culture: Changing Perspectives

With important updates . 

Painted Grey Ware Culture: Changing Perspectives
Vinay Kumar Gupta1 and B.R.Mani 2
Abstract:Painted Grey Ware culture is  one of the significant archeological cultures of northern India.It  has been a subject of attraction and debate among scholars. The most crucial aspect about this culture has been its chronology and its proposed relation to the  Mahabharata.The issue of its authorship is equally important.This article discusses all these issues afresh in the light of the new radiocarbon dates obtained from various sites and the first author’s detailed archaeological survey in the Mathura region, a core area  of Painted Grey Ware culture. This article voices for a change  in  the  accepted  chronology of this culture   and   takes   back   its antiquity by  many centuries. A proposition is also made about the place of origin of this culture which differs from the earlier propositions.
Keywords: PGW,OCP, BSW,NBPW,Grey Ware,Mahabharata,Radiocarbon Date


See also :
Implications of a Recent Hoard of Copper Objects from Harinagar,District Bijnor,Uttar Pradesh

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Comparison chart of the elements from various ancient cultures correlating with Vedic elements

As we wait for the important aDNA papers of India . Lets take a look at this beautiful comparison chart thanks to a friend .

Sunday, 25 February 2018

The “handedness” of language: Directional symmetry breaking of sign usage in words

Md. Izhar Ashraf , Sitabhra Sinha  
Published: January 17, 2018

Language, which allows complex ideas to be communicated through symbolic sequences, is a characteristic feature of our species and manifested in a multitude of forms. Using large written corpora for many different languages and scripts, we show that the occurrence probability distributions of signs at the left and right ends of words have a distinct heterogeneous nature. Characterizing this asymmetry using quantitative inequality measures, viz. information entropy and the Gini index, we show that the beginning of a word is less restrictive in sign usage than the end. This property is not simply attributable to the use of common affixes as it is seen even when only word roots are considered. We use the existence of this asymmetry to infer the direction of writing in undeciphered inscriptions that agrees with the archaeological evidence. Unlike traditional investigations of phonotactic constraints which focus on language-specific patterns, our study reveals a property valid across languages and writing systems. As both language and writing are unique aspects of our species, this universal signature may reflect an innate feature of the human cognitive phenomenon.

From the paper :

 We have used a database where the relatively few sequences which are believed to have been written from left to right have been reversed so as to be oriented in the same direction as the majority, following standard procedure used for constructing concordances for Indus Valley Civilization inscriptions. We observe from Fig 3 that the ΔG for sign usage distribution is positive, indicating that the choice of signs is less restricted in the right terminal position than the left. This would suggest, based on the connection previously seen between the sign of ΔG and the direction of writing, that the IVC inscriptions are written from right-to-left, which corroborates the consensus view as mentioned above.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Archaeological and anthropological studies on the Harappan cemetery of Rakhigarhi, India

Vasant S. Shinde  , Yong Jun Kim , Eun Jin Woo , Nilesh Jadhav , Pranjali Waghmare, Yogesh Yadav, Avradeep Munshi, Malavika Chatterjee, Amrithavalli Panyam, Jong Ha Hong, Chang Seok Oh, Dong Hoon Shin 
Published: February 21, 2018

An insufficient number of archaeological surveys has been carried out to date on Harappan Civilization cemeteries. One case in point is the necropolis at Rakhigarhi site (Haryana, India), one of the largest cities of the Harappan Civilization, where most burials within the cemetery remained uninvestigated. Over the course of the past three seasons (2013 to 2016), we therefore conducted excavations in an attempt to remedy this data shortfall. In brief, we found different kinds of graves co-existing within the Rakhigarhi cemetery in varying proportions. Primary interment was most common, followed by the use of secondary, symbolic, and unused (empty) graves. Within the first category, the atypical burials appear to have been elaborately prepared. Prone-positioned internments also attracted our attention. Since those individuals are not likely to have been social deviants, it is necessary to reconsider our pre-conceptions about such prone-position burials in archaeology, at least in the context of the Harappan Civilization. The data presented in this report, albeit insufficient to provide a complete understanding of Harappan Civilization cemeteries, nevertheless does present new and significant information on the mortuary practices and anthropological features at that time. Indeed, the range of different kinds of burials at the Rakhigarhi cemetery do appear indicative of the differences in mortuary rituals seen within Harappan societies, therefore providing a vivid glimpse of how these people respected their dead.
Yog .  

Friday, 15 December 2017

The Indian monsoon variability and civilization changes in the Indian subcontinent

Although while describing the periods and their relation with data , they strictly rely on the so called AIT/AMT time frame , the data apparently suggest that during early and mature phases monsoon was strong with warm and wet climate (the phase had climatic stability) and the  intensification happened around  ~4550 YBP, but slowly started to decline though remained considerably strong up to   ~3850 YBP). So the 4.2 ka BP event did not create a sudden impact in ancient India , they reckon start of drier and cooler conditions around ~4100 YBP, but from ~3850 YBP to ~3300YBP , the dry and cool conditions prevailed which coincides with de-urbanization,reduced river flows and eastward migration  . But  the period of ~3400–3050 yr BP according to them, was when conditions improved before getting bad around ~3100 YBP , they reckon after that there was intensification of rain again and after were some more dry periods around 600-500 BC with more dry and wet periods followed. They have tried to link each dry and wet phase, with some significant periods of India's history and pre-history. I must tell this approach can be quite  risky and confusing , though is interesting and innovative nevertheless. 

The Indian monsoon variability and civilization changes in the Indian subcontinent

Gayatri Kathayat,1 Hai Cheng,1,2* Ashish Sinha,3 Liang Yi,4 Xianglei Li,1 Haiwei Zhang,1
Hangying Li,1 Youfeng Ning,1 R. Lawrence Edwards2
The vast Indo-Gangetic Plain in South Asia has been home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations, whose fortunes ebbed and flowed with time—plausibly driven in part by shifts in the spatiotemporal patterns of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall. We use speleothem oxygen isotope records from North India to reconstruct the monsoon’s variability on socially relevant time scales, allowing us to examine the history of civilization changes in the context of varying hydroclimatic conditions over the past 5700 years. Our data suggest that significant shifts in monsoon rainfall have occurred in concert with changes in the Northern Hemisphere temperatures and the discharges of the Himalayan rivers. The close temporal relationship between these large-scale hydroclimatic changes and the intervals marking the significant sociopolitical developments of the Indus Valley and Vedic civilizations suggests a plausible role of climate change in shaping the important chapters of the history of human civilization in the Indian subcontinent.
Yog .

See also :
Holocene landscape dynamics in the Ghaggar-Hakra palaeochannel region at the northern edge of the Thar Desert, northwest India

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Indus Administrative Technologies. New data and novel interpretations on the Indus stamp seals and their impressions on clay

Another fantastic research from Dennys Frenez . The presentation is quite beautiful, waiting eagerly for the proper paper .

Indus Administrative Technologies. New data and novel interpretations on the Indus stamp seals and their impressions on clay
This presentation summarizes the results of different studies that I conducted over the past ten years on Indus Civilization stamp seals and their impressions on clay (46th Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 26–29 October 2017)

From the presentation :

 Clay sealing technology in the Indus Civilization
Same administrative sealing procedure reconstructed for the Middle East:
Clay sealings used to control and record the access to specific rooms and containers and to the goods they contained
Clay sealings used in the internal administration of the sites and not for securing the integrity of shipped packages
Clay sealings were used to control main types of containers used in the Middle East
Structures and closing devices unique of the Indus Civilization sites
About one/third of the clay sealings have been stamped with more than one seal
(sharing of ownership,storage space or administrative duties?)
Storage and administrative technologies and procedures were adapted to the socioeconomic organization of the different sites or part of the sites
Considering the lower occurrence of clay sealings at Indus sites respect to sites in the Middle East and the use of a different storage technology I think they were not equally used for the daily redistribution of food rations but to control goods and raw materials of pivotal socioeconomic and ideological importance in the Indus society

Yog .