We might of read many things about Indus Valley Civilization in our childhood and in the history books. But, it is now right time to rewrite our history books about the oldest civilizations in the world. So far what we have known are all British excavations from the archaeological sites. Though it was a known factor that Indian civilizations were oldest in the world, there was no facts to prove the point. In a recent study they have facts which proves that Indus era dates back to 8000 years old and not 5500 years as stated earlier. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have got strong evidences to prove that Indus Valley Civilization should be at least 8000 years old. Based on the excavations done earlier on this, it was determined as 5500 years old which should now be rewritten. Some of the oldest civilizations in the world are as follows

Egyptian (7000BC to 3000BC)
Mesopotamian (6500BC to 3100BC)

Recently in archaeology of Bhirrana they have found a pre-Harappan Civilization that dates back to 1000 more years than the above mentioned civilizations. This findings were published on May 25, 2016 in ‘Nature’ journal. There also evidences identified or gathered that climate change was the reason why the civilization ended. Though this finding is still debatable as there are many opposing points to this theory. But it is clearly evident now that Indus Valley Civilization is the oldest civilization in the world.

Archaeological findings from Bhirrana

Near the Ghaggar-Hakra river basin there is site identified to be one of the oldest Harappan site that explains about the fact that the civilization is one of the oldest. In the Fatehabad district of Haryana there is a small village called Bhirrana which is where this site is located. The archaeological scientists use the technique of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) as the carbon dating method to come up with a date on how old it could be. They used this method to date pottery shards and found that it was nearly 6000 years ago and the other identification was that the cultural levels of pre-Harappan civilization dated back to 8,000 years. Some notes from the findings are as follows:

“At Bhirrana the earliest level has provided mean 14C age of 8350 ± 140 years BP (8597 to 8171 years BP). The successive cultural levels at Bhirrana, as deciphered from archeological artefacts along with these 14C ages, are Pre-Harappan Hakra phase (~9500–8000 years BP), Early Harappan (~8000–6500 years BP), Early mature Harappan (~6500–5000 years BP) and mature Harappan (~5000–2800 years BP.)”

Settlement pattern - pre-Harappan Hakka

During the digging up, in the site of Bhirrana they also identified many other things apart from pottery shards. These other items include horn cores of animals like goat, deer, cow, antelope etc. Apart from these there were also other animal remains in the site like teeth and bones. These animal remains were also taken for Carbon 14 analysis to find out more clue on the other factors like climatic conditions. So far we have lived with the British excavations and that is the reason why were unable to do further researches on this topic. It is still believed that there can be even more evidences to prove the fact that pre-Indus Valley Civilization can even be older than this. Some of the early excavations have some set of cultural levels that were previously dated and categorized as Early Harappan (8000-7000BC). But based on the recent evidences it is clear that these cultural level preservations actually belong to pre-Indus Valley Civilization (9000-8000BC) which is even more older.

They have also come up with some evidences on the monsoon and climate conditions and have produced a theory based on that.

Confirmation on antiquity of the Bhiranna settlement

In order to verify the radio carbon dated values that they identified from Bhiranna Settlement, the scientists who worked on these settlements isotopically made a complete analysis on the bones and teeth phosphates obtained from the site. OSL method was used to date the pottery fragments that were identified from the site. Their findings are as follows:

“The pottery at 42 cm, identified as mature Harappan level yielded mean 4800 ± 300 (1σ) years BP age (range 5120 to 4520 year BP) while the pottery from deeper level corresponding to early mature Harappan at 143 cm yielded 5900 ± 250 (1σ) years BP age (range 6185 to 5695 year BP).”

Detailed information is available in the full research report. In the pre-Harappan Hakka level about 3 meters and even more deeper, the age is found to be 8384 years BP. The isotopic study also helps the scientists understand the climate conditions and the reason for diminishing of the civilization. Though these facts are proved to be true, it is quite unclear on whether climatic conditions would have been a reason for collapsing of the Indus Valley Civilization.


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