Indus ... Part 2

14 Mar 2013

At ... the lost river Saraswati is the the main theme and begins by saying climate change and geotectonic movements (earth movements) led to migration and abandonment of settlements. Some of the drainage systems have been lost as a result of being buried beneath silt (changing river courses) and this appears to be the position with the Saraswati. There is also evidence of flooding at the end of the Ice Age, it seems, which in the artticle is attributable to melting Himalayan glaciers - but could equally be due to other reasons.

Over at ... we are informed the blog determined the dates of ancient events based on astronomical dating of planetary configurations narrated in the Vedas and Epics, by making use of planetarian software. As such, it assumed planets are always indicated rather than other cosmic bodies, such as comets. However, planetary conjunctions are a means of dating some events and used by various researchers.

It begins by informing the reader the disappearance of the Saraswati is not particularly unusual as rivers can shift, one river can capture the flow of another, and rivers can dry up, all as a response to tectonic events such as earthquakes and climate change. For example the Oxus river has almost disappeared in central Asia and the Jordan river disappears in the desert but formerly ran much further south. The Saraswati river ran from the Himalayas to the Rann of Kutch after flowing through Haryana and the Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat, and Sind in Pakistan. Tectonic events separated Saraswati from its link to mountain glaciers, that once fed the river, and it became a rain fed river, relying on the seasonal monsoon. Eventually it dried up. In the Mahabharata the Saraswati is a seasonal river, disappearing in the summer and reappearing with the monsoon. However, in the Vedas, the Saraswati conforms to what the river was like before 3000BC.

Archaeology and satellite imagery has plotted some 1200 ancient settlements on the Saraswati river basin - prior to 3000BC (the Geological Society of India, 42 (1999) page 25-33). Other Indian archaeologists say there was an advanced (farming) civilisation in the Saraswati Basin between 7000 and 2500BC. When the river dried up the Vedic people moved westwards beyond the Indus or east beyond the Ganges. The so called Indus civilisation was in effect a continuation of this culture or civilisation - but in a different place. In effect, the Indic aryans were already in the  region and it is unnecessary to see them as invaders, an idea that would conform with Colin Renfrew's theory on the origin of the aryans. It may be a little more complicated than that - and probably is as farming communities migrated to the Russian steppes and central Asia, merging with other human groups. The one constant in all this is that the once verdant climate that is associated with early farmers in the Fertile Crescent and Iran/ NW India isn't so agreeable anymore - and has not been for a very long time. Can all this be attributable to a shift in the monsoon rain belt?

When the desertification of the Sahara and Arabia is added to the mix, and the once verdant climate in the Jordan desert and western Iraq, one sees an entire region struck by climate change, an increase in aridity that can not lightly be brushed aside. Were other processes at work? What role did cosmic intrusions have on the climate? Major tectonic upheavals are thought to have occurred, by some, at around 3200 and 2300/2200BC. At the same time ground water appears to be abundant under some of these deserts and dry landscapes and could perhaps be tapped in order to get surface rivers and streams flowing once again.

At ... is a paper from Rajasthan University, Jaipur, on the ecological possibilities of returning the Thar desert, or parts of it, to a grassland environment. Once again, overgrazing is being blamed for desertification, as well as the collection of wood for fuel by locals, and grass for fodder etc. All the same blame game as elsewhere - and the consensus as generally accepted by academia.