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New studies publised in Nature reveal, Indus era is 8,000 year-old and older than Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization

According to this study Egyptian civilization began in 7000bc-3000bc and Mesopotamian began in 6500bc-3100bc which much later than Indus Valley Civilization

Harappan Civilization Site. Image Source - Wikipedia
  • Indus Valley civilization is 5000 years older than previously thought
  • The study is done using a new carbon dating technique
  • Scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) conducted the study, published in journal ‘Nature’ last week (May 2016)

A study -published last week (May of 2016) in the reputed journal ‘Nature’ by a group of researchers in India shows that the Indus valley civilization is 5000 years older than what we previously perceived. This study was done using a new carbon dating technique on animal fragment and pottery fragments.

According to this study, Indus valley civilization is even older than Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations.

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The study was conducted by scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The study shows that the mature Indus valley civilization began in 8000bc to 2000bc and not 2600bc to 1600 and it pushes pre harappan civilization to 9000bc to 8000c. Egyptian civilization began in 7000bc to 3000bc and Mesopotamian began in 6500bc to 3100bc which much later then Indus Valley Civilization according to this study.

Indus Valley Civilization map. Image Source - Wikipedia
Indus Valley Civilization map. Image Source – Wikipedia

“Our study pushes back the antiquity to as old as 8th millennium before present and will have major implications to the evolution of human settlements in Indian sub-continent,” Anindya Sarkar, a professor at the department of geology and geophysics at IIT-Kharagpur, said in a statement.

Sankar .who also worked with the researcher from ASI in the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and Pune’s Deccan College. They even used a technique known Optically Stimulated Luminescence in this study. In this technique the amount of light emitted from mineral grains to date past events can be measured.

This study has also given a new theory as to how Harappan civilization must have declined. Earlier it was believed that the civilization got declined because of climate change.

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But according to the new theory climate change did play a role but it is not the main reason behind the declination harappan civilization. It had more to do with the change in cropping patterns and storage of grains.

“Our study suggests that the climate was probably not the sole cause of Harappan decline. Despite the monsoon decline, the civilisation did not disappear. The people changed their farming practices.

“They switched from water-intensive crops when monsoon was stronger to drought-resistant crops when it was weaker. Our work shows they did not give up despite the change in climate conditions,” said Anindya Sarkar of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur and the lead investigator.

“Our study suggests that other causes, like change in subsistence strategy, by shifting crop patterns rather than climate change was responsible for the Harappan collapse,” Sarkar said.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha


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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

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According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS