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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

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Harappan Civilization Site. Image Source - Wikipedia
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  • 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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NASA’s Probe Discovers Signs Of Water on Asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid's gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain.

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This Nov. 16, 2018, image provide by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu. NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has discovered ingredients for water on a relatively nearby skyscraper-sized asteroid, a rocky acorn-shaped object that may hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, scientists said on Monday.

OSIRIS-REx, which flew last week within a scant 12 miles (19 km) of the asteroid Bennu some 1.4 million miles (2.25 million km) from Earth, found traces of hydrogen and oxygen molecules — part of the recipe for water and thus the potential for life — embedded in the asteroid’s rocky surface.

The probe, on a mission to return samples from the asteroid to Earth for study, was launched in 2016. Bennu, roughly a third of a mile wide (500 meters), orbits the sun at roughly the same distance as Earth. There is concern among scientists about the possibility of Bennu impacting Earth late in the 22nd century.

 

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx. Flickr

 

“We have found the water-rich minerals from the early solar system, which is exactly the kind of sample we were going out there to find and ultimately bring back to Earth,” University of Arizona planetary scientist Dante Lauretta, the OSIRIS-REx mission’s principal investigator, said in a telephone interview.

Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists believe asteroids and comets crashing into early Earth may have delivered organic compounds and water that seeded the planet for life, and atomic-level analysis of samples from Bennu could provide key evidence to support that hypothesis.

“When samples of this material are returned by the mission to Earth in 2023, scientists will receive a treasure trove of new information about the history and evolution of our solar system,” Amy Simon, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in a statement.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid
This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. The rocky remnant from the dawn of the solar system may hold clues to the origins of life. VOA

“We’re really trying to understand the role that these carbon-rich asteroids played in delivering water to the early Earth and making it habitable,” Lauretta added.

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid’s gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain. From there, the spacecraft will begin to gradually tighten its orbit around the asteroid, spiraling to within just 6 feet (2 meters) of its surface so its robot arm can snatch a sample of Bennu by July 2020.

Also Read: Wintertime Ice Growth in Arctic Sea Slows Long-Term Decline: NASA

The spacecraft will later fly back to Earth, jettisoning a capsule bearing the asteroid specimen for a parachute descent in the Utah desert in September 2023. (VOA)