The earliest dated occurrence of iron is probably that from about 1200 to 1100 bce at Pirak in the Kachchhi region. A natural dam near Sehwan impounded the waters of the Indus River and caused heavy flooding (to a degree beyond normal behavior of a river), leading to disruption of Mohenjo-daro and other sites. It is also opposed by the view that an impounded Indus River was not sufficient to end the civilization. :(. Great article! In the aftermath of the Indus civilization's collapse, regional cultures emerged, all of which show the lingering influence—to varying degrees—of the Indus civilization. Gregory L. Possehl in The Indus Civilization - A Contemporary Perspective summarizes various theories forwarded by previous authors on why and how the Indus Civilization ended, leading to the period from 1900 BC to the Iron Age (around 1000 BC), when there was essentially no habitation in Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and other urban centers, there was a disruption in the economy, luxury items like long barrel-cylinder beads, etched beads and inscribed stamp seals disappeared, the art of writing was no longer practiced, long-distance trade was reduced, and the distribution of human population shifted (reduction of population in the Sindh areas and an increase in population in the areas from Punjab to Rajasthan). Gregory L. Possehl in The Indus Civilization - A Contemporary Perspective summarizes various theories forwarded by previous authors on why and how the Indus Civilization ended, leading to the period from 1900 BC to the Iron Age (around 1000 BC), when there was essentially no habitation in Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and other urban centers, there was a disruption in the economy, luxury items … The geography of India is one of great extremes, encompassing desert, mountains, forest, and jungle". Many theories have been circulated, such as the one which proclaims that an Indo-European tribe from Central Asia called the Aryans invaded the Harappan land and so caused this decline. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. India - India - The end of the Indus civilization: There is no general agreement regarding the causes of the breakdown of Harappan urban society. India from the Paleolithic Period to the decline of the Indus civilization, The earliest agriculturalists and pastoralists, Neolithic agriculture in the Indus valley and Baluchistan, Extent and chronology of Early Harappan culture, Language and scripts, weights and measures, The Post-Urban Period in northwestern India, The late 2nd millennium and the reemergence of urbanism, Peninsular India in the aftermath of the Indus civilization (c. 2000–1000, The development of Indian civilization from c. 1500, Traditional approaches to Indian historiography, The beginning of the historical period, c. 500–150, North India under Muslim hegemony, c. 1200–1526, Taxation and distribution of revenue resources, The Muslim states of southern India, c. 1350–1680, Extension and consolidation of the empire, Central, provincial, and local government, Organization of the nobility and the army, The emperor, the nobility, and the provinces, The Afghan-Maratha struggle for northern India, Political and economic decentralization during the Mughal decline, The Afghan factor in northern India, 1747–72, Cultural aspects of the late precolonial order, India and European expansion, c. 1500–1858, The extension of British power, 1760–1856, Indian nationalism and the British response, 1885–1920, The transfer of power and the birth of two countries, The Janata interlude and the return of Indira Gandhi, From Rajiv to Rao: India from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, V.P. All rights reserved. The decline probably occurred in several stages, perhaps over a century or more; the period between about 2000 and 1750 bce is a reasonable estimation. Natural cause of dramatic shift in the course of the Indus River – led to abandonment of Mohenjo-daro, and by domino effect the rest of the Indus Civilization was eclipsed. Its people then followed the monsoons and migrated towards the Ganges Basin (in present day India) in the east, where they set up smaller villages and farms. Toward the end of the 2nd millennium there appears to have been a further deterioration in the environment throughout the Indus system. This view is countered by opinions that the foreign trade did not really get interrupted, alternatively that the trade decline wasn’t the cause but effect of the Indus Civilization decline; an additional argument against the Allchins’ approach is that Mohenjo-daro;s agriculture was geared towards and thrived in a desert climate, so that a reduction in rainfall was not an impactful natural cause. Curious, isn’t it that a civilization which was thriving and doing so well could all of a sudden start to fall apart at the seams like that. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law. This mixed technology continued until the time when iron became common. Broadly speaking, the principal theories thus far proposed fall under four headings. Historians thought so too. However, most of these have been proven null and void -- scholars and scientists have showed that the skeletons of the Aryans belonged to a period after the fall of the civilization.
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