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Adaptation to variable environments, resilience to climate change: Investigating land, water and settlement in Indus Northwest India

Citation

Petrie, CA and Singh, RN and Bates, J and Dixit, Y and French, CAI and Hodell, DA and Jones, PJ and Lancelotti, C and Lynam, F and Neogi, S and Pandey, AK and Parikh, D and Pawar, V and Redhouse, DI and Singh, DP, Adaptation to variable environments, resilience to climate change: Investigating land, water and settlement in Indus Northwest India, Current Anthropology, 58, (1) pp. 1-30. ISSN 0011-3204 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1086/690112

Abstract

This paper explores the nature and dynamics of adaptation and resilience in the face of a diverse and varied environmental and ecological context using the case study of South Asia’s Indus Civilization (ca. 3000–1300 BC). Most early complex societies developed in regions where the climatic parameters faced by ancient subsistence farmers were varied but rain falls primarily in one season. In contrast, the Indus Civilization developed in a specific environmental context that spanned a very distinct environmental threshold, where winter and summer rainfall systems overlap. There is now evidence to show that this region was directly subject to climate change during the period when the Indus Civilization was at its height (ca. 2500–1900 BC). The Indus Civilization, therefore, provides a unique opportunity to understand how an ancient society coped with diverse and varied ecologies and change in the fundamental environmental parameters. This paper integrates research carried out as part of the Land, Water and Settlement project in northwest India between 2007 and 2014. Although coming from only one of the regions occupied by Indus populations, these data necessitate the reconsideration of several prevailing views about the Indus Civilization as a whole and invigorate discussion about human-environment interactions and their relationship to processes of cultural transformation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, archaeology, water management, climate adaptation, Indus Civilisation
Research Division:History and Archaeology
Research Group:Archaeology
Research Field:Archaeological Science
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability
Author:Jones, PJ (Ms Penelope Jones)
ID Code:119839
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2017-08-07
Last Modified:2017-08-16
Downloads:0

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