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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

What factors account for the decline of the River Valley Civilizations?

What factors can explain the growth of the River Valley Civilization in the ancient/medieval periods and account for their decline?

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  • 7 years ago
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    A definite reason for the sudden decline of the Indus Valley Civilization is still elusive, since there are no reliable records for the period, historians can only speculate. All excavations however do prove that the decline occurred suddenly between 1800 BC and 1700 BC. It has been suggested that perhaps the people of the Indus Valley Civilization were destroyed by invading barbaric tribes. It has also been suggested that the Aryans who were the next settlers, may have attacked and destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization, since their epics talk about their conquest of great cities. Such theories of a violent end, have been partly proved by the discovery in Mohenjo-Daro of human remains that indicated a violent cause of death. However such evidence was not consistent as most other cities showed an absence of a massacre. The possibility of the Aryans being involved in such a conflict seems unlikely, especially since recent excavations have shown that the Aryans arrived almost 500 years after the decline of the major Indus Valley Civilization's cities. The theory of climatic factors causing the decline has been gaining credibility, in the light of the recent research. Around 2000 BC major ecological changes began taking place in the Indus Valley, tectonic changes caused the creation of a dam in the lower Indus, thus flooding the plains and cities. Evidence to prove this hypothesis has been found. Many Indus Valley Civilization cities show signs of having been abandoned and then rebuilt, indicating they were continuously flooded. Eventually this began to take its toll, and what archaeologists call the squatters period set in. Cities were no longer built with the care they were earlier, broken bricks were used for construction and no attention was paid to a proper sewage system. Also the average rainfall in the area began decreasing as the area slowly began turning into the desert it is today. For a civilization that was highly dependant on agriculture, such major climatic changes had a devastating effect. The influence the big cities had on the rest of the region was based largely on the amount of grain they stocked in their granaries. Once agricultural production declined the influence of the cities declined and eventually the region went into a state of anarchy.

    A definite reason for the sudden decline of the Indus Valley Civilization is still elusive, since there are no reliable records for the period, historians can only speculate. All excavations however do prove that the decline occurred suddenly between 1800 BC and 1700 BC. It has been suggested that perhaps the people of the Indus Valley Civilization were destroyed by invading barbaric tribes. It has also been suggested that the Aryans who were the next settlers, may have attacked and destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization, since their epics talk about their conquest of great cities. Such theories of a violent end, have been partly proved by the discovery in Mohenjo-Daro of human remains that indicated a violent cause of death. However such evidence was not consistent as most other cities showed an absence of a massacre. The possibility of the Aryans being involved in such a conflict seems unlikely, especially since recent excavations have shown that the Aryans arrived almost 500 years after the decline of the major Indus Valley Civilization's cities. The theory of climatic factors causing the decline has been gaining credibility, in the light of the recent research. Around 2000 BC major ecological changes began taking place in the Indus Valley, tectonic changes caused the creation of a dam in the lower Indus, thus flooding the plains and cities. Evidence to prove this hypothesis has been found. Many Indus Valley Civilization cities show signs of having been abandoned and then rebuilt, indicating they were continuously flooded. Eventually this began to take its toll, and what archaeologists call the squatters period set in. Cities were no longer built with the care they were earlier, broken bricks were used for construction and no attention was paid to a proper sewage system. Also the average rainfall in the area began decreasing as the area slowly began turning into the desert it is today. For a civilization that was highly dependant on agriculture, such major climatic changes had a devastating effect. The influence the big cities had on the rest of the region was based largely on the amount of grain they stocked in their granaries. Once agricultural production declined the influence of the cities declined and eventually the region went into a state of anarchy.

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  • Nancy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The fertile soils around the river and provide the food supply.

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