Climate change dried up Solapur’s riverine culture
Mumbai: US President Donald Trump may be skeptical about global warming, but excavations by archaeologists in Maharashtra reveal how a riverine culture saw a steady decline of fortunes due to the vagaries of climate.
Archaeologists digging in the Solapur district have discovered evidence that suggests the region, which now falls in a rain-shadow area, may have been a flourishing agrarian and trading culture for 400 years between 200 BC and 200 AD. However, it went into terminal decline due to climate change.
Maya Patil (Shahapurkar), head, department of archaeology at Solapur University, said they had found underground storage bins — called ‘pev’ in Marathi — while excavating a Satavahana-era site at Narkhed village in Solapur’s Mohol taluka. Similar structures have been found in Harappan-era sites. The archaeologists found burnt grains of moong and jowar at Solapur too. The excavations also revealed shell bangles and ivory objects, which could mean that it even traded with other regions. This early historic site is located near the Bhogawati river, a tributary of Sina that merges into the Godavari. “These underground bins were used to store grain, which means this region was fertile in that era before precipitation declined gradually. The settlement was abandoned due to lack of water,” added Patil.
“Climate change is responsible for the decline of most cultures. The Harappan culture declined due to these pressures rather than the invasions of Aryans as was believed earlier,” she said.
The excavation site in Solapur that revealed storage bins called ‘pev’