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Do you know the causes of decline of the Harappan Civilisation

May 29, 2018 15:55 IST
    Do you know the causes of decline of the Harappan Civilisation

    The Harappan culture flourished about 1800 BC. Afterwards, the culture began to decline. Many mature Harappan sites in regions such Cholistan were abandoned by the 1800 BC. Population expanded in new settlements in Gujarat, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

    There is no unanimity among historians on the exact reason of the decline of this civilization. Different scholars have put different theories of decline of this civilization forward. The following table gives the important theories and their profounder regarding the decline of Harappan Civilisation.

    List of Archaeological Sites of Indus Valley Civilisation

    Different Opinions about the Decline of Harappan Civilisation



    Stuart, Piggott and Gordon-Childe

    External aggression (Aryan invasion)

    MR Sahni


    KVR Kennedy


    Marshall and Raikes

    Tectonic disturbances

    Aurel Strein and AN Ghosh

    Climate Change

    Walter Fairservis

    Deforestation, scarcity of resources, ecological imbalances

    Marshal, SR Rao, Maickey


    GF Hales

    The destruction due to change in the course of river Ghaggar.


    In his Ancient India mentioned that the climatic, economic and political civilisation and argued that the decline was actually due to a large-scale destruction.

    George Dales

    In his ‘The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo-Daro’ refuted Wheeler’s Theory of Invasion and argues that the skeletons found did not belong to the Harappan period and were burials of irreverent nature.

    The decline of the civilisation was attested by the following major changes:

    1. Disappearance of seals, the script, distinctive beads and pottery.

    2. The shift from the standardized weight system to use of local weights.

    3. The decline and abandoned of cities.

    4. Aryan invasion was believed to be major reason for the decline of Harappan Civilisation.

    The material culture transformed into a few Harappan sites so occupied after 1900 BC. Distinctive artefacts such as weights, seals, bead etc. disappeared. House construction techniques deteriorated, large public structures were no longer produced.

    History of Ancient India Complete Study Material

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