Department of Anthropology

Environmental Archaeology

WSUV Faculty participants

Environmental Change in the Indus Civilization

The Indus or Harappa is one of the four old world civilizations, which flourished in the semi-arid ecological zone on the Indian subcontinent. Unlike the Egyptian or Mesopotamian civilizations the urban phase of this mighty civilization was short, i.e., about 700 years. Environmental change is held to be one of the major reasons for its decline, though this is neither fully understood nor unanimously accepted. The aim of our project is to understand the reasons why urban life and society ceased to exist. To do this, we will focus on the agriculture and trade network which sustained the urban development.

When agriculture destroys the environment

Our project aims to understand the history of interactions between agriculture and environment in three major agricultural zones in Eurasia, namely "mugi", "monsoon" and "tuber crop" zones from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will attempt to recommend some future directions for agriculture. To reach this goal, we seek to reconstruct the ten-thousand-year history of agriculture and environment in Eurasia, with special attention to the loss of plant genetic diversity.

Dr. Weber is a collaborator on this project, and was an invited Research Fellow at RINH in 2008.

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