Archaeological discoveries suggest that some of the Mesolithic and early chalcolithic people that flourished in Gujarat and Sindh in the starting of the third millennium BCE may have contributed to the making of the Indus civilization and its immense geographical unfold across an area of roughly over 1,000,000 sq. km in present-day north-western India, Pakistan and south-eastern Afganistan. Initially, the civilization was believed to own a uniform identity all overthis area, however new evidence shows that it had diverse regional characteristics
From time immemorial, the Gujarat and Sindh coast of the Arabian Sea has been a vital threshold to india for voyagers, mariners and traders coming back to the country. the invention of a large number of Harappan settlements along this coast, and of significant quantities of standard Harappan objects in several sites of ancient Mesopotamiaand the Oman coast, viewed against the finding of objects of West Asian origin at Harappan sites, firmly establishes that there was well organized trade contact between these 2 regions. However, the proof shows that contacts with the western part of Iran and with Mesopotamia existed in the Early Harappan period, several centuries before the emergence of the Harappan cities.
Once the first Harappan site was discovered in the early 1920s, continuous exploration and surveys have unearthed more than 2,000 sites of that civilization or its affiliates in the Indian sub-continent. Of these, Gujarat alone accounts for over 550. they have been found almost in all parts of the state except the eastern hilly regions and the coastal region south of the Tapi river. Across the entire realm, these settlements apparently shaped a trade-network operating by both waterways and land routes. The towns in the river valleys may have been connected by tiny flat-bottomed river’craft and ‘flotillas of boats carried merchandise down the Indus River to the coast to meet up with the merchants bringing goods from kutch and far away Oman.
The extensive survey by Aurel stein and findings of many different scholars have firmly established that Sumer and Elam and the Indus valley sites had trade relations during the Harappan period by both sea and land. Mackay (1938,5) finds it ‘tempting to think that trade was carried on between Indus valley cities and distant Sumer partially at least by sail instead of solely by caravan across what might have been not entirely friendly territory. The seaboardmust also have been significantly nearer in the days of prosperity of the ancient town than now, because it is known to have been at Ur in the third millennium B.C.
Sutkagen Dor , Sotka Koh, and Balakot… were never on the coast… they appear… settled a number of kilometers inland at strategic locations on or close to vital couth flowing water courses that served as trade routes from inland… through the hills to the coast.
the situation with several sites on the Gujarat and sindh coast may well have been similar. several artefacts of Mesopotamian origin are found at sites like Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Lothal and Dholavira. Mohenjodaro was the first to yield three characteristic, cylindrical Sumerian seals.
Typical Harappan rectangular seals were found at Kish and Nippur. two seals recovered from the island of failaka, close tothe head of the Persian Gulf, also bear Harappan inscriptions. Similarly, a circular seal bearing the Indus script was recovered from Madinat Hamad in Omaqn by an Indian team during excavation in 1984-85.
a large amount of Harappan black-slipped jar items has been reported from several coastal sites in Oman
This evidence clearly indicates that in Harappan times, traders from each side travelled across the ocean to bring exotic items to their respective lands. However, though several sites have been excavated on the Gujarat coast, there’s a scarcity of archaeological remains to verify the existence of a port at these locations. Lothal is the initial site to provideproof of a dock. Kuntasi on the Gulf of Kachchh and saran (Dholavira) in the great Rann are different sites that aresuggestive of ports due to their geographical locations. it is therefore, necessary to assess different coastal sites of Gujarat and Sindh which may have been active as ports throughout the Harappan period.
(A). Geographical setting:
The greater Indus valley encompasses a huge area drained by the various tributaries of the Indus River, that flow from the Kirthar and Suleiman mountains of Baluchistan on the west, the Hindu-Kush and Karakorum to the northwest, the Pamir and also the Himalaya to the north and east. in the prehistoric period a second major river, variouslyreferred to as the Saraswati-Ghaggar-Hakra-Nara flowed along the eastern edges of the Indus plain. The Sutlej (ancient satadru), that currently flows into the Indus seems to have been a tributary of the Saraswati-Ghaggar-Hakra system. The headwaters of this other river are all in the Himalayas. Some scholars have advised that the Yamuna (Jamuna) river may have been captured by the Saraswati system in the remote past, however this has not been confirmed. To the east, the larger Indus valley is lined by the Thar Desert and the Aravalli mountains. On the southeast lie the islands of kutch, the peninsula of Saurashtra and the mainland of Gujarat. because of considerable overlap in later times it has not been possible to separate the deltas of these two major rivers and these days the combined deltas extend from the greater Rann of kutch in east to the rocky coast of Baluchistan close to modern Karachi.
The Punjab was comprised of the land watered by what the Rigveda calls the Sapta-Sindhu (seven rivers). all theseseven are believed to have included the Indus and its five eastern tributaries, along with the eastern river Sarasvati. However, in one hyan (VII,36.6), the Rigveda mentioned the Sindhu (Indus) as the sixthe river and the river Sarasvatias the seventh. The Sarasvati is additionally invoked side by side with the seven Sindhus. The Punjab under study means that old Punjab province of British India, together with North-West Frontier. This region consists of both West Punjab (at present in Pakistan) and East Punjab (Indian Punjab). the area North-West of salt range is therefore excluded because it is the montane part of the old province. The west trans-Indus area boundary once more lies within the Daman. except for the rent in the Indo-Gangetic alluvial deposit, there is no clear physiographic break.
The name Punjab that means ‘the five rivers’ is the Persian form of Indian Pancanada (land of the five rivers) found in numerous works together with the Epics and Puranas. according to the Mahabharta (VII. 44) the rivers watering this land are Satadru (Satluj), vipasa (Beas), Airavati or Iravati (Ravi), chandrabhaga (Chenab) and Vitasta (Indus). The folks of the country were typically referred to as Vahlika or Bahlika and also often Panchanada or Pancajana, the names of a number of their prominent tribes being Jartika (Jat ) Artatta and Madra.
according to Fauja singh, Weassaf speaks of the five rivers as the Sind (Indus), the Jhelum, the river of Lohawar (Lohore i.e., the Ravi) Satlej (Sutlej) and also the Buyah (Beas). The name punjab or Panjnad is additionally applied to the lower course of the Indus in which the five tributaries are united further as to the place where the joint course of the Beas and theSutlej meets the combined waters of the Indus, the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Ravi below Multan
The name Panchanada reminds as of two expressions found in the Rigveda. the first is Pancanada means five rivers and therefore the second Panchanada maeans five folks referred to as JANA or Manusa known with the anu, Druhv, Yadu, Truvasa and Puru mentioned within the Rigveda.
It is fascinating in this connection to note that an equivalent region considered the habitat of a class of elephants is termed ‘Pancajana’ in the Kautiliya’s Arthasistra. (11.2) however Pancanada in later works like the Manasollasa (1.2.180). The rivers mentioned in the early and medieval sources are indentical with their modern names, howevertheir courses have changed throughout the ages.
‘It has been said the whole Indus system has been subjected to transformation both in mountains and within theplains. Earthquakes, elevations, subsidences and land – slips have affected the upper soft alluvial deposit of the plains that have occurred frequently on a huge scale and are still ongoing. Some rivers notably the Hakra or Wahindah, which once shaped the boundary between sindh and Hind have ceased to exist. others like the Kurram in the west and also the Sarasvati in the east, which once were violent and impetuous, have dwindled into deeble the confluences in both the Indus and Gangetic system have shifted several miles. the prevailing delta of the Indus has been shapedsince the time of Alexander. the entire group of rivers connected with or associated with the Satlej has been fullytransformed more than once. The Satlej has wandered over a bed of eighty miles in width.
The North-West Frontier could be a well defined region with an extended history. On the North it is shut faraway fromthe pamirs by the mountains of Hindukush. To the south it is bounded by Baluchistan and the Thar Desert, on the east by the territories of Kashmir and Punjab and on the west by Afganistan.
Its northern section passes through tough mountain region and the southern part in northern Baluchistan through dry and desolate areas. however the central part provides many passes from the Khyber Pass to the Bolan pass.
The North-West frontier falls into 3 main divisions: the hills of the North-West frontier: the submontane Indus region, together with the valleys of Pashawar and also the Bannu
plains, the potwar plateau and the salt range i.e. Baluchistan.
All the seven nice rivers of the Punjab rise in the Himalaya Mountains, and after covering long courses, sometimes of several hundred miles, amid snow-covered ranges, they enter the plains. The slope of the low country is to the south and south-West, and is incredibly gradual, rarely exceeding two feet in a mile: and this determines the course of rivers. in the process of time every stream has cut for itself a large valley that lies well below the level of the plain, and whose banks mark the acute limits of the course on either side. within this valley the river meanders in a slenderbut ill defined and ever-shifting channel. in the winter the stream is relatively small, however as the mountain snow melts at the approach of the hot season, the water rises and over flow the surrounding country, often to a distance of many miles on either side at the close expansion of fertile land or less fertile sand.
(Source: Dutt, Ashok K. & Gelb, M.M., Atlas of South Asia, Westview Press, 1987)
The Indus is the greatest river within the North-West region of India, about 1,800 miles long. It rises in Tibet and soflows through Kashmir, North-West Frontier and eventually falls into the Arabian Sea. in line with Alberuni only the upper course of the Indus above the junction with the Chenab (Chandrabhaga) was referred to as Sindhi: Lower pointAror. it absolutely was best-known by the name Pancanada while its course from Aror right down to the seareferred to as Mihran.
Already a mighty stream once it emerges from the Hazara-hills, flows almost due south past Attock. Here it enters a deep gorge, terminating at Kalabagh where it pierces the salt range. so it forms the western boundary. South of Kalabagh it enters the region, and divides the Isa Khel tehsil Manwaki from the rest of the district. further south once more it forms the western boundary till it re-enters Punjab territory close to Bhakhar and divide Dera Chazi khan from Manwali and Muzaffargarh districts and from the state of Bahawalpur.
The Vitasta or Vitamsa or Jhelum rises in the mountains that form the north-east boundary of the valley of Kashmir, its fountain head being the Lidur in the remotest hill range. It flows north-west for ten miles through Srinagar into the Wular lake and beyond it to Baramula. At Muzzaffarbad the Kishananga river Joins the Jhelum on its Right Bank.
Passing into Jhelum district, it surrounds the outlying spurs of the salt range. Jhelum forms the east and an excellentpart of the southern boundary, and skirts the Jhelum district for rather over a hundred miles. It receives water of Kahan river and eventually enters into the plains close to the city of Jhelum, about 250 miles from its source. close to the town of Lahore, the river is split into three branches one amongst which runs close to the city and finally merges into the combined water of the Chenab and also the Jhelum near Ahmeadpur.
It rises 13,326 feet, above the ocean level in the snowy Rohtang pass north of Kulu. It flows southwards for aboutseventy miles along the Kulu valley, receiving tributaries torrents from the east. Then it turns west through Kangra valley and enters the Punjab plains some twenty miles east of Gurdaspur. Later it turns to south-west and joins the satlej twenty five miles north-east of Firozpur once a course of 290 miles.
The old course of the river Beas may be derived from its present point or junction with the Sutlej through Lahore and Mantgomery districts to the place where it used to be a part of the Chenab close to shujabad, before the Chenab turns westward. Albiruni noticed there Beas east of Multan.
The Satardu or the Satlej rises from the Mansarowar lakes in Tibet at a height of 15,000 feet, and flows in a north-westerly direction along the southern slopes of the Kailash Mountains.
It finally joins the Chenab terminus at Jhang district after a course of 490 miles north of Multan.
The river is fed by two streams namely Chandra and Bhaga that rise, south-west and north-west respectively of the Bara Lacha pass (16,047 feet) located within the range. the two rivers unite at Tandi (7,500 feet) as Chandra-Bhaga or Chenab.
The river Ravi rises in Kulu sub-divisions of the Kangra district in the low mountains of Shivalik, short distance west of Rohtang pass, Turning South-West. It enter Jammu and receives the Ravi at Trima ghat enters plains near Rajpur. The turning south-west it enters the Karaawar valley receiving the water of the li or river of spiti. after leaving that valley it flows south-west separating Kulu and Mandi on the north from shimla hills on the south.
At ropar it takes a sharp bend to west and entering upon the plains divides the Jullundur doab from the sirhind highland.
The Sutlej meets Beas close to sobraon, where it falls into the Trinab nine miles north of Uch. Below this confluence the waters of the Jhelum, the Chenab and the Ravi, the Sutlej and also the Beas from the Panjnad, or ‘five rivers’ fall intothe Indus at Mithankot.
The lands between the 5 rivers of ara|geographic area|geographical region|geographic region} are referred to asDoabs, a word which in Persian has the significance of Masopotamia in Greek. These Doabs received their names from the Emperor Akbar, who formed them by combining the first letters of the names of the rivers between that they lie.
They are called the Doab ‘The Bist’ Jullundur, also known as the Saharwal Doab, lying between the Beas and theSutlej, the Bari, between the previous bed of the Beas and the Rechna (Rachin-ab or Rachin-ab) between the Ravi and Chenab, the chinnath, between the Bihat (another name for the Jhelum), also referred to as the Chaj: and also theSind-Sagars, between the Indus and the Jhelum or Bihat.
These Doabs are typically a flat alluvial plain lined with cultivated fields. but where the land rises even somewhatbetween the rivers water table is down and irrigation becomes troublesome and scrub lined waste takes the place of fertile fields.
Geology of the plains
Geologically the Punjab falls into three natural divisions: The plains, the salt range, and also the Himalaya Mountains. The plains consist almost entirely of the Indo-Gangetic alluvial sediment but contains beds of sedimentary rock of peninsular kind. These comprise a small area of rocks of a transwition age, that form a series of outliers of the Aravali rocks at Old Delhi and to the south and south-east, where they are referred to as a Delhi system.
The Aravalis are composed of a lower cluster of slates, and limestones, and an upper and much thicker cluster of quartzites: the upper beds called the Alwar quartzites, are exposed on the ridge at Delhi. two little outliers are also referred to as the Delhi system. they are found close to the Chenab at Chiniot and Kirana, within thirty five miles of the beds of extra peninsular kind found in the salt range. From the robust distinction they afford in petrological and dynamic conditions, they are definitely older than the oldest rocks of that range and altogether probability pre-cambrian.
The great crescent of alluvial sediment from the delta of the Indus to that of the advancing Himalayas represent the infilling of fore deep Gondwana block. Its relation with the mountains are obscure and involve the interpretation of adverse geodetic data: The old view that the sediments are 4570 metres deep, deposited during a great elevatethrough sinking beneath the load of alluvium has been challenged by the Glennie on the idea of gravity anomaly readings, that indicates a maximum of 1980 metres.
In the Punjab and also the North-West frontier regions where the settlements is from the Pre-Harappan period, the physical environment cannot be isolated from artificial atmosphere.
(Source: Dutt, Ashok K. & Gelb, M.M., Atlas of South Asia, Westview Press, 1987)
The whole central Punjab could be a large aluvial plain, however the north-east of the region is created of a region of the range of mountains stretching upto and on the far side the good central ranges together with the Tibetan mountain of Lahul and spiti. The salt range, with the upland that mislead the north between it and also the Indus forms its north-western angle, and also the Sulaiman range forms the southern half of the western frontier of the province.
Systems of huge mountain ranges, lying on the North-western Frontier of India (Punjab) have a number of the best peaks within the world. Literally, the name is admire the abode of snow (from the Sanskritic language ‘Hima’ snow and alaya domicile place). To the first Geographers the mountains were referred to as Indus or Himaus and Hemodas: and there’s a reason to believe that these names were applied to the western and jap elements severally, the supply of the Ganga’s being taken because the contrast ‘Hemodas’ represents the Sanskritic language ‘Himayata (Prakrit Hemota) which means ‘snowy’. The Greeks who accompanied Alexander referred to the mountains as ‘the Indian Caucasus’.
The great mountain range extend in a very Brobdingnagian space, from the Indus to the Brahamputra with most of the peaks above 7620 metres. although the Mount Everest Mountain isn’t shaped of granites and gneisses, howeverabundant of the world is formed of recent metamorphic rocks that have some definite land affinities.
excluding the great gorges of the Indus-Sutlej and Dihang (the transverse section of Isangoo Brhamaputra) the range|range of mountains|chain|mountain chain|chain of mountains} range is deeply take by the pinnacle waters of the Ganga (Bhagirati and Alaknanda) rivers and Sarada (Kall) chaghra (Seti), Karnali and Behri) Gandak and Arun: the cognomen incorporates a sizable tableland section behind the Mount Everest. On the full the river tends to chop through the ranges in its culminating massifs: whereas on the river Arun powerfully support precedency.
The Himalaya Mountains area unit divided into 3 components. The central or main axis is that the highest, that starts at mountain peak on the north-west follows the final direction of the range. It contains numerous lofty peaks, together withnanda devi. North of it lies another range, forming the boundary between india and Tibet. the overall elevation is 8000 or 9000 feets, some miles from the plains. Separated from the outer by elevated valleys or ‘duna’ could be a lower range called Siwaliks.
The Hindukush is the vast chain of mountains famous to ancient Indian geographers as the Malayayat and because thecaucascus to the Greeks. the only lofty ridge, the Hindukush, is all that separate the basin of the oxus from that of Indus.
it’s a significant Asian watershed drained to the south by the Gilgit and also the kabul rivers that fl0w into the Indus and therefore to the Arabian Sea: to the north by the Amuu-darya and its tributaries. Hindukush may be a true barrier between central and southern Asia that runs from the Pamirs to the border of Persia. Hindukush is additionally referred to as the Scientific Frontier that has been designed by the nature to guard the boundary of India country on the North-West.
The Hindukush is a great mountain chain that is 1600 miles long and its height is between 15 to 20 thousands feets. Tirich Mir stands on top of chitral to a height of twenty five,236 feet. 100 miles approximately north-west of Kabul the Koh-i-Baba range, overlapping the western extremity of the Hindukush with that it’s connected by the shibar pass, prolongs the watershed to the west of Bamiyan. the main range continues westward from Koh-i-Baba underneathcompletely different names ANd at an ever decreasing height, till north-east of Heart, it becomes the Paropamisus mountains that run get into a series of low ridges to the natural depression of the Hari-Rud.
three minor ranges run south from the Hindukush to the Kabul stream, and between these ranges flow the Swat, the Panjkora, the Chitral and also the Kunar rivers.
The Sulaiman exhibit constant general North-South trend and their alignment is such a lot regular that they’re typicallytreated as separate chain. Sulaiman mountains run southward for 300 miles between the Gomal river on the north and also the Indus within the South.
The dominating mountain of the sulaiman range is sometimes referred to as the Takht-i-sulaiman. These mountains were also far-famed to ancient expert as Anjana.
Most of the rivers that drain the sulaiman region, like the Gomal, have their origin within the long valley to the west of the main Takht-i-sulaiman range.
At the southern finish of the Sulaiman, the Bugti and marri hills run from the southeast to northwest. The Bolan is that themain stream of the region, on the valley of that lies the known Bolan pass. On the way north of this pass stands Quetta.
This hill system within the Jhelum, Shahpur and Mianwali districts of the punjab (Pakistan) derives its name from its intensive aluvials of mineral. The salt range starts from the route of the safed Koh and extends eastward to the Indus, that it crosses at Kalabagh to continue its eastward coarse across the sindh-Sagar Doab and terminates somewhat abruptly on the correct bank of the river Jhelum.
The region is huddled with passes that served because the gate between india and central Asia. The Khyber, the Kurram, the Tochi, the Gomal and also the Bolan are the foremost necessary passes of the region. The Caravans of the traders and also the armies of the invaders found their approach through these passes.
The most vital of the passes that lead from Central Asia to Bharat is the Khyber. It derives its name from the slim valleytrack that descends into the plains. The pass begins close to Jaamrud that lies ten miles west of Peshawar. No different pass within the world has had such a strategic impotance because the notch. Through it passed hordes of the Persians, Greeks, Tatars, Mongols and Afgans. within the more moderen times, below a people, it had been the key purpose to regulate the Afghan border and also the war like tribes inhabiting the encircling countries.
Modern researchers suggest three reasons for its frequent use. Firstly, the Khyber may be a shortest manner through the dangerous hills. In 2 days or perhaps in one long day march it absolutely was possible to cover the distance between the river plains of Islamic State of Afghanistan and therefore the green fields of Peshawar valley. Secondly, the pass rises to a height of only 3,500 feet. The Khyber is thus, never snow covered. Thirdly, there’s ample water at regular distance all along its length.
Thus, it’s the pass that for hundreds of years has been the foremost favoured route.
The Khyber and also the Kurram routes have been considered a twin system, with Kabul as the common objective. it’sbeen ascertained that the Kurram pass is comparatively accessible. however it is off the main road from central Asia to Sub-Continent and is employed mainly for native traffic.
ext to the Kurram pass is that the Tochi pass that forms the shortest connecting link between Ghazni and also the plains of punjab.
it absolutely was this pass that Mehmud of Ghazni used sometimes to sweep Multan and Sind instead of peshawarand punjab. He was followed by hordes of irregular horsemen and huge companies of Pathan freebooters although it has never been an excellent trade route.
The Gomal pass is a four miles long slender passage jand most vital pass between Khyber and Bolan passes, providing the oldest of the trade routes in this space. it’s been ascertained elsewhere that the standard route of earlier invasions from beyond the sulaiman mountains in those days was neither the khyber pass within the north nor the Bolan pass within the south however the Gomal pass in Waziristan.
The Bolan pass is a crucial gateway through the central Brahui mountains in Kalat connecting sibi with Quetta. The pass properly extends from Kolpur and Rindil. this is over 50 miles long and reaches a height of five,000 feet, and therefore the mountains on either facet being 10,000-15,000 feet. for hundreds of years it had been the route for merchants, invaders and nomadic tribes between India and different Asian countries.
One of the vital features of this pass is its river Bolan, that rises at Sir-i-Bolan, close to the top of pass, flows through it and provides water on the full route as way as its sources with the exception of 1 stage where it’s an underground course. that’s why this pass has from ancient times been the foremost used track connecting Kandhar region with Sind.
Other Passes : alternative vital passes within the region were Muta or Islamist pass and Sakhi Sarwar Pass. mulla pass might once has been served a military purpose when Alexander division to create his way to Persia by some other line than that of the Makran coast, though we all know that the mulla was solely developed into a recognized trade route in later days, once Gandara became an excellent trade centre under the rule of the Arabs in Sind. Khojak pass connects Sibi with Chaman via Quetta. It can always be turned, provided the water of the stream Lora don’t dry out.
Gujarat and Sindh :
In Gujarat kutch is an island on the West Coast of India encircled by shallow seas named as Rann, which might have been up to four meters deep throughout the prehistoric period. The Lui river emerges from various tributaries on the southwestern fringe of the Aravalli and flows into the greater Rann of kutch. To the east, tiny streams feed the Sabarmati and Mahi rivers, which flow, across the plains of northern Gujarat into the Gulf of Khambhat. These 2 rivers were extraordinarily imoortant within the early urban section of the Indus civilization in Gujarat and contined to play a crucial role within the Early Historic period. Major inland cities were established within the wealthy alluvial aluvial and areas with black cotton soil. giant port cities were established along the coast where these rivers empty into the Gulf of Khambhat.
Today the greater Rann that lies to the north of kutch, is usually silted up and consists of immense salt flats throughout the year, however becomes flooded during the monsoon. The lesser Rann, lies to the east and south of tanninand is additionally silting up in the northern half, however remains quite deep in the south where it meets the Arabian Sea. The island of kutch has embossment with deccan traps overlying alluvial sediments, miocene gravels with agateand chalcedony aluvials. varied outposts of the Indus civilization were established on kutch and one among the biggestIndus cities, Dholavira was located on Kotada Island, that is located at the northeastern edge of the larger island.
In the Sindh indus river is more or less centrally situated within the higher part of the lower Indus basin, and is within the extreme western part of the region from past Hyderabad to the arabian sea. Throughout its long history the Indus has been a notably vagrant river of huge magnitude, exhibiting extraordinary wanderings and mutations of its course in response to natural and human-induced environmental changes.
The course of the stream|Indus|Indus River|river} in Sindh is held in its current location by flood protection embankments (bund) on either side of the river along its entire length. These embankments exaggerate the build-up of alluvial sediments on clearly and narrowly delineated zones, raising the bed of the river unnaturally higher than its floodplain, as well as usually but not forever preventing any major changes of the river’s course. The natural morphology of the stream has been further changed by the attempted management of the Indus river’s perennial and ephemeral tributaries within thePunjab and western piedmont regions of the Northwest Frontier province. in addition to the protective embankments in Sindh, a protecting bund separates the aluvial plain of the river from the seasonal torrent streams of the western mountains and piedmont region. The hydrological regulation of the Indus drainage web by barrages and irrigation canals has reduced peak discharges, prolonged periods of water flow, and at bay alluvial sediments, that has largely putan end to natural floods.
In order to trace the course of the Indus during 4000-2000 yr BC, it’s necessary to approach the fluvial environment of the lower Indus basin in historical perspective by establishing a chronological sequence of fluvial events and considering evolution of the surroundings to its present configuration.
(B). Environmental setting: –
Indus River has its origins in Autonomous Region of tibet, (China); within the glaciers and snowmelt to the north of Mount Kailasha whose Tibetan name is Kangrinpoche. The name of the river in Tibetan is Senge-Khambab or Lion-mouth. It flows through deep gorges and a slim alluvial plain east of Leh, India. Eventually it empties into the wide valleyof Skardu, pakistan before plunging into even deeper gorges as it descends to affix the Gilgit river at Bunji. this is the juncture of the three highest mountain ranges, the Karakorum, the Hindu Kush Mountains and also the Himalaya. as a result of the high water levels during the spring snow soften and the summer rainy season, no cultivable land is found on the banks of the Indus within the upper valleys. in fact the river is so full of silt and gravel that only a few fish areable to exist except in deep pools and side streams. Streams that be part of the Indus from forested valleys are deep blue whereas the Indus is often a steel grey color. Most agriculture within the higher Indus is carried out on alluvialfans of snow-fed tributaries that join the Indus all along its length or in slender valleys sliced out by the numerousglaciers that still hang on the rocky peaks of the himalaya and also the Karakorum.
After it empties into the plain the Indus is joined by the kabul river, that flows in from the west. Cutting through the low hills at attock, the Indus flows on the face of the Suleiman range where it is joined by the tiny tributaries that link the plains to the rugged highlands of Baluchistan to the west and the potwar plateau and Himalaya Mountains to the east. The soan river cuts deeply into the Potwar highland and joins the Indus just north of the salt range. On the west, the Kurram and Tochi rivers flow through the Bannu basin, that has proof for settled communities starting in the Neolithic period around 5000 B.C.. further south is the Gomal river, that is joined by the Zhob river. The isolated Zhob valley and the Gomal plains supported the emergence of large agricultural communities throughout the Neolithic and chalcolithic periods. South of the zhob is the Loralai river that empties into the Kachi plain that is watered by various perennial streams, the biggestbeing the Bolan river. The Bolan Pass is one amongst the foremost vital routes between the Indus plain and thehighland highland of the Quetta valley. the early Neolithic settlement of Mehrgarh (7000 BCE) was established on the Bolan river within the Kachi plain. Following these tributaries, nomadic pastoral communities and traders could cross low passes into the plateaus and major alluvial plains of Afghanistan.
Today, none of the rivers that empty into the Kachi plain reach the Indus, but this is often due to historical silting and there could have been direct links between several of those rivers and the Indus in the past. Flowing in from the east, five major tributaries emerge from the himalayas and provides this part of the subcontinent its trendy name, punjab(five rivers). The Jhelum river links the Indus with the valley of kashmir where Neolithic communities existed long afterthe emergence of cities in the Indus valley.
The Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej Rivers also lead into the center of the Himalaya and provided access to the highlands of Leh and tibet. after rising from the Himalaya Mountains, each of these rivers aluvial fertile silts to form the punjabplain that has played a crucial role in the history of the subcontinent. The punjab plain is vital for its wealthyagricultural lands, scrub forests and grasslands.
The Cholistan desert contains of two-thirds area of the previous state of Bahawalpur and covers a complete 25613 sqare kilometres, indeed it is a part of the great Thar desert that is spreading from Bikanir State of india to the banks of the indus river, Pakistan. The Cholistan chiefly consists on sand dunes and mud flats. The climate of the Cholistan is very hot in summer and extremely cold throughout winters of short duration from december to January.
(Source: Dutt, Ashok K. ; Gelb, M.M., Atlas of South Asia, Westview Press, 1987)
The temperature in these moths falls below freezing point. Annual precipitation is less than 5 inches that is alsounreliable. subsoil water is brackish. Sweet water suitable for human and animal use is only available in few places near ancient dry bed of Hakra river. In Cholistan cattle grazing nomads are settled around ‘Tobas'(an artificial tank dug into mud flat ‘Dahars’ where rain water is stored for human and animal use).
When tobas become dry the nomads migrate to the cultivated areas irrigated by trendy canal system. a large number of prehistoric sites explored by Archaeologists in this area was much inhabited in ancient times. At that point the Cholistan was watered by Gaggra/Hakra river that has been known as the sacred Saraswati river of vedic times. It became completely dry after 1900 B.C., when due to titanic actions and sedimentation the water of Gaggra/Hakra was captured by the Satluj river of the Indus system in the west and Yamuna river of large system in the east.
Kirthar range consists of shallow marine and continental sedimentary rocks (Tertiary) that unconform-ably overlie erodedand inclined older sedimentary rocks (Cretaceous). The rocks were folded and faulted in the Middle miocene and further deformed in the Early pleistocene. The Kirthar range fault zone remains seismically active, as northward convergence of India into the Eurasian continent continues to produce left lateral offset and compression in Baluchistan. the bulk of the basin is under-lain by nummulitic limestones of the Kirthar group that forms the core of the anticline. The hogbacks in the eastern part of the basin are composed of the Nari Formation, that is comprised of interbedded sandstones, shales, and conglomerates. Soil development among the basin is very limited, and it is estimated that about 60 % of the basin expanse is bare rock.
Sindh Kohistan : –
(source: Harvey, Michael D. Flam, Louis. Prehistoric Soil and Water Detention Structures (Gabarbands) at Phang, Sindh Kohistan, Pakistan: An Adaptation to Environmental Change, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, Vol. 8, No.2, 1993)
Sindh Kohistan is located inside an arid climatic zone. Mean annual precipitation is about 130 millimeter, mean summer temperature is about 29 degree C, and mean winter temperature is about 18 degree C. downfall tends to be erraticallydistributed, and the annual precipitation can fall in a single high intensity event. Annual potential evapotranspiration has been estimated to be about 2240 millimeter.
Lower Indus Basin:-
(Shroder, John F., Jr. (Ed). Himalaya to the sea, Routledge, London, 2004)
No physical barriers to flow of rivers within the lower Indus basin occur aside from the Rohri hills near Khairpur and others at Hyderabad. Neither group of hills rises over 61 m higher than the surrounding plain. The Rohri hills extend-55 kilometre south from Sukkur in northern Sindh province. Ganjo Takar hills extends 22- kilometre south from Hyderabad in southern Sindh. much of the Rohri hills is hard, fissured and cracked limestone with flint. This flint normally weathers out and covers the surface over a large area. it was major resource for the manufacture of prehistoric stone tools. differentbeds are nummulitic limestones, ironstones close to Khairpur, as well as red or green clays with large quantities of gypsum, Ganjo Takar hill upon which Hyerabad sits has an escarpment all around it, with gigher elevations to the south. it is an unfossiliferous, white chalky limestone.
The soil of the lower Indus basin is one among its most significant geological features. Ecologically they play a significant role in the biotic community including, of course, potential human land-use patteras. The developments of distinct soil profiles on stratified alluvial aluvials, and the approximate dating of these soils, are vitally important for the analyses of ancient stream environments. as a result of soil development could be a consequence of regional climate and vegetation, as well as of edaphic conditions including type of parent material, native hydrology, and topography, the soils is also a major clue to past environmental conditions. The parent material of soil, the transportation of this parent material to varied locales, and the transformation or development of the material into distinct native and regional horizons and profiles, coupled with the approximate timing of their development, can be a significant factor toward reconstructing the palaeogeography of the primarily alluvial lower Indus basin.
The major categories of soil parent material are these formed in place through weathering of consolidated or soft and unconsolidated bedrock, those that have been transported and realuvialed, and organic aluvials. Soil parent materials that eventually find their approach into the lower Indus basin as transported alluvium primarily have their origin in theHimalaya where, in declining order of surface exposure, the bedrock is diverse metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary
Map:-6 (Geomorphology of the lower Indus Basin)
(Shroder, John F., Jr. (Ed). Himalaya to the sea, Routledge, London, 2004)
The plain of Gujarat is traversed by four main rivers-Sabarmati, Mahi, Narbada and Tapti, of which all but the last have two major alluvial terraces (Allchin et al. in preparation). The rivers are subject to severe flooding in the summer monsoon, rising in some years (as in 1968 and 1970) to as much as 30-32 m. higher than their winter flow level. The plain is predominantly covered by silt and black soils, and the precipitation shows a steep meridional trend from 1,425 mm. at Surat on the Tapti to 900 millimetre. at Baroda and 500 millimetre. in the Ahmedabad area. The downfall is heaviest with the south-west summer monsoon, however fluctuates significantly from year to year. In terms of precipitation the plain of Gujarat can be considerd as a marginal area between aridity and humidity, and one where pleistocene and holocene climaticchanges would be most likely to be in evidence.
Wind conditions are dominated by the monsoonal reversal from north-east to south-west. The north-east monsoon is mostly lacking in great velocity and is basically ineffective in the shaping of the dune forms. The south-west monsoon, however, particularly from may to september, is related to a large number of high winds and it is these which account for the dominant trend of the dunes referred to above. Analysis of wind information for Ahmedabad for 1957-61 shows that 71.76% per cent. of all winds gusting to more than 38 km./hour occur in the period may to september inclusive . The frequency of winds in excess of 58 km./ hour is at a maximum in June, and in that month twenty days on averagehave winds in excess of 38 km./hour. At Baroda the effective winds in terms of sand movement are those in the mid-summer months, though dust storms are comparatively occasional. In 1963 and 1964 only three days with dust storms were recorded at Baroda aerodrome, with one occurring in each of the three months may, June and July.
Some of the foremost spectacular Aeolian landforms in central Gujarat are those associated with the Chota Udaipur escarpment and its outliers. At Pavagarh Hill (829 m.), east of Baroda there is a massive windward accumulation some 2km. long and 1 km. wide that rests on a gently sloping pediment running all the way down to the Dhadhar river. the accumulation rises to a maximum of 28-32 m. on top of the pediment, and shows marked asymmetry with the steeperslope facing the Hill. the accumulation does not rest against the Hill, but is separated from it by a sand-free tract approximately 0.5 km. wide, which probably results from the establishment of eddies and locally reversed winds in theimmediate neighborhood of the Hill itself. The dune may be a composite form consisting of a large, low pedestal dunewith a narrower ridge at its surface.