It Turns Out That The Thar Desert Wasn’t Always The Arid Land In Rajasthan That It Is Today. If The Latest Research Is To Be Believed…
a “lost” river once flowed through this region, near Bikaner, some 1,72,000 years ago. It may have served as a lifeline to humans, allowing them to inhabit the region.
The findings, published in the Quaternary Science Reviews journal, are the oldest directly dated phase of river activity at Nal Quarry in Central Thar, predating previous evidence of river activity here by 80,000 years.
The study was conducted by researchers from The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, Anna University in Tamil Nadu and Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, Kolkata. They studied deposits of river sands and gravels exposed by quarrying activity near Nal village, near Bikaner, in 2014 and 2019, The Times of India reported. This is over 200km away from the nearest modern river.
“We immediately saw evidence for a substantial and very active river system from the bottom of the fluvial deposits, which gradually decreased in power through time,” Professor Hema Achyuthan of Anna University said.
James Blinkhorn from Max Planck told TOI: “The previously oldest, well dated evidence for river activity in the Thar comes from the Luni Valley, which was active 80,000-90,000 years ago, with comparable evidence from further south in the Mahi, Sabarmati and Orsang valleys, where similar evidence for fluvial activity stretches back to 100 thousand years ago”
The presence of a river running through the central Thar Desert indicated that Paleolithic (Stone Age) populations lived in a much different Thar landscape than we see today and was potentially an important corridor for migrations, the study says.
This news was originally published at CN Traveller