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9,000-year-old signs of farming found in India's Ganga plains

Central Ganga Plain's oldest agricultural pollen was found in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh indicating that organised agricultural practices existed there as far as 9,000 years back. The discovery was made by a joint team of scientists from the prestigious Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) and Lucknow University's department of Ancient History and Archaeology.

9,000-year-old signs of farming found in India's Ganga plains
View of the lush Indo-Gangetic plains 
[Credit: Rajesh Karkera]
The pollen has been found in Lashoda Tal of Central Ganga Plains in Rae Bareli.

A team of dedicated scientists led by Anjali Trivedi of BSIP and D P Tiwari, professor of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology department of LU found the 9,000-year-old pollen which proved existence of agricultural practices in the region during the Mesolithic age.

The study revealed that the region from Rae Bareli to Unnao had climate and vegetation suitable for farming at a time when humans in most of the world were surviving on hunting and trying to find new vegetable food sources.

"It could broadly be termed the Mesolithic (middle stone age) age and the area seemed to have human habitat with organised agricultural practices," said Anjali Trivedi.

The study not only throws light on the climate, culture and human habitat it will also help in studying future climatic conditions. Moreover, it will help study palaeo lakes which include shifting of river due to tectonic activities or other reasons, she added.

Trivedi said the institute had earlier conducted a study on vegetation and climate change in the central Ganga plain from Jalesar Taal in Unnao. "This study will help in making a comparative study of the two districts," she said . The tree pollen invaded the grasslands with the increase in aquatic pollen portraying the strengthened monsoon which will help in studying future climatic condition and global warming, she said.

Source: The Times of India [March 04, 2016]

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