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Uncontrolled Spread of Disease Played a Significant Role in the Downfall of Ancient City

Photograph of bone lesions of Ancient Harappa residents

In an article written by a multidisciplinary group of scientists, “Infection, Disease, and Biosocial Processes at the End of the Indus Civilization,” Dr. Gwen Robbins Schug, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Appalachian State University and others, report that uncontrolled spread of disease, in particular tuberculosis and leprosy, played a significant role in the downfall of Harappa, as did interpersonal violence and chaos that erupted as a result of a widening social hierarchy and climate change.

Climate change in the Indus Valley was seen as a cause in changing social relations, migratory activity, and the spread of disease, rather than as a cataclysmic event in the downfall of the civilization.

Map of Indus Civilization

The Harappa site is in Pakistan

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) in the northwestern region of the Indian Subcontinent, consisting mainly of what is now Pakistan and India. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread. At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of over 5,000,000.

The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, after Harappa, the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s. [1]

For more about Harappa, go to

Source: PLOSOne
Via: Science Daily
Via Natural News

Bones Photo credit: Gwen Robbins Schug, K. Elaine Blevins, Brett Cox, Kelsey Gray, V. Mushrif-Tripathy. Infection, Disease, and Biosocial Processes at the End of the Indus Civilization. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (12): e84814 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084814

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