Since 2007, the internationally collaborative Land, Water and Settlement project has been investigating the relationship between human settlement and the environment in northwest India. A major paper on one aspect of project research has just been published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL).
The paper presents an oxygen isotope record from a palaeolake in northwest India that provides a history of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) from ∼11 to 6 kyr B.P. (or ~9000–4000 BC), including the identification and dating of an abrupt desiccation where this major lake completely dried around 6200 BC, leaving a 12cm limestone hardground/crust.
This paper is the outcome of a collaboration between researchers in the Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge (Prof. David Hodell and Dr Yama Dixit), the Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Kanpur, India (Prof. Rajiv Sinha) and the Division of Archaeology, Cambridge (Cameron Petrie).