Cameron Petrie, a senior lecturer in South Asian and Iranian Archaeology at the Division of Archaeology and Anthopology, has been awarded a 2 million euro ERC consolidator grant for his 'TwoRains' project.
Says Petrie: "The project is essentially a major reconfiguration of my previous research in India to focus specifically on issues related to environmental adaptation, climate change and resilience during the Bronze Age - specifically as these issues relate to the Indus Civilisation."
This new project will build on work carried out for the 'Land, Water and Settlement' project, and will involve weather modelling, palaeoclimate reconstruction, settlement modelling and survey, excavation, bio-archaeology (including botanical analysis, isotopic analysis and residue analysis), and also agent based modelling.
'TwoRains' will investigate the resilience and sustainability of South Asia’s first complex society, the Indus Civilisation (c.2500-1900 BC), which developed across a range of distinctive environmental contexts where westerly winter rainfall overlapped with the summer rainfall of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). It is now clear that there was an abrupt weakening of the ISM that directly impacted NW India c.2100 BC, and coincided with the start of the decline of Indus cities, but the degree of connection between the two is elusive.
Added Petrie: "Rainfall systems are complex and inherently variable, yet they are of fundamental importance due to their impact on food security. Given that human populations can adapt their behaviour to a wide range of climatic and environmental conditions, it is essential that we understand the degree to which human choices in the past, present and future are resilient and sustainable in the face of variable weather conditions, and when confronted with abrupt events of climate change."