Glacio-archaeological evidence of warmer climate during the Little Ice Age
in the Miyar basin, Lahul Himalaya, India
Rakesh Saini1, Milap Chand Sharma2, Sanjay Deswal3, Iestyn David Barr4, and Parvendra Kumar11Department of General & Applied Geograp hy, Dr. Harisingh Gour Central University, Sagar, 470003, India 2Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110067, India 3Department of Geography, Government College Dujana, Dujana , 124102, India 4School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University, Belfast, BT7 1NN, United Kingdom
Received: 05 Oct 2016 – Accepted for review: 01 Nov 2016 – Discussion started: 07 Nov 2016
Abstract. Impressive glacio-archaeological evidence is described from the Miyar basin, Lahul Himalaya, India. Three ruins, namely Tharang, Phundang and Patam are identified along with evidence for past settlement and rich irrigation practices in the basin. These ruins are located in the end moraine complex of Tharang glacier, just ~ 2–3 km from the present glacier snout. Reconstruction of these ruins was undertaken based on mapping and radiocarbon (14C) dating. The radiocarbon dates (9 samples were dated) indicate that the settlement was occupied between cal AD ~ 1170 and cal AD ~ 1730, thereby encompassing the majority of Little Ice Age period. The settlement’s occupation at ~ 3700 m a.s.l. (whereas present habitation is restricted to areas below ~ 3500 m a.s.l.) for almost ~ 550 years during the 12th to 17th centuries suggest warmer conditions than today. Moreover, the study finds no evidence to suggest any noticeable glacier advance during this period.
Saini, R., Sharma, M. C., Deswal, S., Barr, I. D., and Kumar, P.: Glacio-archaeological evidence of warmer climate during the Little Ice Age
in the Miyar basin, Lahul Himalaya, India, Clim. Past Discuss., doi:10.5194/cp-2016-101, 2016.