GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 198, PP. 107-114, 2012
A Simulation of the Neolithic Transition in the Indus Valley
The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was one of the first great civilizations in prehistory. This Bronze Age civilization flourished
from the end of the fourth millennium B.C. It disintegrated during the second millennium B.C.; despite much research effort,
this decline is not well understood. Less research has been devoted to the emergence of the IVC, which shows continuous cultural
precursors since at least the seventh millennium B.C. To understand the decline, we believe it is necessary to investigate
the rise of the IVC, i.e., the establishment of agriculture and livestock, dense populations, and technological developments
in 7000–3000 B.C. Although much archaeological information is available, our capability to investigate the system is hindered
by poorly resolved chronology and by a lack of fieldwork in the intermediate areas between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia.
We thus employ a complementary numerical simulation to develop a consistent picture of technology, agropastoralism, and population
developments in the IVC domain. Results from this global land use and technological evolution simulator show that there is
(1) fair agreement between the simulated timing of the agricultural transition and radiocarbon dates from early agricultural
sites, but the transition is simulated first in India then Pakistan; (2) an independent agropastoralism developing on the
Indian subcontinent; and (3) a positive relationship between archeological artifact richness and simulated population density
that remains to be quantified.
Citation: Lemmen, C., and