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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2016-101
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2016-101
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  07 Nov 2016

07 Nov 2016

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

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 Kumar1 Rakesh Saini et al.
  • 1Department 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

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.

Rakesh Saini et al.

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Rakesh Saini et al.

Rakesh Saini et al.

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Short summary
Generally it is believed that Himalayan glaciers advanced between 1300 and 1850 AD and retreated thereafter. However, this study presents glacio-archaeological evidence of peoples survival at 3700 m a.s.l. in the glacier end moraine complex between cal AD ~ 1170 and cal AD 1730. The peoples survival at 3700 m (present habitation restricted below 3500 m) along with elaborate agriculture and water harvesting structures for almost 550 years suggest that climatic condition were warmer than the present
Generally it is believed that Himalayan glaciers advanced between 1300 and 1850 AD and retreated...
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