Received: 05 Oct 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.
How to cite. 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. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2016-101, 2016.
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...