Climate change ultimately caused the demise of Transoxania

Climate change doomed the ancient Transoxania civilization, suggests a new study. 

An international team of scientists analyzed sediment samples from rivers and now abandoned canals in the area where this ancient civilization once lived. Their research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that climate change led to the ultimate fall of the Transoxania civilization. 

Trenching of an ancient irrigation canal north of the fortified settlement of Kuik Mardan (in the background) in Otrar Oasis. | Image: Willem Toonen

Transoxania or Transoxiana is the ancient name of the portion of Central Asia corresponding to modern-day southern Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Geographically the region is situated between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. Earlier research has suggested that the Mongolian invasion of Transoxania in the 13th century caused the civilization’s demise.  

In this new research, the researchers analyzed ancient sediment samples from the dry canals used by the people of Transoxania to corral floodwater from Amy Darya and Syr Darya rivers and used it for irrigation. 

The lush green corridor of the current Arys river in Kazakhstan; the high left bank was used for medieval floodwater farming. | Image: Willem Toonen

Optically stimulated luminescence tests and radiometric dating provided the time period when these canals were abandoned. A similar test conducted on the sediments from the Amy Darya and the Syr Darya rivers suggested a change in river flow during that period. 

The changing river flow impacted the agriculture and livelihood of the Transoxania people. Drought before and during the Mongolian invasion made it difficult for the people to defend and recover after the Mongols left. Research showed that rains followed the invasion but were not enough to sustain a livelihood, and the people eventually moved on to more hospitable regions. 

Do you want to publish on Apple News, Google News, and more? Join our writing community, improve your writing skills, and be read by hundreds of thousands around the world!

Source: Phys.org

More from Science – News Landed

+ Next Step: Jurassic Park? Scientists digitally reconstruct dinosaur brain
+ Doctors who perform surgery on their birthday are likely lethargic and kill more patients

Poplar Stories – News Landed

+ Homeowner in the UK delays his house sale after the appearance of Banksy Mural
+ Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico collapses

Related Stories

Will Telosa be the “City of the Future” by 2030?

Shenzhen, China was a sleepy fishing village in 1979. A mere forty years later, it is one of the...

Low-cost lead adsorbing water filter designed by Indian students

Two students from India have designed a low-cost lead water filter that can be made with locally sourced materials....

Featured Stories

Will Telosa be the “City of the Future” by 2030?

Shenzhen, China was a sleepy fishing village in 1979. A mere forty years later, it is one of the...

Low-cost lead adsorbing water filter designed by Indian students

Two students from India have designed a low-cost lead water filter that can be made with locally sourced materials....

Make it Rain! Dubai uses drones to conjure rain from the skies

You can order food, hail a driver, and even find a spouse with the click of a button; but...

Physicists have created the world’s thinnest magnet. Just one atom thick!

Can you guess the size of the thinnest magnet? It is just one atom thick. Scientists from the University of...

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak reverse decision to avoid self-isolation following ping by NHS contact tracing

Following the Health Secretary's diagnosis with COVID-19, the Prime Minister and Chancellor were notified by NHS Test and Trace...

India is one of the largest producers of COVID vaccine and yet faces major internal shortages

The worsening situation in India finally gained some stabilization around September 2020. Usually, when things start getting better, people...