Glacio-archaeological evidence of warmer climate during the Little Ice Age in the Miyar basin, Lahul Himalaya, India

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Saini, Rakesh ; Sharma, Milap Chand ; Deswal, Sanjay ; Barr, Iestyn David ; Kumar, Parvendra (2016)

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 ~&thinsp;2&ndash;3&thinsp;km from the present glacier snout. Reconstruction of these ruins was undertaken based on mapping and radiocarbon (<sup>14</sup>C) dating. The radiocarbon dates (9 samples were dated) indicate that the settlement was occupied between cal AD ~&thinsp;1170 and cal AD ~&thinsp;1730, thereby encompassing the majority of Little Ice Age period. The settlement’s occupation at ~&thinsp;3700&thinsp;m&thinsp;a.s.l. (whereas present habitation is restricted to areas below ~&thinsp;3500&thinsp;m&thinsp; a.s.l.) for almost ~&thinsp;550 years during the 12<sup>th</sup> to 17<sup>th</sup> centuries suggest warmer conditions than today. Moreover, the study finds no evidence to suggest any noticeable glacier advance during this period.
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