What led to the decline of the Harappan civilization?

Expert Answers
larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Harappan society entered a period of decline about 1900 B.C.E. There is evidence of deforestation as woodlands were cleared to create more arable land to feed a growing population. This deforestation in turn led to reduced rainfall and erosion of the topsoil, as a result of which the area soon became a desert. To this day, it requires considerable irrigation to be farmed. There is further evidence of some natural catastrophes, possibly earthquakes, which further weakened the society. It is important to note that there is no evidence of military conflict, so the decline of the society was not the result of conquest. Also, the decline did not happen overnight, or even in a single lifetime. It most likely occurred over a period of five hundred years. By 1500 B.C.E., the society had collapsed. Still, its influence remained with the people who survived them, including their deities and their cultivation practices.