A group of geologists from Kerala University is claimed to have made a significant scientific discovery that may offer a clearer understanding of the events leading to the end of the Indus Valley civilisation. They have claimed that the crater in Luna, Kutch in Gujarat, was caused by a meteor impact, potentially marking the only major one since human beings appeared on Earth.
Melt rock analysis from the crater site has confirmed that the rocks were remnants of a meteor, and the impact occurred within the last 6,900 years, coinciding with the thriving period of the Indus Valley civilisation in the area. "We can only confirm that the impact happened within the last 6,900 years. We need to conduct precise dating to determine the exact time of the impact," K S Sajinkumar, lead geologist from the team that made this discovery, told PTI.
He said that they have submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to establish a Crater Research Centre at Luna. "This is the fourth crater discovered in India, and the first by an Indian team. The other three were found by foreign geologists. We have very limited resources for such research compared to developed countries," said Kumar.
The nearest Indus Valley site from Luna is about 200 kilometres away. However, scientists are skeptical about whether this impact could have wiped out the Indus Valley civilisation. The crater is approximately 2 km wide, suggesting that a meteor with a diameter of 100 to 200 meters would have caused it. Its immediate impact could be effective within a 5 km radius. "But the dust cloud caused by it would have taken at least a month to settle down," Kumar added.
Kumar mentioned that this is a fascinating discovery as it marks the first meteor impact after the evolution of human beings. "Many international firms have already shown interest in pursuing further studies here. We have been contacted by many," he added. The research paper by these geologists was published in the scientific journal ScienceDirect. The scientists are now planning to seek foreign assistance to date the samples and determine the exact year of the impact. "We need to protect this site, which is a marshland. It is getting destroyed as it has been flooded with water for 11 months of the year," he added.