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VANGCHHIA’S ANCIENT ART OF WATER CONSERVATION

VANGCHHIA’S ANCIENT ART OF WATER CONSERVATION

What in news about VANGCHHIA’S ANCIENT ART OF WATER CONSERVATION?

  • As climate change and extreme weather events push the world towards growing conflicts over water, a lost civilisation in Mizoram that turned rocks into hidden reservoirs, could hold the key to water conservation in extreme conditions.

Features of VANGCHHIA’S ANCIENT ART OF WATER CONSERVATION:

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) announced the discovery of a “living history museum” at Vangchhia, a village in Mizoram’s Champhai district bordering Myanmar.
  • The site, measuring about 45 sq km and located 260 km from Aizawl, has yielded pictographs etched on large stone slabs, menhirs — large standing stones — and a necropolis — a large cemetery — among other artefacts.
  • The area is part of the Lower Himalayas, and has rows of steep hills largely made up of various kinds of sandstone shading from light grey to blackish.
  • The ancient people of Vangchhia carved terraces on these rocks for their settlement — the main excavated site consists of 15 such terraces.
  • The years of study since the discovery of the Vangchhia site, researchers have arrived at some theories behind the “seemingly simple science” of water harvesting, perfected several centuries ago, which could sustain local populations for at least a year.
  • It is remarkable how they trapped rainwater flowing down the slopes by making holes to let the water flow in and be stored in the fissures and veins of the rocks.
  • Most of the ethnic groups that inhabited these areas were at war, and the possibility of raiders poisoning water reservoirs or stealing water could have made locals devise this strategy to dissuade those not familiar with the topography.
  • Moreover, The archaeologists have not been able to accurately date the Vangchhia settlement.
  • An ASI team discovered neolithic caves near Vangchhia, indicating that the lost civilisation could be much older.
  • These archaeological relics are not confined to Vangchhia and are found all over Champhai district.
  • There are at least four more major sites — Farkawn, Dungtlang, Lianpui and Lunghunlian — that are yet to be excavated extensively with hundreds of menhirs and pictographs that tell stories of a forgotten past.

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https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/decoding-vangchhias-ancient-art-of-holding-water-in-rock-amid-mizorams-hills/article26225455.ece

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