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The Quaternary sediments and landscapes of the plains of northwestern Haryana and the ancient settlement mounds distributed across them have great potential to reveal the history of the evolution and disappearance of palaeorivers and their relationship to the Indus Civilization and Early Historic periods in NW India. There are numerous palaeochannels in Haryana, and their distribution and burial in the subsurface creates difficulties for accessing the archives and proxies necessary for developing insight into the timing of river flow and shift, and its relationship to settled populations. This paper investigates the deep and shallow subsurface sedimentary lithology of an area around Sirsa that is close to the course of the modern Ghagghar River. The paper presents additional age constraints provided by dates from the site at Rakhigarhi and examines a sedimentary substrate of a new archaeological mound situated on a palaeochannel identified at a mound near Dhir village. New AMS radiocarbon dates of drifted charcoal from natural and cultural strata suggest human activity and/or natural burning in this region as early as 10 405–10 190 cal years BP (8455–8240 cal years BC). The substrate sediments recorded at the Dhir mound indicate flooding events after the urban phase of the Indus Civilization.

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