Prudnikova T.N. TARIM BASIN AND TRANSFORMATION OF ITS LANDSCAPES // Arid ecosystems. 2019. V. 25. № 3 (80). P. 19-29. | PDF
The study of ancient agriculture in the arid territories of Central Asia (Tuvan and Ubsu-Nur basins, Central Mongolia) revealed the features of paleogeography of these regions – the presence of forest-steppe vegetation in the desert landscapes now. The authors suggest that the main reason for the change in the natural environment is anthropogenic, first, the reduction of forest cover by man, which led to a decrease in the level of groundwater and subsequent desertification.
According to the results, the study of the landscapes of the Tarim basin suggests an anthropogenic factor as determining the desertification of its territory.
It is assumed that the natural features of the basin and its surroundings (high mountainous terrain, glaciers as a source of water, active volcanoes, fertile upland plains, minerals, climate), as well as an economically advantageous location at the intersection of important trade routes, predetermined the formation of a large focus of formation of Asian ethnic groups in this territory. This contributed to a powerful anthropogenic impact on the ecosystem of the basin, which led to the degradation of landscapes, the formation of deserts (Takla-Makan) as a result. The specific features of the terrain: a very significant difference in the height of the sides and the bottom of the basin, its drainage character, as well as catastrophic natural phenomena associated with the melting of glaciers and volcanic eruptions, a small amount of precipitation, contributed to the strengthening of desertification.
According to Russian researchers, in the distant past, from time to time of the major foci of the development of ancient civilizations due to the large size of the population, human energy, and social problems, there was a “splash out” of peoples and their resettlement to other areas (Humbatov, http://www.proza.ru)
One of these “splashes” was probable output of the tribes from the lean boiler Tarim basin to the Mongolian steppes. Confirmation of this can be the creation by the Mongolian tribes the sacred image of Odugen in the area of modern volcanism of the Eastern Sayan and Khangai, presumably preserved for a long time and associated with the deification of the active volcanoes in the mountain frame of the Tarim basin — the mountain range of the Kun-Lun.
It is assumed that another wave the part of the population of the deserted Tarim basin, moved to the Indus valley, where, gave rise to Vedic culture together with the indigenous population. Excessive anthropogenic pressure on the environment in the Indus valley and surrounding areas contributed to the formation of new desert landscapes (the Thar Desert).
The proposed material can be partly considered as a working hypothesis.
Keywords: Tarim basin, Tarim, Tara, the center of formation of ethnic groups, the desert, the Takla-Makan, anthropogenic factor, modern volcanism of the ridge of Kun-Lun, sacred Odugen, the valley of the river Indus, the Thar desert.