POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENTS

POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENTS : The polities that emerged late during the first millennium bce were chiefdoms known  as  janapadas,  and  named  after  the  land  tracts  they  occupied. Their rulers were scions of the dominant clans of such communities, whose author- ity  derived  partly  from  the  support  of  subordinate  rajanyas  (kshatriyas)  and partly from the … Read more

ARYAN SOCIAL DIFFERENTIATION

ARYAN SOCIAL DIFFERENTIATION- By later vedic times – that is, between 1000 and 500 bce, when the sacrificial cult of Indo-Aryan brahmans had attained a prestigious place – the main locus of Aryan society had shifted from the river valleys of the Punjab and the plains of  northern  Rajasthan  into  the  western  parts  of  the … Read more

CLEARING THE FORESTS

CLEARING THE FORESTS- Between 1000 and 500 bce iron tools and weapons provided the technological foundations  for  the  expansion  of  agricultural  communities  over  the  entire basin  of  the  Ganges.  One  important  consequence  of  the  replacement  of copper  and  bronze  implements  by  stronger  iron  weapons  and  tools  was  the greater  ease  in  removing  the  forest  cover … Read more

THE UPANISHADS

THE UPANISHADS- Along with the sacred, domestic and philosophical hymns, an ancillary canon came into existence as a comment upon them. There were three later Vedas: the Sama, Yajur and Atharva Vedas, dealing respectively with liturgical verses to be sung, with magical incantations to be pronounced, and with sacrificial formulae to guide the ritualists. Manuals … Read more

VEDIC CULTURE

VEDIC CULTURE:- The vedic age has carried several different labels: ‘iron age India’, ‘the second urbanization’, and ‘Gangetic culture’; each can be justified, though the designation ‘vedic culture’ points to the main trajectory of historical development. It is now widely accepted that the subcontinent began to be infiltrated well before  the  middle  of  the  first … Read more

HARAPPAN COMMERCE

HARAPPAN COMMERCE- If the notion of a centralized autocracy has been rejected, the degree of com- mercial activity involving cities and towns of the northwest is only now begin- ning to be adequately appreciated. Evidence from the cities of the Indus basin that have been extensively excavated indicates large populations of craftsmen producing commodities that … Read more

THE HARAPPAN STATE AND SOCIETY

THE HARAPPAN STATE AND SOCIETY- It is this culture to which the now rejected paradigm outlined above pertains. Much  has  been  learned  about  Harappan  settlements  in  recent  years. The number of known sites is now over 400 in a 1000 square mile triangle of the northwest. While  few  if  any  scholars  currently  support  the  idea … Read more

FROM AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES TO URBAN CONFIGURATIONS

FROM AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES TO URBAN CONFIGURATIONS- Mehrgarh’s  seventh  millennium  bce  occupants  made  buildings  of  several rooms for habitation and storage out of mud-brick; they made stone tools for harvesting  the  barley  and  wheat  they  cultivated  and  for  shaping  ornaments out of local as well as imported substances; they buried their dead and interred tools and … Read more