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Contents Preface A Reader's Guide to This Book Acknowledgements INTRODUCTION: IDEAS OF THE EARLY INDIAN PAST The main physiographic zones of the subcontinent Ways of dividing the Indian past Changing interpretations of early Indian history New histories, unwritten histories CHAPTER 1: HOW DO WE KNOW ABOUT ANCIENT AND EARLY MEDIEVAL INDIA? Reading ancient texts from a historical point of view The classification of literary sources: language, genre and content Box: Ancient palm leaf manuscript The Vedas The Puranas The Epics Box: Archaeology and the Mahabharata Box: The Historical Layers in the Ramayana The Dharmashastra Box: Theory and practice in the Dharmashastras Buddhist literature Box: Songs of Buddhist nuns Jaina literature Sangam literature and later Tamil works Box: Silappadikaram and Manimekalai Early Kannada and Telugu literature Other ancient texts, biographies and histories Box: Banabhatta and his royal biography The nature of ancient Indian historical traditions The accounts of foreign writers Box: Al-Biruni's Tahqiq I Hind Archaeology and the early Indian past Box: Cultural sequence at Hastinapura Scientific techniques in archaeology Box: Some dating methods used in archaeology Interpreting archaeological evidence Ethno-archaeology Box: Social and cultural aspects of technology Protecting sites Epigraphy: the study of inscriptions Ancient and early medieval scripts Box: Deciphered and undeciphered scripts Languages of ancient and early medieval inscriptions Dating the inscriptions The classification of inscriptions Inscriptions as a source of history Box: Memorializing death in stone Box: An ancient theatre and an ancient love story Numismatics: the study of coins A brief history of Indian coinage Coins as a source of history Box: Counter-struck coins of the Kshatrapas and Satavahana Conclusions CHAPTER 2: PALAEOLITHIC AND MESOLITHIC HUNTER-GATHERERS The geological ages and hominid evolution Box: What does it mean to be human? Hominid remains in the Indian subcontinent Palaeo-environments Box: Water and prehistoric settlements in the Thar Classifying the Indian stone age The palaeolithic age Lower palaeolithic sites Box: Stone tools of lower Palaeolithic people Middle palaeolithic sites Box: The Levallois technique Upper palaeolithic sites Box: Upper palaeolithic tools Box: Hunter-gatherers of central India Palaeolithic art and cults Box: The ostrich, its eggs, and their shells The life-ways of palaeolithic hunter-gatherers The Mesolithic age Mesolithic sites Box: Tiny stone tools The magnificence of mesolithic art Conclusions CHAPTER 3: THE TRANSITION TO FOOD PRODUCTION: NEOLITHIC, NEOLITHIC- CHALCOLITHIC, AND CHALCOLITHIC CULTURES, C. 7000-2000 BCE The neolithic age and the beginnings of food production Why domestication? The identification of domestication and food production in the archaeological record Box: The domestication of plants The transition to food production in the Indian subcontinent The earliest village settlements c. 7000-3000 BCE The north-west The Vindhyan fringes and other areas Neolithic, neolithic-chalcolithic, and chalcolithic communities c. 3000-2000 BCE The north and north-west Box: Did people actually live in the Burzahom pits Rajasthan The Malwa region The western Deccan The middle Ganga plain and eastern India South India Box: The mystery of the ash mounds Box: Community feasting at Neolithic Budihal The life of early farmers Changes in cultic and belief systems Box: Female figurines - ordinary women or goddesses Conclusions CHAPTER 4: THE HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION (C. 2600-1900 BCE) Civilization and urbanization: Definitions and implications Box: Childe's ten-point formula Recent discoveries and changing perspectives Harappan, Indus or Sindhu-Sarasvati civilization? Origin: the significance of the early Harappan phase Box: What's the problem with diffusionist theories? The relationship between the early and mature Harappan phases The general features of mature Harappan settlements Profiles of some Harappan cities, towns and villages The diversity of the Harappan subsistence base Box: Animal bones at Shikarpur Harappan crafts and techniques Box: Sculpture in stone and metal Box: How craftsmen made the long carnelian beads Networks of trade Box: Shortughai -- a Harappan trading post in Afghanistan The nature and uses of writing Religious and funerary practices Box: The 'fire altars' The Harappan people Box: How healthy were the Harappans ? The ruling elite The decline of urban life Box: Defining a state The significance of the late Harappan phase Conclusions CHAPTER 5: THE REGIONS OF THE SUBCONTINENT, C. 2000-500/600 BCE: LITERARY AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROFILES Perspectives from texts Using the Vedas as a historical source Box: The date of the Rig Veda Who were the Indo-Aryans? The culture reflected in the family books of the Rig Veda Samhita Tribes and wars Box: Hymn to arms (Rig Veda Samhita VI.75) Box: Kinship, trib Pastoralism, agriculture, and other occupations Varna in the Rig Veda Women, men, and the household Box: The family and the household Religion: sacrifices to the gods Box: Hymn to Indra Rig Veda II. 12 Box: The soma plant and its juice The historical milieu of later Vedic age texts Aspects of every-day life The emergence of monarchy Box: The ceremony of the jewel offering The varna hierarchy Gender and the household Religion, ritual, and philosophy Box: The Nasadiya hymn (Rig Veda X. 12 The sacrificial ritual of the Brahmana texts Box: The sacrificial arena The Upanishads Box: The atman, according to Uddalaka Aruni Popular beliefs and practices Box: Atharva Veda spells Archaeological profiles of different regions of the subcontinent, c. 2000-500 BCE Neolithic-chalcolithic and chalcolithic cultures The north-west and north Box: Mythological motifs on Cemetery-H pottery The Indo-Gangetic divide, the upper Ganga valley and the doab The late Harappan phase The Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) culture The copper hoards Box: The copper anthropomorphs The Black and Red Ware (BRW) phase in the doab Box: The problem of black and red ware Western India The middle Ganga valley Eastern India The north-east The cultural sequence in Central India The Ahar culture The Malwa culture The chalcolithic farmers of the Deccan The late Harappan and Malwa cultures Box: The curious Daimabad bronzes The Jorwe culture Box: Food, nutrition and health among the people of Inamgaon Box: Goddesses with heads and without heads Neolithic-chalcolithic sites of South India Box: Pictures on stones From copper to iron: Early iron age cultures of the subcontinent A clarification about the Indian megaliths The north-west The Indo-Gangetic divide and the upper Ganga valley: The Painted Grey Ware (PGW)culture Box: Painted Grey Ware Rajasthan The middle and lower Ganga valley Central India The Deccan South India Box: The enigma of the megalithic anthropomorphs The impact of iron technology The problem of correlating literary and archaeological evidence Conclusions CHAPTER 6: CITIES, KINGS, AND RENUNCIANTS: EARLY HISTORICAL NORTH INDIA, C. 600-300 BCE The sources, literary and archaeological Box: History from grammar The 16 great states The ganas or sanghas Box: The conflict between the Sakyas and the Kosalans Box: Vassakara seeks the Buddha's advice on how to defeat the Lichchhavis Political conflicts and the growth of the Magadhan empire Box: Ajatashatru's visit to the Buddha Box: The chronology of the early dynasties of Magadha The Persian and Macedonian invasions Box: The storming of the Malla citadel Land and agrarian expansion From village to town: the example of Atranjikhera The emergence of city-life Box: The legendary city of Kusavati Archaeological and literary profiles of early historical cities The north-west The Indo-Gangetic divide, the upper Ganga valley and the doab The middle and lower Ganga valley Central India and the Deccan Urban occupations, crafts, guilds, and money The new social elites: gahapati and setthi Trade, trade routes, traders Class, kinship, varna and caste Box: Duties in times of distress Box: Varna and jati Gender, the family and the household Box: Marriage, according to the Grihya sutras The renunciatory tradition Box: The Samannaphala sutta The Ajivikas Early Buddhism The life of the Buddha The Buddha's teaching Box: The analogy of the raft The Buddhist sangha and the laity Box: The seven kinds of wives The social implications of the Buddha's teaching Box: The Agganna Sutta Buddhism and women Box: The 8 conditions imposed on nuns Early Jainism The Jaina tirthankaras, Vardhamana Mahavira The Jaina understanding of reality Box: The liberated man The discipline of the Jaina monastic order and the laity Box: On not killing earth-bodies The social composition of the Jaina sangha and laity Box: The true Brahmana Box: Malli or Mallinatha Conclusions CHAPTER 7: THE MAURYA EMPIRE, C. 321-187 BCE The major sources for the Maurya period Kautilya's Arthashastra Box: Statistical analysis of word frequencies in the Arthashastra Box: Megasthenes' Indika Box: The Greeks on the Greeks Megasthenes' Indica Ashoka's inscriptions Box: The different categories of Ashokan inscriptions and their location Archaeological and numismatic evidence The Maurya dynasty Box: The legends about Ashoka in the Ashokavadana Literary and archaeological profiles of cities Box: Pataliputra and the palace according to Arrian and Aelian Some aspects of rural and urban life Box: References to famine relief in the Mahasthan and Sohgaura inscriptions The nature and structure of the Maurya empire Box: Kautilya's daily time-table for a king Box: The life of a king, according to Megasthenes (via Strabo) Box: Rock edict 6 (Girnar version) Ashoka and Buddhism Box: Minor Rock 1(Rupnath version) Box: The fifth pillar edict (Delhi-Topra pillar) Box: The 13th rock edict (Shahbazgarhi version) Box: Ashoka's assessment of his success The Shar-i-Kuna Greek-Aramaic inscription: Ashoka's dhamma Sculpture and architecture Box: Ancient and modern quarries at Chunar Box: The medieval and modern history of the Ashokan pillars Box: The discovery of an Ashokan stupa at Deorkothar The decline of the Maurya empire Conclusions CHAPTER 8: CULTURAL INNOVATION AND INTERACTION: C. 200 BCE-300 CE The political history of North India: The Shungas Box: The Besnagar pillar inscription of Heliodorus The Indo-Greeks Box: Coins of the Indo-Greek kings The Shaka-Pahlavas or Scytho-Parthians The Kushanas The Shaka Kshatrapas of western India Box: A lake, a storm and a king The Satavahana empire in the Deccan Box: The royal portrait gallery in the Naneghat cave Kings and chieftains in the far south: The Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas Box: The royal drum Villages and cities Cities of the north-west The Indo-Gangetic divide and upper Ganga valley The middle and lower Ganga valley and eastern India Box: Chandraketugarh Central and western India Cities and towns of the Deccan Box: Plant remains from Sanghol Cities of the far south Box: Madurai in the Maduraikanchi Crafts and guilds in the subcontinent Box: Guilds as bankers Trade and traders in the subcontinent Box: Why did people travel in ancient times? Long-distance trade Box: The description of Kaveripattinam in the Pattinapalai Box: The Periplus Maris Erythraei (The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea) Trade with East and Southeast Asia Indo-Roman trade Box: Recent excavations at Arikamedu The wider roles of trade and traders Aspects of social change in north India and the Deccan: varna, caste, gender Box: The Jatakas as a source of social history Society in early historical South India Box: An ancient Tamil love poem Box: The glorification of a heroic death Philosophical developments: astika and nastika schools Box: The Bhagavad Gita Looking at the history of religions beyond the framework of 'isms' The worship of yakshas and yakshis, nagas and nagis Goddesses, votive tanks and shrines Vedic rituals Puranic Hinduism Shaivism or Shivaism The formation of the Vaishnava pantheon Shakti worship The emergence of Mahayana Buddhism Box: Krishna and Balarama on Agathocles' coins Box: Monastic and lay practices in texts versus inscriptions The Digambara-Shvetambara divide in Jainism Religious architecture and sculpture Early Hindu temples and sculpture Buddhist architecture Buddhist stupas-monasteries of the north-west Stupas of central India - Sanchi and Bharhut Stupas of Andhra Pradesh Early relief sculpture at Buddhist stupa sites Buddhist caves in the western ghats The Jaina caves at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Early sculptures from the north-west: the Gandhara school Early stone sculptures from Vidisha and Mathura Terracotta art Box: Gifts of water pots from ancient Gandhara Box: The unique donations at Bandhogarh Conclusions CHAPTER 9: THE GUPTA EMPIRE AND ITS CONTEMPORARIES C. 300-600 CE Political history The Gupta dynasty Box: Ramagupta - did he exist? Box: The inscription of king Chandra and the legend of the shakey pillar The Vakatakas of the Deccan Box: A queen's grant Other dynasties of peninsular India Administrative structure of the Gupta and Vakataka kingdoms Box: An ancient panchayat? Revenue resources of states Land ownership Types of land, land measures and land tenure Royal land grants Box: The land grant deal, according to Vakataka grants Patterns of urban history Box: The daily routine of the sophisticated man-about- town Craft production, guilds and trade Aspects of social structure: Gender, forms of labour, slavery and untouchability Box: The ganika in Sanskrit kavya Patterns of religious developments Box: Hari-Hara The emergence of Tantra Box: The emergence of tantra The evolution of the Vaishnava pantheon Shaivism Box: The various forms of Shiva in the Elephanta cave The cult of the great goddess The worship of other deities Buddhism Box: Kumarajiva (343-413) Jainism A classical age of art? Religious architecture Box: discovery of Ajanta Sculpture Box: Vishnu rescuing the earth, at Udyaygiri and Eran The classical age of Sanskrit literature Box: The cloud messenger Box: The Natyashastra Astronomy and and mathematics Medical knowledge Box: The ideal hospital, according to Charaka Box: Sushruta on surgeons and surgery Conclusions CHAPTER 10: EARLY MEDIEVAL INDIA C. 600-1200 CE Sources, literary and archaeological Political narrative and political structure Box: The image of the ideal king in inscriptions of Orissa Box: Rudramadevi, the female king The Deccan Box: The Aihole inscription of Pulakeshin The far south Box: Death and memorialization Box: Religious and political symbolism in the Tanjavur temple North India: The Pushyabhutis, Harshvardhana Box: A Chinese monk in India Eastern India Box: Some origin myths of the dynasties of Orissa The Rajput clans Box: The Tomaras and Delhi in legends and inscriptions Kashmir and the north-west Box: Didda Royal land grants The political implications of land grants Brahmana beneficiaries of royal grants The nature of brahmadeya settlements The impact of Brahmana settlements on agrarian relations Land grants as part of larger social and cultural processes Rural society: regional specificities Urban processes in early medieval India South Indian states: centralized empires, segmentary states, feudal polities or otherwise? The administrative structure of South Indian kingdoms Rural society in early medieval South India Irrigation and cash crop cultivation in the Deccan and the far south Urban processes in South India Trade and traders of South India The history of religions in early medieval India Buddhism in early medieval India Major centres of Jainism Shankara and Advaita Vedanta The Hindu cults Vaishnavism and Shaivism The Shakti cult South Indian Bhakti: The Alvars and Nayanars The philosophical underpinnings of South Indian bhakti and later developments Patronage to temples The architecture of early medieval temples Nagara, Dravida and Vesara styles The art and architecture of western India and the Deccan The architecture and sculpture of the Pallava kingdom The Chola temples Chola metal sculpture Conclusions Note on diacritics Glossary Bibliography Index Credits About the Author
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
India -- History.