Sequence of Social Changes

R.S. Sharma

in India’s Ancient Past

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780195687859
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080366 | DOI:
Sequence of Social Changes

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)


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Archaeology informs that people lived in small groups in the hilly areas in the Palaeolithic age. The Neolithic and Chalcolithic communities lived on the uplands in the proximity of hills and rivers. The Rig Vedic society was primarily pastoral. People were semi-nomadic, and their principal possessions were cattle and horses. Although artisans, peasants, priests, and warriors figure even in the earlier portions of the Rig Veda, society as a whole was tribal, pastoral, seminomadic, and egalitarian. Three processes coincided with one another in post-Vedic times. These were Aryanization, ironization, and urbanization. The varna system authorized the kshatriya to collect taxes from the peasants and tolls from traders and artisans. The social system worked well from the age of the Buddha to Gupta times. Then, it underwent a change due to internal upheavals.

Keywords: Palaeolithic age; Chalcolithic communities; Rig Veda; Aryanization; ironization; urbanization; varna system; kshatriya

Chapter.  3239 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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