Home Region:  Southern South Asia (South Asia)

Mahajanapada era

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  in_mahajanapada / InMahaJ

Preceding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

The Mahajanapada era ran from 450-605 CE.
Information cannot be found in the sources consulted regarding the polity’s population, however the largest settlement is estimated to have had a population of between 12,000-48,000 people (based off the number of inhabitants of Rajagriha, the old Magadhan capital.) [1]
Excavations show there may been four types of settlements during this period, ranging from less than six hectares, up to fifty hectares, and other very small sites represented by simple ceramic findings, which may have been agricultural areas or farmsteads. [2]

[1]: (Kaul 2015b: 525) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/94XKJ54Q.

[2]: (Coningham and Young 2015: 380: 381) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DIGG6KVA.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[600 BCE ➜ 324 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[12,000 to 48,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
2  
Military Level:
4  
Administrative Level:
4  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred absent  
Judge:
inferred absent  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred absent  
Court:
inferred absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
unknown  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
inferred absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
inferred absent  
Practical Literature:
inferred absent  
Philosophy:
inferred absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown  
History:
inferred absent  
Fiction:
unknown  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Token:
inferred absent  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
inferred absent  
Indigenous Coin:
inferred absent  
Foreign Coin:
inferred absent  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
inferred absent  
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
inferred present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
unknown 600 BCE 451 BCE
inferred present 450 BCE 300 BCE
  Iron:
present  
  Bronze:
unknown  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
absent  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
absent  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
absent  
  Dog:
absent  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
unknown  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
unknown  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Mahajanapada era (in_mahajanapada) was in:
 (600 BCE 325 BCE)   Middle Ganga
Home NGA: Middle Ganga

General Variables
Identity and Location
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[600 BCE ➜ 324 BCE]

Political and Cultural Relations
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[12,000 to 48,000] people

Estimating 50-200 inhabitants per hectares: "No more than 240 hectares for Rajagriha, the old Magadhan capital". [1]

[1]: (Kaul 2015b: 525) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/94XKJ54Q.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels. Erdosy "recorded the presence of four distinct tiers of settlement in the Era of Integration between 600 and 350 BCE (Erdosy 1988 : 55). These included (1) Kausambi, which increased in size to 50 hectares, (2) two sites between 10 and 49.9 hectares, (3) two between 6 and 9.99 hectares and (4) seventeen less than 5.99 hectares. The smallest category of sites was represented by simple ceramic scatters and has been interpreted as agricultural sites, as they had no evidence of craft activities. Craft activities were represented in the next category, sites between 6 and 9.99 hectares, as slag was recovered from a number of those settlements surveyed. Erdosy has termed the next category, between 10 and 49.9 hectares, towns, and the site of Kara has provided evidence of metal, semi-precious stone and shell working and coins." [1]

[1]: (Coningham and Young 2015: 380: 381) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DIGG6KVA.


Religious Level:
2

levels.
1 Chief priest (purohit)2 Priest [1]

[1]: Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007),p.73.


Military Level:
4

levels. [1]
1. King2 Commander-in-chief (senani)3. Chief4. Warrior

[1]: Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007),p.73.


Administrative Level:
4

levels.
"Although the family books [early Vedic texts] reflect differences in rank and some inequalities in wealth, these do not add up to distinct socio-economic classes in the sense of significant differences in access and control over basic productive resources. However, the absence of a class hierarchy does not mean that Rig Vedic society was egalitarian... the rajan stood at the top of the ladder of political and social power and status, the dasi [slaves] stood at the very bottom." [1] Territorial states did emerge towards the end of this period, c.600 BCE, based on Later Vedic texts and other sources. [2]
1. Clan Chief or rajan (or king after c.600 BCE) - "The word rajan (or raja) occurs many times in the family books of the Rig Veda. Since a full-fledged monarchical state had not yet emerged, this word is best translated as ’chieftain’ or ’noble’, rather than as ’king’. It is not always clear from the hymns whether the rajan was the chief of a tribe, clan, clan segment or several clans." [3] 2. Community or jana (made of many clans) [4] 3. Clan (a group of villages) [4] 4. Village headman (gramani) [4] Below the village headman was the patriarch of the family (kula). [4]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p191

[2]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p200

[3]: Singh, U. 2008. A History of Early and Medieval India. London: Pearson Longman. p187

[4]: Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007),p.73.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

[1] "Hymns refer to warriors, priests, cattle-rearers, farmers, hunters, barbers, and vintners." [2]

[1]: J Duncan M. Derrett, ‘Social and Political Thought and Institutions’, in A. L Basham (ed.), A Cultural History of India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), pp.128-129; Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007), p.73.

[2]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p190


Professional Priesthood:
present

There was a chief priest/priest caste. [1] "The royal priest accompanied the rajan to battle, recited prayers, and supervised the performance of rituals. The importance of royal priests such as Vasishtha and Vishvamitra is reflected in many Vedic hymns." [2] "The main offices within the palace of a raja of the late Vedic period would be held by the chief priest (purohit), the commander-in-chief (senani), the treasurer (samagrahitri), the collector of taxes (bhagadugha) and the keeper of the king’s household (kshata)." [3]

[1]: J Duncan M. Derrett, ‘Social and Political Thought and Institutions’, in A. L Basham (ed.), A Cultural History of India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), pp.128-129.

[2]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p188

[3]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p73


Professional Military Officer:
present

[1] "The main offices within the palace of a raja of the late Vedic period would be held by the chief priest (purohit), the commander-in-chief (senani), the treasurer (samagrahitri), the collector of taxes (bhagadugha) and the keeper of the king’s household (kshata)." [2]

[1]: J Duncan M. Derrett, ‘Social and Political Thought and Institutions’, in A. L Basham (ed.), A Cultural History of India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), pp.128-129.

[2]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p73


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent

Inferred from small nature of royal household and that no direct evidence for specialized government buildings has been found. [1]

[1]: Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007), p.73; Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008),p.201.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

Although on a very small scale, later Vedic texts refer to the royal household of the king having specialist functionaries which included the chief priest (purohit), the commander in chief (senani), the treasurer, the collector of taxes and the keeper of kings household (kshata). They did not have a state apparatus under them however: “The system of administration seems to have been fairly rudimentary.” [1] In light of the lack of concrete evidence for full-time, specialist bureaucrats and the apparent ’rudimentary’ character of administration, we have inferred this variable absent.

[1]: Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007), p.73; Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008),p.201.


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

In the below quote, Rocher argues that professional lawyers did not exist in India for much of its history. Unhelpfully, Rocher does not provide dates or much in the way of temporal boundaries. However, the use of the word “ever” in the sentence “no written source allows us to draw the conclusion that the experts on legal matters ever developed into a professional group whose regular activities consisted in representing parties in the court” may perhaps be taken to mean that professional lawyers did not exist in India before the colonial era.

“Thus, we believe that at an early date—let us roughly say at the time of the dharmasutras—professional lawyers or, to be more precise, specialized dharmasastrins could not exist. The Indian sage in those days was a specialist in all of the texts related to a particular Vedic school. His specialized knowledge concentrated on a specific version of the Vedic samhita and all its related texts: brahmana, aranyaka, upanisad, srautasutra, grhyasutra, dharmasutra, etc. There were no specialists on dharmasastra, and, a fortiori, no specialists on law that were part of it.

“But the situation changed. The texts on dharma grew away from the Vedic schools. Gradually there may have come into being a specialized group of learned men whose main interest was dharma, and the various dharmasastras as such.

“Finally, as the amount of textual material increased, we may assume that certain experts, without detaching themselves completely from aspects of dharmasastra and from Hindu learning generally, accumulated a very specialized knowledge of one aspect of dharma: vivada and vyavahara, or, in modern terminology, law. It is very possible that at this stage the nature of legal representation (niyoga) also underwent a certain change. We do not want to exclude the possibility that, at that moment, in a number of cases legal competence played a role in the choice of a representative. We are even willing to accept that Vyasa refers to the very special circumstance in which the representative was paid for his services. However, no written source allows us to draw the conclusion that the experts on legal matters ever developed into a professional group whose regular activities consisted in representing parties in the court. The impression which we gather from the texts is that, even in cases where the representative was chosen because of his special competence on legal matters, and, a fortiori, in all other cases, the necessary condition for a person to represent a party was the existence, between the former and the latter, of a certain form of close personal relationship.” [1]

[1]: (Rocher 1969: 399-400) Rocher, L. 1969. "Lawyers" in Classical Hindu Law. Law & Society Review 3 (2/3): 383-402. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/QKMEMIHW/library


The presence of a formal legal system is not discussed in the literature, and is therefore presumed absent. [1] [2]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi.

[2]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York.


Formal Legal Code:
absent

The presence of a formal legal system is not discussed in the literature, and is therefore presumed absent. [1] [2]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi.

[2]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York.


The presence of a formal legal system is not discussed in the literature, and is therefore presumed absent. [1] [2]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi.

[2]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
present

"The Rig-Veda contains much information about farming in general. There are references to ploughs and plough teams drawn by a number of oxen; to the cutting, bundling and threshing of grain; to irrigation canals and wells; and to such foods as milk, butter, rice cakes, cereals, lentils and vegetables....there is no reference to any transaction of land that can be carried out by an individual. Most probably, therefore, there was some form of common ownership of land." [1]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p70


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

"The Rig-Veda contains much information about farming in general. There are references to ploughs and plough teams drawn by a number of oxen; to the cutting, bundling and threshing of grain; to irrigation canals and wells; and to such foods as milk, butter, rice cakes, cereals, lentils and vegetables....there is no reference to any transaction of land that can be carried out by an individual. Most probably, therefore, there was some form of common ownership of land." [1]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p70


Transport Infrastructure
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent

"The earliest parts of the Rig-Veda, the oldest of the Vedas, may have been composed as early as, or even earlier than, 1700 BCE, but was written down only after 500 BC. For forty generations and more it was handed down by word of mouth by bards and poets, who chanted the sacred hymn and the ritual prayers." [1]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p76



Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Although Sanskrit would be the text of the Rig Veda when written down after this period. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.187


Nonwritten Record:
present

"The earliest parts of the Rig-Veda, the oldest of the Vedas, may have been composed as early as, or even earlier than, 1700 BCE, but was written down only after 500 BC. For forty generations and more it was handed down by word of mouth by bards and poets, who chanted the sacred hymn and the ritual prayers." [1]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p76


Non Phonetic Writing:
unknown

Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
absent

"The earliest parts of the Rig-Veda, the oldest of the Vedas, may have been composed as early as, or even earlier than, 1700 BCE, but was written down only after 500 BC. For forty generations and more it was handed down by word of mouth by bards and poets, who chanted the sacred hymn and the ritual prayers." [1]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p76


Religious Literature:
absent

Inferred from the fact that sacred texts had not been written down. "The earliest parts of the Rig-Veda, the oldest of the Vedas, may have been composed as early as, or even earlier than, 1700 BCE, but was written down only after 500 BC. For forty generations and more it was handed down by word of mouth by bards and poets, who chanted the sacred hymn and the ritual prayers." [1]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York. p76


Practical Literature:
absent

Although military affairs would later be written down. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, p.199.


Philosophy:
absent

Although ethics (ekayana), dialectics (vakovakya), and spiritual knowledge are all topics referred to in the Chandagya Upanishad (7.1.2), later written down [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, p.199.


Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown

History:
absent

Although Chronology (nidhi) is a branch of learning later referred to in the Chandagya Upanishad (7.1.2) [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, p.199.



Calendar:
absent

The Vedic Calendar existed at the time, but was not written down. [1]

[1]: A. Berriedale Keith, The Vedic Calendar, The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, (Jul., 1914), pp. 627-640.


Information / Money

Presumed absent as there is no direct evidence for the use of tokens. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.190-191.


Precious Metal:
present

"Gift-giving and receiving do not rule out other kinds of exchange, but trade in the Rig Vedic context was probably minimal. Barter was the mode of exchange and cattle an important unit of value. The word nishka seems to have meant ’a piece of gold’ or ’gold necklace’, and there is no indication of the use of coins." [1]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p191


Paper Currency:
absent

"Gift-giving and receiving do not rule out other kinds of exchange, but trade in the Rig Vedic context was probably minimal. Barter was the mode of exchange and cattle an important unit of value. The word nishka seems to have meant ’a piece of gold’ or ’gold necklace’, and there is no indication of the use of coins." [1]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p191


Indigenous Coin:
absent

"Gift-giving and receiving do not rule out other kinds of exchange, but trade in the Rig Vedic context was probably minimal. Barter was the mode of exchange and cattle an important unit of value. The word nishka seems to have meant ’a piece of gold’ or ’gold necklace’, and there is no indication of the use of coins." [1]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p191


Foreign Coin:
absent

"Gift-giving and receiving do not rule out other kinds of exchange, but trade in the Rig Vedic context was probably minimal. Barter was the mode of exchange and cattle an important unit of value. The word nishka seems to have meant ’a piece of gold’ or ’gold necklace’, and there is no indication of the use of coins." [1]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p191


Article:
present

Vedic civilization was a barter-only economy. Although gold pieces are mentioned, there is no evidence of money or coins proper being used. Cows were considered a source of value and may have been used in exchange. Kings collected ’tribute’ in the form crops and cows. There was ritual gift-giving in the religious context. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.190-191.


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent

Evidence for an organized postal system, and therefore postal stations, is not discussed in the literature and is therefore presumed absent. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008)


General Postal Service:
absent

Inferred from rudimentary nature of the state. [1]

[1]: Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007), p.73; Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008),p.201.


Courier:
present

Later Vedic texts mention messengers as an occupation. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.199


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
unknown

Evidence for fortifications is not discussed in the literature. [1]

[1]: Burjor Avari, India: The Ancient Past: a History of the Indian Sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200 (London: Routledge, 2007); Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008)


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Stone Walls Mortared:
present

"Ancient Rajagriha, the first capital of Magadha, dates from the early phase of the NBP or at least the sixth century BCE ... There is a core of pre-NBP BRW occupation inside the hill girt area of Rajgir, which is also defended by a cyclopaean masonry wall at least at the major entrances to the valley." [1] Have no idea whether this wall was dry stone or mortared. Moats around defensive walls are known in the Ganga valley in India from about 500 BCE, or perhaps earlier. [2]

[1]: (Chakrabarti 2006, 14) Dilip K Chakrabarti. Relating History to the Land: Urban Centers, Geographical Unites, and Trade Routes in the Gangetic and Central India of circa 200 BCE." Patrick Olivelle. ed. Between the Empires: Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (? 1990, 298) Amalananda Ghosh ed. 1990. An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology. Volume I. E J BRILL. Leiden.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown


NBP = Northern Black Polished Ware. "Also lying on this route is Jai Mangal Garh, a roughly 80-100 acre NBP-bearing site which is clearly surrounded by a moat but is perhaps without fortification." [1] Moats around defensive walls are known in the Ganga valley in India from about 500 BCE, or perhaps earlier. [2]

[1]: (Chakrabarti 2006, 16) Dilip K Chakrabarti. Relating History to the Land: Urban Centers, Geographical Unites, and Trade Routes in the Gangetic and Central India of circa 200 BCE." Patrick Olivelle. ed. Between the Empires: Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (? 1990, 298) Amalananda Ghosh ed. 1990. An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology. Volume I. E J BRILL. Leiden.



Earth Rampart:
present

"Ancient Rajagriha, the first capital of Magadha, dates from the early phase of the NBP or at least the sixth century BCE ... citadel surrounded by a mud rampart and a ditch outside the hill-girt valley ... There is a core of pre-NBP BRW occupation inside the hill girt area of Rajgir, which is also defended by a cyclopaean masonry wall at least at the major entrances to the valley. A recent survey (Harding 2003) has demonstrated that the only entrances were fortified; along the hilltops the so-called fortification wall was nothing more than a kind of marker defining the limits of the settlement." [1]

[1]: (Chakrabarti 2006, 14) Dilip K Chakrabarti. Relating History to the Land: Urban Centers, Geographical Unites, and Trade Routes in the Gangetic and Central India of circa 200 BCE." Patrick Olivelle. ed. Between the Empires: Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


"Ancient Rajagriha, the first capital of Magadha, dates from the early phase of the NBP or at least the sixth century BCE ... citadel surrounded by a mud rampart and a ditch outside the hill-girt valley ... There is a core of pre-NBP BRW occupation inside the hill girt area of Rajgir, which is also defended by a cyclopaean masonry wall at least at the major entrances to the valley. A recent survey (Harding 2003) has demonstrated that the only entrances were fortified; along the hilltops the so-called fortification wall was nothing more than a kind of marker defining the limits of the settlement." [1] NBP = Northern Black Polished Ware. "Naulagarh is an unpublished NBP-bearing site of about one sq km and with a surrounding mud fortification wall ... basically unexcavated and lies, like Sikligarh, on the route which traveled east from Pataliputra by following the northern edge of the Ganga." [2]

[1]: (Chakrabarti 2006, 14) Dilip K Chakrabarti. Relating History to the Land: Urban Centers, Geographical Unites, and Trade Routes in the Gangetic and Central India of circa 200 BCE." Patrick Olivelle. ed. Between the Empires: Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Chakrabarti 2006, 16) Dilip K Chakrabarti. Relating History to the Land: Urban Centers, Geographical Unites, and Trade Routes in the Gangetic and Central India of circa 200 BCE." Patrick Olivelle. ed. Between the Empires: Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Complex Fortification:
present

Coningham and Young describe a settlement surrounded by concentric walls, the old Magadhan capital of Rajgir: "Measuring just more than 5 metres wide, and surviving to heights of 3.7 metres, the wall was strengthened in places with rectangular bastions (Ghosh 1989 : 363) (Figure 10.19). An inner stone wall, 8 kilometres in circuit, further differentiated the settlement area in the interior, which had access to water from springs located within this inner wall (Marshall 1960 : 84)." [1]

[1]: (Coningham and Young 2015: 381) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DIGG6KVA.



Military use of Metals
Steel:
unknown
600 BCE 451 BCE

Steel technology was not present at this time. [1] Which time was mentioned specifically? Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword (or a sword of Indian steel?) in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [2] At Naikund in Maharashtra: knowledge of steeling and hardening from 700 BCE. [3] Historical records show Indian steel was exported to Abyssinia in 200 BCE. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123). [4]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York.

[2]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[3]: (Deshpande and Dhokey 2008) P P Deshpande. N B Dhokey. April 2008. Metallographical investigations of iron objects in ancient Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals. Volume 61. Issue 2-3. Springer. pp. 135-137.

[4]: Lynn Biggs. Berenice Bellina. Marcos Martinon-Torres. Thomas Oliver Pryce. January 2013. Prehistoric iron production technologies in the Upper Thai-MalayPeninsula: metallography and slag inclusion analyses of ironartefacts from Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. Springer.

Steel:
present
450 BCE 300 BCE *Bad Years, polity duration: [-600, -324]

Steel technology was not present at this time. [1] Which time was mentioned specifically? Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword (or a sword of Indian steel?) in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [2] At Naikund in Maharashtra: knowledge of steeling and hardening from 700 BCE. [3] Historical records show Indian steel was exported to Abyssinia in 200 BCE. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123). [4]

[1]: Avari, B. (2007) India: The Ancient Past: A history of the India sub-continent from c. 7,000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge: London and New York.

[2]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[3]: (Deshpande and Dhokey 2008) P P Deshpande. N B Dhokey. April 2008. Metallographical investigations of iron objects in ancient Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals. Volume 61. Issue 2-3. Springer. pp. 135-137.

[4]: Lynn Biggs. Berenice Bellina. Marcos Martinon-Torres. Thomas Oliver Pryce. January 2013. Prehistoric iron production technologies in the Upper Thai-MalayPeninsula: metallography and slag inclusion analyses of ironartefacts from Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. Springer.


It is not known what material armor was made from. [1] Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [2] First finds of iron weapons in northern India earlier than 1000 BCE and from at least 1000 BCE in Karnataka in south India where iron arrowheads, spears and swords have been found. [3]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.188.

[2]: (Singh 1997) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[3]: (Tewari 2010) Tewari, Rakesh. 2010. Updates on the Antiquity of Iron in South Asia. in Man and Environment. XXXV(2): 81-97. Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies.


It is not known what material armor was made from. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.188.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

Introduced later. [1]

[1]: DeVries, Kelly. "siege engines." In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Introduced later. [1]

[1]: DeVries, Kelly. "siege engines." In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.


Referring to Vedic texts: "Balls (guda) or metal or stone, to which the Epics refer, were hurled, presumably with the help of a sling." [1]

[1]: (Singh 1965: 116) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QW5EBAAU.


Inferred from mentions of bow, arrow and bow string makers in Vedic texts, in addition to the remains of arrowheads in burials in Baluchistan and in many PGW [Later Vedic] sites and levels. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.199, 245.


Archaeological remains of this period (1100-500BCE) in Northwest India include iron javelin heads, along with other iron objects. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.245


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Introduced later. [1]

[1]: DeVries, Kelly. "matchlock." In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Introduced later. [1]

[1]: DeVries, Kelly. "cannon" In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.


Introduced later. [1]

[1]: DeVries, Kelly. "crossbow." In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.



New World weapon.


Handheld weapons

Javelins, bows and various handheld weapons made of iron are present in the Later Vedic period, as shown by textual and archaeological evidence. [1] Other weapons are not mentioned and are therefore presumed absent.

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.199, 245.


"Iron objects of various types - vessels, javelin heads, sword blades, arrowheads, spearheads, a horsehoe, and fishhook - have been found in cairn burial sites in Baluchistan... It is, however, difficult to data these burials. Some scholars data them between c.1100 and 500 BCE, but they may actually be much later". [1] The presence of swords has therefore been coded here, in the absence of evidence that the burials are from a different time period.

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p245


"Iron objects of various types - vessels, javelin heads, sword blades, arrowheads, spearheads, a horsehoe, and fishhook - have been found in cairn burial sites in Baluchistan... It is, however, difficult to data these burials. Some scholars data them between c.1100 and 500 BCE, but they may actually be much later". [1] The presence of spears has therefore been coded here, in the absence of evidence that the burials are from a different time period.

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p245


Javelins, bows and various handheld weapons made of iron are present in the Later Vedic period, as shown by textual and archaeological evidence. [1] Other weapons are not mentioned and are therefore presumed absent.

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.199, 245.


"Most of the artefacts found at PGW levels [Later Vedic] seem to be connected with war or hunting - arrowheads, spearheads, blades, daggers, and lances." [1]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p248


Battle Axe:
present

An iron axe has been found at Gandhara Grave in Pakistan, dating to c.1000 BCE. [1]

[1]: Singh, U. (2008) A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India, From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Dorling Kindersley: Delhi. p245


Animals used in warfare

The later Vedic texts write about the occupations of people and mention that, "Chariots (rathas) were used for war and sport, and people rode on horses and elephants." [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.199.


The later Vedic texts write about the occupations of people and mention that, "Chariots (rathas) were used for war and sport, and people rode on horses and elephants." [1]

[1]: R. S. Sharma, Material Background of Vedic Warfare, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Dec., 1966),pp. 302-307.


Donkeys are not discussed in relation to warfare at this time. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008).


Dogs are not discussed in relation to warfare at this time. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008).


Camels are not discussed in relation to warfare at this time. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008).


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
unknown

It is not known what material armor was made from. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.188.


Referring to Vedic texts: "The use of shields and protective armour is throughout in evidence." [1]

[1]: (Singh 1965: 116) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QW5EBAAU.


Scaled Armor:
absent

Introduced later.


Plate Armor:
absent

Introduced later.


Limb Protection:
present

In a hymn to arms (in the Rigveda Samhita 6.75) the use of gauntlets is mentioned: "It wraps itself around the arm like a serpent with coils, warding off the snap of the bowstring. Let the gauntlet, knowing all the ways, protect on all sides, a man protecting a man..." [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.188.


Leather Cloth:
unknown

It is not known what material armor was made from. [1]

[1]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.188.


Laminar Armor:
absent

Introduced later.


Referring to Vedic texts: "The use of shields and protective armour is throughout in evidence." [1]

[1]: (Singh 1965: 116) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QW5EBAAU.


Introduced later.


Breastplate:
present

Referring to Vedic texts: "The use of shields and protective armour is throughout in evidence." [1] Presence of breastplates is inferred from a mention in a hymn to arms in the Rig Veda (Samhita 6.75): "I cover with armour those places on you where a wound is mortal." [2] The hymn does not mention the material of the armor.

[1]: (Singh 1965: 116) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QW5EBAAU.

[2]: Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008), p.188.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

There is no evidence for the large scale organization of naval technology at this time. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, p.199.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown

Boats are mentioned in the Rigveda but it is not clear if they were for rivers or the sea, or whether they were used for military activity. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, p.199.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown

Boats are mentioned in the Rigveda but it is not clear if they were for rivers or the sea, or whether they were used for military activity. [1]

[1]: Singh, Upinder, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2008, p.199.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.