Home Region:  Central India (South Asia)

Post-Mauryan Kingdoms

EQ 2020  in_post_mauryan_k / InDecKg

Here we look at Southern India in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, that is, between the collapse of the Mauryan Empire and the rise of the Satavahana Dynasty. Unfortunately, this appears to be a very poorly understood period in this region.
Population and political organization
No population estimates could be found in the literature. Information relating to political organization within our region of interest--roughly corresponding to the Bellary district in the modern-day Indian state of Karnataka--is also lacking, though sources suggest the existence of monarchies and an accompanying bureaucratic apparatus (scribes and mints, for example) in neighbouring regions. [1]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 118-119) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). Leiden: Brill. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/AVB94HR2.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
43 P  
Original Name:
Post-Mauryan Kingdoms  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[205 BCE ➜ 101 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Satavahana Empire  
Preceding Entity:
Deccan - Iron Age  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 4]  
Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]  
Professions
Professional Priesthood:
inferred present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred present  
Law
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Special-purpose Sites
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
inferred present  
Script:
inferred present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
Information / Money
Indigenous Coin:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
inferred present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
inferred present  
  Dagger:
inferred present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
inferred present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
unknown  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
inferred absent  
  Plate Armor:
inferred present  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
unknown  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred 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 Post-Mauryan Kingdoms (in_post_mauryan_k) was in:
 (205 BCE 101 BCE)   Deccan
Home NGA: Deccan

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Post-Mauryan Kingdoms

Temporal Bounds

Political and Cultural Relations


Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

Western Deccan: "The earliest organized state in the region was that of the Satavahanas evolving out of the declining Mauryan power. The presence of the state is suggested by the evidence of political control and the use of an adminsitrative structure. References to units of adiministration and of what appear to be official designations point to a monarchical system. The title of mahamatra is suggestive of the Mauryan designation. The mahabhoja and maharathi as officials may in origin have been associated with high office in the Bhoja and Rathika clans and made the transition to administrative office when the requirements of the state demanded it. The constituents of the seven limbs of the state, the saptanga, are reflected in these and other indications such as the reference to Satavahana armies in action against the ksatrapas, to allies and enemies, to the treasury from the existence of Satavahana coins and revenue collection, to the capital from references to Pratishana and finally to the recognition of territory under Satavahana control." [1]

[1]: (Thapar 1996, 23) Thapar, Romila. "Significance of Regional History with reference to the Konkan." Kulkarni, A R. Nayeem, M A. de Souza, T R. eds. 1996. Mediaeval Deccan History. Commemoration volume in honour of Purshottam Mahadeo Joshi. Popular Prakashan. Bombay.


Language

Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 4]

levels. Based on codes from previous and subsequent polities: by Satavahana Empire - 1.Capital 2. nagara (city or palace) 3. nigama (market town) 4. gama. [1]

[1]: (Sinopoli 2001: 170) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/JZ73UGSF.


Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]

levels.
1. King
2. Central / urban institutions3. Mint4. Village chiefs
"The Mauryan penetration into certain subregions of the Deccan was based on their interaction with the allready existing kin-based organizations, through its links with the political power of the indigenous chiefs." [1]
Kotalingala is 200 km NE of Bellary: "Two aspects of the pre-Satavahan situation need to be emphasised in the development of the early historical sites in the Central Deccan... One was the particular natural of the economy which rested on the small-scale production of iron-related artefacts. The other was the substantial evidence found from sites like Kotalingala of pre-Satavahana coinage (Krishnasastry, 1983), indicating that there was a mobilization of resources at a local level, which meant that the political elite had the ability to issue their own coins. Though this is most striking in the Central Deccan because these coins are found along with the early coins of the Satavahana" [1]
Western Deccan: "The earliest organized state in the region was that of the Satavahanas evolving out of the declining Mauryan power. The presence of the state is suggested by the evidence of political control and the use of an adminsitrative structure. References to units of adiministration and of what appear to be official designations point to a monarchical system. The title of mahamatra is suggestive of the Mauryan designation. The mahabhoja and maharathi as officials may in origin have been associated with high office in the Bhoja and Rathika clans and made the transition to administrative office when the requirements of the state demanded it. The constituents of the seven limbs of the state, the saptanga, are reflected in these and other indications such as the reference to Satavahana armies in action against the ksatrapas, to allies and enemies, to the treasury from the existence of Satavahana coins and revenue collection, to the capital from references to Pratishana and finally to the recognition of territory under Satavahana control." [2]
In Andhra region post-Mauryans: "This appearance of kingship, currency and writing indicates that the basic infrastructures of a state system, which had been introduced in the Maurayn period, started functioning at the local level and transforming the megalithic/tribal society into proto or early states, basically characterized by centralized administration, stable kingship and social stratification." [3]
Post-Mauryans in Krishna valley: "Amaravati inscription of this period records the existence of a royal scribe (rajalekhaka). This may indicate that record-keeping started to play an integral part in local political administration as well as in commercial activities in this period." [4]
In Andhra region post-Mauryans: "Along with local kingships, inscriptions of this period mention other socio-political and socio-economic institutions, particularly as nigama and gothi. Although it is not possible to comprehend the precise nature of these institutions in this period of coastal Andhra, textual and epigraphic evidence indicates that a nigama was an imporant economic and social unit larger than a village (gama), and was composed of integrated members of kin groups and occupational or professional groups. A gothi (skt. gosthi), was another important economic and social institution particularly for urban elites. Bhattiprolu inscriptions also show that these urban institutions and local kings were closely connected, as the inscriptions describe the king Kuberaka as the chief (pamukha=skt. pramukha) of a nigama and a gothi. This seems to indicate that the kings in this period of Andhra were not absolute rulers with invincible powers, but were close to chiefdoms or, in Chattopadhyaya’s word, ’localities’ that derived possibly from the foundations of megalithic chiefs. These ’localities’ seem to have consolidated their powers in close association with urban elites that also started appearing in this period." [5]
"The political and economic development in the post-Mauryan period progressed further under the Sadas, a regional dynasty which ruled the larger part of coastal Andhra for at least a century ... Although the historical evidence on this recently-found dynasty is still meagre, a few epigraphic records indicate the presence of a regular administrative structure indicated by titles such as an irrigation officer (?) (paniyagharika) and a scribe (lekhaka). There is also little doubt that the dynasty maintained royal coinage. Unlike the post-Mauryan coinage, which was basically uninscribed, the Sada coins were consistently inscribed with the ruler’s name and kept the same design, a standing lion facing a tree ..." [6]

[1]: (Parasher-Sen 2000, 242) Parasher-Sen, Aloka. "Origins of Settlements, Culture and Civilization in the Deccan" Gupta, Harsh K. Parasher-Sen, Aloka. Balasubramanian, D. eds. 2000. Deccan Heritage. Indian National Science Academy. Universities Press (India) Limited. Hyderabad.

[2]: (Thapar 1996, 23) Thapar, Romila. "Significance of Regional History with reference to the Konkan." Kulkarni, A R. Nayeem, M A. de Souza, T R. eds. 1996. Mediaeval Deccan History. Commemoration volume in honour of Purshottam Mahadeo Joshi. Popular Prakashan. Bombay.

[3]: (Shimada 2012, 118-119) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.

[4]: (Shimada 2012, 118) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.

[5]: (Shimada 2012, 117) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.

[6]: (Shimada 2012, 125) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.


Professions
Professional Priesthood:
present

Buddhist monasteries. [1]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 118-119) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Post-Mauryan kingdoms had mints for coinage: "Two aspects of the pre-Satavahan situation need to be emphasised in the development of the early historical sites in the Central Deccan... One was the particular natural of the economy which rested on the small-scale production of iron-related artefacts. The other was the substantial evidence found from sites like Kotalingala of pre-Satavahana coinage (Krishnasastry, 1983), indicating that there was a mobilization of resources at a local level, which meant that the political elite had the ability to issue their own coins. Though this is most striking in the Central Deccan because these coins are found along with the early coins of the Satavahana" [1]

[1]: (Parasher-Sen 2000, 242) Parasher-Sen, Aloka. "Origins of Settlements, Culture and Civilization in the Deccan" Gupta, Harsh K. Parasher-Sen, Aloka. Balasubramanian, D. eds. 2000. Deccan Heritage. Indian National Science Academy. Universities Press (India) Limited. Hyderabad.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

Full-time specialists
Post-Mauryans in Krishna valley: "Amaravati inscription of this period records the existence of a royal scribe (rajalekhaka). This may indicate that record-keeping started to play an integral part in local political administration as well as in commercial activities in this period." [1]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 118) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.


Law
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
present

"The political and economic development in the post-Mauryan period progressed further under the Sadas, a regional dynasty which ruled the larger part of coastal Andhra for at least a century ... Although the historical evidence on this recently-found dynasty is still meagre, a few epigraphic records indicate the presence of a regular administrative structure indicated by titles such as an irrigation officer (?) (paniyagharika) and a scribe (lekhaka). [1]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 125) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.


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

Post-Mauryans in Krishna valley: "Amaravati inscription of this period records the existence of a royal scribe (rajalekhaka). This may indicate that record-keeping started to play an integral part in local political administration as well as in commercial activities in this period." [1] In Andhra region post-Mauryans: "This appearance of kingship, currency and writing indicates that the basic infrastructures of a state system, which had been introduced in the Maurayn period, started functioning at the local level and transforming the megalithic/tribal society into proto or early states, basically characterized by centralized administration, stable kingship and social stratification." [2]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 118) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.

[2]: (Shimada 2012, 118-119) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.


Script:
present

Post-Mauryans in Krishna valley: "Amaravati inscription of this period records the existence of a royal scribe (rajalekhaka). This may indicate that record-keeping started to play an integral part in local political administration as well as in commercial activities in this period." [1] In Andhra region post-Mauryans: "This appearance of kingship, currency and writing indicates that the basic infrastructures of a state system, which had been introduced in the Maurayn period, started functioning at the local level and transforming the megalithic/tribal society into proto or early states, basically characterized by centralized administration, stable kingship and social stratification." [2]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 118) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.

[2]: (Shimada 2012, 118-119) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Lists Tables and Classification:
present

Post-Mauryans in Krishna valley: "Amaravati inscription of this period records the existence of a royal scribe (rajalekhaka). This may indicate that record-keeping started to play an integral part in local political administration as well as in commercial activities in this period." [1]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 118) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.


Information / Money
Indigenous Coin:
present

Post-Mauryans "saw the emergence and development of local currencies throughout the Deccan. Numismatic studies have agreed that such local currencies first appeared as uninscribed cast and die-struck coins in semi-precious metals like lead and copper." [1] "Two aspects of the pre-Satavahan situation need to be emphasised in the development of the early historical sites in the Central Deccan... One was the particular natural of the economy which rested on the small-scale production of iron-related artefacts. The other was the substantial evidence found from sites like Kotalingala of pre-Satavahana coinage (Krishnasastry, 1983), indicating that there was a mobilization of resources at a local level, which meant that the political elite had the ability to issue their own coins. Though this is most striking in the Central Deccan because these coins are found along with the early coins of the Satavahana" [2]

[1]: (Shimada 2012, 117) Shimada, Akira. 2012. Early Buddhist Architecture in Context: The Great Stupa at Amaravati (ca. 300 BCE-300 CE). BRILL.

[2]: (Parasher-Sen 2000, 242) Parasher-Sen, Aloka. "Origins of Settlements, Culture and Civilization in the Deccan" Gupta, Harsh K. Parasher-Sen, Aloka. Balasubramanian, D. eds. 2000. Deccan Heritage. Indian National Science Academy. Universities Press (India) Limited. Hyderabad.


Information / Postal System
Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
unknown

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, recommends never to build a wall out of wood "for fire lurks hidden within it". [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 104) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

Lower Deccan (Krishna-Tungabhadra River Valleys; Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab) 1100-100 BCE: "Preferred settlement location are on high hilltops or on the slopes of outcrops, with some evidence for walls and other defensive features." [1] Walls existed but not known what materials were used or whether the walls were mortared or un-mortared.

[1]: (? 2002, 365)? South Indian Iron Age. Peter N Peregrine. Melvin Ember. eds. 2002. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 8: South and Southwest Asia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Lower Deccan (Krishna-Tungabhadra River Valleys; Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab) 1100-100 BCE: "Preferred settlement location are on high hilltops or on the slopes of outcrops, with some evidence for walls and other defensive features." [1] Walls existed but not known what materials were used or whether the walls were mortared or un-mortared.

[1]: (? 2002, 365)? South Indian Iron Age. Peter N Peregrine. Melvin Ember. eds. 2002. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 8: South and Southwest Asia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Lower Deccan (Krishna-Tungabhadra River Valleys; Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab) 1100-100 BCE: "Preferred settlement location are on high hilltops or on the slopes of outcrops, with some evidence for walls and other defensive features." [1]

[1]: (? 2002, 365)? South Indian Iron Age. Peter N Peregrine. Melvin Ember. eds. 2002. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 8: South and Southwest Asia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.



Moats around defensive walls are known in the Ganga valley in India from about 500 BCE, or perhaps earlier. [1] Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a moat. [2]

[1]: (? 1990, 298) Amalananda Ghosh ed. 1990. An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology. Volume I. E J BRILL. Leiden.

[2]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.



Earth Rampart:
unknown

Present in the north of India at this time.



Complex Fortification:
unknown

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a complex arrangement of moats. He suggested around provincial capitals three moats should be built "constructed at distances of one Danda from each other. ... They should be revetted with stone or their sides should be lined with stone or brick. They should be fed either by natural springs or by channeled water, and they should be provided with means of drainage and stocked with lotuses and crocodiles. At a distance of four Dandas from the moat, he should get a rampart constructed using the earth that has been dug out." [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 103) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Military use of Metals

Probably not common but it is quite probable that the elite soldiers used wootz steel swords. 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 in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [1] Produced in Karnataka and Sri Lanka.

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


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. [1] Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [2] Likely referring to time following the Macedonian invasion but it can be implied from Gabriel (2002) that metal armour was present, at low level (elite) useage for sometime before then: A military historian states that metal armour was not widely used before the Macedonian invasion of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century BCE [3] - do ancient Indian specialists agree? The Guptas were known for their exceptional skill in iron metallurgy, such as demonstrated by the monumental Iron Pillar of Delhi and they may have been the first to use iron helmets for their cavalry.

[1]: (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.

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

[3]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Copper:
present

‘Before 600 BC, warfare in India consisted of duels among the Kshatriya aristocrats in chariots and cow lifting raids carried out by tribal militias’. Kshatriya charioteers wore helmets made of metal [1] , presumably of copper.

[1]: (Roy 2013) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Number 8. Routledge. Abingdon.


Bronze:
present

A military historian states that metal armour was not widely used before the Macedonian invasion of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century BCE [1] - do ancient Indian specialists agree? Metal weapons did exist. Bronze was not produced in India but was imported and may have been used for weapons perhaps for the elites who could afford them.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

According to Jaina texts, Ajatashatru, a 5th century BCE king of Magadha in North India, used a catapult "capable of hurling huge pieces of stone". [1] Ancient Indian armies had siege engines that could "fling stones and lead balls wrapped up in burning materials. The Mahabharata mentions an Asma-yantra (a stone-throwing machine) in the battle with Jarasandha and we have further records that such engines were used in later periods to set enemy fortifications alight and that ’liquid fires’ containing naphtha were in use in ancient India." [2]

[1]: (Singh 2008, 272) Upinder Singh. 2008. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Longman. Delhi.

[2]: (Forbes 1959, 88-89) Robert James Forbes. 1959. More studies in early petroleum history. Brill Archive.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Much later, Byzantines or possibly Chinese were the first to use sling siege engines


Sling:
present

Present for the Indus Valley Civilization: "Commonest among the weapons of offence and defence in the Indus valley are sling pellets of baked clay." [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 90) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.


Self Bow:
present

Arrowheads have been excavated [1] (bow type not specified). In the hot Monsoon climate of India the composite bow decomposed rapidly so Ancient Indians made bows out of Wootz steel. These were "considerably more rigid than their composite bretheren, meaning they were also less powerful. But they were reliable and predictable, and could be stored away in munitions vaults without worry of decomposition." [2]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401

[2]: (O’Bryan 2013, 54) A History of Weapons: Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up. Chronicle Books LLC. San Francisco.


Javelin:
unknown

Are thrown harpoons javelins? In the ’prehistoric age’ (not associated with the Aryans) at Fatehgarh in the upper Ganges valley and at Kallur in Hyderabad, Deccan, weapons of copper and sometimes bronze included barbed spears, harpoons and swords. [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 91) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.




Crossbow:
unknown

Known to Chinese in the first millennium BCE but Vedic literature does not describe anything like a crossbow although Pant suggests "the weapon mentioned as the nalika in ancient Sanskrit literature was a crossbow." [1] "The hand crossbow was usd on Indian battlefields probably from the third century A.D. It was mainly used as an infantry weapon and occasionally as a cavalry weapon. A Sanskrit inscription at Avanthipuram, in South India, reads: ’... Of him who has the name of Ananta impelled with speed and skillfully discharged from the machines of his bow fitted with the well stretched string....’ Obviously, the machine referred to was a hand crossbow." [1]

[1]: (Phillips 2016) Henry Pratap Phillips. 2016. The History and Chronology of Gunpowder and Gunpowder Weapons (c.1000 to 1850). Notion Press.


Composite Bow:
unknown

Brought to India by the Kushans.


Weapon that has only been found in the New World.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

A military historian states that the Maurayan heavy infantry is known to have used iron weapons including maces, dagger-axes, battle-axes and a slashing sword [1] - do Maurayan specialists agree?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


A military historian states that the Maurayan heavy infantry is known to have used iron weapons including maces, dagger-axes, battle-axes and a slashing sword [1] - do Maurayan specialists agree?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Spear:
present

Found in iron age burials [1]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401


Polearm:
present

At a "megalithic habitation site" in Tamil Nadu, rock-art has been found depicting "two horse riders fighting each other with poles" [1] .

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India (2008), p. 253


Dagger:
present

Found in iron age burials [1]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401


Battle Axe:
present

A military historian states that the Maurayan heavy infantry is known to have used iron weapons including maces, dagger-axes, battle-axes and a slashing sword [1] - do Maurayan specialists agree?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Animals used in warfare

At a "megalithic habitation site" in Tamil Nadu, rock-art has been found depicting "two horse riders fighting each other with poles" [1] . The Gupta Empire, after 350 CE, was built around a powerful cavalry force. [2] "In the classical age, Indian armies were still organized, as they had been a thousand years earlier, into four divisions: infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants." [3] 1000 years earlier than the classical age would have included this period. "In the Deccan and South India, chariots do not seem to have been used much at any time, because of the rugged terrain of the region - the ox-drawn chariots mentioned in early Tamil literature were probably only glorified bullock-carts." [4]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India (2008), p. 253

[2]: (Roy 2013) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Number 8. Routledge. Abingdon.

[3]: (Eraly 2011, 163) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

[4]: (Eraly 2011, 164) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


Elephant:
present

According to Pliny the Elder, the Satavahana army, in the period following this one, included 1,000 elephants. [1] "In the classical age, Indian armies were still organized, as they had been a thousand years earlier, into four divisions: infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants." [2] 1000 years earlier than the classical age would have included this period. Buddhist texts suggest "Indians had become skilled in taming and training elephants" by the early first millennium BCE." [3] Potent force by the fourth century BCE. [3]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Medieval India (2008), p. 382

[2]: (Eraly 2011, 163) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

[3]: (Eraly 2011, 165) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


Donkey:
present

In ancient India the buffalo, bullock, yak, goat, camel, elephant, horse, ass and the mule were all used for transport [1] [2] in different regions according to local conditions. [2]

[1]: (Mishra 1987, 83) Kamal Kishore Mishra. 1987. Police Administration in Ancient India. Mittal Publications. Delhi.

[2]: Prakash Charan Prasad. 1977. Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India. Abhinav Publications. New Delhi.



In ancient India the buffalo, bullock, yak, goat, camel, elephant, horse, ass and the mule were all used for transport [1] [2] in different regions according to local conditions. [2] Were camels used in the Deccan region of India?

[1]: (Mishra 1987, 83) Kamal Kishore Mishra. 1987. Police Administration in Ancient India. Mittal Publications. Delhi.

[2]: Prakash Charan Prasad. 1977. Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India. Abhinav Publications. New Delhi.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

A military historian states that the Mauryans carried shields made of raw oxhide stretched over a wood or wicker frame [1] - do Mauryan specialists agree?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Shield:
present

A military historian states that the Mauryans carried shields made of raw oxhide stretched over a wood or wicker frame [1] - do Mauryan specialists agree? Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions "dense structures made of the skin, hooves, and horns/tusks of the river dolphin, rhinocerous, Dhenuka, and cattle" used as armor and a leather shield. [2]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.

[2]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Scaled Armor:
absent

A military historian states that metal armour was not widely used before the Macedonian invasion of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century BCE [1] - do ancient Indian historians agree? It can be implied from Gabriel (2002) that metal armour was present, at low level (elite) useage for sometime before the Macedonian invasion, but no source yet consulted mentions scaled armor at this time.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Plate Armor:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions metal fabric, metal plate, cuirass, corselet and breast plate. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Limb Protection:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a thigh guard. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Leather Cloth:
present

A military historian states that helmets were not widely used until the CE period; soldiers used thick turbans to protect their heads [1] - do ancient Indian specialists agree? A military historian states that the Mauryans carried shields made of raw oxhide stretched over a wood or wicker frame [2] - do Mauryan specialists agree? Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions "dense structures made of the skin, hooves, and horns/tusks of the river dolphin, rhinocerous, Dhenuka, and cattle" used as armor and a leather shield. [3]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 220) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.

[3]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Laminar Armor:
unknown

A military historian states that metal armour was not widely used before the Macedonian invasion of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century BCE [1] - do ancient Indian historians agree? It can be implied from Gabriel (2002) that metal armour was present, at low level (elite) useage for sometime before the Macedonian invasion, but no source yet consulted mentions scaled armor at this time.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Helmet:
present

‘Before 600 BC, warfare in India consisted of duels among the Kshatriya aristocrats in chariots and cow lifting raids carried out by tribal militias’. Kshatriya charioteers wore helmets made of metal [1] , presumably of copper. Refers to north of India? Deccan in south unlikely to be more developed than this. A military historian states that helmets were not widely used until the CE period; soldiers used thick turbans to protect their heads [2] - do ancient Indian specialists agree? Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a helmet and a neck guard. [3]

[1]: (Roy 2013) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Number 8. Routledge. Abingdon.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 220) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.

[3]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Chainmail:
unknown

In Ancient India soldiers of the Gupta Empire who could afford to do so and were willing to bear the heat (or for night operations?) wore chain mail. [1] ] Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a metal coat of mail. [2]

[1]: (Rowell 2015 89) Rebecca Rowell. 2015. Ancient India. Abdo Publishing. Minneapolis.

[2]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Breastplate:
present

Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [1] Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions "dense structures made of the skin, hooves, and horns/tusks of the river dolphin, rhinocerous, Dhenuka, and cattle" used as armor, a metal coat of mail, metal fabric, metal plate, cuirass, and breast plate. [2]

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

[2]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Chalukyas, Pallavas and the Cholas are noted for their naval forces." [1] It can be inferred that no other state had a significant naval force although some of them may have had a smaller navy.

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 163) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.





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.
- Nothing coded yet.