Home Region:  Central India (South Asia)

Satavahana Empire

EQ 2020  in_satavahana_emp / InSataL

The Satavahanas were the first Deccan-based dynasty to rule over an empire encompassing both southern and northern India, stretching from the Deccan Plateau in the south to Madhya Pradesh in the north, and touching both the western and eastern coasts. [1] According to the most widely accepted hypothesis, based on numismatic, archaeological and textual evidence, this polity existed between the beginning of the 1st century BCE and the end of the 2nd century CE, though many scholars are reluctant to assign absolute dates to specific kings. [2]
Notable rulers include Gautamiputra Satakarani, Vasistiputra, Pulamavi, and Yajnasri. Under their governance, Indian commerce with the Western world intensified and there was a florescence of the arts, particularly in the field of Buddhist iconography. [1] However, records are scanty when it comes to the empire’s middle century, which suggests that the Satavahana polity went through two phases of power and prosperity, with an intervening period of regionalization, and perhaps even collapse. [2]
Population and political organization
The Satavahana polity was ruled by an emperor. [3] He was aided, at court, by a number of officials, including attendants and advisors, the mahasenapati (army commander), the superintendent of stores, the treasurer, officials tasked with drafting and registering his documents, and officials tasked with supervising feudal lords. [3] [4] The provinces were governed by feudal lords who were related by blood to the royal family, by lords who struck coins in their own name (perhaps indicating some degree of autonomy from the Satavahanas themselves), and by military commanders in charge of outlying centres. [3] The fact that the empire likely suffered some sort of collapse in its middle period suggests that it may have been overly dependent on the abilities of individual rulers rather than a well-designed administrative structure. [2]
No population estimates for this period could be found in the specialist literature.

[1]: (Murthy and Ramakrishnan 1978, 25-26) H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan. 1978. A History of Karnataka. New Delhi: S. Chand.

[2]: (Sinopoli 2001, 166) Carla Sinopoli. 2001. ’On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty’, in Empires: Perspectives from Archaeology and History, edited by Susan Alcock, Terence D’Altroy, Kathleen D. Morrison and Carla Sinopoli, 155-78. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Kamath 1980, 25) Suryanatha Kamath. 1980. A Concise History of Karnataka. Bangalore: Archana Prakashana.

[4]: (Murthy and Ramakrishnan 1978, 32-33) H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan. 1978. A History of Karnataka. New Delhi: S. Chand.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
43 P  
Original Name:
Satavahana Empire  
Capital:
Pratisthana  
Benakataka  
Alternative Name:
Late Satavahanas  
Shatavahana Empire  
Andhra Empire  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[106 CE ➜ 130 CE]  
Duration:
[100 BCE ➜ 200 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Succeeding Entity:
Vakataka Kingdom  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Preceding Entity:
Mauryan Empire  
Degree of Centralization:
loose  
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-Iranian  
Dravidian  
Language:
Prakrit  
Kannada  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Hinduism  
Religion Family:
Bhagavatist Traditions  
Saivist Traditions  
Vedist Traditions  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
84,000 people  
Polity Territory:
[1,200,000 to 1,400,000] km2 100 BCE 99 CE
[1,400,000 to 1,600,000] km2 100 CE 203 CE
Polity Population:
[7,000,000 to 8,000,000] people 100 BCE 1 BCE
[7,250,000 to 8,250,000] people 0 CE 100 CE
[8,000,000 to 9,000,000] people 101 CE 203 CE
[8,500,000 to 9,500,000] people 200 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
[1 to 2]  
Military Level:
[4 to 5]  
Administrative Level:
5  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Judge:
unknown  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
History:
unknown  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
inferred present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
inferred present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
inferred present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
present  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
inferred present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
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 Satavahana Empire (in_satavahana_emp) was in:
 (100 BCE 203 CE)   Deccan
Home NGA: Deccan

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Pratisthana

Pratisthana (modern-day Paithan); Benakataka; others. "No single city served as the Satavahana capital throughout the duration of the dynasty’s history. In the early second century CE, Ptolemy referred to Paithan (Pratisthana; in Aurangabad district) as the capital of King Pulamavi; the Nasik inscription of his predecessor Gautamiputra Satakarni referred to him as lord of Benkataka (in the Nasik region). [...] The situation may, at least in part, be associated with structural weaknesses of imperial political and economical organization, thus making the physical presence of the king, court, and military force important to the exercise and authority of imperial authority and revenue collection" [1] .

[1]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 170

Capital:
Benakataka

Pratisthana (modern-day Paithan); Benakataka; others. "No single city served as the Satavahana capital throughout the duration of the dynasty’s history. In the early second century CE, Ptolemy referred to Paithan (Pratisthana; in Aurangabad district) as the capital of King Pulamavi; the Nasik inscription of his predecessor Gautamiputra Satakarni referred to him as lord of Benkataka (in the Nasik region). [...] The situation may, at least in part, be associated with structural weaknesses of imperial political and economical organization, thus making the physical presence of the king, court, and military force important to the exercise and authority of imperial authority and revenue collection" [1] .

[1]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 170


Alternative Name:
Late Satavahanas

[1]

[1]: J. Keay, India: A History (2010), p. 125

Alternative Name:
Shatavahana Empire

[1]

[1]: J. Keay, India: A History (2010), p. 125

Alternative Name:
Andhra Empire

[1]

[1]: J. Keay, India: A History (2010), p. 125


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[106 CE ➜ 130 CE]

During the reign of Gautamiputra Satakarni, the empire emerged from a period of decline (dating more or less from the end of Hala’s reign), with military victories against the Shakas, Pallavas, Yavanas, and Shakharatas, which led to annexation of new territory and the re-conquest of previously Satavahana territory [1] [2] .

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Medieval India (2008), p. 383

[2]: http://www.salivahana.com/The%20Satavahana%20Rule.html


Duration:
[100 BCE ➜ 200 CE]

"Chronological problems [...] beset text-based reconstructions of Satavahana chronology and dynastic sequences. [...] Chronological reconstructions fall into two groups. Advocates of the now largely discredited ’long chronology’ support the maximal span of c. 475 years derived from the literal reading of the [Puranic king lists] [...]. This interpretation is problematic given the historical context of the Puranas, the lack of concordance among the texts, and the lack of supporting numismatic or incriptional evidence for many of the rulers named. "Advocates of the more widely accepted ’short chronology’ [...] combine Puranic records with other lines of numismatic, archaeological, and textual evidence and date the Satavahana rule from the beginning of the first century BCE to the end of the second century CE. Even here, many scholars are reluctant to assign absolute dates to specific kings and those who do often select quite disparate dates and name different rulers. Nonetheless, the shorter chronology is the more reasonable given current evidence [...]" [1] .

[1]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 166


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none

Independent polity.


Succeeding Entity:
Vakataka Kingdom

Iskvakus; Pallavas; Chutus; Abhiras; Kurus; Vakatakas [1]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/524850/Satavahana-dynasty


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

NOTE: The Mauryan Empire was the most powerful polity to rule over Southern India before the Satavahanas [1] . However, partly because of difficulties in dating the exact beginning of the Satavahana Empire, it is not clear that there was a direct link between the two polities [2]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Early medieval India (2008), pp. 324-358

[2]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 159


Preceding Entity:
Mauryan Empire

NOTE: The Mauryan Empire was the most powerful polity to rule over Southern India before the Satavahanas [1] . However, partly because of difficulties in dating the exact beginning of the Satavahana Empire, it is not clear that there was a direct link between the two polities [2]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Early medieval India (2008), pp. 324-358

[2]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 159


Degree of Centralization:
loose

"The fragmentation of the kingdom was inevitable as the Satavahana state was very loosely organized, with the local administration, even the maintenance of the royal army, being largely left to their feudatories, who even struck their own coins. This loose state organization was necessitated by the limited economic resources of the kingdom; the soil of their land being poor, the Satavahanas could not afford to maintain a large standing army or an elaborate administrative organization." [1]
Only centralized after moving east after 140 CE: "The continued invasions by the Sakas of Ujjain (Malwa) and the prospects of encroaching upon the rich regions in the southern and eastern Deccan prompted them to shift their political base to the east around AD 140. The Satavahana state brought with it an organized administration and bureaucracy, a standing army, garrison towns, provincial administrative headquarters and a fortified capital."

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 56) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Viking. Penguin Books India Pvt, Ltd.

Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

"The fragmentation of the kingdom was inevitable as the Satavahana state was very loosely organized, with the local administration, even the maintenance of the royal army, being largely left to their feudatories, who even struck their own coins. This loose state organization was necessitated by the limited economic resources of the kingdom; the soil of their land being poor, the Satavahanas could not afford to maintain a large standing army or an elaborate administrative organization." [1]
Only centralized after moving east after 140 CE: "The continued invasions by the Sakas of Ujjain (Malwa) and the prospects of encroaching upon the rich regions in the southern and eastern Deccan prompted them to shift their political base to the east around AD 140. The Satavahana state brought with it an organized administration and bureaucracy, a standing army, garrison towns, provincial administrative headquarters and a fortified capital."

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 56) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Viking. Penguin Books India Pvt, Ltd.


Language

Language:
Prakrit

Prakrit was the official court language, Kannada the language "popularly spoken" [1] .

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 27

Language:
Kannada

Prakrit was the official court language, Kannada the language "popularly spoken" [1] .

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 27



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
84,000 people

Inhabitants [1] . Chase-Dunn also suggests an estimate of 60,000 inhabitants for 200 BCE, but here we are following the "short chronology" of the Satavahana Empire [2] , which starts in the first century BCE.

[1]: Chase-Dunn spreadsheet

[2]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 166


Polity Territory:
[1,200,000 to 1,400,000] km2
100 BCE 99 CE

in squared kilometers

Polity Territory:
[1,400,000 to 1,600,000] km2
100 CE 203 CE

in squared kilometers


Polity Population:
[7,000,000 to 8,000,000] people
100 BCE 1 BCE

People.
Estimated from [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 182-185) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.

Polity Population:
[7,250,000 to 8,250,000] people
0 CE 100 CE

People.
Estimated from [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 182-185) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.

Polity Population:
[8,000,000 to 9,000,000] people
101 CE 203 CE

People.
Estimated from [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 182-185) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.

Polity Population:
[8,500,000 to 9,500,000] people
200 CE

People.
Estimated from [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 182-185) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
Contemporary inscriptions refer to the following three types of settlement beyond the capital [1] :
1.Capital
2. nagara (city or palace)3. nigama (market town)4. gama (village)

[1]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 170


Religious Level:
[1 to 2]

levels.
_Hinduism_
There are no official priestly hierarchies in Hinduism [1] . However, several sources allude to the importance, at least for some branches of the religion, of the relationship between student and teacher or guru (e.g. [2] ), which suggests that perhaps it would not be entirely inappropriate to say that there is indeed a Hindu religious hierarchy, and that it is composed of two levels.
_Buddhism_
"Buddhist monastic communities replaced the caste system with one based on year of ordination. Previously ordained monks enjoyed rights and privileges higher in status than monks ordained later, and monks were categorically of higher status and privilege than nuns. In effect seniority and gender provided criteria for social status and increased access to ’pure’ teachings and exemption from ’impure’ duties." [3] .

[1]: http://ezinearticles.com/?Religious-Hierarchy-in-Hinduism&id=1864556

[2]: G. Flood, Introduction, in G. Flood (ed), The Blackwell Comapnion to Hinduism (2003), p. 4

[3]: P. Nietupsky, Hygiene: Buddhist Perspective, in W.M. Johnson, Encyclopedia of Monasticism (2000), p. 628


Military Level:
[4 to 5]

levels.
A rough hierarchy may have been as follows:
1. Emperor [1] 2. Mahasenapati [2] 3. Direct subordinates of the mahasenapati - more than one level?4. Soldiers

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 32

[2]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 25


Administrative Level:
5

levels.
Note: "the Satavahana state was very loosely organized, with the local administration, even the maintenance of the royal army, being largely left to their feudatories, who even struck their own coins. This loose state organization was necessitated by the limited economic resources of the kingdom; the soil of their land being poor, the Satavahanas could not afford to maintain a large standing army or an elaborate administrative organization." [1]
The rough hierarchy may have been as follows:
1. Emperor [2]
_Court_
2. Royal officialsIncluding, among others, the king’s attendants and advisors, the mahasenapati or army commander, the superintendent of stores, the treasurer, officials tasked with drafting and registering the king’s documents, and officials tasked with supervising feudal lords [2] [3]
3.4.
_Provincial Government_
2. Mahabhojas and maharathisFeudal lords who were blood relatives of the royal family [2] .
2. Rajas Other feudal lords (specifically rajas, who struck coins in their own name, and mahasenapatis, military governors posted at outlying centres)Feudal lords who struck coins in their own name [2] .
2. MahasenapatisArmy commanders were sometimes put in charge of governing outlying centres [2] .
3. Local administratorsBhojakas, uparikas, gaulmikas, patipalakas [4] .
4. GramanisVillage officials in charge of five, sometimes ten villages [5] .
5. Village assemblies [5] .
NOTE: Sources are often unclear and describe the hierarchy in slightly different ways.

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 56) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Viking. Penguin Books India Pvt, Ltd.

[2]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 25

[3]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), pp. 32-33

[4]: R. Thapar (?), South Asia from 200 BC to AD 300, in E. Condurachi, J. Hermann, E. Zurcher (eds), History of Humanity from the 7th Century BC to the 7th Century AD (1996), p. 381

[5]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 33


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

Inferred from the fact that the Satavahanas kept a standing army [1] .

[1]: R. Thapar (?), South Asia from 200 BC to AD 300, in E. Condurachi, J. Hermann, E. Zurcher (eds), History of Humanity from the 7th Century BC to the 7th Century AD (1996), p. 381


Professional Priesthood:
present

Hinduism had its representatives in Brahmanas [1] , Buddhism in monks [2] .

[1]: L. Rocher, The Dharmasastras, in G. Flood (ed), The Balckwell Companion to Hinduism (2003), p. 103

[2]: L. Aldritt, Buddhism (2009), p. 12


Professional Military Officer:
present

e.g. the mahasenapati [1] .

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 25


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

The superintendent of stores [1] [2] suggests there were government stores.

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 25

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), pp. 32-33



Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

[1]

[1]: R. Thapar (?), South Asia from 200 BC to AD 300, in E. Condurachi, J. Hermann, E. Zurcher (eds), History of Humanity from the 7th Century BC to the 7th Century AD (1996), p. 381



Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Inferred from existence of "market towns" [1] .

[1]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 170



Food Storage Site:
present

Inferred from existence of a royal official in charge of supervising "stores", the bhandagarika [1] .

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 32



Transport Infrastructure

"The Satavahanas realised the need of building roads and communications to facilitate trade wherever necessary", for example, "[t]here was an easy and well trodden road from Broach leading to the cities of the north (via) Ujjain and Vidisa and finally connected to Pataliputra. In the Deccan itself, a road started from Broach linking Surat with the Salsette parts of the south, where it joined the great road to the North running across the ghats to Junnar, Paithan and Ajanta" [1] .

[1]: C. Margabandhu, Archaeology of the Satavahana Kshatrapa Times (1985), p. 59


According to contemporary records, "Broach, Sopara, Kalyan and Chaul were flourishing ports of trade; Jayagal, Dabol, Danakot, Rajapur and Vijayadurga were other ports of lesser importance [1] .

[1]: C. Margabandhu, Archaeology of the Satavahana Kshatrapa Times (1985), p. 59


Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

Incriptions on coins, sacred structures and commemorative stelae [1] .

[1]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 163


Script:
present

The Brahmi script was used [1] .

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 27


Nonwritten Record:
present

Incriptions on coins, sacred structures and commemorative stelae [1] .

[1]: C. Sinopoli, On the Edge of Empire: Form and Substance in the Satavahana Dynasty, in S. Alcock (ed), Empires (2001), p. 163



Information / Kinds of Written Documents

Sacred Text:
present

Hindu, Buddhist and Jain scriptures.


Religious Literature:
present

e.g. Kundakunda Charya’s works on Jainist thought [1] .

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 37


Practical Literature:
present

e.g. Sarva Varman’s work on grammar, the Katantra Vyakarana [1] .

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 28


Philosophy:
present

e.g. Kundakunda Charya’s works on Jainist thought [1] .

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 37



Fiction:
present

e.g. Gunadhya’s Brihatkatha, a compendium of romantic tales [1]

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 28


Calendar:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra contains a chapter title "Measurement of Space and Time." [1] The Arthaśāstra "probably arose in the first half of the first millennium AD" but probably largely "derive[s] from older handbooks". [2]

[1]: (Subramaniam 2001, 79) Subramaniam, V. in Farazmand, Ali. ed. 2001. Handbook of Comparative and Development Public Administration. CRC Press.

[2]: (Schlingloff 2013: 15) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DAMFF2NV.


Information / Money

Indigenous Coin:
present

Contemporary sources refer to coins known as Karshapana, Dramma, Pana, and Gadyana [1] . They were made of silver, lead, and potin, an alloy of silver and lead [2] .

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 36

[2]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 25


Foreign Coin:
present

Roman [1] and Greek [2] coins were both in use.

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 27

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 36



Information / Postal System

Courier:
present

permanent messengers would have been useful for the government.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

"The excavations also gave evidence of wooden palisade of the early Satavahana times which might indicate that Ter was one of the thirty fortified towns of the Satavahanas." [1]

[1]: (Dikshit 1985, 89) K N Dikshit. 1985. Archaeological Perspective of India Since Independence. Books & Books.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

Towns were protected by "high walls". [1] Satavahana cities "were surrounded by high walls, ramparts and gates constructed with brick and mortar." [2]

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 27

[2]: (Roy 2013, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Towns were protected by "high walls". [1] Satavahana cities "were surrounded by high walls, ramparts and gates constructed with brick and mortar." [2] Were walls also made out of stone?

[1]: S. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 27

[2]: (Roy 2013, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Commenting on Jean Deloche’s ’Studies on Fortification in India’ a book reviewer says that fort construction "with long-term building and modification programs ... became the focal point for local populations as well as for their leaders" and often were "placed at points on the landscape that already were natural strongholds and places of ritual devolution". [1]

[1]: (Smith 2010, 273) Monica L Smith. January 2010. Journal of the American Oriental Society. 130.2. Studies on Fortification in India. Collection Indologie, vol. 104. Four Forts of the Deccan vol. 111. Senji (Gingee): A Fortified City in the Tamil Country. vol. 101 by Jean Deloche.



"Banavasi in North Kanara, an acient capital city of the region measuring 1 km2, goes back at least to the Satavahana period and shows a burnt-brick fortification on rubble foundations and a moat." [1]

[1]: (Chakrabarti 1995, 306) D K Chakrabarti. Post-Mauryan states of mainland South Asia (c. BC 185-AD 320). F R Allchin. 1995. The Archaeology of Early Historic South Asia: The Emergence of Cities and States. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.



Earth Rampart:
present

Satavahana cities "were surrounded by high walls, ramparts and gates constructed with brick and mortar." [1]

[1]: (Roy 2013, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


"Satanikota on the bank of the Tugabhadra was a fortified Satavahana place [palace?] with a ditch cut into the natural bedrock". [1]

[1]: (Chakrabarti 1995, 306) D K Chakrabarti. Post-Mauryan states of mainland South Asia (c. BC 185-AD 320). F R Allchin. 1995. The Archaeology of Early Historic South Asia: The Emergence of Cities and States. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.



Military use of Metals
Steel:
present

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). [1] At Naikund in Maharashtra: knowledge of steeling and hardening from 700 BCE. [2] Historical records show Indian steel was exported to Abyssinia in 200 BCE. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123). [3]

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

[2]: (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.

[3]: 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.


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] The Guptas were known for their exceptional skill in iron metallurgy, 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.


Copper:
present

A military historian suggests 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? Copper weapons did exist but by this time probably replaced by iron, steel or bronze.

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


Bronze:
present

A military historian suggests 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] A military historian states that ancient Indians had a weapon called the yantra that "may refer to a device for hurling stones and missiles at the enemy, but we have no information as to its design." [2] - do ancient Indian specialists agree? 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." [3]

[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]: (Gabriel 2007, 126-127) Richard A Gabriel. 2007. The Ancient World. Greenwood Publishing Group. Westport.

[3]: (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


Excavations at both Maski and Prakash, in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, respectively, have yielded likely slingstones [1] .

[1]: C. Margabandhu, Archaeology of the Satavahana Kshatrapa Times (1985), p. 311


Self Bow:
present

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." [1] "The Hindus used bows made of cane or bamboos which were inferior in range, accuracy and penetrative power when compared to the composite bows." [2] Composite bow came to India with the Kushanas but "after the collapse of the Gupta Empire, the use of composite bows died out in India." [2] Iron arrow heads. [3] The Satavahanas used many foot archers. [4]

[1]: (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.

[2]: (Roy 2011, 122) Kaushik Roy. Historiographical Survey of the Writings on Indian Military History. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya. ed. 2011. Approaches to History: Essays in Indian Historiography. Primus Books. Delhi.

[3]: (Sawant 2009) Reshma Sawant. 2008. ‘State Formation Process In The Vidarbha During The Vakataka Period’. Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute 68-69: 137-162.

[4]: (Roy 2013, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Javelin:
present

A military historian states the light cavalry of the Mauryans c200 BCE used a javelin in conjunction with a lance [1] - do Mauryan specialists agree? Have not been able to find data for the Satavahanas but we do know "cavalry had an important place in the Satavahana military organisation." [2]

[1]: Gabriel, Richard A. The great armies of antiquity. p. 218-220

[2]: (Sharma 1996, 289) Ram Sharan Sharma. 1996. Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. 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

"The Hindus used bows made of cane or bamboos which were inferior in range, accuracy and penetrative power when compared to the composite bows." [1] Composite bow came to India with the Kushanas but "after the collapse of the Gupta Empire, the use of composite bows died out in India." [1] ’From the Kushans, the Indians learnt the use of composite bows. The Sanchi sculptures which can be dated to the first century BC show many soldiers carrying strung and unstrung composite bows. Murray B. Emeneau writes that the Guptas used Sassanian types of composite bows.’ [2]

[1]: (Roy 2011, 122) Kaushik Roy. Historiographical Survey of the Writings on Indian Military History. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya. ed. 2011. Approaches to History: Essays in Indian Historiography. Primus Books. Delhi.

[2]: (Roy 2013, 23) Kaushik Roy. 2013. Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Weapon that has only been found in the New World.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

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

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


A military historian states the Maurayan heavy infantry is known to have used iron weapons including maces, dagger-axes, battle-axes and a slashing sword [1] - do Mauryan specialists agree? Satavahana infantry used short swords. [2]

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

[2]: (Roy 2013, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Inferred from their wide distribution throughout India in the period considered, including at sites that may have been part of the Satavahana empire, such as Kondapur and Maheshwar [1] .

[1]: C. Margabandhu, Archaeology of the Satavahana Kshatrapa Times (1985), p. 301



Dagger:
present

Inferred from their wide distribution throughout India in the period considered, including at sites that may have been part of the Satavahana empire [1] . A military historian states the Maurayan heavy infantry is known to have used iron weapons including maces, dagger-axes, battle-axes and a slashing sword [2] - do Mauryan specialists agree?

[1]: C. Margabandhu, Archaeology of the Satavahana Kshatrapa Times (1985), p. 300

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


Battle Axe:
present

[1] A military historian states the Maurayan heavy infantry is known to have used iron weapons including maces, dagger-axes, battle-axes and a slashing sword [2] - do Mauryan specialists agree?

[1]: http://www.historydiscussion.net/empires/satavahana-dynasty-rulers-administration-society-and-economic-conditions/736

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


Animals used in warfare

According to Pliny the Elder, the Satavahana army included 2,000 cavalrymen. [1] Cavalry "had an important place in the Satavahana military organisation." [2]

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

[2]: (Sharma 1996, 289) Ram Sharan Sharma. 1996. Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi.


Elephant:
present

According to Pliny the Elder, the Satavahana army included 1,000 elephants. [1]

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


Donkey:
unknown

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.



Camel:
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] 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 suggests the Maurayans 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 suggests the Maurayans carried shields made of raw oxhide stretched over a wood or wicker frame [1] - do Mauryan specialists agree? The Satavahanas were likely no less advanced in terms of their military technology. Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a leather shield. [2] Satavahana infantry used circular shields. [3]

[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.

[3]: (Roy 2013, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Scaled Armor:
unknown

Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [1] Likely referring to time following the Macedonian invasion.

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


Plate Armor:
present

Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [1] Likely referring to time following the Macedonian invasion. Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions metal plate, cuirass, corselet, 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.


Limb Protection:
present

Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [1] Likely referring to time following the Macedonian invasion. Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a thigh guard. [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.


Leather Cloth:
present

A military historian suggests 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 suggests the Maurayans 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

Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [1] Likely referring to time following the Macedonian invasion.

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


Helmet:
present

A military historian suggests helmets were not widely used until the CE period; soldiers used thick turbans to protect their heads [1] - do ancient Indian specialists agree? Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a helmet. [2]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 220) 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.


Chainmail:
present

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] Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [2] Likely referring to time following the Macedonian invasion. Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a coat of mail. [3]

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

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

[3]: (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] Likely referring to time following the Macedonian invasion. Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a 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. The Satavahanas had a lengthy coastline but their capital was based inland and for most of the period they lacked a standing army and sophisticated central administration, which suggests the kings would not have poured resources into sailing assets they would not have seen nor have little control over.

[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.