This volume of the A People's History of India series deals with the period spanning c. 700 and c. 350 BC. During this important period of Indian history, iron technology diffused, transforming and multiplying tools; cities arose and commerce spread; the caste system assumed practically all its essential features; powerful states were formed, with armies and bureaucracies; and, finally, Jainism and Buddhism brought about a veritable religious revolution. All this is described in four chapters with clarity and precision, but with no attempt to conceal points of controversy. Special notes are furnished on punch-marked coinage, the Northern Black Polished Ware, problems of chronology, and the arrival of writing. Nine extracts from sources give the reader a taste of the textual sources. There are twelve illustrations and seven maps, and a chronological table at the end. Each chapter includes a bibliographical note, indicating sources and suggesting further reading.
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