Vital Villages, Thriving Towns

Iron was essential for the growth of villages, cities and civilizations. The use of iron was essential to the growth of villages, cities and civilizations all over the world. In ancient India, the usage of iron led to an increase in the productivity of villages.

Villages were an important part of large kingdoms. Kings extracted revenue from the villagers. The villagers followed various methods to increase the production. Grihapatis were the smaller landowners. Dasa karmakara were slaves and hired labourers. Mathura was the second capital of Kushanas and a centre of religious worship for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Mathura was located on cross roads of trade routes from northwest to the east and north India to south India. Inscriptions are found on stone slabs and statues. They mention about Goldsmiths, blacksmiths, weavers, basket makers, garland makers, perfumers.

Archaeological evidences such as Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) have been found. Two famous cloth manufacturing centers were Varanasi (in North) and Madurai (in South).

Craftsmen and merchants were organized into guilds (shrenis) which acted as banks in western India. Arthashastra provides the rule for spinning and weaving.The site of Arikamedu is situated near Pondicherry (Puducherry). Emperor Augustus laid the city of Rome.

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