Table of Contents
To What Extent Were Agricultural Practices Transformed In The Period Under Consideration?
Ans: The demand for taxes increased in the post 600 BC. In order to meet the demand of excessive taxes, without taking lesser produce, forced the farmers to increase productivity. This resulted in the use of new tools and practices of agriculture. The important ones are as follows:
1.Use of plough: Ploughs became commonplace. They were hardly heard of in the past. The use of ploughs began in the Ganga and Cauvery basins. In places where rain was abundant, the plough was used with iron tips. This increased the paddy production manifold.
2. Use of spade: Another tool that changed the system of agriculture is spade. Those farmers who lived in the areas of harsh land used spade.
3. Artificial Irrigation: Apart from rainfall, the farmers now began to look at artificial forms of irrigation. This prompted farmers to build wells, ponds, and – canals often collectively. This increased agricultural production.
The production increased due to new technology and tools. This created a new strata in the society. In the Buddhist literature, there is a description of small and big farmers. They were called Grihpatis. Similar description is given in Tamil literature too. The position of village head was often hereditary. In such a situation the ownership of land became very important.
5. Look at figure 1.30 (See NCERT page-26) and describe what you see. How is the body placed? What are the objects placed near it? Are there any artefacts on the body? Do these indicate the sex of the skeleton?
10. On the given map, use a pencil to circle the sites where evidence of agriculture has been recovered. Mark an X against sites where there is evidence of craft production and R against sites where raw materials were found.
7.This is a statement made by one of the best-known epigraphists of the twentieth century, D.C. Sircar: “There is no aspect of life, culture, activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions.” Discuss.