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Title: Agriculturists and the People of the Jungle: Reading Early Indian Texts
Authors: Basant, Prabhat Kumar
Keywords: The Neolithic Revolution
Slash and burn cultivation
Burning of the Khandava forest
The Arthashastra
The Mahabharata
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Vidyasagar University , Midnapore , West Bengal , India
Series/Report no.: Vidyasagar University Journal of History;2014-2015
Abstract: Historians of early India have understood the transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture as a dramatic transformation that brought in its wake urbanism and state. Jungles are believed to have been destroyed by chiefs and kings in epic encounters. Does anthropology support such an understanding of the processes involved in the transition from hunting –gathering to agriculture? Is it possible that historians have misread early Indian texts because they have mistaken poetic conventions for a statement of reality? A resistant reading of the early Indian texts together with information from anthropology shows that communities of agriculturists, pastoral nomads and forest people were in active contact. Agriculturists located on the cultural or spatial margins of state societies colonised new areas for cultivation. Transition to agriculture was facilitated by the brahman-shramana tradition
ISSN: 2321-0834
Appears in Collections:Vidyasagar University Journal of History Vol 3 [2014-2015]

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