Economic life of the Aryans in the later Vedic Age

It is believed that the Aryans entered India from present-day Afghanistan and settled in the valley of Kabul and Punjab. This was called Sapta Sindhu or the land of the seven rivers—Indus, Ravi, Beas, Satluj, Jhelum, Chenab, and Saraswati. Because the region was fertile, the Aryans took to agriculture. It is believed that when the Aryans came to India, they came into conflict with the local people. The local inhabitants were defeated and they came to be known as ‘dasas’ or ‘dasyus’. The economic life of the Aryans in the later Vedic Age is discussed below


Economic life of the Aryans in the later Vedic Age


The growing importance of Agriculture: The rearing of cattle and other domestic animals continued, but it was now less important than agriculture. In addition to Yava or barley, a new crop Vrihi or rice had assumed greater significance. Fragments of both barley and rice have been found at Hastinapur and another place. The later Vedic Aryans produced many other crops such as wheat millet and sugarcane.

Variety of Crafts: Different kinds of crafts had been introduced. The main reason behind it could be the use of iron in large quantities. Iron weapons and tools have been recovered from various Painted Grey Ware or Black and Red Ware Sites. Crafts, such as pottery, leatherworking, carpentry, making of jewelry, and the manufacture of glass also flourished. Crafts specialization had now become more common than, in the early Vedic period. Thus, chariot-making developed as an occupation different from that of carpentry.

Change in the field of Trade and Commerce: Important changes can be noticed in the field of trade and commerce. Commerce was made easier by the use of such units of value as nishka and satmana. The reference to ships indicates a flourishing inland maritime trade. A class of hereditary merchants (Vanija) existed now. Many of the professions were organized into guilds, which in later ages, controlled prices and ensured the quantity of the goods.


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