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This reader provides a multilayered analysis of different aspects of history, politics, economy and its interface with environment and ecology in early India. One of the first anthologies on the subject, it also examines the linkage between the environmental and agrarian histories of colonial times. Thematically organized, the volume has five sections. The first focuses on forests, deforestation, tribes, and states. The next discusses land grants, settlements, and rural landscape. The third examines water resources, irrigation, agricultural expansion and how it interacted with folk culture and religion and Brahmanical tradition. The fourth section explores pastoralism, ecology, and society. It also studies rise of states, agrarian production and economy. The final section explores ecology in literature and religion. A detailed introduction surveys the historiography and key debates in the environmental history of early India and highlights the areas for further research.
Publisher's Acknowledgments; Introduction, SECTION I: FORESTS, DEFORESTATION, STATES, AND LEGITIMATION 1. Of Tribes, Hunters and Barbarians: Forest Dwellers in the Mauryan Period Aloka Parasher Sen; 2. Wilderness and Kingship in Ancient South Asia Nancy Falk; 3. The Study of Settlement Pattern in Cola Period: Some Perspectives R. Champakalakshmi; 4. An Aspect of Rural Landscape in the Rashtrakuta Kingdom Shyam Narayan Lal; SECTION II: LANDGRANTS, SETTLEMENTS, AND RURAL LANDSCAPE 5. Natural Resources and Human Settlements: Perceiving the Environment in India Ranabir Chakravarti; 6. Irrigation in Early Medieval Rajasthan B.D. Chattopadhyaya; 7. Patronage and Irrigation in Tamil Nadu: A Long-term View David Ludden; 8. Pastoralism as Reflected in the Classical Tamil Theory of Landscapes Kamil V. Zvelebil; SECTION III: WATER RESOURCES, IRRIGATION, AND AGRICULTURAL EXPANSION 9. Between Ghost and God: A Folk Deity of the Deccan Gunther Dietz Sontheimer; 10. Landscapes in Conflict, Flocks, Hero-stones, and Cult in Early Medieval Maharashtra Ajay Dandekar; 11. In Which Part of South Asia did the Early Brahmanical Tradition (1st millennium BC) Take its Form? Kumkum Roy; 12. Perceiving the Forest: Early India Romila Thapar; SECTION IV: PASTORALISM, ECOLOGY, SOCIETY, AND STATE 13. Tirtahs and Acculturation: An Anthropological Study Vijay Nath; 14. Early South Indian Society and Economy: The Tinai Concept K. Sivathamby; 15. Agrarian Expansion and Rise of States R. S. Sharma; 16. Geographical Setting and Agrarian Economy V. K. Jain; 17. Ethnohistory of Pastoralism: A Study of the Kuruvas and Gollas M. L. K. Murty; SECTION V: ECOLOGY, SOCIETY IN LITERATURE AND RELIGION 18. Settlements and Economy Nayanjyot Lahiri; 19. Life, Forests, and Plant Sciences in Ancient India Anil Rawat; Bibliography.