India: The Ancient Past provides a clear and systematic introduction to the cultural, political, economic, social and geographical history of ancient India from the time of the pre-Harappan culture nine thousand years ago up until the beginning of the second millennium of the Common Era. The book engages with methodological and controversial issues by examining key themes such as the Indus-Sarasvati civilization, the Aryan controversy, the development of Vedic and heterodox religions, and the political economy and social life of ancient Indian kingdoms.
This fully revised and updated second edition includes:
Three new chapters examining the differences and commonalities between the north and south of India;
Extended discussion on contested issues, such as the origins of the Aryans and the role of feudalism in ancient India;
New source excerpts to introduce students to the most significant works in the historiography of India, and questions for discussion;
Study guides, including a list of key issues, suggested readings and a selection of internet sources for each chapter;
Specially designed maps to illustrate different time periods and geographical regions
This richly illustrated guide provides a fascinating account of the early development of Indian culture and civilization that will appeal to all students of Indian history.
Burjor Avari MBE is Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History at the Manchester Metropolitan University. He has taught history at school and university levels for over five decades. His previous publications include Islamic Civilization in South Asia: A History of Muslim Power and Presence in the Indian Subcontinent (Routledge, 2013).
1. Introduction 2. From Africa to Mehrgarh 3. The Harappan Civilization 4. The Indo-Aryans in the Vedic Age 5. Formative Centuries of the Pre-Mauryan Era 6. The Paradox of Mauryan Imperialism 7. Diffusion and Dynamism after the Mauryas 8. Stability and Change Under the Imperial Guptas 9. The Post-Gupta Era and the Rise of the South 10. Regionalism and Feudalism: Rajput, Pala and 296 Rashtrakuta Kingdoms 11. Chola Domination in the South and Turco-Afhan Plunder in the North