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Ancient History / Vedic Civilization

Vedic Economy

Vedic economy was not uniform throughout the Vedic period. Rig Vedic economy was basically a pastoral economy whereas the Later Vedic period witnessed mainly an agrarian economy.

Economic Life of Early Vedic Period

  • The economic life of early vedic period or Rig vedic period was essentially pastoral in nature as the main activity of people was rearing animals. Agriculture remained a secondary activity then. The only food grain mentioned in Rig Veda is Yava (wheat and barley).

  • Regarding industries, Textile, Leather, Pottery, Carpentry, Metal industries were present. The only metal mentioned in Rig Veda for making tools is Aya (copper and bronze).

  • Trade and commerce was carried out on a limited scale. Suvarna Nishka was mentioned frequently in Rig Veda. According to some historians, these are gold coins but others have rejected it. It may be a gold ornament with some fixed value.

Economic Life of Later Vedic Period

  • The economic life of later vedic period was transformed from pastoral to agrarian. During this period, Aryans migrated from Sapta Sindhu region to Indo-Gangetic basin. They started growing Vrihi (Vedic term for rice) extensively.

  • Krishna Aya, which is nothing but Iron, started to be used around 1000 BC.

  • Trade and commerce was considerably developed as a result of high level of agriculture. Urbanization started in Indo-Gangetic basin.