This book is an extended archaeological study of the genesis of the state and complex society in the mid-Ganga plains. It reviews the part played by the pre-Iron/BNPW cultures in colonising the mid-Ganga plains and in paving the way for the advent of the historical period. It underscores the key role of iron in forwarding clearnace, settlement and productivity. Also ethnological analogies are used to suggest the causes of the unequal distribution of resources and agricultural surplus giving rise to the state and varna system.
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