The Age of Iron and the Religious Revolution, volume 4 of the People’s History of India series, covers a very important phase of Indian history, spanning c.700 to 350 BC.
During the period iron technology diffused, transforming and multiplying tools; cities arose and commerce spread; the caste system assumed practically all its essential features; powerful states were formed, with armies and bureaucracies; and, finally, Jainism and Buddhism brought about a veritable religious revolution.
All this is described in four chapters with clarity and precision, but with no attempt to conceal points of controversy. Special notes are furnished on punch-marked coinage, the Northern Black Polished Ware, problems of chronology, and the arrival of writing. Nine extracts from source give the reader a taste of the textual sources.
There are twelve illustrations and seven maps, and a chronological table at the end. Each chapter is provided with a bibliographical note, indicating sources and suggesting further reading.
Krishna Mohan Shrimali