The availability of the natural resources depends at least as much on technological equipment as on geography. As a matter of fact technological development is taken by many thinkers as the basic factor in economic change.
Considering the fundamental importance of agriculture in Indian economic life, a historical account of development of agriculture should have been attempted long back. Much useful information pertaining to different periods and regions scattered in diverse sources has been collected, but it still has to be woven into a historical pattern. I am conscious of the many problems that we have to solve before attempting a history of agriculture in ancient India. Hence I have confined my present studies to certain illustrative problems in some important aspects in the history of agriculture with the fervent hope that the diverse activities consuming my time will soon thin out in number and permit me to honor my commitments to areas of prime interest to me.
The first two chapters deal with the date for two texts which are supposed to describe the technique of agriculture and horticulture in ancient India. For reconstructing the history of agriculture or any other aspect of ancient Indian economic life of technology, one of the preliminary problems is to fix the date and chronological stratification of available technical texts, printed or in manuscript form. This will enable us to arrange in a chronological sequence the known facts of technological developments.
Two important aspects of agricultural technology, namely, manure and irrigation, are discussed chapters IV and V. To indicate the possibilities of significant shaping influences from other areas of contemporary life and institutions, we have analyzed the oft-debated questions of ownership of agricultural land and irrigation-tax in chapters III and VI.
In preparing this monograph I have received valuable help from many friends. As usual Dr. Smt. Krishna Kanti Gopal, my sacrificing saladharmight, relieved me of domestic responsibilities, but shared my academic anxieties. The University has graciously granted full subsidy under the U.G.C. scheme. for financial assistance for publishing learned research work. I am grateful to the University Grants Commission and the Banaras Hindu University. Sri B. D. Madhur has planned the cover and Sri S. P. Pandey has arranged for the printing of the monograph. Some references have been verified by Dr. M. D. Dubey and Sri V. M. Shastri. Sri Krishna Dev and Dr. K. D. Tripathi have taken keen interest in this publication. To all these I am obliged.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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