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Later Vedic Period Vedic Civilization

Filed under: History Ancient History on 2021-06-12 16:31:12
Later Vedic Period or Painted Grey Ware Phase (1000 BC – 600 BC)

During this time, the Aryans moved eastwards and occupied western and eastern UP (Kosala) and Bihar.

Political structure:

# Kingdoms like Mahajanapadas were formed by amalgamating smaller kingdoms.
# King’s power increased and various sacrifices were performed by him to enhance his position.
# Sacrifices were Rajasuya (consecration ceremony), Vajapeya (chariot race) and Ashwamedha (horse sacrifice).
# The Sabhas and Samitis diminished in importance.

Social structure:

# The Varna system of social distinction became more distinct. This became less based on occupation and more hereditary.
# The four divisions of society in decreasing social ranking were: Brahmanas (priests), Kshatriyas (rulers), Vaishyas (agriculturists, traders and artisans), and Shudras (servers of the upper three classes).
# Women were not permitted to attend public assemblies like Sabhas and Samitis. Their position in society diminished.
# Child marriages became common.
Sub-castes based on occupation also emerged. Gotras were institutionalised.

Economic structure:

# Agriculture was the chief occupation.
Industrial work like metalwork, pottery and carpentry work also was there.
# There was foreign trade with far off regions like Babylon and Sumeria.


# Prajapati (creator) and Vishnu (preserver) became important gods.
# Indra and Agni lost their significance.
Importance of prayers diminished and rituals and sacrifices became more elaborate.
# The priestly class became very powerful and they dictated the rules of the rites and rituals. Because of this orthodoxy, Buddhism and Jainism emerged towards the end of this period.
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