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Early Vedic Period Vedic Civilization

Filed under: History Ancient History on 2021-06-12 16:29:15
Early Vedic Period or Rig Vedic Period (1500 BC – 1000 BC)

Initially, the Aryans lived in the land known as “Sapta Sindhu” (Land of the Seven Rivers). These seven rivers were: Sindhu (Indus), Vipash (Beas), Vitasta (Jhelum), Parushni (Ravi), Asikni (Chenab), Shutudri (Satluj) and Saraswati.

Political structure:

# Monarchical form of government with a king known as Rajan.
# Patriarchal families. Jana was the largest social unit in Rig Vedic times.
# Social grouping: kula (family) – grama – visu – jana.
# Tribal assemblies were called Sabhas and Samitis. Examples of tribal kingdoms: Bharatas, Matsyas, Yadus and Purus.

Social structure:

# Women enjoyed a respectable position. They were allowed to take part in Sabhas and Samitis. There were women poets too (Apala, Lopamudra, Viswavara and Ghosa).
Cattle especially cows became very important.
# Monogamy was practised but polygamy was observed among royalty and noble families.
# There was no child marriage.
# Social distinctions existed but were not rigid and hereditary.

Economic structure:

# They were pastoral and cattle-rearing people.
# They practised agriculture.
# They had horse chariots.
# Rivers were used for transport.
# Cotton and woollen fabrics were spun and used.
# Initially, trade was conducted through the barter system but later on, coins called ‘nishka’ were in use.


# They worshipped natural forces like earth, fire, wind, rain, thunder, etc. by personifying them into deities.
# Indra (thunder) was the most important deity. Other deities were Prithvi (earth), Agni (fire), Varuna (rain) and Vayu (wind).
# Female deities were Ushas and Aditi.
# There were no temples and no idol worship.
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