ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Early India, Goats and Brahmins

Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From by Tony Joseph, New Delhi: Juggernaut, 2018; pp 288, 699 (hardcover).

 

 

I met Tony Joseph first in Jaipur Literature Festival in 2019 and next at Mathrubhoomi Literature Festival in January 2020 at Thiruvananthapuram. I had a lengthy discussion about his understanding of cattle like goats, buffalos, cows and so on, caste and race relations in ancient India and where the Brahminic understanding of India went wrong and they became anti-animal economy and anti-agrarian production. He gave me several clues which engendered a new curiosity in his understanding and his book. Then I started reading his book very seriously line by line. It threw up many new dimensions that were not explored in the writings of any other historians, indologists and writers on ancient India earlier.

His book has opened a new perspective on Indian economic and cultural evolution in the context of many discoveries of the economic and cultural evolution of animal, plant and bird domestication and migration to different parts of the world and India. While reading early Indian agrarian system in the chapter “The First Farmers,” a new vision appeared for the first time. Joseph writes,

the first evidence for domestication of goats comes from the settlement of Ganj Dareh in the central Zagros mountain region and is dated to 7900 BCE. (p 78)

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Updated On : 13th Mar, 2021

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