ISBN 9788121504638,Pre-Ahom Assam: Studies in the Inscriptions of Assam Between the Fifth and the Thirteenth Centuries AD

Pre-Ahom Assam: Studies in the Inscriptions of Assam Between the Fifth and the Thirteenth Centuries AD

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Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd

Publication Year 1991

ISBN 9788121504638

ISBN-10 8121504635

Hard Back

Number of Pages 188 Pages
Language (English)


The large scale donations of land in different parts of the Indian subcontinent is one of the major socio-cultural trends of the post-Gupta phase. Pre-Ahom Assam focuses on these phenomena in the Brahmaputra valley, the thirty-two inscriptions, twenty of which record royal grants of land to Brahmins, forming the basic historical sources of this period. The historiography and the different technical aspects of the grants such as their basic distribution, language and palaeography are lucidly analysed. Different aspects of pre-Ahom society, polity and economy are visualized through the microcosm of the epigraphs. The system of landholding and the general character of the peasantry are discussed in the light of the relevant ethnographic evidence in the context of pre-modern Assam. The cultural character of Assam and its relationship with Southeast Asia is a controversial issue both in historical studies and in contemporary perceptions of the region. The collective testimony of the inscriptions under study goes against any close Southeast Asian link, clearly underlying that throughout the course of her early documented history, the Brahmaputra valley looked towards inner India. The historical analysis of the trade routes between Assam, north Burma and China contained in an important appendix to the book also underlines this basic argument.