Early Vedic Period
- Vedic people continued to produce barley.
- Various animals were domesticated.
- Lion, elephant and boar were known to them.
- Money and markets were known but they were not extensively used. Cows and gold ornaments of fixed value were the media of exchange.
- The art of healing wounds and curing disease were in existence and expert in surgery.
Later Vedic period
- Bali or voluntary donation was prevalent. Cows were the measure of wealth.
- Growth of urbanization, craft production, and trade resulted in rise of guilds or ‘shreni’ which in later times became castes.
- During the later Vedic period rice and wheat became their chief crops.
- Behaviour of guild members was controlled through a guild court. Customarily the guild (shreni-dharma) had the power of law. These guilds could act as bankers, financiers and trustees as well.
- Generally, these functions were carried out by a different category of merchants known as ‘shreshthins’ (present day Seths of North India and the Chettis and Chettiyars of South India).
- In later Vedic time, agriculture became primary source of livelihood & life became settled and sedentary.
- Land had now become more valuable than cows.