Volume 2 takes a close look at economic life, circulation of money and different media of exchange, social life (including the relevance of the varna-jati norms and the question of gender), everyday life, religious beliefs and practices (Brahmanical, Buddhist, Jaina and Ajivika), art activities (terracotta art, sculpture, iconography, painting and architecture) and language and literature. The last point is of crucial significance as the language Bangla is the quintessential marker of identity of the inhabitants of Bengal; it is from the ninth-tenth centuries that the earliest traces of the vernacular, Bangla, are traceable in historical sources. Each chapter combines the state of the art of the subject concerned with the specific researches of the contributor(s) who have meticulously highlighted the regional features and the sub-regional diversities. Rich in empirical details, the chapters offer critical analyses of available data in view of the current historiographical issues and debates.
History of Bangladesh: Early Bengal in Regional Perspectives (up to c. 1200 CE) – Vol. 2 ( Society Economy Culture)
The History of Bangladesh: Early Bengal in Regional Perspectives (up to c. 1200 CE) in two volumes belongs to the series History of Bangladesh under the auspices of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. In these two volumes the remote past of the region called Bengal (Bengal before 1947) has been explored and studied by going beyond the boundaries of modern nation states.
This historical study stems from a rigorous survey and examination of a wide variety of primary sources (field archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, art historical and textual materials) which may or may not always converge; the volumes attempt to make audible the many voices of the past of early Bengal.
The contents of the two volumes have been immensely enriched by the Foreword from the celebrity historian Professor Romila Thapar internationally acclaimed authority on early Indian history. Her Foreword drives home the significance of the studies of regions and subregions for a better explanation of the contours of historical developments in the subcontinent which cannot at all be grasped by harping on homogenized, majoritarian approaches o the past.
The chapters in the two volumes have been penned by established experts who belong not only to Bangladesh and India, but to various parts of the globe. The volumes truly rest on international cooperative scholarship.