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Environmental Issues in India by Mahesh Rangarajan

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2

IRON TOOLS, FOREST CLEARANCE AND URBANIZATION IN THE GANGETIC PLAINS

Makkhan Lal

INTRODUCTION

In the context of urbanization in the Gangetic Plains during the middle of first millennium BCE it has been repeatedly argued by some archaeologists and historians that the urbanization was possible only because of wide-spread use of advanced iron tools which helped the people in clearing the then dense monsoonal forest of the Gangetic Plains and widespread use of iron tools was possible only when Bihar ore mines could be exploited in the middle of first millennium BCE (Agrawal 1969, 1971). However, some scholars argued that it was not the technology alone but the establishment of strong social and political institutions which brought the urbanization ...

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