Romila Thapar
Urbanisation in Ancient India by Vijay Kumar Thakur Abhinav Publications, New Delhi, 1982, 368 pp., 110
July-August 1982, volume 7, No 1

The theme of this book is essentially a discussion of what is often referred to as the second urbanization of India, the first being the rise of the cities of the Indus valley and its environs in the third millennium B.C. Thakur’s study is substantially that of the Ganges valley and covers a period of about a thousand years, from the mid-first millennium B.C. to the latter half of the first millen¬nium A.D. There is little of substance on the contemporary cities of the far north or of the south of the subcontinent. This geographical delimitation is of course not reflected in the title of the book, doubtless because it purports to be more of a theoretical analysis on the nature of urbanization in India. In this it relies mainly on a series of secondary works dealing both with theories of urbanization and with the data from the Ganges valley. The theoretical base is primarily that of Gordon Childe. Al-though a pioneer in such studies some decades ago, Childe has now been super¬ceded by more detailed rese¬arch and theory.

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