the use of iron implements in particular.
2. Textile Manufacturing It was particularly common in Mathura,
Kasi, Pataliputra, Vanga, Mahisa, and the like. There is a lot of
literary and archaeological evidence.
3. Pottery Several pots and potshreds (NBPW) have been discovered
at the Mauryan sites.
4. Woodwork It is evident from the excavations (at Pataliputra) and
5. Stone Cutting Best evidence of this is found in Asokan
architecture, primarily the pillars.
Artisan Guilds The system of guilds, though existing since the early
Buddhist era, developed and stabilised under the Mauryas due to the growth
of crafts and extension of trade.
They developed into fairly large scale organisations. Kautilya talks about
the enjoyment of certain rights by individual members; determination of
wages according to both the quality and the quantity of work; severe
penalties and fines for inferior and fraudulent work, and the like. There was a
further strengthening of guilds due to the localisation and the hereditary
nature of occupations.
Guilds had to employ hired labour. This consisted of two categories, the
karmaharas or the bhritakas who were regarded as free labourers working for
a regular wage, and the dasas who were slaves. Asoka refers to both
categories in his edicts when he speaks of the bhatakas and the dasas.
State Monopolies The Mauryan state seems to have exercised monopoly
over certain industrial activities like mining, armour and weapon-making,
brewing of liquor, shipbuilding, etc. For example, all breweries were under
the state control and supervision was done through the suradhyakshas.
Trade and Commerce
Internal Trade There was a brisk internal trade, among different parts, in
various types of goods. Internal exchange of northern products (blankets,
skins, etc.) with southern products (precious stones, pearls, diamonds,
conchshells, gold, etc.) was one of the important trades.
External Trade External trade was carried on with foreign countries,