must once have stood
Terracotta objects of various sizes have been found at Mauryan sites. The
tradition of making mothergoddesses in clay, which goes back to the
prehistoric period, is revealed by the discovery of these objects at Mauryan
levels at Ahichchhatra.
They are also found commonly at sites extending from Pataliputra to
Taxila. Many of them have stylised forms and are technically the most
accomplished in the sense that they have a well-defined shape and clear
ornamentation. Some of them appear to have been made from moulds, but
there is little duplication.
Terracottas of Mauryan period consist of primitive idols or images, votive
reliefs with deities, toys, dice, ornaments and beads. Toys were mostly
wheeled animals, the elephant being a favourite. Among the ornaments were
round medallions, which were meant to act as a protection against the evil
From a number of quotations and references in later works, we know that
there were at least four distinct schools and thirteen individual teachers of
Arthasastra before Kautilya. Unfortunately, all the earlier works are lost and
Kautilya’s is the earliest text that has come down to us.
The study of economics, the art of government and foreign policy is thus
very old; the development of the science in India, according to some scholars,
may have started around 650 BC. One reason for the disappearance of the
extensive early literature could well be that Kautilya’s masterly treatise
superseded them and made them redundant.
Who was this Kautilya, who could write a definitive treatise on political
economy, at a time when large