these clauses point to the relatively short supply of capital in comparison with
the demand. However, we may add here that the general rate of interest
charged on loans contracted for trading purposes during the period was
around 15 per cent per annum.
    The scarcity of capital is also reflected in the laws against usury.
Gautama, Vishnu and Manu agree that the interest accruing at any time must
not exceed the principal. However, they provided for maximum interest at
special rates in case of selected articles. The maxima are declared to be five
times the principal amount in case of grain, fruit, wool and beasts of burden
by Manu, or twice, four and eight times for gold, grain, clothes and fluids
respectively by Yajnavalkya.
    However, unfortunately the epigraphic sources of the period do not
confirm the above Smriti rules regarding the interest rates. Instead, the
inscription of the Saka Ushavadata, for instance, informs us that two
weavers’ guilds at Govardhana (Nasik) stipulated to pay interest at only I per
cent and 3/4th per cent per mensem (i.e. 12 per cent and 9 per cent per
annum).
Growth of Urbanism
Formation of Secondary Urban Centres The post-Mauryan period has
also come to limelight in terms of the history of urban development. We have
already pointed out that the second urbanisation in Indian history became
evident primarily in the Ganga valley, around the sixth century BC. If that
witnessed the formation of primary urban centres, the expansion of the
Maurya empire seems to have facilitated the spread of urbanity to greater
parts of north India and in course of time, also in the Deccan and South India.
This has been seen as the formation of the secondary urban centres, along
with the emergence of secondary states in the Deccan and South India,
having its epicentre in the Ganga valley pattern of urban and state formations.
Corroboration of Literary Evidence by Field Archaeology The
importance of field archaeological materials for the study of urban centres
can hardly be overstated. Several cities which had appeared around the sixth
century BC, continued and in fact, reached their most prosperous phase. This
is seen in Taxila, Charsadda,         Ujjayini, Mathura, Sravasti, Khairadih,