Highlights of Technology in Ancient India

This course takes a look at some of the technological developments in ancient India and how it impacted the world around it. A lot of scientific know-how from that period has either been expunged from history or due credit hasn't been given to the originators. Various vedic texts are also referred that highlight the marvel of technology in the Indian sub-continent and how it progressed across millennia.


Instructor: Michel Danino

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Suggested Time

5 days







Unit 1: Introduction

Technology and it's origins 11 min

Technology is applied science in today's world but there were times when the science behind it was understood after an innovation. From the stone age where artefacts were produced to the microliths for daily use spanning across a million years, humans developed technology at a rapid rate with the coming of the Neolithic age (10,000 B.C). It brought about by the end of the earth's last ice age and helped humans progress from hunter gatherers to an agrarian society.
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Unit 2: Manufacturing

Prominent technologies 68 min

Infrastructure for housing was built with masonary techniques that provided superior bonds giving structural integrity still considered good. Transport technology for land and water based travel was also developed where in many cases a manufacturing hub such as shipyard was built. Copper and bronze was used for casting statues as well as manufacturing vessels and tools, methods which are still used today.
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Unit 3: Iron Age

Accomplishments of the Iron Age 43 min

Contrary to what's mentioned in Indian history text books, the Iron age developed in the 2nd Millenium B.C in India using advanced smelting techniques for that time period. Ukku aka Wootz which is Indian steel was exported all over the world due to its superior quality, much in demand by militaries all over. Various pillars and beams of rustless iron for construction were used and can still be seen today highlighting their worth.
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Unit 4: Lesser Known Technologies

Part I 11 min

This chapter deals with advancements in zinc ore extraction, the ability to etch and transform various gems, beads. The connection between chemistry as well as metallurgy with the chemical apparatus used. Writing material such as bhurja patra and palm leaves which was in accordance with the scripts specific to a region.
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Part II 11 min

Textile industry in India till the recent past was flourishing with India having been a prime exporter of silk and cotton. Cosmetics was another area where it's knowledge was supreme, develpoing mutltiple combinations of perfumes with scientific methodology. Metereology was another science that had a good amount of accuracy combined with astrology.
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