it comes to the history of a nation or culture, a common man is tempted
to look at the political map religion and philosophy only. The positive
sciences like medicine, physics, chemistry and biology are thought to
be product of modern era. On the contrary, no political map changes without
backing of weaponary and advances in science related to war.
Similarly, no civilization can be established without the support of the
technology which comes from understanding of nature, science and practicing
some of the processes which are developed over a period of time through
generations. In India, which is known for the first literary work in form
of vedas, known for most ancient civilization found so far at Mohenjo
daro and Harappa, the science were developed relevent to the time and
needs of the people.
prehistoric people were acquainted with the art of making
baked or burnt clay pottery and painting them with two or
more colours. This indicates knowledge of open and closed
kilns. They knew the art of extracting copper and working
the metal into various articles by hammering cutting and
rolling. This laid the foundation of metallurgy and other
sciences in India.
Indus valley civilisation two furnaces are found supposedly
used for glazing pottery. At Harappa furnaces of different
shapes with or without brick lining are found, Alloys of
copper are also found. A large number of
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ores and rocks were known. Some of them were probably used
in cosmetics and medicine. Some of the colouring matter
for potteries might have been imported from other places.
They might be knowing art of dyeing cotton with the red
coloring matter of the madder root. In the valleys of the
Ganga and Yamuna, quite a large number of copper tools have
been found. Near Balaghat and Nagpur silver plates were
vedic period, there is mention of fermented drinks, curds and fermented
milk also which constituted an important article of diet. The clothes
were made of wool and they knew how to dye them with vegetable coloring
matters to get red, purple and brown.
Metals such as gold silver, copper, iron, lead and tin were known and
were used in medicine.They knew the use of herbal ingredients to strengthen
and promote growth of hair. Theories related to the constitution and properties
of matter was elaborated in the philosophies.
Mauryan period, Kautilya mentions in his Arthashastra description of false
balances (for deceiving in weights) by bending arms or high pivot or fixing
a magnet. Extraction of oils from seeds have been mentioned. Use of cementing
material for hard and strong coating was also known.
Use of glass and porcelain was known at later stages. Gems and precious
stones were known. Alloying amalgamation to yield brass and bronze were
known. Knowledge of mathematics and medicine is well established fact.
This was further used in astronomy. They knew about planetary revolution
and trajectories also.