Bharatiya Science

When 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.

The 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.

In 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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minerals, 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 discovered.

In 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.

In 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.


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