What was the development in the field of economy and society in the Gupta period.
The main source of revenue of the state during Gupta period came from agricultural production, other occupations in people were indulged for income were commerce, craft production, etc. Some of the major development in the field of agriculture and trade, the two aspects of economy of Gupta period are following.
Agriculture: Agriculture attracted the prime attention during Gupta period. Uncultivated land was constantly brought under cultivation. Land was clarified according to its soil fertility and utility. All the major categories of crops like barley, wheat, paddy, various pulses, grain, vegetables, even cash crops like cotton and sugarcane were also grown. Several of the reservoirs previously made were repaired during Gupta period. Several new methods of irrigation were deployed, like drawing water from the wells and supplying it to the fields by means of various channels. Another method was to lie a chain with number of pots which was reached down to the water of the hill. The chain and pots were continuously rotated. So that pots were filled and emptied with water. Although farmers dependent mainly on rainfall for irrigation still there were several methods to fulfill the need.
The practice of gifting land to religious classes became common. This lead to the emergence of a chain of people who enjoyed high economic and social status. Peasant population was reduced to a low level.
Trade and Crafts Production: The production of various items like earthen pots, furniture, baskets, metal tools, etc. came under the category of crafts production. Some of the luxury items like jewellery of gold, silver and precious stones, ivory objects, silk and cotton cloth etc. used to be either made available through trade or were produced locally. The trade linked with Central, West and Sout-east Asia. Some organizations like Shreni’ etc. were there to facilitate the functioning of both craftsmen and traders.
As far as the social system of the Gupta period is concerned, the ideal social order society divided in four varmas was preserved during Gupta period. The Brahmans had substantial influence on the Gupta rulers. There were major different between the ways of life of the rich city dwellers and people living in villages. The city dwellers were the urbanities who led a life of pleasure and refined culture. The position of women was low, The Brahman scripts laid rulers for the women to follow and in the family they were expected to function as ideal wife and ideal mother.