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Important Cities

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Important Cities - Lesson Summary

Mathura situated on the banks of river Yamuna, is well known as the birth place of Lord Krishna. In the ancient times, Mathura was significant owing to its coveted location. It was located at the crossroads of the two main trade routes i.e. from the north-west to the east, and from the north to the south.

Owing to its significant location trade flourished and hence Mathura became the capital of Kushana Kings. The craftsmen and merchants formed trade associations known as Shrenis and produced finished goods by procuring raw materials. These finished goods were then traded by the merchants.

Shrenis were also used like a bank by the rich people to deposit money. Part of the money was invested and the interest was either returned or used in construction of institutions like monasteries and temples as per request.

Arikamedu was another important city in ancient India for trade and art centre. Various pottery styles have been discovered at the archaeological excavations at Arikamedu like Arretine ware, which was made by pressing wet clay in to a stamped mould. This style is named after an Italian town Arrezo in Tuscany and has a red, glazed look. 

Amphorae is another form of pottery which is a type of ceramic vase having two handles and a long neck narrower than the body. This was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for transporting wines and oils. The pottery which was locally made indicates strongly at the use of Roman designs that time.

Archaeologists have also discovered small tanks indicating being used as dyeing vats. This means that cloth manufacturing and dyeing was known in the industry that time. Discovery of Roman glassware, lamps and gems at Arikamedu indicates strongly at the Roman influence.

It is also believed that Arikamedu manufactured beads made of glass and semi-precious stones and traded it same with the Romans. Ruins of warehouses indicate that Arikamedu was also a port and was used as loading and unloading of goods from ships. 

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