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Military History of Ancient Bengal: A Study of the Fortifications of Wari-Bateshwar

Md Moazzem Hossain (Author) Dilip K Chakraborty (Introduction) Dilip K Chakrabarti (Introduction)

Prompting us to re-read and re-write parts of what we know about ancient Bengal, this book primarily delves into the Wari-Bateshwar archaeological sites to establish a historically important factual link between military and society in the stream of time. The volume takes us through a thrilling and historically compelling journey through systematically researched historical data, artifacts, and ecofacts from this rather uncharted archaeological site.


The work successfully infuses geo-political and geo-strategic analyses together with recovered military artifacts, terracotta and stone sling bullets, artillery ammunition, dantakantaka, spearheads etc. which are pertinent to military strategy and history of the period. It also frequently draws parallels to other contemporary civilizations based on unique interpretations.


The author applies a scholarly style in composing his detailed research into this literary piece beginning artfully by portraying a wider context of defensive features and fortifications of different ages and locations of the world. His brilliance is further pronounced in the part of the book that follows, where he presents a minute and detailed analysis of Wari-Bateshwar and its surrounding areas from a purely military strategic perspective. This part also serves to excite the archaeology-enthusiasts and is an eye-opener for the type of study which can be done at the many fortified historic sites of the subcontinent.


While describing the military history of Wari-Bateshwar, the volume combines an array of military aspects like tactics, strategy, principles of war, ethos, terrain analysis, forts, fortifications, organizational structures, weapons and even mentions of military music. Based on intensive and extensive field surveys and research, the present work makes a precious new contribution to the knowledge on military and defence systems of ancient Bengal. The work also places all the forts of Bangladesh in a single map for the very first time. With brilliant reasoning skills and inferences, the volume aptly identifies the fort-city Wari-Bateshwar as Gange, the ancient capital city of economically and militarily superior Gangaridai nation that was situated in the confluence of Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.


With an enormous volume of multidisciplinary information contained in the book on ancient Bengal and contemporary civilizations, this should be regarded as a must-read for students of history and archaeology, military personnel, and enthusiasts.










List of Illustrations




I. Introduction


II. Genesis and Development of Military Fort and Fortification Through the Ages


III. Wari-Bateshwar: An Archaeological Inquest of its Military History


IV. Journey to the Trails of Kings: An Archaeological Inquest to the Forts and Fortifications with Defence System in Ancient Bangladesh and Indian Subcontinent


V. Summary and Conclusions     




Appendix I: Armed Forces of the Dynasties of Ancient India and Bangladesh


Appendix II: List of Officials: Appointed by Various Dynasties of Ancient Bangladesh


Appendix III: Bana’s Description of Harsavardan’s Army on the Move to the Battlefield


Appendix IV: List of Forts and Border Outposts/Buruj/Watchtowers of Ancient Bangladesh







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About the author

Dilip K Chakrabarti

Dilip K. Chakrabarty is University lecturer in south Asian archaeology at Cambridge University. His recent publications include Archaeological Geography of the Ganga Plain: the Lower and the Middle Ganga (Delhi 2001) and The Archaeology of European Expansion in India: Gujarat, c. 16th-18th Centuries (in Press). His current field-research programmes include a historical geographical study of the upper Ganga plain and a similar study of the routes which linked the Ganga plain with the Deccan.

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Bibliographic information

Title Military History of Ancient Bengal: A Study of the Fortifications of Wari-Bateshwar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 06.06.2022
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173056680
length xxxii+586; Illustrations; 29cm.