Satavahanas – Social Life

Material Culture, Social Life.

  • Material culture was a mixture of Northern and local elements.
  • Most tools excavated in Satavahana period relate to the megalith materials, like the use of Iron and Agriculture.
  • The socketed hoes, sickles, spades, axes, ploughshare, adzes, razors, arrow heads were all discovered. All these belong to 1,2 and 3 centuries of the Christian era.
  • At Karimnagar- a black smith shop was discovered.
  • Satavahanas did not use gold coins as Kushans but used Lead, Potin, Copper and Bronze coins.
  • The Ikshvakus who succeeded Satavahanas also issued their coins.
  • They knew the Art of Paddy Transplantation
  • The mouth of two rivers Krishna and Godawari formed great Rice Bowl – People of Deccan produced cotton-hence rural economy existed.
  • Foreign accounts says that Andhra was rich in cotton production.
  • Pliny says ,Andhra kingdom maintained  army of 1,00,000 infantry, 2000 cavalry,1000 elephants.
  • Through northern contacts –the deccan learnt to use of coins, burnt bricks, ring wells and act of writing.
  • Fire-backed bricks and roof tiles though were found in kushan constructions, were widely used in Decan and Western India under Satavahana . So they contributed to constructions.
  • 22-brick wells found at Peddabaukur in Karimnagar district in 2 C.A.D.- that proves  high or dense habitation existed
  • Underground drains to channel waste water into soakage pits found.
  • Pliny informs Andhra country in eastern Deccan had 30 walled towns and numerous villages.
  • Romans and Satavahanas coins discovered at Godawari and Krishna area- Proofs trade relations between them.

Social Organisation

  • Satavahanas are a of tribe Deccan
  • But were Bharamins and claimed to be Bharamins.
  • Gauthamaputra Satakani daimed him to be  Bharamana
  • This impact was caused by Saka inflict and Brahmanisation of Deccan people.
  • The Shakas absorption of Brahminical Society, Kshtriyas made marriage relation with Sathavahanas.
  • Indigenous tribes were cultured by Buddhist monks.-were given land grants to settle in western Deccan
  • Traders also supported Buddhist monks, because were located on trade routes.
  • Satavahanas 1st rulers to make land grand to Brahmins
  • Increasing craft and commerce brought many merchant and artisans-merchants were pride in naming their village name.  Generous donations to Buddhist monks and also set up small memorial tablet to them.
  • Among the artisans gandhikas or perfumers are mentioned as donors.

Family Structure.

  • In Satavahana Family structure there are traces of matailienal social structure. Kings were also named after mother-Gautamiputra, Vashishtputra.  Inscription are issued by authority of kings, mother and Queens. Important religious gifts were given on their own right.
  • The ruling family was patriarchal as the throne passed on to the male member.


  • Satavahanas were Brahmanas.  Kings and Queens performed Vedic sacrifices of Ashvamedha and Vajapeya. They payed liberal sacrificial fees to the Brahmanas.
  • Workshipped Vaishnava Gods of, Krishna and Vasudeva .
  • Satavahana promoted Buddhism –granting lands to monks
  • Mahayana form of Buddhism was followed by the artisan class.
  • Important centres of Nagarjunakonda and Amaravathi became important seats of Buddhist Cultures.
  • Buddhism flourished in Nasik and Junar in the Western Deccan in Maharashtra, it was supported by traders.