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Economic history of IndiaThe economic history of Indiabegins with the Indus Valley Civilization(3300–1300 BC), whoseeconomy appears to have depended significantly on trade and examples of overseas trade, notable being Indus-Mesopotamia relations. The Vedic periodsaw countable units of precious metal being used for exchange. The term Nishkaappears in this sense in the Rigveda.Later Vedic period began codifying the ancient Indian population based on caste, a social stratificationwhich created a hierarchy of priests (Brahmins), warriors (Kshatriyas), merchants (Vaishyas) and laborers (Shudras).Around 600 BC, the Mahajanapadasminted punch-marked silver coins. The period was marked by intensive trade activity and urban development. By 300 BC, the Maurya Empirehad united most of the Indian subcontinent. The resulting political unity and military security allowed for a common economic system and enhanced trade and commerce, with increased agricultural productivity.