Human settlement and colonization in the Sundarbans, 1200-1750

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39 Scopus citations


The Sundarban forest in southern Bengal was for many centuries a frontier zone-an economic frontier for communities of wet rice farmers who brought with them technologies and forms of social organization from points further to the west; a political frontier for large centralized states expanding from North India; and a cultural frontier for the worldwide community of Muslims. This paper investigates the forces that, between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, lay behind the transformation of Bengal's natural forest into rice paddy, a transformation that was accompanied by conversion to Islam, state formation, and the evolution of new land tenures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalAgriculture and Human Values
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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