Actors in the management of ancient tanks
Early Brahmi inscriptions from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE mention different professions related to irrigation agriculture such as flow operators (Naguli), officers in charge of canals, proprietors of ferries (Parumaka Thota Bojhaka), proprietors of the pasturelands and proprietors of tanks (Parumaka vapihamika). As only the names are given in the texts, there is a lack of detailed information on the rights and obligations of these groups of persons. After the 9th century CE agriculture officers are frequently mentioned in inscriptions. The professions mentioned in the Early Brahmin inscriptions from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE mainly refer to various livelihoods based on irrigation agriculture. After the 9th century CE a more bureaucratic and structured official order becomes visible. In addition, the records repeatedly mention members of a committee called “twelve great reservoirs” and agricultural committees.