This book presents an incisive analysis of social formations in present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala from pre-historic times to early medieval period. It examines the transformation from agro-pastoral to agrarian social formation by exploring areas like economy, technology, and historicalprocesses of state formation. The volume specially focuses on the transition from clan and lineage to hereditary occupations of caste, and the social implications of the spread of writing. It also discusses the structural and institutional features of the new social formation. The Introductionprovides a conceptual backdrop to the term 'social formation' and reviews the major debates surrounding social change in south India.This book will be of considerable interest to students, scholars, and teachers of ancient and medieval history, archaeology, and sociology, particularly those concerned with south India.