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Iron Age in India

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In the prehistory of the Indian subcontinent, an "Iron Age" is recognized as succeeding the Late Harappan (Cemetery H) culture.[1] The main Iron Age archaeological cultures of present-day northern India are the Painted Grey Ware culture (1200 to 600 BCE) and the Northern Black Polished Ware (700 to 200 BCE). This corresponds to the transition of the Janapadas or tribal kingdoms of the Vedic period to the sixteen Mahajanapadas or kingdoms of the proto-historic period, culminating in the emergence of the historical Buddhist Maurya Empire towards the end of the period.

As elsewhere, the earliest evidence of iron smelting predates the emergence of the Iron Age proper by several centuries. [2]

Contents

North IndiaEdit

Ancient Indian Antennae sword; Metalwork, 1500–500 BCE.
Ancient Indian Ax Blade, 1500–1000 BCE.

R. Tewari (2003) radiocarbon dated iron artefacts in Uttar Pradesh, including furnaces, tuyeres and slag between c. 1800 and 1000 BCE. Iron using and iron working was prevalent in the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas from the early second millennium BCE.[3] The beginning of the use of iron has been traditionally associated with the eastward migration of the later Vedic people, who are also considered as an agency which revolutionised material culture particularly in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Scholar Rakesh Tewari states that new finds and their dates suggest the need for a fresh review. According to him, the evidence corroborates the early use of iron in other areas of the country, and attests that India was indeed an independent centre for the development of the working of iron.[4][5]

South IndiaEdit

The earliest Iron Age sites in South India are Hallur, Karnataka and Adichanallur, Tamil Nadu[6] at around 1000 BCE.[7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The archaeological term "Iron Age" began to be commonly applied to Indian prehistory in the 1960s (N. R. Banerjee, The Iron Age in India, 1965). Note that the use of "Iron Age" for the Kali Yuga is earlier but unrelated, referencing references the mythological "Ages of Man" of Hesiod.
  2. ^ "the date of the beginning of iron smelting in India may well be placed as early as the sixteenth century BC [...] by about the early decade of thirteenth century BCE iron smelting was definitely known in India on a bigger scale" Rakesh Tewari (2003), The origins of Iron-working in India: New evidence from the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas. Archaeology Online
  3. ^ Rakesh Tewari (2003). The origins of iron working in India: new evidence from the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas. Antiquity, 77, pp 536-544. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00092590.
  4. ^ Rakesh Tewari (2003), The origins of Iron-working in India: New evidence from the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas. Archaeology Online
  5. ^ Tewari, Rakesh (Sep 2003). "The origins of iron working in India: new evidence from the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas". Antiquity. 77 (297): 536–544. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Front Page : Some pottery parallels. The Hindu (2007-05-25). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  7. ^ Rakesh Tewari (2003), The origins of Iron-working in India: New evidence from the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas. Archaeology Onlin. Agrawal et al. 1985: 228-29. Sahi (1979: 366)

Further readingEdit

  • Kenoyer, J.M. 1998 Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Oxford University Press and American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Karachi.
  • Kenoyer, J. M. 1991a The Indus Valley Tradition of Pakistan and Western India. In Journal of World Prehistory 5(4): 331-385.
  • Kenoyer, J. M. 1995a Interaction Systems, Specialized Crafts and Culture Change: The Indus Valley Tradition and the Indo-Gangetic Tradition in South Asia. In The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, edited by G. Erdosy, pp. 213–257. Berlin, W. DeGruyter.
  • Shaffer, J. G. 1992 The Indus Valley, Baluchistan and Helmand Traditions: Neolithic Through Bronze Age. In Chronologies in Old World Archaeology (3rd Edition), edited by R. Ehrich, pp. 441–464. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
  • Chakrabarti, D.K.
    • 1974. Beginning of Iron in India: Problem Reconsidered, in A.K. Ghosh (ed.), Perspectives in Palaeoanthropology: 345-356. Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay.
    • 1976. The Beginning of Iron in India. Antiquity 4: 114-124.
    • 1992. The Early Use of Iron in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
    • 1999. India An Archaeological History. Delhi: Oxford University Press.