Iron Age in India
|Outline of South Asian history|
In the prehistory of the Indian subcontinent, an "Iron Age" is recognized as succeeding the Late Harappan (Cemetery H) culture. The main Iron Age archaeological cultures of present-day northern India are the Painted Grey Ware culture (1300 to 300 BCE) and the Northern Black Polished Ware (700 to 200 BCE). This corresponds to the transition of the Janapadas or principalities of the Vedic period to the sixteen Mahajanapadas or region-states of the early historic period, culminating in the emergence of the Maurya Empire towards the end of the period.
A team of archaeologists discovered several iron artefacts, including small knives, in Telangana in 2015, dating back to 1,800 BCE to 2,400 BCE. These iron artefacts were tested at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI).
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. 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.
- 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.
- Uesugi, Akinori, (2018). "An Overview on the Iron Age in South Asia", in (ed.) Akinori Uesugi, Iron Age in South Asia, Kansai University, Fig. 6, pp. 9-12.
- "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
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- Rakesh Tewari (2003), The origins of Iron-working in India: New evidence from the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas. Archaeology Online
- 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. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.403.4300. doi:10.1017/S0003598X00092590. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
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