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Chapter: 11th History : Early India: The Chalcolithic, Megalithic, Iron Age and Vedic Cultures

Iron Age in North India

The Iron Age in North India coincides with the painted Grey Ware culture.

Iron Age in North India

The Iron Age in North India coincides with the painted Grey Ware culture. The painted grey ware is dated to from. 1100 to 800 BCE. More than 1000 sites have been identified with painted grey ware pottery in northern India, with a major concentration in the Ganga-Yamuna valley. These ceramics succeeded the Black and Red Ware Culture in the eastern Ganga valley and Central India.




The pottery was fine grey in colour with painted geometric designs. The painted grey ware laid the foundation of the early political formations. It correlates with the Kuru-Panchala kingdom known from the Vedic texts. The Painted Grey Ware cultural phase is followed by Northern Black Polished Ware culture (NBPW), which is associated with the Mahajanapada and Mauryan periods.


The Painted Grey ware sites reveal the development of agriculture and pastoralism, and the settlements of this period grew in dimension. They show a large scale population increase in the northern part of India. The Iron Age in North India was coeval with Painted Greyware Culture, and in South India it was associated with Megalithic burial mounds.



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