Iron Age

The early history of Iron in India can be examined in terms of different regional contexts through the study of the various iron-using areas of the subcontinent. The chronology of iron differs from one area to another but between the period 1000BC and 500 BC its use said to spread to all major areas-

The upper Ganges valley and its peripheries

Malwa plateau and Tapti valley

South and Central Indian megalithic areas

Baluchistan plains

Middle and Lower Ganges valleys

North west mainly Peshawar region

In the Upper Ganges valley and the Indo Gangetic divide iron is first found associated around 800 BC with a culture known as Painted Greyware. Its use was sparse in the beginning but by the middle of the 6th century BC it had become fairly common and was associated with the new Northern Black Polished Ware culture. During this period its horizon expanded to include the central and lower Ganges valley where it marked a significant break from the earlier cultures. In the Malwa region and Tapti valley too it sites such as Nagda, Eran and Prakash, iron brought in an element of change in the earlier Chalcolithic cultures and it is possible that the use of iron was slightly earlier in this region (1000 BC) than in the Ganges Valley. At Hallur in north Karnataka iron appears to overlap the Neolithic implements of 900 BC