CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION Iron is the most important metal in the human history; the path of human history took an innovative turn with the Age of Iron. Use of iron gave a fresh impulse, adding strength to human attempt in the march towards more successful pursuits over enemy and nature. The efficiency of the new advanced technology lay in its wide and appropriate use. The sociocultural atmosphere that supported, sustained and precipitated the rapidity of growth must have played productive role in the course of action. Appearance of a new technology, starting from the identification of the ore to the development of different metallurgical processes, the production of tools and implements necessary to the society and the changing social needs, the rising demand on technology to meet new social challenges are all interlinked. This necessitates multidimensional approach to the study of appearance of iron and its technocultural adaption.1 "Iron" is the corrupted form of Scandinavian word "iarn".2 Many surprising stories have been there about the origin of iron. Some of them articulate that iron was a gift of the Gods while others try to depict it as coming from spectacular sources. Iron has been known and used since prehistoric times. The writings of the earliest civilizations refer to it, and there is proof that it was known earlier, centuries ago than other civilizations; several Vedic poets wrote that their prehistoric

1

Tripati, Vibha, The Age of Iron in South Asia Legacy and Tradition, New Delhi, 2001, p. 1. www.nautilus.fis.uc.pt/st2.5/scenes-e/elem/e02610.html 1

2

ancestors already knew iron and were able to transform it into tools and weapons through a considerable range of techniques. Physiography of the Region The location of India in a Southern Peninsula of the Asian continent give it a distinctive character, both physical and cultural. India covers an area of 3,268,090 sq. km. the mainland extending from South to North approximately 3200 km. west to east for 3000 km., all the major landforms-hills, mountains, plateaus and plains are well represented in India. India has seven principal mountain ranges: the Himalayas, the Patkai and other range in the north-east, the Vindhyas, the Satpura, the Aravalli, the Sahyadri or Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats. The Himalaya, the highest mountain system of the world contains most of the world’s “eight-thousander” peaks and they are the world’s youngest and longest east to west mountain system. It was after a large uplift of Himalayas that the monsoon type of climate could be established in India. The Aravalli is the oldest mountain range in the world. Extending from the Kumaun Himalaya to the farthest end of the peninsular plateaus on the south and perhaps one of its arms reaching eastwards across Central India.3 The battered products of ancient Aravalli range were eventually deposited in the Vindhyan Sea to form later the Vindhya Range and plateau. The Vindhya Range traverses nearly the whole width of Peninsular India; this mountain was long recognized along with the Satpura range as the dividing line between North India and the Deccan. South of Vindhya and more or less parallel to it raises another ancient mountain system of India, the Satpura. It extends from Ratanpur on the west to Amarkantak on the east; no other east west tectonic mountain of
3

The Gazetteer of India, 1965, “Physiography”, pp. 1-63. 2

Peninsular India is as high as the Satpura, its apex at Ratanpur, and two of its sides parallel to the Narmada and Tapti-Purna rivers. The Sahyadri, runs along the western border of the Deccan from near the Tapti mouth in the north to Cape Comorin, the southernmost point of India, overlooking the Arabian Sea on the west and running more or less parallel to the coast. It is also called the Western Ghats as far as the Nilgiri and South of the Palghat gap it is known as the South Sahyadri. The heights of the Sahyadri catch the full force of the moisture laden monsoon winds; consequently, heavy rains are precipitated on the western scrap face and coastal plains and the inland plateaus bordering the Sahyadri on the east are deprived of rain. The peninsular plateaus are bordered on the east by the Eastern Ghats, a tectonic range cut by powerful river into discontinuous blocks of mountains. The Eastern Ghats become a prominent mountain range with summits Godavari and Mahanadi and their strike from north-east to the south west is in the same direction that of the Aravalli. South of River Krishna occur a more welldefined part of the Eastern Ghats; this is the Nallamala hills, a series of parallel range and valleys. North of the Godavari, the Eastern Ghats are locally known as the Mahendragiri. Much of the surface of India has developed a plateau character with Extensive plains, either flat or rolling and bordered by scarps. Almost all types of plains are represented, the alluvial plains are most extensive in North India, covering the greater parts of West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and also occurring in Assam and Rajasthan. Alluvial plains stretch in the East Coast from Cape Comorin to the Mahanadi delta, across three other deltas, built by the Cauvery, Krishna and Godavari.

3

Most of the rivers in the Himalayas have built up plains in high altitude and subsequently dissected them into terraces. So much water is bound to deepen the beds over which its flow and widen the channels, effecting considerable destruction of the landscape. The Great Plains of North India are the creation of the eastern tributaries of the Indus, the Ganga and its affluent, and the Brahmaputra. The East Coast deltas are the handiwork of Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery rivers. Rivers in India are of four major types: Himalayan; rivers of the Central India and the Deccan; Coastal rivers; and rivers flowing into interior drainage basins. The Himalayan Rivers are generally snow-fed and continue to flow throughout the year. The rivers of Central India and the Deccan are generally rain-fed and their volume of water fluctuates considerable throughout the year. The Ganga basin, the largest, receives waters from an area of about 838,200 sq. km. about a quarter of India’s total area. The second largest is the basin of the Godavari; it covers an area of about 323,800 sq. km. respectively. The Krishna basin is the second largest basin in Peninsular India with an area of an about 271,300 sq. km.4 South India experiences, various natural vagaries, first the decomposing and disintegrating power of the sun’s rays strong winds, that clean the surface and transport huge volume of the sea-shore; and thirdly, the dissolving and denuding strength of a tropical rainfall. For the present study, South India may be divided into three tracts or regions. First, the mountainous region of the Ghats, including the higher tablelands and the great upland plains of Mysore, Secondly, the lowlands of the Malabar Coast, all that narrow tract of moist seaboard between the foot of the Western Ghats and the Bay of Bengal.5
4

ibid Valkenburg, Samuel Van, “Agricultural Regions of Asia. Part V- India: Regional Description”, Economic 4

5

The year in Southern India has three distinct seasons: the south west monsoon, from May to September; the north east monsoon from October to February; and the hot season from March till May between the two monsoons. The term monsoon is the Arabic word Mausim, which properly means season. The south west monsoon is the most striking and beneficent act of the climate, for it brings the rains that revive all living things when almost parched to death by the hot season, and that fill the rivers and lakes, which fertilize the land and temper the ardent rays of the vertical sun. The amount of the rainfall is very uncertain, and occasionally there is little or none, except on the Ghats. The date of its beginning and ending are equally uncertain; but the wind of this monsoon is most regular in its onset, force, and continuance. It blows with the force of a strong breeze for four months from May to September, all over the Arabian Sea, from the south west. On first striking the coast and ascending the abrupt barrier wall of the Ghats it loses its excess of moisture, which falls in torrents of rain on their sides and summits, until it has passed the crest of the heights. It then continues its eastward course as a cool, moist breeze at first, but gradually gets warmer and drier, until at last it becomes a fierce hot wind. I n the Bay of Bengal, the winds of this season become southerly, and afterwards blow

up the valley of the Ganges as a south east or easterly wind, almost diametrically opposite to its course over Southern India. The wind of the south west monsoon is usually supposed to be the great continental sea breeze of Southern Asia, induced by the excessive rarefaction of the air over the interior and most heated portion of the continent; and so, doubtless, it is; but in the marked deviations from the normal direction, just noted we see an anomaly, the reason for which is not so obvious. The south west monsoon dies out fitfully in September, and after
Geography, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Jan., 1934), Published by Clark University, pp. 14-34. 5

a sort interval is succeeded by the north east monsoon, which is supposed to be only the normal trade wind. It is ushered in by storms and heavy falls of rain, which replenish the rivers and tanks to the east of the Ghats, and render the cultivation of all the unirrigated plains possible. The north-east monsoon usually lasts till February, accompanied by some spells of rainy weather, which rapidly bring to perfection the cold-weather crops, as they are called. Of cold there is really none, except on the mountains, but the day temperature is very pleasantly cool, and the nights are quite chilly.6 The peninsular plateaus constitute the largest and distinctive physiographic division, facing the Bay of Bengal in the east and Arabian Sea in the west. The peninsular plateaus consist of five distinctive physiographic subdivisions: Western hills, north Deccan plateau, south Deccan plateau, Eastern plateaus, and Eastern hills. All the important rivers of the Deccan have their sources on the Sahyadri. Next to the Ganga, the Godavari is the most sacred river of India. It rises near Trimbak in the Nasik District. The Krishna River rises near Mahabaleshwar hill station, and receives one of its headwaters, the Ghatprabha noted for its waterfall, at Gokak. Further south raises the Tungabhadra, the most important tributary of the Krishna. It is formed by the union of the Tunga and Bhadra, both rises near Gangamula peak, south west of Sringeri. All these rivers flow eastwards into the Bay of Bengal though their sources are nearer the Arabian Sea.7

6

Branfill, B. R., “Notes on the Physiography of Southern India”, Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography, New Monthly Series, Vol. 7, No. 11 (Nov., 1885), , Published by Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). pp. 719-735.
7

Cunningham, Alexander, The Ancient Geography of India, The Buddhist Period Including The Campaigns of Alexander and The Travels of Hwen-Thsang, Varanasi, 1963, pp. 435-469. 6

It is necessary to review here the general picture of major mineral resources from various parts of India. Karnataka has gold, Iron, porcelain clays and chrome-ore. Gujarat produces bauxite, salt and manganese ore and oilfields of considerable potential. Rajasthan is productive centre for non ferrous metal like copper, lead and zinc, mica, steatite, beryllium, and precious stones. Assam supplies petroleum and of Tertiary coal, West Bengal’s mineral resources are confined to coal and iron ore. Kashmir is abundant in minerals like lignite, coal, gypsum, aluminum ore and some minor industrial minerals. Sikkim and Kumaun consist of some fairly widespread iron ore bodies in areas, the rest of the Himalayans regions terra incognita with regard to economic minerals. Maharashtra has resources in coal, iron, manganese, titanium, bauxite and salts. Andhra Pradesh has good reserves of second grade coal, limonite, monazite, zircon, rutile and silimanite in workable quantities. 8 The spread of the iron ore is no less extension in the modern state of Andhra Pradesh. The region which are important are Cuddapah, Kurnool, Guntur, Nellore the districts of Godavari, Krishna, Vishakhapatnam and Hyderabad. In Cuddapah the significant ore bearing deposits are at Chabali, Pagadalapalle, Pendlimarri and Mantapampalle. The best ore is said to be found in the Gunnygull range near Kurnool.9 Megalithism Definition The Iron Age in south India is referred to as Megalithic culture. The term ‘Megalith’ denotes a grave of huge stone/s either dressed or undressed. The term Megalithic was originally introduced by antiquaries to describe a fairly easily definable class of monuments in western and northern Europe, consisting of huge undressed stones and termed in Celtic
8

Kiepert, Heinrich, A Manual of Ancient Geography, Macmillan and Co., London, 1881, pp. 21-28. Chakrabarti, Dilip, The Early Usage of Iron in India, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1992, pp. 30-31. 7

9

dolmens, Chromlechs and menhirs.

10

The terms now used by the Departments of

Archaeology in India are: Alignment, Avenue, Borrow, Cairn, Cist, Cromlech, Dolmen, Hatstone, Hood-stone, Menhir, Rock cut caves, Sarcophagus, Stone circles, Stone seats, Topikal.
11

Quite a different megalithic complex is found in North-east India Assam and Chota

Nagpur where the austro Asiatic languages are spoken. Megalithism here is still a living characteristic of the Khasis and the Gonds. Menhirs for instance, are still erected by the Khasi women to ’memorialize’ her husband.12 In practice the term is applied only to monument the use of which is known imperfectly or not at all, but which we presume were erected for some superstitious, ritual or religious end. In the case of the monuments once termed dolmens, fairly definite and coherent traits have been detected and classified: all were sepulchral and contained some sort of funerary association. The current terminology of Indian megalithic literature is of no help, for term such as cromlech, dolmen and cairn are used by various writers’ in entirely different senses. Thus Taylor (1848) uses the term cromlech for both a dolmen and closed cist, while Rea in 1912 uses it for a stone circle round a burial. The word dolmen again is used in Pudukottai indiscriminately for underground cists and single urn burials with a capstone. The word cairn is used in Hyderabad for a Cist grave; Breeks working in the Nilgiris uses it to mean stone circle of any kind, while elsewhere it means nothing except a promiscuous heap of rubble

10

Sundara, A., The Early Chamber Tombs of South India, Delhi, pp. 5-12. Gururajarao, B. K., The Megalithic Culture in South India, Mysore, 1972, pp. 311- 327. Banerjee, N. R., Iron Age in India, Delhi, 1965, pp. 40-67. 8

11

12

hiding any kind of grave. Again, working in Hyderabad as late as 1923, hunt merely follows the past local usage in calling a Cist-burial a cairn.13 Next in importance to an unambiguous terminology for purpose of classification are regional surveys of the prehistoric tombs and their accurate planning with consistent conventions. This necessity has been emphasized even in England by Dr. Daniel as late as 1938 and Dr. Clark in 1939. There were some attempts earlier to standardize the terminology, and in this work, the definitions given by Rao14 are adopted. Megalithic Culture in World and India The megalithic was originally introduced by antiquaries to describe a fairly easily definable class of monuments in western and northern Europe, consisting of huge, undressed stone and termed in Celtic dolmens, cromlechs and menhirs. It was subsequently been extended to cover a far more miscellaneous collection of erections and even excavations all over the old world and into the new. Megalithic monuments were constructed for two millennia in Atlantic Europe; they belong to a relatively early phase of the development of farming economies there. The earliest forms of burial monument are

frequently long mounds of earth and timber, often trapezoidal in shape. Stone then replaces timber for revetments and internal structures, still often in long mounds; round forms then become more frequent, and the chambers increase in size. The use of extravagantly large stones in their construction suggests a further element. In a society where labour was the most important commodity, moving large
13

Leshnik, Lawrence S., South Indian Megalithic burials the Pandukal Complex, Franz Stener Verlag GmbH Wiesbaden, 1974, pp. 1-12.

14

Rao, K.P., Deccan Megaliths, Sundeep Prakashan, Delhi, 1988. 9

stones symbolized the size of the workforce which could be assembled at any one time an epideictic demonstration of demographic strength and co-ordinated effort. The monuments developed a meaning in their own right, as well as an inherited typological continuity from their skeuomorphic origins. These constructional changes in early monuments were also accompanied by an enlargement of their use. Early long mounds often cover individuals; chambered megalithic tombs received greater numbers of individual remains; and many of these 'tombs' continued to receive offerings and act as foci for non-monumental burials long after they themselves ceased to be used for interment.15 That these remarkably parallel developments took place independently in each area is indicated by the fact that while monumentality in western France began 4600 BC, it only appeared in Denmark 3800 BC. While the situation in Britain is less clearly established, a date of 42-4000 BC is a plausible estimate. The process of expansion would thus have occurred in a clockwise progression, successively but independently, in three separate areas around the north-west margins of the loess.16 Right across the range at Sialk on the edge if the desert basin of Iran, two tombs in necropolis comprise undeniable porthole slabs. The side slabs do not support a capstone but lean together, and the port hole itself has dwindled to a symbolic aperture, in one case only 10 cm. in diameter. But they are concentrated in the south of Peninsula in areas not likely to be affected by land borne impulses from Iran, but exposed rather to maritime influences. If their distribution do suggest inspiration from the west, that must surely have come by sea.
15

Andrew, Sherratt, “The Genesis of Megaliths: Monumentality, Ethnicity and Social Complexity in Neolithic North-West Europe”, World Archaeology, Vol. 22, No. 2, Monuments and the Monumental (Oct., 1990), Published by Taylor & Francis, Ltd.), pp. 147-167.
16

Kinnes, I. Les Fouillages and megalithic origins. Antiquity, 56, pp1982, 24-30. 10

Yet the ring of megalithic orthostats that often encircles Indian dolmens does recurring north western Iran of in Transcaucasia. On the other hand, circles of great stones surround the dolmens of Palestine and North Africa and many of the megalithic tombs of western and northern Europe. There, as also in North Africa and probably in Palestine, the stone circle served as a support to sustain the cairn of stone or earthen tumulus that certainly once covered all occidental dolmens. Still between the eastern most of the latter and the Indian peninsula there remains a vast spaces, not wholly covered with water but unspotted on any dolmen map available.17 The excavated dolmens of the Indian Peninsula have yielded implements of iron or at least when made vase appropriated to the Iron Age. The Egyptian mastabas and the rock-cut tombs beneath them, admittedly the plans of individual Egyptian tombs both under the Old Kingdom and later do agree in a startling way with those of individual ‘megalithic’ tombs both in Western Europe and in Mycenaean Greece. Admittedly, too, huge stone slabs but beautifully dressed, were used in building the funerary chambers of some Earlier Dynastic tombs and for the mastabas and pyramids that surmounted the burials vaults in the Old Kingdom. But every Egyptian tomb that was excavated or erected to be the mortuary residence of an individual pharaoh or noble; not even members of his family were buried therein, but separate tombs constructed for their repose. In different parts of the world, the custom of erecting megaliths on a large scale among different communities began from the Neolithic times onwards and continued in the Bronze Age and up to the late Iron Age, so much so that several thousands of megaliths are
17

Child, Gordon,V., “Megaliths” Ancient India No.4 (1947), Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, pp. 11

10

found in different parts of Western Europe, the Mediterranean region, Western Asia, India, Japan and South East Asia. They vary, as it should be in view of the vastness of the regions, diverse environments and the cultural backgrounds, in structural forms, modes of burials, cultural characteristics as known from the burial contents and chronology.18 The term “megalithic” not only has chronological and cultural connotations but has also been used to identify the South Indian Iron Age. Even though iron is associated with megalithic monuments, the monuments are not chronologically confined to the Iron Age, as their construction continues into the first centuries AD in the South and is further attested to ethnographically in various parts of the subcontinent. So although megaliths persist, the Megalithic period in the archaeological literature has become synonymous with the Iron Age.19 The South Indian Burial Complex usually referred to as Megalithic comprises a great variety of grave forms, including stone circles with urn burials, legged pottery sarcophagi, cist graves, stone alignments, and rock-cut chambers. Although widely dispersed across the granitic and gneissic plateaus of the south and representative of considerable diversity of local traditions, they have certain things in common. The abundant grave pottery is predominantly Black and Red Ware, of a type known from the settlements, and, in addition to a variety of beads, small gold ornaments, and objects of bronze or copper, iron implements are universally represented among the grave goods. The latter include flat iron axes, sickles, spades, chisels, knives, tripods, lamp-pendants, tridents, horse-furniture, daggers and swords,

18

Tripati, Vibha, op. cit. pp.1-7 Tripati, Vibha, op. cit. pp. 1-7. 12

19

all of so similar manufacturing techniques as to indicate a closely organized community of smiths serving the local pastoral population. Megalithism is a living tradition among some aboriginal tribes in some parts of the world including India: for instance, in north east India among the Khasis in Assam, the Mundas in Chorta Nagpur and in Kerala among the Malyarayan. The megalithic tradition usually associated with the Iron Age in South India. Many of the monuments are found along the Godavari and Krishna Rivers and their tributaries; there is also a cluster of monuments known as the Vidarbha megaliths that are located in eastern Maharashtra, set apart geographically and chronologically from those monuments further south. The megaliths are funerary monuments or memorials incorporating a variety of large stone constructions. Most but definitely not all of these monuments contain primary and secondary inhumations and associated burial furniture, sometimes in great quantity.20 These megalithic monuments are visible and relatively easily recognizable on the landscape and consequently have been the focus of more and sustained research than the habitation sites related to the cemeteries. Once thought to be minimally or even non-existent, habitation sites have now been much more widely identified. The complete spatial distribution of the megalithic monuments is not fully known. Megaliths are found generally in peninsular India. Covering present states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, and southern parts of Maharashtra. The region around Nagpur in eastern Maharashtra represents the northernmost fringe of distribution of megaliths, apart from the ones noticed sporadically in more northerly parts. But the isolated remains of megaliths in northern India, namely in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and
20

Krishnaswamy, “Megalthic Type of South India”, Ancient India, No.5, The Director General Of Archaeology in India, New Delhi, 1949, pp. 41. 13

Kashmir are not without significance; The ritual or process of megalithic internment is revealing itself increasingly to the probe of the spade and, in this context, the literary references in the Tamil Sangam literature provide a suitable background and key to the interpretation. The people whose culture the megaliths represents; are not yet clearly identified, though, limitedly skeletal evidence and circumstantial indication point to the Dravidians as the builders of megalithic remains.21 The relative chronology of the Megalithic period at Brahmagiri and Chandravalli in Karnataka by fitting it in between the Southern Neolithic and Early Historic periods. Radiometric dates from various sites indicate that the earliest Iron Age levels at these Megalithic sites date to the beginning of the first millennium BC. The earliest date for iron in South India is from Gachibowli, going back to 2500 BC. The earliest dates for the

Vidarbha megaliths as a whole fall to the 7th century BC so as a group are slightly later than that further south. The Iron Age spans the period from approximately 1200 BC to 300 BC, with the terminal dates assigned on the basis of the emergence of Early Historic cultural indicators. Evidence from the late Megalithic contexts has pointed to participation in the long distance exchange networks that characterize the subsequent Early Historic period.22 The earliest period is coterminous with the distribution of the Neolithic cultures of South India while the next period sees the spread of megalithic monuments into the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. It is this period that sees the appearance of horse skeletons and equipment in the graves. Horses and vehicles are present, along with pottery and metal
21

Banerjee, N.R., 1966, “The Megalithic problem of India”, Studies in Prehistory (Ed. D. Sen and A. K. Gosh), Calcutta, p. 163-175.
22

Praveena Gullapalli, “Early Metal in South India: Copper and Iron in Megalithic Contexts”, Journal of World Prehistory, Volume 22, Number 4, www.springerlink.com, 2009, pp.1-18. 14

artifacts including tools and horse trappings. The horse skeletons in some cases exhibit cut marks on the bone indicating possible sacrifice and burial along with the human interment. The final periods of megalith building are associated with innovations in the style of the graves and the introduction of funerary containers such as urns and sarcophagi. There are many and very different types of megalithic graves in south India and their distribution “is far wider than any one culture” and is of secondary importance here. It may only be pointed out that “certain modes of burials and funerary adjuncts are to some extent regional, but the megalithic grave with porthole stone cists has a very wide distribution covering the whole of the area of this culture complex”. More important than the typology of the graves are the common traits uniting the entire peninsular group of ‘megalithic’ burials. These typical traits, which have long been recognized, seem to accompany the megaliths from the very beginning and thus provide most important clues about the character and identity of their introducers.23 The occurrence of iron objects among the megalithic remains would be an argument in favour of the Dravidians, who have introduced the megalithism and iron.

23

Praveena Gullapalli, op. cit. pp. 1-18 15

CHAPTER 2 CHRONOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY
Antiquity of iron in World and India The most useful metal known to man is iron; the ores of this metal exist in quantity so bulky and in distribution so wide as to be available all over the world. The delay, therefore, in the discovery of a method for extracting iron from its many ores is a significant fact in human history. According to the available evidence, the first smelting of iron took place about 1400 B.C., and the cradle of the art was in the Near East, possibly in the Hittite highlands of Asia Minor. The Parian chronicle, a slab of marble inscribed in 263 B.C., found on the island of Paros and now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, gives an approximate date for the first smelting of iron. On this stone are recorded sundry events in Greek history from 1582 to 354 B.C., and among them is a reference to the discovery of iron. From the time when Minos the elder was King of Crete, and built Apollonia, and iron was discovered in Ida, the discoverers being the Idaean Dactyls, Kelmios and Damnameneos, in the reign of Pandion of Athens. This Athenian king reigned from 1462 to 1423 B.C. The Mllount Ida mentioned is in Phrygia. The destruction of Troy is dated on the marble as the equivalent of 1209 B.C., or
16

about 230 years later than the discovery of iron.' As it is known that the Trojan War ended ca. 1184 B.C. if we add 230 years, we get 1414 as the date for the first smelting of iron. Such a date is in accord with that of the iron furnaces and iron tools discovered in 1927 by Sir Flinders Petrie at Gerar, in Palestine. He found contemporaneous scarabs and amulets of Egyptian origin, which enabled him to fix a date about 1350 B.C. 24 the origin of iron presents a more difficult problem. Its ores are found everywhere a fact often invoked to substantiate claims for this or that region to priority of discovery.25 The heroes of the Trojan War are represented as using weapons of chalkos, which is usually translated as “bronze," although most of the tools that were used in the making of these weapons were of iron. Apparently the shaping of iron weapons and the sharpening of them were ill understood, so that rural implements were made of iron, whereas the warriors were loath to trust their lives to the dubious metal. The discovery of iron, that is, of the art whereby its ores could be reduced to metal, may have followed from the finding of a patch of rich iron oxide in the outcrop of a copper lode and the inadvertent smelting of such iron oxide, possibly because it had something of the weight and color of tin ore. Specular haematite, a shiny ore, might have provoked a trial because it was somewhat like galena, the Sulphide of lead, in its lustrous quality. A patch of gray magnetite, the richest of iron ores, might attract curiosity on account of its heft, but this probably would not happen until the pioneer metallurgist had ascertained that iron occurred in nature in manifold guise. It is probable that iron smelting had to wait for the use of
24

Rickard, T. A., “The Primitive Smelting of Iron”, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 43, No. 1 (JanMar., 1939), Published by Archaeological Institute of America, pp. 85-101.
25

Ibid. 17

efficient bellows, consequent upon the development of copper-smelting practice, whereby a sufficient, controllable blast became available.26 Iron in sponge form, such as was smelted by the ancients, is what nowadays we term "wrought iron," in distinction from "cast iron." The two differ in their carbon content, which affects not only their qualities as metal but their fusibility also. Wrought iron is devoid of carbon, and it becomes cast iron when the carbon content reaches two and one-half per cent. The latter is smelted at a temperature of about 850 C., whereas the other requires a temperature of about 1150 C. It must be remembered, however, that the wrought iron produced by direct smelting from ore, as done by the primitive founder, is different from the wrought iron made today by the puddling process, in which pig iron is decarburized to the composition of the sponge iron of the ancients.27 Our ancient artificer did not want such iron, and if he made any inadvertently, as necessarily he must have done occasionally, he rejected it as a metallurgic aberration unfit for his purpose. It remains a curious fact in the history of metallurgy that the casting of iron intentionally was postponed so long, for if, when meaning to produce sponge iron, it happened fortuitously that the heat and the absorption of carbon caused a more fusible metal to be produced and to flow out of the furnace on the floor or ground, and to reproduce its contours or inequalities, as in a mould, it would seem that the idea of casting iron would have come to an intelligent observer.28

26

Rickard, T. A., op. cit. pp. 86-87. Rickard, T. A., op. cit. p. 87.

27

28

Ibid.. 18

Economic necessity may have forced the event, in a primitive world where competition was the law of physical survival the momentum of industry was usually in proportion to the amount of pressure exerted immediately beyond the ethnic frontier. Iron in the Asian-Egyptian texts corresponds so nearly in time with invasion from Europe; that the clearest and best is a part of, or concerned with, the Hittite record. This is precisely what might be expected to follow a European origin. Naturally the Hittite kingdom, dominating Asia Minor, would in that case be first of the eastern empires to acquire the knowledge. And though absolute proof of a west to east trend is now lacking for iron. 29 The use of iron was forced upon Asia by conquering races. The first Keltic movement took place has not yet been deter-mined, but early in the seventh century these warriors appear in the upper Rhine valley. Possibly the late Hallstatt culture can be traced to their influence; in any event, it was this mobile and conquering race that, in the years between 500 and 100 B.C., spread a knowledge of iron over northern and western Europe. The growth and extent of this Keltic iron-working is revealed by the numerous exposed sites scattered throughout central Europe. At Gyular in Translyvania the remains of a furnace have been found.30 Two of the earliest and best known sites lie within easy reach of Hallstatt-the one in Carinthia on the upper waters of the Drave, the other in Styria on the Mur.31 The Greeks of the epics, while acquainted with iron, are seemingly without knowledge of mining or production methods. There is no hint of such knowledge, at least,
29

John Garstang, The Hittite Empire, pp. 38-39. James M. Swank, The Manufacture of Iron in All Ages, p. 76. Sir William Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece, 1901. 19

30

31

among the forty-eight references in the Iliad and Odyssey. And curiously enough the arrow of Pandarus32 and the mace of Areithous33 are the only weapons of iron in the Homeric legend. It is quite clear, in fact, that the Greeks of Homer regarded iron as a semi-precious metal34 to be used sparingly for implements; occasionally, perhaps, as utensil-currency.35 The working of iron was a part of domestic industry on the larger estates. In such cases the metal was always furnished by the proprietor from his "treasury." The equipment and tools of the forge-master were of the simplest kind - anvil, tongs, hammer and hand-bellows. The fuel was usually charcoal. Unquestionably, through long experience and that further hardening was possible by a water quench. But the subsequent refining and toughening by reheating was beyond the early Greek iron-workers, as they lacked the proper facilities to determine, or control, temperature.36 China and India were too far removed from the stream of developing western civilization to have contributed to, or been influenced by, the early working of iron. No piece of metal found in China can be dated prior to 1200 B.C.; and the earliest recorded use of iron goes back only to the eighth century. India, whose civilization is apparently later than that of China, seems to have passed directly from the use of copper to that of iron with no intermediate bronze culture. Earlier, there were claims of very late beginning for iron in

32

Richardson, Harry Craig, “Iron, Prehistoric and Ancient”, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 38, No. 4

(Oct. - Dec., 1934), Published by Archaeological Institute of America, P. 569.
33

Ibid Ibid Ibid Richardson, Harry Craig, op. cit. p. 569. 20

34

35

36

India. Some have even given dates like 326 B.C. for beginning of iron in India.

37

But, the

recent evidence from sites like Hallur and Komaranhalli have pushed back this date to the first half of the second millennium B.C. The archaeological discoveries and the literary evidence seem to be mutually corroborative, and 1000 B.C. may be suggested as the provisional date for the introduction of iron smelting into India. The switch over from the old metals to the new must have taken some length of time. But Sir Mortimer Wheeler's suggestion that iron came into India with the Achaemenids towards the end of the 6th century B.C. cannot be accepted. The

archaeologist in India had viewed the evidence of the Vedic literature with cold skepticism, until at last his spade stumbled on finds that lent a character of reality to the literary testimony. 'Small fragments and shapeless bits' of iron occur at Kausambi, along with the first defences, before the arrival of the Painted Grey and the Northern Black Polished Wares in the Central Ganga valley. The corrosive nature of the metal may account for the scarcity of iron objects in proper shape in Period I; also perhaps the fact that the earliest smiths must have found it easier to deal with damaged or outmoded articles than to smelt the metal from fresh ore. Smiths were always collecting scrap and melting it down in their furnaces. Objects of distinctive shapes were found in Period II, and indeed throughout the Cultural Period II at Kausambi. They increased a great deal in number with the beginning of the Cultural Period III, characterized by the Northern Black Painted Ware at Hastinapura, iron slag and ore were found in the uppermost layers in association with the Painted Grey Ware. This Painted Grey Ware occupation began at the site early in the II century B.C., and ended owing to floods in the beginning of the 8th century B.C. and the excavations at Alamgirpur similarly confirmed

37

Ibid, p. 558. 21

the association of iron with the Painted Grey Ware; iron objects together with those of copper were found throughout the Period II. The transition from chalcolithic to iron and in the Iron Age itself bringing tillage and its tools should have resulted in prosperity which the megalithic tribes themselves eloquently proclaim in their burials as the product of considerable community growth and corporate labour potential.38 Ayas in the Rgveda usually means copper or bronze, it may not invariably do so, especially in the later books. There can be no mistaking the meaning of Syama ayas or 'black metal' in the Atharva Veda; it cannot but be iron. Another AV. passage has: "Cut along this skin with a dark, joint by joint with the knife". The Vajasaneyi Samhita mentions the metals hiranya, ayas, Syama, loha sisa and trapu. While Syama and loha must mean iron and copper respectively, it is suggested that ayas may here signify bronze. Ayas is divided into two species, Sydma and lohita in the later Samhitas and texts; the first must mean iron, and the second copper or bronze. The Satapatha Brahmana draws a distinction between ayas and lohayasa, between iron and copper according to Eggeling, who seems to be right. Ayas alone thus signifies iron in a number of places. The sense of iron in Atharv Veda is certain according to Macdonell and Keith. 39 There are numerous references to the smelting of metal in the Vedic literature; the word dhmd seems to have been derived from the sound of the bellows. The Maitri Upanisad mentions a lump of iron "overcome by fire and beaten by workmen", passing into a different form. The Chandogya Upanisads speaks of Karsdayas and also Krishna-ayasa, which

38

Singh, S. D., “Iron in Ancient India”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 5, No. 2 (1962), pp. 212-216.
39

Ibid. 22

certainly mean iron. And so also the Aitareya Aranyaka and the Maitrayaya Brdhmana Upanisad refer to iron.40 There was no iron with the invaders of India between 1800-1400 BC. The Hittites kept the secret of the process (of smelting and forging iron) which would make iron a serious competitor with bronze. Not till 1200 BC get iron-working starting to spread all over western Asia, the Caucasus and eastern and central Europe. By 1100 BC iron was superseding bronze on the Iranian plateau. By 800 BC there was a full Iron Age through-out Eastern Europe and western Asia. Copper and bronze were no longer economic propositions and gave way to iron, articles of which were produced far more cheaply and in considerable quantity, making the possession of metal tools possible for those who had to contend themselves with stone. The writer, a competent archaeologist, implied that India remained inexplicably backward by not adopting the new metal.41 Excavations at the Garh Kalika mound on the outskirts of Ujjain revealed that iron was known to its ancient dwellers from the earliest period. Iron weapons, such as spears, arrow-heads and knives, have been unearthed from the strata of Period I, assigned to C. 700500 B.C. And a few interesting objects of iron, including the curved blade of a spade, were dug up from the rampart. A flourishing iron industry is evidenced by the large quantities of iron ore and slag and finished iron objects found in the deposits of Period II. Iron ore was available to the people in the form of limonite from the local trap bed-rock; and calcite was

40

Ibid. Ibid 23

41

used as a flux. A blacksmith's furnace was excavated; it belonged to the second phase of the site's life.42 The use of iron had spread very widely at a comparatively early date, as we learn from the excavations at places such as Bahal in District Khandesh of the South Western Circle, and Prabhas Patan in District Sorath, Bombay. The layers of period II at Bahal yielded iron and black and red ware, assigned to C. 600-300 B.C. At Prabhas Patan, iron was found together with black and red ware in the context of Period III, the second sub-phase of which yielded the N. B. P. Ware.43 For the iron-ore, however, we have one ancient record well worth consideration, the Pali Suttanipata. The word Phala for plough-share occurs in both the prose and the metrical portions of the discourse. The simile runs: 'like a Phala heated for a whole day and plunged suddenly into water'. Bronze treated like this would become brittle and useless, apart from being much too costly for ploughshares. Iron reduced from ores by any primitive method comes out as a spongy mass which has to be heated and forged repeatedly as well as hardened by sudden chilling before it is of any use for tools.44 There was another discovery of iron in India that is interesting. An examination was made of the Stone Column of Heliodorus at Besnagar, which dates back to about the middle of the second century, B. C. In excavating at the base of the column it was found to rest on stone slabs in which iron chisels or wedges had been driven by the masons who erected it to
42

Ibid. pp. 212-216. Ibid Kosambi, D.D., “The Beginning of the Iron Age in India”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the

43

44

Orient, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Dec., 1963), pp. 309-318. 24

make the shaft stand in a perpendicular position. These pieces of metal were examined and analyzed by Sir Robert Hadfield who stated they proved to be steel.45 The distribution of iron ore in various geographic areas of India as a backdrop to her pre industrial smelting through the ages, it is necessary to emphasize a basic point at the outset. The point that a survey of the distribution of Indian ores on the basis of the Geological survey of India reports however exhaustive it may be may not be wholly representative of the sources open to a pre industrial Iron smelter. The distribution begins right from the North West and northern limits of the subcontinent. In Sind the most important source is the passage bed between the Kirthar and Ranikot groups, northwest of Kotri, especially near Laniyan and east of Bandh Vera. In the Panjab foothills there is an abundant used by the local pre-industrial iron smelters. The ore types are basically in the state of Rajasthan. There are noteworthy deposits in Alwar, Jaipur, Udaipur and Ajmir and there are reporteds of ancient working also from Bharatpur, Bundi, Jodhpur and Kota. The whole of central India is iron country par excellence. In the former Madhya Pradesh iron occur in the geological formations of laterite, the Vindyan system the Gwalior series and Bijawar series. Southwards in Mysore iron ores are fairly extensive and geologically belong mainly to the sedimentary group. In the north of Kerala iron ore are abundant and comprises mostly magnetite and laterite. The spread of the iron ore is no less extensive in the modern state of Andhra Pradesh the region which are important are Cuddapah, Kurnool, Guntur, Bellary, Nellore, the districts of west Godavary and Krishna, Vizagapatam and Hyderabad. In Cuddapah the significant ore bearing the deposits are at Chabali. Pagadalapalle, Pendlimarri and Mantapampalle. The basic ore type seems to be haematite derived from the ferruginous quartzite formation locally

45

Ibid 25

enriched to iron. The best ore is said to be found in the Gunnygull range near Kurnool town, which contains veins of pure specular ore. To the east, in Orissa there is enough lateritic capping outside the Mahanandi-Baitarani delta, and for the early smelters of Orissa these deposits alone could have been an ample source of Iron. Iron is apparent from the all over Indian sub continent that except for alluvial tracts of the Indo-Ganga doab, iron ore has been reported from all the regions and pre-industrial smelting has also been found in several areas attesting to the awareness of the quality of iron.46 The iron working of traditional societies appears to be very simple and elementary in nature. But attempts of laboratory simulation prove that it requires experience and expertise of a high order which have been perfected over a period through generations of trial and error. Even the slightest miscalculation caused by diversion leads to vigil. Each such group seems to have evolved its own working style and methodology, as proximity work in their own individualistic style even selecting different types of ores. In Sarguja district of Madhya Pradesh there is a group of smelters known as Mahuli Argarias if Parsa group who use magnetic river sand for iron smelting which is available in Local River, as stated above. They produce white iron, Locally known as Charka loha. This has not been analyzed so far, but the description of the product suggests that it must have been steely iron of high quality which is in demand today for manufacture of weapons, locally.47 The concept of iron technology diffusing into India from external sources is almost invalid in light of recent research findings early ideas about the Aryan migration theory and
46

Chakrabarti, Dilip, “Distribution of Iron Ore and the Archeological Evidences of Early Iron in India”, JESHO Vol. 20.No. 2, 1977. pp. 166-184.

47

Balasubramaniam, R., “On the Steeling of Iron and the Second Urbanization of Indian Subcontinent”, Man and Environment, XXXII(1) (2006), Indian Society for Prehistory and Quaternary studies, 2007,pp. 102-107. 26

the introduction of iron technology into India from the west have now been proved to be incorrect. For example Pleiner (1971) proposed that the so called Aryans had no iron production until the second half of the first millennium B.C. and that there was no iron export to the west from the area of Aryans, Whom he assumes to be the Sanskrit speaking people. However there are firm dates for the advent of iron in the Indian subcontinent before this period. the independent origin of iron in the Indian subcontinent has been convincingly argued by Chakrabarti(1992) and Tripathi(2001) Agrawal and Kharakwal(2002) have compiled all radio carbon dates of excavated iron manufacturing sites in the Indian subcontinent.48 Iron metallurgy was understood subsequently, the phenomenal acceleration of the activity of both craft and farming resulted and the economy spinning into prosperity and urbanization.

CHAPTER 3 IRON OBJECTS FROM MEGALITHIC SITES
The use of iron in India had spread very widely at a comparatively early date, the archaeological discoveries and the literary evidence seem to suggest around 1500 B.C. as the provisional date for the introduction of iron smelting into India. From the South India, Iron
48

Brinton Phillips, George, “The Claims of India for the Early Production of Iron”, American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1924), pp. 350-357. 27

tools and weapons in quantities found from habitation and grave goods. Megalithic sites contain large number of grave good and they can be divided into various categories as discussed below. Professional Tools Adzes Some of the iron objects found from various Megalithic sites of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh like Mahurjhari,49 Naikund,50 Khapa,51 Takalghat and Ganganagar,52 Boregaon,53 Bhagimohari,54 Raipur,55 Yelleshwaram,56 have yielded adzes. The principal use of the adzes is in dressing and squaring large timbers or hand tool for shaping wood and serves for smoothing rough cut wood in hard wood working. Mainly adzes found from megalithic site at Mahurjhari, some of the cobbler adzes for cutting skin etc. were in large numbers and adzes were found to have been made of thin sheets of iron. They have a broad convex cutting end the other end is less broad and straight, and these are double concave in shape. Chisels

49

Deo, S.B., 1973, Mahurjhari Excavation (1970-1972), Nagpur, pp. 8-13, 43, 51. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, p.34. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 48-49. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 45, 48-49. IAR, 1980-81, p.40 IAR, 1983-84, p. 57. IAR, 1984-85, p. 54.

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad, p. 48. 28

Chisels are carpentry tool and they are used in dressing, shaping, or working in timber, usually driven by a mallet or hammer. The blade of a bevel edged chisels narrows at the top to connect to the handle, which is typically made of hard wood. The chisel is held in the hand and struck with a wooden mallet. Chisels are found in large numbers from the various sites of habitational as well as graves in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Megalithic sites from Maharashtra like Karad,57 Mahurjari,58 Bhagimohari,59 Naikund,60 Junapani,61 Kaundinyapura,62 Boregaon,63 Pauni,64 Bokardan,65 Gangapur,66 Khapa,67 have yielded chises in good number. And in Andhra Pradesh Yeleswaram,68 Peddamarru,69 and Ramapuram70 megalithic sites also yielded chisels. These chisels are usually with flat and straight body, some specimens recovered were probably intended for inserting a small stick or a holder into it in which the circular edge was riveted. Iron chisels are characterized by heavy circular

stem and a pointed end below it, they resolve themselves into two types and they are those

57

Mandala, 1949, Exploration at Karad, Poona, pp. 20-31. Deo, S.B., 1973, Mahurjhari Excavation (1970-1972), Nagpur, pp. 7, 9-13, 45-46. IAR, 1983-84, p.57. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, pp. 33-34. IAR, 1961-62, p. 34. Dikshit, Moreshwar G., 1968, Excavation at Kaundinyapur, Bombay, p.119. IAR, 1980-81, p. 40. Nath, Amarendra, 1998, Further Excavations at Pauni 1994, New Delhi, pp. 57-61. Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Bogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, p. 175. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 47. Ibid

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66 67

68

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad, p. 48.
69

IAR, 1977-78, p. 13. IAR, 1982-83, p. 6. 29

70

with a broad cutting edge and those with a pointed tip. Variety of chisels with a ring fastener at the top to ensure grip to wooden handle, chisel with a rectangular cross section, chisel with semi circular cutting edge near the ankle portion were also found. Axes Axe is an implement consisting of a heavy metal wedge-shaped head with one or two cutting edges and a relatively long wooden handle; used for chopping wood and felling trees. Axes are recovered from many places from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and different varieties especially from Mahurjhari,71 Naikund,72 Junapani,73 Bhagimohari,74 Khapa,75 Gangapur,76 Takalghat,77 Junapani,78 Mansar,79 Boregaon,80 Khairwada,81 and Raipur82in Maharashtra and from Andhra Pradesh Pochampadu,83 Hashmatpet,84 Yelleshwaram,85 and

71

Deo, S.B., 1973, Mahurjhari Excavation (1970-1972), Nagpur, pp. 6-7, 9-10. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, pp. 33-34. IAR, 1961-62, p.34. IAR, 1983-84, p.57. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 48. Ibid Ibid IAR, 1961-62, p. 34. IAR, 1994-95, p. 57. IAR, 1980-81, p. 40.

72

73

74

75

76 77

78

79

80

81 82

IAR, 1981-82, p. 51. IAR, 1984-85, p. 54. 83 IAR, 1964- 65, P. 1.
84

Nigam, M. L., 1971, Report of the Excavation of Two Megalithic Burials at Hashmatpet, Hyderabad (A.P), p.

7.
85

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad, p. 53. 30

Veerapuram86 have yielded axes. Axes with cross fasteners and elongated body with thin rectangular section, convex butt end and straight and broad working end are reported mostly from Vidarbha megaliths. Door Hinges A movable joint used to attach, support, and turn a door about a pivot; consists of two plates joined together by a pin which support the door and connect it to its frame, enabling it to swing open or closed. At Dhulikatta88 Andhra Pradesh such hinges were reported. Drilling and Cutting Implements Drilling and cutting implements are found from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, at Nasik
89

Cross-strapped hatchets were obtained from Pochampad.87

a heavily rusted drill with probably a round body and with a sharp tapering point is

reported. At Khapa,90 from one of the largest cairn measuring about twenty three yards in diameter grave, drilling implements were obtained. They were used both for carpentry and household purposes, so as to insert small wooden pieces into the bored holes and thus obtain tight grip over the joints instead of iron nails. Such drill-bits have also been reported from Khapa in Maharashtra. Handles

86

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, p. 148.
87

IAR, 1963-64, P. 1. IAR, 1975-76, p. 2. Sankalia, H.D. Deo, S. B. 1955, The Excavation at Nasiki and Jorwe, Poona, pp. 109 and 114. IAR, 1967-68, p. 34. 31

88

89

90

The appendage to object that is designed to be held in order to use or move it. Probably used to fastener the actual tool for easily hold. From Ramapuram91 a broken fragment of the cylindrical handle was found. It has a perforated handle and an arch like cutting edge. At Peddamarur,92 only one specimen of a small sword, having a copper cup like ferrule at the handle portion with a central long handle of iron, was found. Hooks A curved or sharply bent device, usually of metal, used to catch, drag, suspend, or fasten something else. A wooden lever with a movable iron hook and a blunt, often toothed tip near the lower end, used chiefly for grasping and canting, or turning over logs. To seize, fasten, suspend from, pierce, or catch hold of and draw with or as if with a hook. Naikund Megalithic habitational93 as well as burial site, Khapa,94 Takalghat,95 Bhokardan,96 Paunar97 and in Andhra Pradesh from habitaitonal site and as well as burials like Veerapuram 98 and Yelleshwaram99 hooks were found. Nails

91

IAR, 1981-82, p. 6. IAR, 1977-78, p. 13. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, pp. 33 and 35. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 13 and 49. Ibid Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Boogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, pp. 173 and 179. Deo, S.B. and Dhavalikar, M. K., 1967, Paunar Excavation, Nagpur, p. 96.

92

93

94

95

96

97

98

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, p. 147.
99

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p.49. 32

Nails may have been used in carpentery and were made of copper or bronze apart from iron. Early nails were shaped, or forged, with hammers. In Maharashtra and Andhra In Maharashtra

Pradesh there are many megalithic sites which shows usage of nails.

megalithic sites like Karad,100 Khapa,101 Gangapur102 Naikund,103 Boregaon,104 Brahmapuri,105 Bhagimohari,106 and Pauni107 and in Andhra Pradesh from Veerapuram, 108 Satanikota,109 Chagatur,110 Polechetti Cherugudda in Yelleshwaram,111 Nagarjunakonda,112 Dhulikatta,113 Kesarapalle,114 and Peddamarur115 iron nails were reported. They were usually long points, square in section at the top and pointed at the bottom end. Use of drills shows the high standard of technical skill attained by the folk. They were used for agricultural and household
100

Mandala, 1949, Exploration at Karad, Poona. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 45-46. Ibid. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, pp. 35. IAR 1980-81, p. 40 Sankalia, H.D. Dikshit, M.G , 1952, Excavation At Bramhapuri(Kolhapur), Poona, p. 124. IAR, 1983-84, p. 57. Nath, Amarendra, 1998, Further Excavations at Pauni 1994, New Delhi, p. 59.

101

102

103

104

105

106

107

108

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, pp. 147148.
109

Gosh, N. C., 1986, Excavation at Satanikota, New Delhi, p. 74. IAR 1977-78, p.11.

110

111

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, pp. 49-53.
112

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 48.
113

IAR, 1975-76, p. 2. Sarkar, H., 1966, “Kesarapalle”, AI No. 2, p. 74. IAR 1977-78, p. 12. 33

114

115

purposes, so as to insert small wooden pieces into the bored holes and thus obtain tight grip over the joints instead of iron nails. Fixing iron joints to a wooden post or marking a wooden joints by placing one wood against another by way of drilling and nailing, must have also been practiced as against directly driving the nail into the wooden posts, to avoid splitting of the wooden. Even today, drill bit form an important tool in the carpenter’s kit. Agricultural Tools Crowbars A crowbar is a metal tool which is designed to be used as a digging tool or as a lever. The basic design of a crowbar is very simple, and humans have probably been using versions of this tool for centuries. From south Indian megalithic sites, thick round bars with one pointed end, probably used as crowbars, are among the important agricultural equipment found. One thick crowbar is reported from Ramapuram in Kurnool district. Hoes A tool with a flat blade attached approximately at a right angle to a long handle, used for weeding and other agricultural operations. A hoe can be made up of many types of

blades, with a variety of uses, probably the most common of which is the removal of weeds and unwanted crops. Hoes reported from various sites of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra

34

from Kaundinyapura,116 Adam,117 Naikund,118 Khairawada,119 Bhagimohari,120 and Janampet121 Peddamarrur.122 Along with the spade and fork, the hoe is considered a basic, essential handfarming implement. It is prepared by folding over two ends of the iron strip which forms the sockets for the handle. The lower portion of the implement is flat and rectangular in shape. Similar hoes are reported from different sites. These have a round splayed base and the holders are of folded straps. The habitational deposits yielded iron objects like hoes with iron ring fastener, hoes with sides turned in to form a socket and other iron objects. Ploughing Implements and Plough Shares In the Iron Age itself the tillage and its tools get variegated and should have resulted in great farm prosperity which the megalithic tribes themselves eloquently proclaim in their burials and graffiti marks on pottery as the product of considerable community growth. The ploughshare provides evidence for field cultivation. The size and form of the shares imply the use of light plough which only scratched the surface of the soil. In Maharashtra and

Andhra Pradesh plough shares and plough implements are recovered from various megalithic

116

Dikshit, Moreshwar G., 1968, Excavation at Kaundinyapur, Bombay, p. 120. IAR, 1991-92, p. 68. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, pp. 33-38. IAR, 1981-82, p. 52. IAR, 1983-84, p. 57. Ahmad, Khwaja Muhammad, Preliminary excavation at Prehistoric sites near Janampet, pp.1-4. IAR, 1977-78, p. 12. 35

117

118

119

120

121

122

sites such as Adam,123

Mahurjhari, Takalghat, Khapa, Yelleshwaram124

Janampet and

Polechetti Cherugudda, Hashmatpet, Pochampad, etc. Sickles A sickle is a curved, hand-held agricultural tool typically used for harvesting cereal crops or cutting grass. The inside of the curve is the cutting edge, and is serrated. From Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra sickles were found from various sites like Boregaon,125 Adam,126 Hashmatpet,127 Pochampad,128 Yelleshwaram,129 Edithanur,130 Peddabankur,131 Chagatur,132 and Peddamarrur.133 Domestic Objects Knives

123

IAR, 1989-90, p. 64. Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt

124

of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 48.
125

IAR, 1980-81, p. 40. IAR, 1991-92, p. 68.

126

127

Nigam, M. L., 1971, Report of the Excavation of Two Megalithic Burials at Hashmatpet, Hyderabad (A.P), p. 7.
128

IAR, 1964-65, p. 1.

129

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 48.
130

IAR, 1987-88, p. 6. IAR, 1968-69, p. 2. IAR, 1977-78, p. 11. IAR, 1977-78, p. 12. 36

131

132

133

Kives are used for cutting and slicing tasks, some of the knives are multipurpose usage. From Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Knives are found in a number of sites like Khapa and Takalghat,134 Nasik and Jorwe,135 Brahmapuri,136 Naikund,137 Pauni,138 Janampet,139 Peddamarur,140 Yellaeshwaram,141 Veerapuram142 Kaundinyapura,143 Adam.144 Iron Dishes An open, generally shallow concave container for holding, cooking or serving food. At Bhokardan,145 shallow dish with hallow boss in the centre was found . The domestic iron artefacts found in the habitation site at Peddamarur 146 includes dishes. At Naikund147 shallow dishes of iron were found also at Veerapuram148. The artifacts usually composed of a dish
134

Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 47. Sankalia, H.D. Deo, S. B. 1955, The Excavation at Nasiki and Jorwe, Poona, p. 113. Sankalia, H.D. Dikshit, M.G, 1952, Excavation At Bramhapuri(Kolhapur), Poona, p. 124. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, pp. 33 and 35. Nath, Amarendra, 1998, Further Excavations at Pauni 1994, New Delhi, pp. 57and 59. Ahmad, Khwaja Muhammad, Preliminary excavation at Prehistoric sites near Janampet, p.3. IAR, 1977-78, p. 12.

135

136

137

138

139

140

141

MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 51.
142

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, p. 147.
143

Dikshit, Moreshwar G., 1968, Excavation at Kaundinyapur, Bombay, p. 119. IAR, 1988-89, p. 59. Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Boogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, p. 174. IAR, 1977-78, p. 12. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, 33-38.

144

145

146

147

148

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, pp. 147158. 37

with flat base and with raised straight side. At iron was utilized mostly for house hold purpose, they used for making of dishes, nail and etc. Iron Frying Pans A shallow thick bottom pan used for shallow frying. Probably a frying pan or skillet is a pan used for frying, searing and browning foods. Their short height render it possible that they were intended as frying pans. Kaundinyapura149 and Khapa,150 frying pans along with fragments of human bones were found. At Yelleshwaram, piece of an Iron pan with a flattened projection at the one end was recovered.151 Iron Lamps Basic lighting in ancient times was provided by fires; the lamp was by far the most sophisticated means of lighting and had become ubiquitous in most of the world. The rim becomes wider and flatter with a deeper and higher spout. The tip of the spout is more upright in contrast to the rest of the rim. In Maharashtra Nasik,152 Junapani,153 Naikund,154 and in Andhra Pradesh Yelleshwaram,155 and Janampet156 have yielded iron lamps. Habitational deposits and burials were rich in iron artefacts at Naikund, Khapa, Takalghat
149

Dikshit, Moreshwar G., 1968, Excavation at Kaundinyapur, Bombay, pp. 115-120. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur. pp. 45-50.

150

151

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, pp. 48-54.
152

Sankalia, H.D. Deo, S. B. 1955, The Excavation at Nasiki and Jorwe, Poona, pp. 109-117. IA R, 1984-85, p. 54. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, 1982.

153

154

155

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, pp. 48-54.
156

Ahmad, Khwaja Muhammad, Preliminary excavation at Prehistoric sites near Janampet, pp.1-4. 38

and Ganganagar,157 the artefacts were composed of a wide range of ladles or lamps and other iron objects. At Maula ali, was found very extensive field of cairn circles and dolmenoid cists occurring in groups. From these cists iron lamps supported on three bar and iron lamp with legs were found. At the village Upperu, an iron wick lamp with shallow base was found. Hanging saucer lamps and iron pendants or hangers used for hanging cup shaped iron saucer lamps were found at Janampet and Guntakal in Andhra Pradesh. Iron Needles and Pins Basic implement used in sewing or embroidering and, in variant forms, for knitting and crocheting. The sewing needle is small, slender, rod like, with a sharply pointed end to facilitate passing through fabric and with the opposite end slotted to carry a thread. From Yelleshwaram,
158

and Veerapuram,159 long needles were found.

In Maharashtra, at

Bhagimahari,160 the iron needles were found. Ladle A long-handled, cuplike spoon or deep bowl for serving or transferring liquids. Ladles were probably used in special rituals for dispensing sacred liquids such as water or

157

Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 45-50.

158

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 52.
159

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, p. 147.
160

IAR, 1992-93, p. 68. 39

oil. In Maharashtra from the Mahurjhari,161 Naikund,162 Nasik and Jorwe,163 Takalghat,164 and Khapa,165 Gangapur,166 Bhokardan,167 and in Andhra Pradesh from

Yelleshwaram,168Habitational deposits and burials found rich artifacts including ladles or lamps. The seventeen specimens from Takalghat, Khapa and Gangapur, these are equipped with a circular shallow bowl with a straight vertical handle whose end is sometimes turned for hold. It may be stated that none of the bowls have any channel and pinched border for the wick. This tends to designate them more as ladles than lamps. Such ladles are even now in use for taking out oil or ghee. At Bhagimohari, iron objects like ladles with straight handles and other artifacts found around the forearm bones of skeleton. 169 At Junapani, a cup with horizontal handle, serving as ladle for the transfer of hot liquids and a cup with vertical handle serving as a kind of lamp which was suspended from a wall were found. From Yelleshwaram, a cup like thing with the traces of an attachment, probably ladle and another ladle with a handle were recovered. Bangles and Bracelets

161

Deo, S.B., 1973, Mahurjhari Excavation (1970-1972), Nagpur, pp. 8-12 and 50. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, p. 33. Sankalia, H.D. Deo, S. B. 1955, The Excavation at Nasiki and Jorwe, Poona, P. 114. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 45. Ibid Ibid Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Boogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, p. 174.

162

163

164

165

166

167

168

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 51.
169

IAR, 1992-93, p. 67. 40

A rigid, ring-shaped bracelet usually made without a clasp so as to slip over the hand, but sometimes having a hinged opening and a clasp. Bangles are bracelets shaped as a single loop of a rigid material At Bhagimohair, the bangle pieces were recovered from habiational deposits and also in habitational site.170 At Takalghat and Kapha, three circular bangle of iron were found. A uniformity of cultural life over the extensive peninsular expanse of South India. Resolve themselves in tow groups those with circular cross section and that with a thin rectangular one, a complete section bangle of iron circular on plan and in section. Complete bangle with a thin rectangular section.171 At Paunar, a complete iron bangle, circular in section was found.172 Fishplates A wood or metal piece used to fasten together the ends of two members with nails or bolts. A fishplate is a metal or wooden plate that is bolted to the sides at the ends of two rails or beams, to join them. From Excavation, done at Mansar in district Nagpur, the fish plates were reported.173 Cauldron A cauldron or caldron is a large metal pot for cooking or boiling over in open fire, with a large mouth, and frequently with an arc-shaped hanger. Cauldrons have largely fallen

170

IAR, 1992-93, p. 67. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 45 and 49. Deo, S.B. and Dhavalikar, M. K., 1967, Paunar Excavation, Nagpur, p. 96. IAR, 1994-95, p. 57. 41

171

172

173

out of use in the industrialized world as cooking vessels. Gangapur cauldrons were reported.174 Bowls

From Takalghat and Kapha,

Dishes that are round and open at the top for serving foods; a round vessel that is open at the top. Neck less iron vessel, which can be defined as having a height more than one-third of, but not greater than, its diameter. The bowl, a common open-top container in many cultures, is used to serve food, and is sometimes also used for drinking and storing other items. From Bhokardan, two fragmentary bowls were recovered. Extant fragments belong to the rim portion and do not help in knowing the size of the bowls.175 Weapons Sword From the stone circles of Khapa and Takalghat an iron sword was found. A single specimen which could be identified as sword with long and wide blade with a tang was found here.176 At Kaundinyapura,177 a portion of the balde of sword lenticular in section was found. At Yelleshwaram the main weapons employed in the war and chase found are swords. 178 Sword was also reported from Naikund179 where a copper rod with iron rivets was found.
174

Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, pp. 45-50. Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Boogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, p. 174. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 46. Dikshit, Moreshwar G., 1968, Excavation at Kaundinyapur, Bombay, p. 115.

175

176

177

178

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 48.
179

Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, p. 33. 42

Bill-Hooks A bill-hook is an agricultural implement consisting of a thick, heavy knife with a hooked end, useful for chopping off small branches of trees or cutting apart entangled vines or roots. An implement with a curved blade attached to a handle, used especially for clearing bush and for rough pruning. In India from Junapani a bill-hook with looped end tang, curved blade with a small sword, having a copper ferrule at the handle portion with a central long handle of iron was found. Arrow Heads Arrow-heads were recovered from Pauni,180 Boregaon181 Adam,182 Takalghat,

Gangapur and Khapa183 and Bramhapuri184 The Vidarbha sites have thus far only produced leaf shaped arrow heads with lenticular sections. A leaf shaped iron arrow head provided

with a tang was found also from the Bhagimohari habitational deposit.185 Mahurjari yielded iron arrow heads and a fragmentary arrowhead, heavily encrusted with sides tapering to a point, beveled shoulder and tapering tang.186 From Paunar187 tanged and socketted arrowheads were found. From the site Bhokardan,188 Leaf-Shaped, Bud Shaped and Barbed arrow heads
180

Nath, Amarendra, 1998, Further Excavations at Pauni 1994, New Delhi, pp. 59 and 61. IAR, 1980-81, p. 40. IAR, 1988-89, p. 59. Deo, S. B., 1970,Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur. Sankalia, H.D., Dikshit, M.G, 1952, Excavation At Bramhapuri(Kolhapur), Poona, pp. 121-122. IAR, 1983-84, p. 57. Deo, S.B., 1973, Mahurjhari Excavation (1970-1972), Nagpur, pp. 8 and 47- 48. Deo, S.B. and Dhavalikar, M. K., 1967, Paunar Excavation, Nagpur, p. 95. Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Boogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, p. 177. 43

181

182

183

184

185

186

187

188

are reported. In Andhra Pradesh, A tanged, leaf shaped arrow head, and a hollow conical object appears to be an arrow head are reported from a cist at Satanikota. 189 At Peddamarur,190 in the funerary deposit and from habitation also contain arrow heads. Arrow heads with pointed tangs are foud at Nagarjunakonda,191 Ramapuram,192 Yeleswaram.193 Peddabankur,194 Veerapuram.195 Spikes At Yelleswaram the spikes-studded lance or javelin was recovered.196 From Bhokardan197 the two specimens one having a lenticular section forming somewhat rib like edges at sides was found. These converge into a conical point. The other one is similar to first object, but it is circular in section and smaller. Two implements with long tang having knobbed end and a long tapering blade were recovered, one each from Khapa and Gangapur Stone Circles.198 Their precise utility and use could not be ascertained, the specimens are possibly spikes.

189

Gosh, N. C., 1986, Excavation at Satanikota, New Delhi, p. 74. IAR, 1977-78, p. 13. IAR, 1980-81, p. 7. IAR, 1968-69, p. 2.

190

191

192

193

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad, p. 48.
194

IAR, 1968-69, pp. 1-2.

195

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, p. 148.
196

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad, p. 48.
197

Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Boogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, p. 177. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 47. 44

198

Javelins A short throwing spear, used as a shock weapon, the javelins was probably used for war and chase. Evidences of javelins from the megalithic monuments come from Nagajunakonda,199 and Yelleshwaram200 Pochampadu,201 Kaundinyapura.202 Lances and Spears In Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra a large quantity of lances and spears were found. Adam, Junapani203 Khapa204 Gangapur,205 Bhandara,206 Bhagimohari207 are the sites

from Maharashtra which have yielded lances and spears. Peddamarur208 and Uppalapadu209 Nagarjunakonda,210 Yelleshwaram,211 are the sites from Andhra Pradesh which have yielded
199

IAR, 1958-59, p. 6.

200

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 48.
201

IAR, 1963-64, p. 1. Dikshit, Moreshwar G., 1968, Excavation at Kaundinyapur, Bombay, p. 119. IAR, 1961-62, p. 34. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 46. Ibid IAR, 1992-93, p. 64. IAR, 1983-84, p. 57. IAR, 1977-78, p. 12. Ibid IAR, 1959-60, p. 7.

202

203

204

205

206

207

208

209

210

211

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 48. 45

lances. Veerapuram212 and Ramapuram,213 yielded spear head and other iron objects. Iron objects obtained from Polechetti Cherugudda include an iron shafted spear and a socketed spear point. At Dongatogu, west of Janampet spears were found and also at Pochampad,214 iron lance and other objects were found. Stirrupps As a tool allowing expanded use of horses in warfare, the stirrup is often called the third revolutionary step in equipment, after the chariot and the saddle. The basic tactics of mounted warfare were significantly altered by the stirrup. A rider supported by stirrups was less likely to fall off while fighting, and could deliver a blow with a weapon that more fully employed the weight and momentum of horse and rider. Adam215 yielded horse outfits like iron stirrups and horse shoe. Draggers Daggers and dagger blades which are stronger, flexible, and able to survive through damages brought by ageing, war, and use. The Iron Age marks the beginning of a whole new warfare with the introduction of daggers. Daggers have parallel edged blades which end in a rounded tip, the pommel is formed by a circular disc, and it is hafted by a simple tang. The

212

Sastri, T.V.G., 1981, “Veerapuram Excavation, A Type Site for Cultural Study in the Krishna Valley”, Exploration and Excavation Series 1, Birla Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, Hyderabad, p. 148.
213

IAR, 1981-82, p. 6. IAR, 1964-65, p. 1. IAR, 1991-92, pp. 65 and 68. 46

214

215

remaining objects from Junapani,216 Pauni,217 Mahurjhari,218 are some of the sites from Maharashtra that have yielded daggers. Junapani, yielded daggers represented by seventeen specimens, more or less evenly distributed in all the Localities, Those with medium broad blades with bi-convex section, pointed tip and tang, that with blade similar with the tang long and broad and covered with possibly wooden handle riveted, that with a long and broad blade with copper hilt. Dagger blade, thicker, straight shoulders thicker tang. Fragmentary piece with tip broken, bevelled shoulders tang with less pronounced, a complete specimen with rather broad blade tapering to a point, a ring at the butt end of the blade, the tang broad and with possibly rivetted wooden handle and a complete dagger with rather broad tapering to a point with a copper hilt double concave in outline and flaring convex at the butt end. A complete blade of a dagger with pointed end, beveled shoulders, pointed tang and thin section, daggers, axes and animal bones were found, fragments of knife or dagger blade with pointed ends come from Naikund.219 In the one burial the lower part of the dead man’s

body was missing, but he had a dagger with an iron blade and copper hilt placed on his chest, which indicate that the person was probably a warrior, having died in actual fighting, and thus he was honored with a decent burial along with his weapon. Daggers with copper hilts

found from Pochampadu,220 have double-edged and tapering point. The objects worth of note

216

IAR, 1961-62, p. 34. Nath, Amarendra, 1998, Further Excavations at Pauni 1994, New Delhi, p. 59. Deo, S.B., 1973, Mahurjhari Excavation (1970-1972), Nagpur, p. 8. Deo, S. B. and Jamkhedkar, A. P., 1982, Naikund Excavation, 1978-80, Bombay, p. 35. IAR, 1963-64, p. 1. 47

217

218

219

220

comprise daggers at Nagarjunakonda.221 Daggers are recovered from Yelleshwaram,222 near complete human skeletons in extended position, one atop the other. who undertook excavation at Peddabankur,223 reported daggers. Horse Bits Horse bits are accessories placed inside a horse's mouth to control its movement. They rest on the delicate part of a horse's mouth called the bar, and they are connected to two reins on both sides of the mouth. The snaffle bit consists of either a straight or jointed mouthpiece connected to a variety of ring styles. The reins connect to these rings and when used apply direct pressure to the bars, tongue and the corners of the mouth. At Naikund, 224 the mouth pieces and bits of iron for the horse were found. Horse bits were recovered from Khapa,225 Junapani226 and Boregaon. Iron Rings At Nasik five specimens of iron rings were found, out of which three were intact and two fragmentary. At Bhokardan,227 four specimens of rings of the size usually worn on fingers were found. Iron rings were found at Peddamarrur,228 district Mahbubnagar, in cist
221

Abdul Waheed Khan

IAR, 1958-59, p. 6.

222

Khan, MD Abdul Waheed, 1963, A Monograph on Yelleswaram Excavations, published by The Governemt of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, p. 48.
223

IAR, 1968-69, pp. 1-2. IAR, 1977-98, p. 39. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 49. IAR, 1961-62, p.33. Deo, S.B., 1974, Excavation at Bhokardan (Boogavardana) 1973, Nagpur, p. 179. IAR, 1977-78, p. 12. 48

224

225

226

227

228

burials, which were probably used as ornament for fingers and toes. At Bhagimohari229 district Nagpur, from the habitational deposits iron ring was found. iron ring of indefinite use and a bangle were obtained. Iron Rods Iron rod was represented by two pieces the exact purpose of use of these could not be ascertained one each came from Takalghat and Khapa.231 At Peddamarrur,232 the sarcophagus was covered with a lid and it contained human bones. An iron rod was placed along with the offerings. At Bhagimahari,233 also an iron rod was found. At Kesarapalle 230 an

229

IAR, 1983-84, p. 57. Sarkar, H., 1966, “Kesarapalle” AI No. 22, p. 43. Deo, S. B., 1970, Excavation at Takalghat and Khapa (1968-69), Nagpur, p. 49. IAR, 1977-78, p. 12. IAR, 1980-81, p. 40. 49

230

231

232

233

CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION

Generally, works on metallurgy in antiquity tend towards a monolithic model made up of an evolutionary development of metal craft with a unifunctional use of artifacts and raw materials. Iron technology in India seems to have independent origin. Chronologically, the use of iron in the neighboring regions hardly precedes its occurrence in India. HakraSaraswati valley, which seems to have an earlier phase of PGW, does not yield iron. The smelting of iron ore was first discovered in Asia Minor of the Causcasus and that between 1800 and 1200 B.C. it remained virtually a monopoly of the Hittites. The Rigveda, usually dated to 1500 BC. seems to has references to iron and iron technology. The later

Vedic text may be said to fall between approximately 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C. and they have undeniable mention of iron. Iron Age, which proceeds the early historic period, generally

50

lasts for more than a millennium. At Brahmagiri, Piklihal, Sanganakal and Maski the depth of Iron Age occupation is generally more than four feet.234 This is not the only claim India has to the early manufacture of iron. Objects of iron of ancient date by other nations were confined to implements of no great size such as sword blades, iron bars for currency, and there seems to be no evidence that iron was used for architectural or constructive purpose. There is evidence that in India there was not only an established iron industry, but that in the first few centuries of our era, the native metallurgists were able to produce pillars and beams of such size as are now manufactured only with the aid of powerful and complicated steam machinery. The Delhi iron column shows what skill these ancient iron workers were able to produce such results, when it is remembered the work was done by hand without the aid of modern machinery. The iron column measures twentytwo feet above the ground with a diameter near the base of sixteen and one-half inches tapering to twelve and one-half inches at the end. It has a capital three and one-half feet high, consisting of a receded bell, plain discs and square top which served as a pedestal for a statue of Vishnu to whom it was dedicated. The bottom of the shaft extends eighteen inches below the ground terminating in a knob or bulb resting on a net work of iron bars to which it is soldered and embedded in the stone pavement. The iron column although exposed to air and moisture for many centuries shows no sign of rust and was once from its peculiar color thought to be bronze, and even in late times it was believed by an eminent engineer familiar with castings, to be cast iron instead of wrought iron.235

234

Banerjee, N. R., 1965, Iron Age in India, Delhi, pp. 41-49. Brinton Phillips, “The Claims of India for the Early Production of Iron”, American Anthropologist, New

235

Series, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1924), Published by Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Anthropological Association, Pp. 353-354. 51

The iron in central and south India is, on present showing, earlier than the iron in the north western periphery of India. South India seems to be the earliest of the six early Indian centers. Iron seems to have entered the Indian productive system by 1400 B.C. the literary data alone seems to suggest 700 B. C. or earlier, if we rely on Rigvedic reference to iron. The knowledge of iron must have come to India presumably earlier than 1500 B.C. We may not unreasonably conclude that though ayas in the Rigveda usually means copper or bronze, it may not invariably do so, especially in the later books. There can be no mistaking the meaning of syma ayas or 'black metal' in the Atharva Veda; it cannot but be iron. Another Atharva Veda passage has: "Cut along this skin with a dark, slaughterer, joint by joint with the knife. The Vajasaneyi Sathitd mentions the metals hiranya, ayas, Syama, lohas and trapu. While Syama and loha must mean iron and copper respectively, it is suggested that ayas may here signify bronze. Ayas is divided into two species, Syma and lohita in the later Sarhitas and texts; the first must mean iron, and the second copper or bronze. The Satapatha Bridhmanad draws a distinction between ayas and lohayasa, between iron and copper. Ayas alone thus signifies iron in a number of places. The sense of iron in Atharva Veda V. 28.1 is certain according to Macdonell and Keith. There are numerous references to the smelting of metal in the Vedic literature; the word dhma seems to have been derived from the sound of the bellows. The Maitrz Upanisad mentions a lump of iron "overcome by fire and beaten by workmen", passing into a different form. The Chandogya Upanisads speaks of karmaradayas and also Krishna-ayas, which certainly mean iron. And so also the Aitareya Aranyaka and the Maitrayaya Brahmana Upanisad refer to iron.236

236

Brinton Phillips, George, op. cit. p. 352. 52

A look at the list of iron production areas of India will show that all these early centers are either in or near the ore areas. The evidence of pre-industrial smelting also comes from almost all these areas. The evidence of pre industrial smelting and rich ore deposits is very impressive in central and southern India which also seems to show the first evidence of Indian iron. The first Indian iron tool types do not specifically correspond to the iron tool types known in west Asia. There is no other demonstrable proof of diffusion during that period from west Asia to the peninsular block of India. There is an apparent continuity between the early and the contemporary traditions of the iron metallurgy in India. These points suggest to us that India was a separate and possibly independent centre of the manufacture of early iron. The process of smelting and forging iron appear to have improved considerably by about 1400 B.C. In south India the evidences for the first use of iron objects appears in a different cultural context. It is the megalithic people who introduced iron objects in this part of India.237 Peninsular India, along with Deccan has megalithic burials. Iron is used with it for the first time there. In these parts the chalcolithic evidence is marginal. Incidentally, this whole are is full of iron ores. It may be for this reason that Neolithic folk shifts to iron from

copper which is scarce. Hallur yields iron in an early context of 1100 B.C. from a Neolithic megalithic overlap phase. Thus, the story is altogether different here.238 The south Indian megalithic complex had its distinctive tool types which are occasionally found far to the north. The important iron items of the megalithic culture of

India, the wide variety of iron objects recovered from both burials and habitational sites have
237

Brinton Phillips, George, op. cit. p. 352.

238

Singh, S. D., “Iron in Ancient India”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 5, No. 2 (July, 1962), Published by BRILL, pp. 212-216. 53

domestic and agricultural uses and also serve as weapons. Iron tool and weapons of largely identical types are almost universally and in quantities found as grave goods. The latter including knives; daggers; wedged shaped blades; lances javelins; spearheads; battle axes, often with barbs, arrowheads, both socketed and tanged; swords with single and double edges. The objects of household utility and agriculture include flat axes, hatchets; chisels mattocks; tripods to support lamps or point based vassels; lamps rods with rounded heads resembling the beam of a weighing scales; horse bits including stirrups; ferrules; bangles; nails frying pans ladles with long handles, sometimes used as hanging lamps and bells. The chemical and metallographic data are not available for this period. One may however, refer to this chemical analysis of an axe and spears from Mahurjhari and Takalghat and Khapa respectively.239 Stratigrphically, the megalithic phase overlaps with the earlier Neolithic one and two C14 dates from the overlap phase at Hallur gives a date around 1100 B.C some have doubted the dependability of these dates but there is no reason to do so considering that the immediately earlier neolithic phase began as early as 2300 BC. and that the Hallur dates are not inconsistent with the date from Takalghat-Khapa. It is worth noting that megaliths continued well in the historic period and there is no way of saying which one is earlier and which one later.15 The beginning of iron in India is regional. Every zone had intra-regional contact. Inter regional relations were confined to adjacent areas within an ecological zone. They are

nothing but small pockets of village cultures, each with its own local features. These were the communities which used the earliest iron in India. Iron technology appears to have been
239

Chakrabarti, Dilip, 1976,”The Beginning of Iron in India”, Antiquity Vol. L No. 19, pp.114-122. 54

locally developed by some of these communities which were in search of an alternative to stone or scarce copper and much scarcer bronze for better tool and implements.240 Once the technology was perfected, that is about 1000 B.C., the pattern of adoption changes. Iron objects no longer remain confined to hunting or carpentry tools. Agricultural implements come in use at most of the sites. This must have been a two way process. The priorities of the society changed and technology was ready to take up the new challenges. It was no longer a subsistence economy based on hunting and small scale agriculture. The rising demographic chart necessitated expansion. This must have exerted pressure on artisans for better tools and implements in larger quantities. Thus a qualitative and quantitative change became imminent. The archaeological data from 700-600 B.C. reflect such changes in techno-cultural features settlements pattern, economy and material life all show signs of change from this period onwards.241 Thus iron technology played important role in

transforming the sedentary agro-pastoral Neolithic-Chalcolithic folk into dynamic megalithic folk, who ultimately laid foundation for transition into Early historic period.

240

Balasubramaniam, R., 2007, “On the Steeling of Iron and the Second Urbanization of Indian Subcontinent”, Man and Environment XXXII(1): 102-107(2006), Indian Society for Prehistory and Quaternary studies, pp. 102106.
241

Chakrabarti, Dilip, 1977, “Distribution of Iron Ore and the Archeological Evidences of Early Iron in India”, JESHO Vol. 20.No. 2, pp. 166-184. 55

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