Note: No detailed references are being given in this brief report. For further information, authors may be contacted on the email IDs given

Abstract 1
Harappan Architecture and Civil Engineering
-Jagat Pati Joshi Email: rajesh_samuel@yahoo.com I propose to present the evidence of the Harappan architecture under the following scheme of chapters. Chapter I: At the outset, in the introductory, he dealt in short the main Harappan contributions for e. g., town planning drainage system, standardisation of bricks, weight and measures, geometrical instruments, granaries and hydraulic architecture. While dealing with the title of the book, it was said that the „Civil Engineering' is a broad field of engineering that deals with planning, construction, maintenance of fixed structures as related to earth water and civilization and their processes has been chosen as an „umbrella term' to denote all types of structures of Harappans. The history of discovery of Harappan civilization from 1856 to the recent years was surveyed in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent along with its various nomenclatures e.g., Indus civilization and Indus-Saraswati civilization and its extent from Sutkagendor to Hulas and Manda to Daimabad covering an area of 2.5 millions sq. kms. It flourished from 2600 BC to 1750 BC. Chapter II and III: There are about 20 sites in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent which provide a backdrop to the genesis of this greaty civilization in different ecological zones. These sites are Kiligul Mohammad, Dambsaddat, ranaghundai, Amri, Nal-Nundara, Nindovari, Edith Shahar complex in Lasbela, Balakot, Kotdiji, Mehargarh, Nausharo, Rehmandheri, Gumla, Ghazishah, Harappa, Kalibangan, Banawali, Dhalewan, Rakhigarhi, Kunal, Mithathal, Siswal and Padri. These sites have provided architectural genesis to urban revolution of the Harappans in the 3rd millennium BC. Chapter IV: The Harappan settlement patterns are distributed in different ecological zones and two river flood plains e. g, Indus and Saraswati. Lothal and Sutkagendor in coastal areas and Surkotda and Dholavira in rocky hilly areas of Kutch. These are conditioned by navigability of rivers, trade routes and accessibility to natural resources. Sizes of various Harappan settlements were discussed. The principle settlement type and their cardinal culture traits were spelt out. Amongst the important sites Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Chanudaro, Ropar, Alamgirpur, kalibangan,

Banawali, Balakot, Lothal, Rangpur, Rojdi, Prabhas Patan, Desalpur, Surkotada, Dholavira and Padri were taken up detailed description. Chapter V: The various aspects of town planning at the above sites were discussed systematically: 1. Fortification and gateways 2. Planning of the township 3. Streets 4. Drains 5. Bathing platforms 6. Platforms 7. Houses. Some outstanding buildings of the Harappan Civilization- (a) Granaries at Mohenjodaro and Harappa (b) The Great Bath of Mohenjodaro (c) Dockyard and warehouse at Lothal (d) the College Building at Mohenjodaro. Chapter VI: The Harappans were geat hydraulic engineers. They were known for well and canal irrigation. Walls at various sites, construction of check dams at Dholavira, storm water and City drainage system. The dockyard at Lothal, great Bath complex at Mohenjodaro. Chapter VII: Earlier no temples were found at Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Now at Edith Shahar complex, a ziggurat type of structure having atop a platform with drains, Dambsaddat evidence of a stone platform with drains and stone and stone cairn with a skull, Kalibangan fire altars and a sacrificial cistern with animal bones, fire altars and bathing platforms at Lothal, fire altars and apisidal temple like structures at Banawali lead to the emergence of religious architecture of Harappans. Chapter VIII: Various types of burials architectural though simple are available. Extended burials in coffins at Harappa, brick lined graves at Harappa and Lothal, Bhumigriha type burial at Kalibangan, simple memorial burials at Surkotda and Dholavira with a cairn or stone slab at the top. Chapter IX: Geometrical instruments like scales, plumb-bob, and right angles of the Harappans are remarkable, which they used for town planning. Knowledge of geometry was known. They followed decimal system. Weights and measures have binary systems. House building technology, building materials and foundation of structures as practised by Harappans was discussed besides Mortar, bonding, plaster, pavements, doors and windows and various types of kilns used by Harappans were also mentioned with details. Chapter X: Finally, deurbanized Harappans and their architecture are briefly dealt with in Sind, Punjab and western U.P. The architectural remains at Hulas, Bhagwanpura and Daimabad are dealt with.

Abstract 2
Scientific ideas and elements during First Millennium B.C and later
M.C Joshi

Email: anajajoshi@rediffmail.com

In the context of Indian antiquity, particularly around first millennium B.C, it is not easy to locate scientific ideas or scientific development in precise terms. No doubt, even in the early stages of cultural evolution, scientific nature of ideas could be located in the Vedic texts and ancient copper age remains but the growth of the scientific systems cannot be analyzed methodologically. It appears that largely scientific knowledge evolved out of the requirements of the people viz., construction techniques, metal technology, need of weighing and measuring, etc. Sometimes religious beliefs and rituals also helped the growth of a specific kind of experience pertaining to a scientific idea.

Early Sources
In the Vedic scheme of learning which survived in post-Vedic age too, we observe the traditional approach to education, comprising the following subjects: Siksha (phonetics), Kalpa (ritualistic knowledge),Vyankarana(grammer), Nirukta (etymology), Channdas (metrics) and Jyotisha (astronomy even astrology). An assessment of this scheme indicates the presence of certain scientific elements suggesting some sort of an objective view about the subjects. In the middle of the first millennium a significant development was the compilation of Sulba Sutras containing valuable information on the formulas of geometry and their application. Simultaneously, copper, iron and associated metal technology also progressed well. It appears that sometimes around fifth century B.C or before anti-religious ideas denying the existence of god, gods, rituals, sacredness of the Vedas, rebirths, etc., were propounded by a section of thinkers of the Charavaka or Lokayata school which might have helped growth of scientific ideas in the course of time. Gradually the science called Ayurveda also developed in the course of time and encouraged the analysis of human diseases with the socio- cultural growth and urban economy. Early Buddhist literature refers to Ayurvedic specialists like Jivaka who possessed knowledge about the properties of plants and trees and their use in a developed medicinal system. By about the middle of first millenium BC there was considerable advancement in iron technology as can be inferred from the objects of iron obtained from some of the Megaliths, particularly of Vidarbha and elsewhere. Perhaps there was improvement in the technique of manufacture of iron especially with the introduction of bhastra(bellow), referred to by Panini the grammarian (circa fifth century BC), in Ashtadhyayi. The use of bhastra kept the fire burning whenever required by blacksmith. Due to such improvements and other reasons iron objects seem to have been produced in abundance in comparison to other metals as can be inferred from a reference in Kautiliya'sArthasastra pertaining to the theft of objects of iron and other material. The author writes that a person found stealing articles made iron, rope or wood should be fined an amount ranging from 24 to 48 panas whereas in regard to the theft of objects made of copper, brass, bronze, glass or ivory the fine should range from 48 panas to

The same might be concluded in case the cooking utensils reflect unusual light externally and their edges bear a layer of foam. if any kind of mineral excrement (Kitta). they shriek aloud. Regarding ores obtained from plains or mountains slopes which are red or yellow in colour and marked with blue lines or have the colour of black or green beans with white spots and bear a sandy layer which on heating up do not split and emit some quantity of foam and smoke possibly of availability of the ores of gold could be there which would also be used to form amalgams with coppers and silver. having various types of colours. It is cheapness of the iron that Buddha permitted his disciples (monks) to have their begging bowls either of made of baked earth or iron. He further writes that if liquids if oozing out of pits. In the context of locating old copper and other mines Kautilya says that experts in minerals while examining the old mining sites should see. charcoal and ashes are available there. crucibles. copper or gold at the site. stand for impure and purified or refined brass. are greasy and weighty in contents or bear some sort of smell that might indicate the presence of silver. for instance he says in connection with the protection royal harem that its walls are to be plastered with a combination of mud and ashes out of a tree burnt by lightening and wetted in hail-water which cannot be destroyed by fire. He also notes that as soon as parrots. if the vegetables cooked for the king are watery and hardened and contain irregular layers of black foam and devoid of natural smell. the presence of poison in it could be inferred. He writes that king should offer before consuming his food to fire and to birds perhaps as a formal ritual. or the liquid preparation possesses different coloured streaks on the surface. Scientific ideas What is more important in the Arthasastra of Kautilya as its author's scientific approach reflected in certain chapters. If the flames and smoke turn blue or if the vapour arising out of cooked food looks like the colour of peacock's neck. Sarikas (Mynas) or bhrinjraja ( Malabar birds) have slightest feeling of the presence of a snake nearby. The presence of poison in cooked dishes is also indicated when there are circular patches of black colour on the carpets and curtains (in the kitchen) or if metallic vessel studded with gems appear tarnished. . Kautilya has also given certain formulae through which it is possible to detect the presence of poison in the food for the king. caves of mountains and deep excavations. touch and taste there could be poisonous elements in the prepared cooked meal. Possibly around fifth/fourth brass also appears to have been introduced or at least more systematically produced in India with some refinement.96panas which shows that even glass was costlier than iron in the Mauryan period. for keeping away poisonous snakes from a building he records that if it has around it plants likeJivanti ( Faederia Foetsda) Sveta (Aconitum Ferox). Kautilya calls it Karakuta and Vritti which might respectively. serpents and other poisonous insects do not enter within. Similarly. Mushka pushpa and Vandaka ( epidendrum Tesselatum) surrounded by branches of Pipal and Pejata trees.

despite the rest of the body being reduced to ashes. His most interesting observation is about examination the body of a suddenly dead person: as could be observed below: In cases of sudden death. and with face bedaubed with foam and saliva. Or the same ( undigested food) extracted from the belly is thrown into fire and. and nails with loose skin. Any dead person of similar description with marks of a bleeding bite. flesh reduced. he may be regarded as having been killed by suffocation and suppression of breathing. with eyes open. bearing swollen hands and legs. the undigested portion of meal may be (chemically) examined in milk (or in water). wetted with blood and with limbs wounded and broken.The Arthasastra also briefly suggests the methods by which it is possible to purify the metals. Or when the heart (hrydaya) of the dead remains unburnt (after cremation). may be regarded as having been poisoned. and with belly swollen. the dead man's servants and relatives may be examined as if any violent and cruel treatments they may have received at the hands the dead to ascertain the cause of death. Any dead person. may be regarded as having been killed with sticks or ropes. may be considered as having been bitten by serpents and other poisonous creatures. Any dead person. Any dead person with stiffened rectum and eyes. legs. with body spread and dress thrown out after excessive vomiting and purging. teeth. which he thought essential as a part of training for officers engaged in the administration of . Any dead person with fractures and broken limbs may be regarded as having been thrown down. then he may be declared as poisoned. Any person whose corpse is tainted with mucus and urine with organs inflated with wind. Any person with contracted arms and thighs may be regarded as having been killed by hanging. may be considered as having been killed by drowning. Kautilya terms metal extracted from mines as dhatu and for any kind of alloy he employs the term Lauha. Any dead person with dark coloured hands. may be considered as having been killed by the administration of the juice of themadana plant. These logical inferences illustrate regarding unnatural death of a person's that Kautiliya had personal experience and knowledge on various aspect of the issue. with tongue bitten between the teeth. the corpse should be smeared over oil and examined. and with neck marked with ligatures. hair fallen. if it makes „ chitchita' sound and assumes the rainbow colour. In case of death due to poison.

liksha. danda. aratni.the state.C Sircar . The details are as follows : 8 paramanus (atoms)= 1 dust particle 8 dust particles= 1 liksha 8 likshas= 1 yuka of medium size 8 yukas= 1 yava of middle size 8 yavas=1 angula 8 angulas= I dhanurmushti 4 angulas= 1 dhanurgraha 12 angulas-=1 vitasti or 1 Chhayapurusha 42 angulas=1 kishku 54 angulus= 1 hasta 2 Vistastis-=1 aratni 4 aratnis=1 danda (dhanru) 10 dandas= 1 rajju 2 rajju= 1 paridesa 3 rajjus= 1 nivartana 100 dandas( or Dhanushu) = 1 goruta (sound of cow) 4 gorutas-=1 yojana Another term for measuring distances found in early Pali literature is gavyuti. which is stated to be equal to 2 ½ Yojana. In Kautilya scheme the time measurement is divided from smallest unit to highest one. etc. vitasti. As indicated below: Paramanu. dhanusmushti. kamsa. hasta. angula. yuka. yava. According D. Scientific elements Kautilya in Arthasastra gives us idea of measurement of space and time which also been adopted by later authors with modifications. rajju.

Reckoning of the year During first millenium B. lunar (Chandra-mana) year having about 354 days.a Yojana was equal to four Krosas (9 miles) a term referred to in Asoka's inscriptions also. Details are as under: 2 trutis= 1 lava 2 lavas=1 nimesha 5 nimishas= 1 kashtha 30 kashtas=1 kala 40 kalas= 1 Nalika (of 24 minutes duration) 12 Nalikas= I muhurta 15 muhurta=1 Ahoratra (=24 hours) A Nalika was being measured by emptying one adhaka (about two kilograms) water kept in a holed pot. one Nalikas. The time was also being calculated in Kautilya's period on the basis of fluctuation in a . and Kautilya. The measurement of hasta (cubic) varied from material to material in the classification given by Kautiliya.e. krishna paksha).C three systems of reckoning the year prevailed based on the counting of the days which varied from each other. The lunar zodiac commenced in pre-Christian era with Krittika and not Asvini nakshatra. Ahoratra consisted of 15 muhurtasor of 60 Nalikas (later styled as ghatis). each lunar month ended in Amavasya (last day of the dark half i. For financial purposes Kautilya prescribes the use of lunar year with each month ending on full moon day (Paurnamasi) referred to by both Panini. as prescribed by the archaic religious tradition associated with popular beliefs.e. each month being of 30 days and Solar (Sauramana) year of about 365days. viz. with a view to maintaining the seasonal occurrence of specific festivals. which passed out through a pipe (4 angulas) attached to it in duration of about 24 minutes i.e. . yet it can be surmised that in some part of ancient India. people followed the luni-solar calendar with the introduction of an additional month every third year. Lunar zodiac or the Nakshatra system was being commonly followed by people along with tithis (days coinciding with waning and waxing of the moon) and names of the months as well as full-moon day ( Paurnamasi ) were named after certain specific nakhshastra. Savana year (of Vedic origin) comprising 360 days. Each day including night i. The lowest unit for measuring times was a truti. as even now. However.

Balance (tula) was introduced first in India only during the Harappan period and was revived with the historical urbanization. He suggests having weights only of stone and iron.Mauryan and Mauryan periods. The latter details them as below. The evolution of the system of the weights is possibly an urban phenomenon. perhaps from developed neolithic times onwards. Significant data on weights are available both in Panini's and Kautilya's works. silver and diamond and probably these could not be very minutely standardized by Kautilya who also furnishes details about specific varieties of tulas or balances with marks above. 1 Silver pana= 16 mashas (with ¼ copper or iron) Ardhapana. which if examined practically on the basis of archaeological fieldwork would indicate the correct position. The very idea of weighing seems to have begun with seeds of gunja ( Abrus Precatorius) i.. e.8 mashas =1 kakinis Ashtapadapana= 2 mashas He also writes about the composition of different coins in silver and copper. baskets or pots of different sizes might have been use which were subsequently standardized for the sake of utility. both Panini and Kautilya refer to coinage which around their times was of the punch marked variety and had different weights and sizes during pre.e. wild berry and masha ( bean or urad in Hindi) as smallest units. etc.shadow of the human body or sanku(upright fixed on the ground). .mashaka 16 silver mashakas or 10 saibya seeds= 1 dharana 20 grains of rice= 1 dharana of a diamond (piece) These weights show diversity in respect of gold.g. 20 dronas to 1 kumbha and 10 kumbhas to 1 vaha. for the purpose of exchange of articles of daily need loan of grains. on comparison with Kautilya's data.. According to Kautilya heavier weights weighed differently. Further. The following details are given by Kautilya in his Arthasastra: 10 seeds of masha ( Phraseolus Radiatus) = 5 gunjas (Abrus Precatorius) 5 seeds of gunjas = 1 Suvurna (gold) mashaka 16 Survarna mashakas= 1 survarna or karsha 4 Karshas= 1 Palas 88 White mustard seeds= 1 silver. 16 drona being equal to one khari. Initially.

Paulisa and Surya. Aryabhatta's main contribution was his theory propounding that it is the earth which moves round the sun and not otherwise as most ancient Indian scholars even a later astronomer like Bhaskaracharya continued to believe. Vasishta was an improvement on Paitamaha school and others are mostly influenced by foreign traditions of astronomy with some kind of improvements. As a sequel Indian astronomy as also astrology with a blend of eastern and western system assumed a unique character. Brahmagupta was a follower of old Paitamaha school of astronomy and was the author of Brahmasuphta Siddhanta and a Karana(astronomical) text called Khandana-KhandaKhadya. This had an astronomical base and astrological use and continues even now throughout the country. is the contribution of ancients in the field of astronomy after the beginning of Christian era as result of India's contact with the Hellenistic people especially the Roman world. Romaka. Brahmagupta. Hindu calendar called Panchanga or almanac with five main elements. He also explained scientific reasons for the occurrence of eclipses and introduced the system of assigning each Sanskrit alphabet a numerical value. Paitamaha. however. Vasishta. Aryabhatta's calculated the circumference of the earth as the 4967 yojanas. With such . viz. a well-known American scholar says that Indian also adapted several other feature of Yavana-Jyotisha connected with Babylonian. a pupil of Aryabhatta and was known for his astronomical text calledSishyadhivriddhi following the theories and system of his teacher to a great extent. each with a separate constellation.Siddhanta . Equally interesting development can be noticed in ancient Indian medical and surgical treatises like Charaka and Susruta Samhitas and later text dealing with rasadi prescriptions including use of mercury which helped the growth of alchemy amongst Indian physicians along with the Siddha system of medicine. Lalla and Varahamihara. which was not basically much different fromNakshatra (lunar zodiac) system divided into twenty-seventy or twenty-eight signs in accordance with the movement of the moon. Aryabhatta I. The first one represented the traditional Vedanga Jyotisha system. His work on algebra is regarded as very important in the annals of Indian mathematics. In the present context we would like mention four great Indian astronomer's of the Gupta period.Other Developments Most notable. Most popular astronomer as well as astrologer was Varahemihara who is most well known for hisPanchasiddhantika containing different theories propounded by five school of Indian astronomy. In the Solar zodiac.. which was helpful in developing a new kind of. Egyptian and Greeko-Roman traditions. the nakshatrsas were divided into twelve signs (Rasis) in relation to their motion around the Sun. The third master of astronomy was Lalla.. (circa fifth and sixth century AD) viz. Two principal astronomical elements were introduced from the Occidental world into India under the influence of Yavana acharyas (Hellisnisic scholars on astronomy) included the idea of week-days based on planetary system and Solar zodiac represented in twelve Rasis. David Pongree.

river.S. The Indians were the first in the world to produce zinc at commercial scale at Zawar between 12th and 18thcentury. Its boiling point (907°C) is lower than at the temperature it could be smelted. Stray examples of brasses containing appreciable amount of zinc are claimed to have occurred for several centuries before irrefutable evidence of use of metallic zinc appeared on the scene around 300 BC from Asia Miner and Taxila. or canal by circulating there a huge wheel vertically with pots tied to its spokes was called araghatta. hence it is a difficult metal. in connection with the assessment of gems. features for water divining and treatment of animals and trees. Mukerjee thinks of Greek origin and who are bracketted with degraded Kshatriyas by Manu. Research Center for Humanity and Nature. It is likely that both their devices might have been imported from outside of India Some scientific elements can also be traced in Brihatsamhita of Varahamihara. The vapour of zinc or white . Japan Email:harakwal@rediffmail.N. Kautilya makes a reference to water-lift ( Srota yantra pravartiman ) which appears like Pur (in Hindi) or Charasoperated on a slope through bullocks. Kautilya also thinks in terms of measuring the rain fall on the basis of water collected at a place. Kyoto. It is likely that mercury was brought to India by some people known as Paradas whom Prof B. was the ghati-yantra which operated inside a well through a chain of pots by converting horizontal force vertically for the movement of potted chain which is described as Mundamala in motion within a well. The Amarkosa. It is stated that Buddhist monk Siddha Nagarjuna (second-third century or even later AD) was an outstanding expert in alchemy.com There has been considerable confusion about the beginning and regular production of metallic zinc and brass. Zinc ores are profusely found in several parts of the world often with lead. In the later history there are many more points connected with scientific developments. Abstract 3 Zinc Production in Ancient India J. Lastly we may like to refer to certain mechanical contrivances used for raising the water for tanks. which we do not want to touch at this stage. However significant. discharging nectar like water in a fifth century inscriptions. makes a reference to both of them. It comes out in vapour form and gets reoxidised or adheres in small amount in the cooler areas of the furnace. which has been recorded in several ancient literary works. Unlike most other metals it doesn't descend in the form of molten metal and can not be collected as ingots from furnaces. The other device for raising water from a plain surface like that of tank.development a belief became common that base metals can be turned into gold with the employment of mercury and youth can be regained once it is lost. the Sanskrit lexicon of the sixth century AD. wells etc. but being very reactive the metal is not found in the native or virgin form. Kharakwal.

use of metals in medicines the Indians were able to condense the vapour of zinc at least from 8th century onwards. called distillation/ condensation was also required. Such houses normally face the valley. Hence India contributed the idea of high temperature pyrotechnology as well as technique of metallic zinc to the world of science. China started producing metallic zinc on commercial scale in 16th century. Chapter 6 deals with the conclusion of zinc production in the old world. ancient smelting technique. besides constant control over temperature. To obtain metallic zinc a special technique i. Therefore the regular production of this notorious metal begun very late as far as the history of metals is concerned. Under the constraints of mountainous topography. most of the residential houses are built in the linear formation on terraces. people of the western Himalayan interiors. deep in the Ravi Valley of Chamba. The houses of higher caste people are generally clustered apart from the houses of lower . Abstract 4 Traditional Technology in Himalayan Architecture (A Case study of Gaddi Domestic Architecture) O. Due to its volatility it could not be obtained through direct smelting in simple furnaces as used for copper. Ironically. having an independent cooking place.e. Zinc ores are found across the country and in several parts of the world but it was only at Zawar we have solid evidence of their mining. development of zinc production on industrial scale and possible diffusion of idea of high temperature distillation to other parts of the world. The first chapter of my book deals with confusion about the early examples of zinc. on each floor in a multi-storey house (a Gaddi house in normally of three or more storey) clearly reflects the casual manner in which a house is built. iron. but equally rustic. C. The traditional Gaddi house is literally a primitive and rustic type of structures. Their enchanting homeland.com The Gaddis are the most interesting and enchanting. The second chapter deals with beginning of zinc and brass in different parts of the world with special reference to India. lead or silver. The one-room multipurpose dwelling unit for each household.clouds dissolves into copper. is known as the Gadderan. against such residential structures. which truly reflects their transhumant psychology. Therefore chapter 3 and 4 have been devoted to distribution of ores and mining respectively. in case it is not allowed to reoxidise. Chapter 5 deals with metallurgy of zinc. the wooden and stone temples of Gadderan area are some of the finest and the ancient-most examples of the classical architecture in the entire Himalayan region. With long experience of pyrotechnologies and distillation processes. Handa Email: oc_handa@hotmail. almost three hundred years later than India. The Indian technology was perhaps first transmitted to China in 16th century and later on to England in 18th century. Therefore this book is focused on zinc production in ancient India.

The Great Bath of . In most of the town the sewage water flowed separately. wooden plank flooring is provided. At times. despite the fact that it has to withstand high wind pressure. The Harappans took care so that sewage and drainage water did not mix up with the potable water. gaps between the stones are filled with mud and cow-dung mixture.castes. On one corner of the obra. This time-tested but casual style of preparing foundation is typical to the Gadderan territory.com The most remarkable thing about the Harappan was their water management. calledmanjhi. The foundation of a house rarely goes beyond 30 centimeters in the ground even for a multi-storey house. For making them. calledkhalyan. Sometimes. which are generally residential. The flooring of obra. One of the significant features of house construction in the Gadderan area is that no skilled or unskilled labor is employed from outside the community. which defines the thickness of wall. is accomplished through the customary community participation. Over such foundation. Each house in the Gadderan has a slate-paved open thrashing yard. Every house had a privy and a bathroom. Abstract 5 Harappan Hydraulic structures RS Bisht Email: contact@vs-india. but only a small entrance door (dwari) on the ground floor (obra). placed over the thick wooden roofing-planks. (the ground floor used as byre and store) is made of rough flat stones. 40 centimeters width and 4 centimeters thickness are placed on edge on the two sides with a gap of about 40 centimeters. heavy snowstorms and tremors. thick and roughly hewn wooden planks (thathars) of about 45 centimeters length. The roofing is of the thick slates. The intervening space is packed with dry irregular stone pieces. These pillars are known as thethatharas. Mohenjodaro alone had 700 wells. rough wooden box-like pillars are raised. and out of sight. Such wall is called as the farque wall. At times. Entire building construction work. the gaps between the thatharas are covered with the thick and roughly hewn wooden planks. Thus. The traditional Gaddi house has no window. paran or sanari is provided to reach the upper floor through a trapdoor. stepladder. made of the framework of wooden battens and stone fillings. For potable water they used both water harvesting devices and wells. is also provided between the thatharas. defined by a parapet wall. The traditional Gaddi house is not an impressive structure. Large and heavy stone slabs are packed together in the foundation. called the chobu. the second floor is the bhor and the third floor is the mandeh. On the upper floors. The first floor is called obri. the multi-storied Gaddi house looks more a mini-castle than a dwelling house. dhajji wall. including most of the woodwork. but it is very functional and structurally sound.

The open shaft in the centre sets up an air circulation which allows cold air to sink and hot air to escape. The Great Bath of . they did not have the same uniform plan. At Banawali the whole complex was fortified and surrounded by a moat. pyrotechnolgy etc. It is remarkable to note that despite 700 years of occupation the streets did not have a single encroachment structure. violent Indus river. For potable water they used both water harvesting devices and wells. There was a huge drain take away surplus rain water.8 m in width. Bisht calculates that the reservoirs stored not less than 250. Most elaborate water harvesting system was that of Dholavira where 16 water reservoirs covered about 17 hectares area. for example while Mohenjodaro and Kalibangan and to some extent Nausharo had similar town plans.000 cubic meters inside the city. metallurgy. There were double storied or triple storied houses with additional floors below the roof. hydraulics. transport. I think that though there was a town plan. most others differ from each other. The only advantage of it was that it was located on the intersection of land and marine routes. the floor was made of bricks set on edge in gypsum mortar and behind the facing brick was an inch thick damp proof bitumen held by a further wall of bricks which was in turn retained by mud bricks packed between on outer brick wall. The Harappans took care so that sewage and drainage water did not mix up with the potable water. The use of mud bricks was more extensive. ceramic technology. The entrance was enough to lead in a bullock cart. lapidary crafts. The narrowest of it was 1.Mohenjodaro was a marvel of water engineering. The lanes and streets followed the ratio of 1:2:3:4. There was extensive use of burnt bricks at Mohenjodaro but at other sites burnt bricks were used where there was wear and tear due to water or heavy use. Mohenjodaro alone had 700 wells. To safeguard the town and its structures from flood they raised massive platforms. which could have required about 400 days of labour of 10. Every house had a privy and a bathroom. Mohenjodaro is located on the floodplain of the tremendously powerful. ABSTRACT 6 Harappan Technology and its Legacy D P Agrawal I present here an overview of the Harappan technology covering architecture. In most of the town the sewage water flowed separately.000 men which is thus a massive effort. Generally there was an open courtyard with rooms surrounding it. Hydraulic structures The Harappan water management was unprecedented in the whole world.

They probably also invented rotary mills. Transport A civilization requires an efficient use of energy in the form of cattle power or wind power or sailing boats.000 cubic meters of water inside the city. They used a variety of stones for making beads. In the older system of chattack and seers we still followed the binary system. steatite. They developed circular saws. Especially in Gujarat. They perhaps joined metal by using rivets. Bisht calculates that the reservoir stored not less than 250. There . The use of lathe is doubtful.Mohenjodaro was a marvel of water engineering where the floor was made of bricks set on edge in gypsum mortar and behind the facing bricks was an inch thick damp proof bitumen held by a further wall of bricks which was in turn retained by mud bricks packed between an outer brick wall. they also made black & red pottery by controlling the supply of oxygen. Bead workshops have been found in Chanhudaro and Lothal. Bead making and shell making industry still thrive in Gujarat. There are clay models of boats recorded at Lothal and Mohenjodaro has boats depicted on stone seals. They used cold and hot working of metal forging. They etched beads by making patterns in alkali paste.6 gm. Innovations The Harappans were great innovators. Most elaborate water harvesting system was that of Dholavira where 16 water reservoirs covered about 17 hectares area. probably the drew wire also. They invented tools for survey. Their smallest division was of 1. fine tubular drills and needles with holes at the pointed ends. faience and siliceous faience. The weights followed binary system.7 mm which is ten times smaller than the angula of Arthasastra. even the concept of town planning was a Harappan contribution. There was huge storm water drain. The smallest unit is equivalent to 13. Lapidary Crafts The Indus people began bead making on artificial materials such as talc paste. Ceramics The Harappans made wheel thrown red slipped pottery with motifs in black. The higher weights follow the decimal system. The brick sizes follow a ratio of 1:2:4. true saws. They could use cire perdue techniques of casting. They have used two units of length. Shell was used both for masking bangles though it is very hard material to cut. a short foot of 35 cm and a cubit of 52 cm. The Harappans believed in planning and in standardisation There streets had widths in multiples of one unit. Metallurgy The Harappans could smelt even sulphide ores.

Golkonda fort and Bijapur fort have been described with respect to their design and possible method of construction. Another class of large iron objects that demand critical attention are the large forge-welded canons. namely wootz steel and swords manufactured out of them. smelting was perhaps done by tribal people of Rajasthan. their structures and artefacts do not exhibit the megalomania of the Egyptians. Balasubramaniam Email: Bala@iitk. Jhansi fort. The well-known example of the Delhi iron pillar will be briefly mentioned.ac.in The glorious tradition of iron making in India has been well researched in the recent past and Professor Vibha Tripathi has detailed a comprehensive history of iron technology in the Indian sub-continent. Abstract 8 A Comprehensive History of Iron in India . Mandu and Kodachadri hills. they used tin alloying in the range of 1-12 %. Bishnupur. which were introduced in India by the European colonial powers. The talk will finally touch upon the third example of the marvel of Indian iron metallurgy. There are several notable examples of large iron objects and the talk with highlight these metallurgical marvels. Abstract 7 Marvels of Indian Iron through Ages R. The issues discussed in the talk will form the basis of the book that is currently in the final stages of preparation. with specific reference to large objects that still exist in different part of the subcontinent. Though Harappan architecture can also be called monumental in many ways. Mesopotamians and the Chinese. Konarak. Salient features of wootz steel have been described and the thermomechanical processing of the wootz cakes into tough swords have been highlighted from a metallurgical viewpoint bringing out the skill and workmanship of the Indian blacksmiths. yet retaining its malleability. The wonderful forge-welded iron canons at Thanjavur. The engineering features of these objects have been described in detail including their history. Special attention will be drawn on other large iron pillars like the ones that exist at Dhar. Nickel was used for making shining surfaces and lead for improving casting. For hardening copper. water rituals raised platforms etc. It appears that though they could make good furnaces.are very few examples of hot joining and soldering. The forge-welded canons are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent unlike the cast iron canons. The presentation will highlight the marvels of Indian iron through ages. arsenic alloying 1-5%. the Harappans melted early ingots. The Harappan monumental architecture was more like public works for water harvesting.

Thus India may be given the credit of being the first country to master the complex technique to extract metallic zinc on an industrial scale. This was a practice that continued well up to the 19th century. This is fully borne out by the records of foreign travellers and historians who visited country from time to time. Some of the highlights of these ventures into the field of metallurgy are: the mastery in metal casting technique including the complex cire perdue process in the 3rd millennium BCE is perceptible in the Harappan dancing girl. iron and zinc exhibit an unparalleled expertise in metal extraction and forging. Equally intriguing are the large beams at the Sun temple at Konark which dates back to the 9th -10th century. Zinc could not be extracted in Europe even upto the 19th century. these are examples testify to the large scale of iron production and forging which in turn is testmony of presence of a well organised systems capable of turning out tones of iron as early as begining of the Chritian era. manipulate and transform materials into new forms. by the 12th13th century AD.5th century AD). For example. In the subsequent period. It has withstood the ravages of time for centuries. The technique adopted by them was such that either it slowed down the rusting significantly or it almost stopped it once the oxide layer was formed.co. Herodotus mentions iron arrowheads being used by the fighting army in the battle of Thermopylae in 5th century BCE. In the subsequent centuries. It was being exported to various parts of the world. Arrian mentions about import of Indian steel to Abyssinian ports. The ingenuity and the innovative spirit of the metal workers is well evidenced in the techniques of manufacturing iron and steel at early date. This property has earned it the title of the Rustless Wonder by T. the heavy tools and implements of the Copper Hoards in the Gangetic Plains in circa 2000-1500 BCE. as also the iron pillar at Dhar in central India. Ananthraman. Quintus Curtis records that in northwestern India Alexander was presented as a tribute100 talents (30 pounds) of Indian steel in the form of ingots along with gold dust and other precious items in 326 BC as a tribute. R. it was produced through distillation at an industrial level as indicated by the heaps of retorts found in the Zawar region of Rajasthan. An important example in the case is the . an eminent metallurgist of modern India. No wonder that the skill and the expertise could easily be exploited by the state machinery during the medieval times for manufacturing cannons that adorn several important buildings today. the Daimabad bronzes. Iron indeed appears to be a prized commodity in the ancient times. It may be interesting to state that the British rated Indian iron much higher and considered it more appropriate than the iron produced by their own units for manufacturing bridges etc. Besides the quality of iron.Vibha Tripathi Email: vibha_aihc@yahoo. Thus Indian iron was a commodity worth presenting to a monarch way back in the 5th -4th century BC! In the following centuries the mastery of the craft exhibits itself in the form of colossal structures like the seven ton iron pillar at Delhi (4th . Almost simultaneously Ktesias gratefully acknowledged the gift of swords of Indian steel made to him by the king and his at the Persian court mother. These Greek and Roman records.in The history of metal technology is a success story of human endeavour to control. thus bear a testimony to the importance of iron and steel in India and importantly enough also to the fact that it was very much in demand in the ancient world. while its antiquity in India can be traced back 4th -3rd century BCE.

there must have been a theoretical basis for the craft but the formulation has got lost in due course of time. because of a general lack of systematic practice of documentation. Secondly. It is high time that a comprehensive history of iron technology in India is written covering all its aspects. and these craftsmen had little contact with the elite class of scholars. Several efforts have been made to reproduce it without much success. It became the vocation of the groups who were forest dwellers for practical reasons like proximity to the raw material. Wootz. generally known as Damascus steel was originally produced in India at around the beginning of the Christian era or may be even earlier. this is a fact that has rarely been brought to the notice in the publications on the subject. At least this was so in the initial stages. Later on at a subsequent stage such social groups got identified with iron working. 1918). and Vikramshila housed thousands of books as also the private collections were vandalized leading to an irreversible and permanent loss of scientific knowledge in India. Wootz was being exported to the outside world through important ports of the ancient times. La Touché. The task is a difficult one indeed. This also dispels the notion these skills were confined to a class or a caste based reservation and other restrictions associated with it. Despite such a glorious past of iron technology in India. Greaco-Roman world. one wonders about the inadequate researches about Indian iron and steel. that at the time when the Britannia tubular bridge across the Menai Straits was under construction preference was given to the use of iron produced in India" (T. Stray references to texts on iron metallurgy prove this point beyond doubt. Nalanda.D. It is quite another matter that metallurgy as a very specialised skill came to be associated with a group of people and who got identified with trade subsequently.. Africa. There could be two reasons for it – firstly. It is categorically stated ". But the Indian contribution to this technology needs to be explored and given its due place. However. The mastery displayed by the examples mentioned above. several volumes dealing with history of iron metallurgy do not have even a word about ancient Inida's crucial contribution to this technology. It has been recorded that 50tonnes of Indian steel have been used in construction of the famous London bridge. This proves beyond doubt that iron was being imported from India by the 19th century Britain for crucially important purposes as Indian steel was considered to be superior. metallurgy was a practical skill in the hands of a group of craftsman living in the remote areas rich in ores and forests for charcoal – the source of energy.H.Its (iron's) superiority is so marked. There is very little knowledge available on the scientific basis of Indian metallurgy. Presence of damascened swords and daggers in so many important collections in different parts of the world is sufficient to prove both its importance as well as the scale of its production and its extensive distribution at a fairly early date. The history of iron technology of Mesopotamia. It is this distant ethnic group that . The forging technique of this steel is still an enigma to the modern metallurgists.K. a very special kind of crucible steel. They developed a social and cultural system of their own. are fairly well documented and thereby better known to the students of history of technology. makes it improbable that such high standards of metal technology could have been achieved without a scientific basis behind it.. China etc. The oral tradition of knowledge transmission and the frequent destructions of manuscripts at educational centres by invaders in the early centuries of the medieval period have led to this vacuum.famous 'tubular bridge' built in the early parts of the 19th century across the Menai Straits in U. Centres of knowledge such as at Taxila.

This has to be attempted at several stages of cultural growth. By the 4th-5th century AD iron production was sufficiently developed. and radiocarbon dating of recently excavated sites in India one needs to take a fresh look at the issue of origin of iron in India The other important issue that one needs to focus upon is the role of iron in cultural changes. Wootz steel became an important and a prized commodity all over the world. Whatever little remains with them today. We need to review and interface the productivity. and the technology. It also proposes to look into the causes of its decline. it may be possible to bring out several hitherto unknown or half known facets of history of iron technology in India. In which part of the subcontinent did iron first appear? How did the metallurgy of iron develop? What are the various stages of its development? Why despite several attempts has it not been possible for the modern metallurgists to unravel the mystery of technique of wootz steel forging? When was the impact of iron felt and why was it so slow to reflect itself in the socio-economic milieu? What was the pattern of adaptation of iron technology in the early society? The interface of technology and society is yet to be examined and evaluated in all its dimensions. Though an effort is made to take care to collect as much information as possible up to the British period. The book proposes to cover a long period of history spanning over several millennia – from emergence of iron in the second millennium BCE to the present day survival of the tradition. Metallurgy in India during this period attained an unparalleled status. but at times the treatment of the subject may not be as comprehensive. The earlier contention of diffusion of iron has been questioned in light of new discoveries. The . The present volume of History of Science and Technology in India proposes to undertake the examination ofvarious dimensions of iron technology in India. The recent archaeological discoveries attribute the first emergence of iron to the copper using societies in different parts of the subcontinent.possesses this knowledge till date and they carry the legacy of the past practice of iron working.advancement. and its pattern of adaptation.right from its beginning through the stages of its development to the stage of its highest achievement and to its eventual decline. We are faced with several questions that need attention. All this should be examined in detail to be able to answer questions that still tend to crop up. It is important to delve deep into its production and distribution mechanism. It needs to be thoroughly investigated. The status of metallurgy at various stages ofdevelopment has to be defined and the adaptation pattern has to be studied in its proper cultural context. The causes responsible for the decline of a flourishing iron industry in India have to be looked into. Its impact on society was indeed slow. It was organized enough to produce colossal structures like the Delhi iron pillar. like: how and under what circumstances the metallurgy was discovered? Whether technology of iron was obtained through outside contacts or whether it evolved out of the existing knowledge of metal craft . Iron metallurgy had a prolonged incubation period. With new researches in the field of archaeometallurgy. as would be desirable because of unavailability of necessary archival material. many of them not tapped so far. needs to be preserved and documented lest it gets lost forever.is an issue that is still debated. The present study proposes to address such unresolved issues related to early Indian iron technology. Through a critical evaluation of sources.

Ancient ceramics from Syria. east of Karachi . The writings of Istakhari and Ibn Haukal in 951 AD describe it as an important port. The sword of Tipu Sultan was an enigma and is almost like a legend today. In the subsequent times. The gulf trade has been frequently mentioned in various texts. especially. Broach) right up to the peninsular India (Coromandel. Although it has not been possible to get a detailed inventory of the commodities that were being traded.37) Al Masudi. Upto the 11th . South-East Asia and also Africa. In the early medieval ages India carried out trade with Iran. It is the place where River Narmada meets the sea. the Chinese and Arabs frequentaly visited the Indians ports. A large number of port towns from Sind (Bambhore) in present day Pakistan through those in central – western parts of India (Gulf of Cambay. However. Even the Chinese Chau Ju Kua (8th century AD) talks of import of steel rods (ingots?) from India through sea during the early medieval period. drugs. Anga (Bhagalpur in Bihar) were centres of steel making. lead and solid steel (ingots?). I p. also of the 10th century AD. There are references of rich Indian traders living in Mesopotamia. The latter has praised the swords made at Debal in Sind. with China. As the iron technology attains maturity.the Periplus refers to it as Barbaricum and Ptolemy as Barbari. This was an active and busy port at least from the 1st to 13th century AD.developments and innovations through the medieval and the British periods are recorded in the contemporary writings and they may provide valuable insights into the subject.12th century AD. Any history of technology should incorporate such observations made by the experts in the field dealing with the strength and weakness of the indigenous system of iron . All this has to be examined at various nodal points of cultural development right up to the early-medieval and medieval times and even beyond. Right from the ancient times India carried out overland and sea trade with west Asia. Vanga (Bengal). (HIED. Banbhore or Bambhore was a busy ancient port on the river Indus in Sind. tin. Such a well-established trade in this region must have provided incentive to the iron and steel industry of India. Kaveripattanam etc. India received gold in return. Idrisi makes a specific reference to purchase of Indian steel swords. cotton cloth. It has been studied. appreciated and criticized by the British engineers for its strengths and weaknesses. it manifests unparalleled mastery. up to pre-modern age. and Al Beruni have mentioned Broach as an important port. It was located 40 km. spices. precious stones. The dynamics of distribution and dispersal of commodities. There is every likelihood that steel must have been an important export item. Iraq (ancient Mesopotamia). the Gulf of Cambay has been rated as a beautiful and the safest sea-port by Al Idrisi. Agnipurana mentions that Soppora (Shurpârak).) were busy ports. Indian ships brought back horses and exported copper. One wonders as to how did it find its way in to the world market. and as mentioned above. Puranas make frequent references to sea – faring traders. China. Likewise. Gujarat. Indonesia. but the fact that Sind. Susa and Iran have been found there. as late as the British period the indigenous industry was in a flourishing state. a prized commodity like the Indian steel is a subject that needs to be enquired into. There were wellestablished port towns in ancient India that find mention in literature from time to time. The historian of medieval times. The British engineers and geologists have taken pains to study Indian iron metallurgy. Bengal and Bihar and the Peninsular India were famous for their steel. Kachch. Coachin. timber and leather goods and other luxury items. in the subsequent times the reasons of a virtual disappearance at and a general decline of iron working need to be investigated. especially for the highly acclaimed sword that they produced.

firstly. Barni describes slave market in Delhi.en masse leaving their professions and belongings behind.. It is significant indeed in view of the fact that it has always been believed that metallurgy in India was only a craft being practiced by the artisans. It scans through the issue of emergence of iron in the Indian subcontinent sometime in the 2nd millennium BCE and the process of metallurgical development through the centuries. having a large repercussion adversely affecting the production force of the society.. Qutubuddin Aibak's invasion of Gujarat (1195 AD) netted him 20. The history of iron technology has many facets within the period ranging from the Imperial Guptas to the mighty Moghuls.000 slaves. It was a period when several monumental edifices of the ancient times were demolished.000 slaves were brought under chain' (Nizami. He even mentioned a couple of other texts. knowledge. the Shahi Karkhanas were established. The values seem to be redefined as evidenced in the production of such monumental structures. Under the Muslim law slaves are saleable. including the iron pillar at Dhar. At the same time there is also an attempt to take a look at the status of iron technology during the early medieval period. which had been composed earlier. Instead of victory pillars and tributes to the deities and shrines. arms and armours assumed greater importance. The atrocities on hapless common men turned them into hopeless poor wretches fleeing for their lives. Habib speaks of a decline in the slavery after 14th century due to "availability of cheaper free labour in such crafts and professions. It was under such circumstances that villagers started fleeing their homes. perhaps the tallest of its kind in the world. They were not only devastating. but brutal to the extent that entire populations were captured and made slaves. It was needed to assist the military to equip the forces for incessant wars that were being raged. 90). it clearly demonstrates that iron had acquired the status of a full-fledged science by the 10th –11th Century AD or may be even earlier. No doubt the exodus included artisan class also. The present volume attempts to undertake a rather difficult task of surveying a long span of time of history of iron technology in India. and incentives in such a milieu. During the Moghul period. Firuz Tughluq enslaved 12. quoted by Habib 1984. But presence of three-four treatises on such a complex technology. The artisans were commissioned to produce these to their utmost capacity. To strengthen the Moghul arsenal. However. Whether the technological processes were influenced and affected by such upheavals of history is an issue that is proposed to be examined here." created for the nobility. highlights the great importance attributed to iron technology and secondly. This practice must have hit the Indian socio-economic set up. It is unfortunate that these texts have not been recovered so far. . There were changes in the socio-political milieu during different cultural stages. employing large number of the artisans.working. The medieval period was an age of expansion and consolidation of power on the one hand and of deconstruction of the basic structure of the Indian society on the other. It may be worth underlining here this interesting fact that King Bhoja of Dhar composed a treatise on iron manufacturing in the 10th –11th Century AD. Seven years later (1202 AD) he raided Kalinjar and '50. The Mohammdan invasions in the 12th –13th centuries AD had far-reaching consequences on Indian social system. At the same time it was an age of reorganization of techno-cultural forces. It is futile to talk of innovation creativity.000 artisans (1351-88).

led to exploitation and misery of the artisan class. Many scholars have deliberated upon the causes of decline of once flourishing iron working in recent years. archaeological and technological evidence. especially to cast cannons. subdued and pathetic social group working under stress and fear. Such observations have been made by several foreign travellers of the medieval period. It will deal with the circumstances and date of the first recognition of iron as a metal and pattern of its utilization at the early stage of occurrence of iron. the industry did flourish. But surprisingly such efforts to establish manufactories to produce iron on a mass scale in those factories fell apart. An effort has also been made to locate the surviving strands of once flourishing indigenous iron industry. It also identifies the earliest appearance of iron in India. It will also be explored if there is a possibility of revival of the surviving tradition and if there is any hope of resurgence of its glorious past. A failure of mass production units resulted in experimentations with coke in some of the British establishments. The incidental production of iron as an outcome of earlier metallurgies of copper and lead has been discussed. Chapter II 'Incidence of Iron in Bronze Age' makes a brief survey of the emergence of iron in ancient world civilizations. dealt the final below to the staggering indigenous iron technology. Was it due to a colonial design? Was it the consequence of a lack of innovation and will? Were the caste barriers and indifference of social hierarchy responsible for alienation of the ironworkers? We propose to examine these issues in some detail in an independent chapter in the present volume. In course of time. The bronze cannons of the earlier times were replaced by iron ones. This has been discussed on the basis of literary. But in those parts where a better organizational set up was created. the Persians continued to flock the port-towns for the prized steel of India right up to the 16th – 17th Century AD. which was already a demoralised lot. The initial appreciation and import led to efforts towards innovations.experts in firearms were invited even from West Asian Countries. The Dutch. The creative urges of the general artisan class gave way to a harassed. The study is divided into eight chapters including the present one. the unchecked power invested in the officials of the period. the Portuguese. What could be the possible reasons of such failures? Was it due to the technical reasons at early stages of coke-based industry? Or was there something in the dynamics of the raw material availability and utilization scheme that could not be grasped? Alternatively. How and under what conditions iron was first recognized in India? Was it brought in through diffusion or did it have an independent origin or was it chance discovery arrived at while working with other metals. was the appropriate technology of India more suited to the local techno-cultural environment? These questions need to be examined closely here. It is at this point of time that the British stepped in. The rich records left behind by them bear testimony to it. All the production centres had to be closed down within a few decades of their inception. however. The Indian iron and steel industry almost immediately caught the attention of the British. The . Chapter III is 'Origin and Dispersal of Iron in India'. Eventually an export of ore and import of finished pig iron from Britain was considered to be more viable and economically advantageous venture by the British government in India. This.

However. from crude slag-rich wrought iron to rich steely iron. its production increase manifold. The related issues have been looked into in this chapter. The Islamic invasions plundered many of these edifices and changed the direction of iron production suited only for the production of arms and armaments. middle and late phases of Iron Age in India. The causes of decline. The artisans contributed to meet the growing demand of steel during this phase. The early iron using cultures have been classified under several zones because of their cultural and geographical affinities. Chapter VII is 'Survival and Revival of Indigenous Iron Industry'. especially to meet the growing need for the railways. The process of metallurgical developments continued right upto the early medieval times as will be demonstrated by the present study. The ethnographic evidence throws a welcome light on a continued tradition of iron smelting. It was a household industry prevalent among these ethnic societies for generations. The bloomery furnaces of the 4th – 5th centurie AD could produce iron of uniform quality to build seven-ton iron pillar that adorns the Qutub Minar complex at Delhi even today. Cannons and firearms came to be produced on a large scale. Chapter VI is 'Iron in the British India'. especially near the iron ore deposits. What is the status of the art today? It is a question that needs to be examined. They made a thorough study of indigenous iron and industries functioning in different parts of India. To them iron working is not only a profession. Stages of development of metallurgy are perceptible in archaeological data that has been identified as early. Thus has been amply borne out by the medieval records by Muslim and European scholars of that age. Both the types of production centres have been studied and their strengths and weaknesses have been assessed in the course of our examination. The status of metallurgy can be reconstructed on the basis of literary accounts belonging to different cultural periods as well as analytical studies of archaeological samples. however this decline set in at this juncture of Indian history. forging in remote areas of the country. From the Himalayan region to peninsular India one may come across numerous tribal iron working communities. Gradually. The Agaria and Asur tribes have operated small sized clay furnaces. the condition of artisans themselves started deteriorating under an unsympathetic state. Later on several such massive structures came to be used in the monumental structures like temples or making victory pillars. Chapter IV is 'Iron in Ancient India: From Wrought Iron to Steel'. They even tried to establish their own factories. This has a far-reaching significance. The next chapter is entitled 'From the Imperial Guptas to Mighty Moghuls: Status of Iron upto the Medieval Period'. not only did the quality of iron and steel improve. it is more of a religion to them. It focuses on development of iron metallurgy. The last chapter summarizes and critically evaluates the significant findings of the . viz. Their non-Aryan affiliations have also been underlined by scholars.recent archaeological discoveries and new14C dates throw fresh light on origin of iron in India. the condition of the artisan and their craft has been dealt with in detail. The indigenous iron worker could produce excellent quality steel that caught attention of the British. Once metallurgy came of age.

Abstract 10 ARCHAEOMETALLURGY OF EASTERN INDIA Pranab K. Our preliminary explorations clearly show that such hydraulic structures are examples of great ingenuity of the ancient people and are intricate models of architecture. Through this study. the Infinity Foundation and the Centre for Civilisational Studies.com Archaeometallurgy is a rapidly growing discipline worldwide. they made use of particular types of clay to purify and retain water. With the increase in population. In the course of millennia. We therefore propose to document and unravel the technology used in such secular architecture. on one hand the demand for water is increasing. we need to study their architecture and original technology. and on the other. Today's real need is to preserve our traditional water harvesting structures. but very little on secular architecture and water related structures. It is however sad to note that even the historians of technology have somehow ignored this valuable scientific heritage of the Central Himalayas. Such a study when completed will have considerable relevance not only to the history of traditional technology but also to environmental conservation. I am aware of the valuable efforts of the Indian Science Academy. This discipline has . I propose to survey. This traditional hydraulic technology therefore needs urgently addressed to.study. yet this type of architecture has not yet received the attention it deserves. the hilly people learnt and devised techniques to locate sources of perennial springs with the help of some diagnostic plants. such old water structures are in a state of negligence. document and study such ancient hydraulic structures and their technology.com There is quite a bit of literature on temple architecture and iconography of the Central Himalayas. Delhi towards the reconstruction of India's History of Science and Technology. Even if we want to revive them. We found that both domestic and hydraulic architecture attained great heights in traditional technology. Abstract 9 Traditional Hydraulic Technology of Central – Western Himalayas Pankaj Goyal Email: pglokvigyankendra@rediffmail. they also used various techniques like copper plates to purify water. Chattopadhyay Email: chattopadhyaypranab@rediffmail.

The mineral resources in this part of the subcontinent are extremely rich. In Indian subcontinent a number of research works dealing with metal technology or cultural metallurgy have been published in last five decades. The washing was carried out in rectangular vats in which gold particles were separated from heavier minerals. Bhardwaj's work on various Aspects of Ancient Indian Technology (1979). R. The environment in the wooded plateaus of Chotanagpur and its fringe areas in Chhattisgarh. and the Kumari etc. C. M. A. The two different watersheds that feed the states of Bihar and West Bengal are from the Himalayas and the Chotanagpur plateau. the Jonk. The typologies of initial metal objects clearly indicate the developmental stages of their lithic counterparts. perhaps. In a wider sense this multidisciplinary branch of science is developing fast with the application of sophisticated instrumentation and techniques. K. the Ganga. The existence of ore-minerals such as copper. zinc. Gold flakes mixed with sand were found from the upper course of the former rivers. Biswas' Minerals and Metals of Ancient India (1996). There is every possibility of existence of native copper in the gossans of the copper mines.been developed jointly by archaeologists and metallurgists. the Bagmati. the Bamni. The rivers in North Bihar. K. P. Banerjee's work on Iron Age in India (1965). N. the Buri Gandak. Eastern India has witnessed the gradual developments in lithic technology. the Gangetic plain and the plateau of this region. The gold nuggets were found from the streambeds of the rivers such as the Sona. silver and gold are important. H. It may not be possible to pinpoint the origin of metallurgy in this part of the country. lead. T. Jharkhand and West Bengal. led to an independent origin of metallurgy. Prakash's Ferrous Metallurgy in Ancient India (2001). Agrawal's Copper-Bronze Age in India (1971) and Ancient Metal Technology of South Asia (2000). the Gandak. the Kosi and the Mahananda. the Kansai. Till now no clear picture has been visualised in respect of the development of metallurgy in those five states. The Chotanagpur plateau is the central region of Eastern India. To mention a few. but with the support of recent archaeological findings. tin. D. B. R. The existence of these minerals also coincides with prehistoric habitat zone. Orissa. an in-depth study may be made to acquire a better knowledge of our metallurgical heritage. are named as the Ghaghar. West to east of this geographical location includes eastern portion of the Middle Ganga plain and the whole of Lower Ganga Plain down to the active delta of Sundarbans. Some meaningful . after rainy season and winter. Hegde's Technical studies on Chalcolithic Copper Metallurgy(1968). The master stream. S. Tripathi's studies on The Age of Iron in South Asia (2001) are significant. which have originated from the glaciers of Himalayas. Srinivasan's studies on South Indian Metal Icons (1999. The present study highlights an outline of less known areas in Eastern part of India. Balasubramaniam's Studies on Delhi Iron Pillar: New insights (2002) and V. Physico-cultural characteristics of Eastern India The physico-cultural characteristics of Eastern India are based on the river system. who did two sessions of panning in a year. 2004). is the major recipient of all waterlines in this region. iron. The separations of these gold flakes are done by the local tribal people.

bangles. 83o51') was free from iron but witness the presence of black-and-red ware.P. earring. Small copper bronze objects were also found. Samastipur) belongs to Chalcolithic that yielded copper hook The initial habitation of Sonpur (24o56'29”. sites and (d) Early historic or N.studies have been initiated to reveal the origin and development of metal technology. 86o51') although metal free but it include black-and-red ware. 83o56') in period IA began with fully developed stage of Neolithic culture. bangle etc. 85o00') is devoid of metal along with black-and-red ware. The period II of Taradih is associated with black-and-red ware and copper fishhook. knife blades etc. The period I of Vaisali . finger rings etc. I propose to discuss the available evidence in a state wise format. period I of Champa (26o14'. Period III of Senuwar revealed two copper bangles. Period III of Taradih was introduced with iron technology.W. period IA is found with a solitary piece of copper along with black-and-red ware. a solitary piece of iron blade was recovered along with blackand-red ware fragments. Period I of Oriup was also noted as Chalcolithic. three points. At Maner (25o38'. knives. Chirand (22o45'. nails. 84o50'). In period IB presence of copper is noted along with a solitary fragmentary piece of lead rod. Bihar: The archaeological sites of this state may be classified into four groups viz. Period I of Panda (Dist. 84 50') period IA was metal free. which is of NBPW phase.R. Period II of Manjhi witnessed iron objects including arrowheads. dagger. sites. sites. o (b) Amongst the Chalcolithic sites. The earliest habitation at Senuwar (24o56'. A thick variety of copper punch marked coins was also found from the site. only black-and-red ware was noticed. chisels. Copper bronze objects from this site include bangles and antimony rods. From period IB of Sonpur iron slag. (c) Iron Age or pre N. copper bangle and microliths. probably a needle and a point. three bangles. The Neolithic-Chalcolithic sites are only few in numbers. and iron objects including two sickles. 84o52'). along with the presence of blackand-red ware. rod. whereas period IB indicated some copper objects including point. (b) Chalcolithic or B. a few other objects were revealed. etc. no metal objects were found from period I. The period II of Senuwar is Chalcolithic. Period II of Panda. three arrowheads and two-slag lump. were found. The copper objects of this period include a fishhook.P. Period III of Maner yields large number of iron objects including a spearhead. 85o14') a copper ring was discovered along with black-and-red ware. dagger.B. Period I of Manjhi (25o23'. along with black-and-red ware and microliths. iron objects such as knife.Chalcolithic sites. arrowheads. spearheads etc. fishhook. sickle. nails along with iron slag. From period II of Maner. (a) Neolithic and Neolithic. Period II of Chirand was important. as indicated through presence of iron slag. The period I of Taradih (24o42'. beads. daggers. iron ore with copper bell and copper flattened bar were witnessed. where amongst other copper objects two bangles.B. (c) At Chirand. four spearheads. which indicate bangle. wire etc. At Hajipur (25o41'.

arrowhead. and (d) Copper hoard sites. levels of Sonpur copper and iron objects were found in plenty. (c) Iron Age sites. or Megalithic sites. nails and other objects. copper bronze objects like bangle and antimony rods.B. knives.P. miniature pot etc. antimony rod. Taradih and also from Senuwar have been analysed. bangle. barbed and socketed arrowhead. and copper objects include antimony rods. Period III of Maner yielded a large number of iron objects such as spearheads. daggers.P. In post N.B. No Neolithic-Chalcolithic and Chalcolithic sites had been so far discovered which could reveal metallic objects. period II belongs to post N. The most important excavated sites however.P. Period IV of Taradih witnessed large amount of iron implements such as arrowheads. R. wares. ring. copper cast and punch marked coins with N. a nail etc. (c) Early historic. Only one excavated site of Neolithic-Chalcolithic group is .P. razors. Senuwar IV. large amount of slag etc. nail and slag. Singh incorporates detailed analyses of copper and iron objects. spear etc. which reveals copper ornaments and iron objects. iron objects as dagger. N. revealed a large inventory of copper objects including six antimony rods.P. etc. phaseiron dagger. copper objects. Period III of Panda witnessed the age of Kushana. Period IV of Chirand found a number of iron objects like nails. Chhattisgarh: The archaeological sites of this state may be classified into four different groups viz. such as knives. The most important discovery was that of an earliest brass bangle of Kushana period with 36. along with cast copper and punch marked silver and copper coins. Period II of Oriup yielded iron spearheads and nails etc. hoes etc. N. chisels. such as utensils. three sickles etc. ceramics. period II of Champa witnessed number of iron objects including a dagger. sickle etc. and (d) Early historic sites. (a) Neolithic and Neolithic. wares characterized period II of Sonpur where copper objects in plenty were revealed including that of a twisted wire ornament. The iron objects from this period include seven arrowheads. along with N. Sonpur smiths knew Gold and silver-plating too. nose ring. few objects made of copper alloy and cast copper coin.B. (b) Chalcolithic sites. rings. Apart from the evidence of gold.B. three bangles. Jharkhand: The archaeological sites of this state may be classified into four different groups namely (a) Neolithic. knives.B. (b) Megalithic. and silver punched marked coins were recovered from this site. belong to the megalithic category. (d) In N. eight pieces of rods. knife etc were excavated.B. spearheads. revealed from the site indicate that it was an early metallurgical center. This site also witnessed iron objects including arrowheads. Period III of Vaisali was contemporary to Kushana period.Chalcolithic. daggers.(25o58'20”. rods. At Hajipur.P. axe. sickles.2% of zinc. The iron objects from Chirand.P. chisels. Crucibles.Chalcolithic sites. implements like iron axe were found.P.B. 85o11'30”) belongs to N. phase. copper-bronze objects such as antimony rod.Iron Age or Asura. Cast copper coins were recovered from Manjhi in late phase of N. razor.B.

at Basudevpur copper and iron objects were found in-situ as well as surface finds. revealing Iron Age habitation. namely a) Chalcolithic sites. et al 2000) revealed the knowledge of metallurgy amongst the people of Golbai Sasan. 83o33'). There is no trace of metal in the Neolithic period. The archaeological sites of Orissa may be classified into five groups. From this site a copper bangle was also discovered. Udaigiri and few others. At Khuntitoli (23o4'. In period II an iron thrashing tool and a small hook of iron were found. (c) A good number of copper hoard sites are known from Jharkhand. Hami. ploughshares and knives made of iron. Saradkel. The excavated sites of Orissa yield metallic objects . Budhigarh. Remains of furnace with good number of crucibles. Sankerjang. rings.A. At times copper artifacts are also noted. period I was Neolithic.87% tin. Nearby areas around Sankerjang provide evidence of Iron Age settlements. Golabai Sasan. Period IIA of Golbai Sasan yielded a skeleton with a copper bangle in its wrist. fishhook and three rings and a bangle of copper were discovered. period IIB Ferro-chalcolithic and period III was equated with Early Iron Age. Sinha (1992-93) possibly considered ceramic remnants as crucible for smelting copper. Sisupalgarh. (b) An Asur burial site.both iron and copper. chisels. Few sites Baragunda. Orissa too witnessed similar stages in metallurgy. etc. axes with single and double cutting edges.R. such as. Manamunda.Barudih (23o38'. associated with copper bronze objects. The recent discovery of a number of early historic settlements enriched the archaeological treasures in Orissa. door hinge. Jaugada. b) Early Historic or Iron age sites c) Early Medieval sites. Other copper antiquities include a chisel. few rings and a fishhook.1964-65: 6) indicates the earliest evidence of iron smelting activities in period I. At Golbai Sasan (20o01'. Lalitagiri. Kurumpadar. caltrops. nails. Some of those sites are antecedent to the culture of the middle Mahanadi valley. Khameswaripali. may be cited. 84o59') witnessed the presence of late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic burial. chisel. Just like West Bengal. Orissa: Like all other Eastern Indian states. The period I (Neolithic) is free from metal. 85o21') excavated by Ray (I. The essential characteristics of Chalcolithic sites of Orissa are identified with of blackand-red ware and black-slipped ware. were reported along with few copper objects and coins. Tentative dating from this area might . Borodanga. known from Asurgarh. and e) Copper hoard sites. Subsequent excavation (Sinha. In period II. (23o5'. first discovered Chalcolithic site of Orissa. shows the presence of high tin bronze bowl contained 22. 85o17') excavation revealed a megalithic post-cremation burial. A large number of arrowheads. d) Pre-industrial sites. and at Salbani indigenous iron smelting was also noted. in Orissa too the Chalcolithic cultural elements are related to pottery. Gopalpur. a building structure was noted. period IIA Chalcolithic. 87o46'). The earliest stage of metallurgy is associated with Chalcolithic culture. Excavation at Sankerjang (20o52'. reported by Caldwell (1920).

resembling polished stone one had been identified in Chalcolithic period. 85o21'19”) by Kar et al (1998) revealed copper and iron implements along with iron slag and tuyers. indicating an iron manufacturing area and a trade centre. latch. 82o20') excavation. which recovered 200-gram silver slag (Chauley 2000: 450). witnessed Buddhist relics made of gold and silver. daggers. Kurumpadar. hooks etc. which includes sickle. revealed iron implements. 83o59') a silver punch marked coin. one clamp. A very primitive iron tool. About 1000-800 BC is the tentative date suggested by the excavator. Period IB witnessed a chisel and a flat bar-celt type axe made of iron. The period I of Kurumpadar (20o51'10”. From this site copper. They also noticed evidence of iron smelting in the surrounding villages. Earliest settler of Kumarsingha was acquainted with the use of iron. . daggers. the then Samapa mentioned in the Dhauli Ashokan inscription. iron nails associated with boat construction. along with punch marked silver and copper coins from 3rdcentury BC to 5th century AD (IAR 1972-73: 27). period II. NBPW knobbed ware and coins were found. Sahu (1982) made a limited excavation and obtained iron implements such as axes.be 1400-900 BC. two chisels and a spearhead. witnessed presence of iron slag. The most important early historic site of Orissa is Sisupalgarh (20o13'30”. which includes sickle. From the excavation of Gudavella in Bolangir district. and considerable amount of iron implements were obtained. Deuli (20o49'. Mahanty and Mishra 2002). charcoal. silver ring and iron objects. metal bangles. knife. lead objects have been recovered along with copper. pottery knobbed vessel etc. From period IIB of Golbai Sasan. 23 iron objects. From Budhigarh (19o13'. chisel etc. excavated by Behera (2002-2003). reveals iron slag. 85o51'30”). miniature blowpipe. Exploration at Gopalpur (20o01'52”. Ferro-chalcolithic phase after the Chalcolithic contexts are noticed. 84o05'00”). witnessed two nails. axes. iron. spears. spades. 83o54'). pin and the so-called antimony rods made of copper. silver. two chisels and one unidentified iron object. iron implements including a spearhead. along with coins. The early historic site Lalitagiri. one nail parer. Perhaps. period II. No evidence of metal was known in Chalcolithic period (Behera 2002-2003). iron slag and ore nodules. staples. along with a large variety of pottery. arrowheads. earrings and copper Kushana coins (Dash 1982. nails. chisel etc. At Khameswaripali. The period IA of Kumarsingha (20o51'54”. At Manamunda (20o51'. sickles. copper bead and punch marked coin. 84o07'04”) yielded ceramic assemblages of black-and. Period III witnessed. Early Historic or Iron Age sites are found more in Orissa. From Asurgarh. spikes. yields 13 iron implements. ore nodules and considerable amounts of iron implements indicating an iron manufacturing area. were found (Dash 1982). Sinha rightly described its manufacturing from iron ore through crude method of extraction. nails. The important metallic objects were. (IAR 1956-57: 31). witnessed iron nail and rod. knife. a silver plated punch marked coin. latch. period III. axes. and ear ornament made of lead. the early historic site. is a part of the cultural complex of Manamunda. a celt. spades.all made of iron. three iron nails and a fragment of copper bangle.red and red-slipped ware. Kharligarh was excavated in 1967-68. Jaugada. one drill bit. witnessed black-and-red ware and black-slipped-ware along with an iron object (nail?). tuyer. The site witnessed two hundred iron objects including nails. Kumarsingha. the ancient city of Tosali (Lal 1949). gold and lead coins and also coin moulds. this is the only site in Eastern India. caltrops etc.

bone tools and copper-bronze objects comprising of bangles.P. Dihar (23o7'. and iron objects. 87o21'). (c) Early historic level of West Bengal includes from Mauryan to Kushana period. beads. The excavation at Udaigiri. stylus. and (d) copper hoard sites. knives. period I. 87o37'). bar. 87o50'). The early historic level. A saucer shaped iron was also discovered in this site. Hundreds of iron objects. bead etc. by J. witnessed the presence of copper-bronze objects. chisels. 87o46') was of later phase of Chalcolithic along with iron slag and bronze wire.a dagger. In period IIA. pellets. like sickle.Excavation report at Sisupalgarh published in IAR 1970-71:30. West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. comprising of antimony rods. dagger. Though regular excavation at Chandraketugarh (22o42'. fishhooks. sword and slag along with antimony rods and cast copper coins. sites (c) Early historic sites. spearheads and sickles of iron and bronze objects as bangles along with other objects were recovered. sickle. period I. The pre-Chalcolithic metal free. spool of wire in black-and-red ware. needles. . arrowheads. such as iron ingots.B. yield cast copper coins. arrowheads and mud furnace along with iron slag. Period IIB of Pandurajar Dhibi has been identified as Ferro-chalcolithic. use of copper ring was noted. rings. 87o21') witnessed black-and-red ware and two shapeless copper bits. (b) Iron Age or pre N. IAR 1961-62:36-37 provides reference about punch marked coins and microliths from this site. Orissa too reveals a number of copper hoards sites. spearheads. In period II. sites. copper locket etc. S. arrowhead and fragments of copper including needle. Period I of Mangalkot (23o32'. ear ornaments and bangles. bronze bangle and beads were discovered along with black-and-red ware and microliths (b) Period III of Baneswardanga witnessed the first evidence of iron. (early historic phase) witnessed iron nails. 87o54') witnessed black-and-red ware. 88o41') are quite scanty yet metallic objects are countless. a spearhead and iron slag along with the presences of copper beads. Period II of Hatikra yield iron objects. Nigam (2000) unearthed circular pendant of gold along with iron nails. Period II of Pakhanna witnessed iron nails. 87o22'30”) revealed a copper ring along with black-and-red ware. Baneswardanga (23o24'. West Bengal: The archaeological sites of this state may be classified into four different groups namely (a) Chalcolithic or B. Period I of Pakhanna (23o24'30”. Period II of Dihar. level was revealed from Pandurajar Dhibi (23o35'.W. Like Jharkhand. sickle and slag. Iron objects had also been reported from this level. ring. period I was of black-and-red ware without metal. spears. revealing a number of iron objects with remnants of furnace activities. From period II (designated by the excavators as transition phase). mentions two PuriKushana coins and iron objects. profuse iron slag and implements like nails. period III of Mangolkot.R. Period I of Hatikra (23o50'. The group wise distributions of are as follows: (a) The period I of Bahiri (23o38'. arrowheads.

Earliest C14 date in copper bearing level of this site was 1090+110 BC (PRL-1184). bowls and needles (Ray and Mukherjee 1992). Kharagpur etc. Period III of Pakhanna revealed beads. nails. Most of the hoard objects are basically identified as copper ingots.fishhooks. ploughshares etc. finger rings. Low amount of tin about 10. which includes knife. terracotta mother goddess. point. West Bengal. West Bengal: The important metallurgical activities related to copper metallurgy from West Bengal might be reviewed. the earliest example of brass in Orissa. ornaments etc. which might be due to the presence of tin in copper minerals or low tin bronze making technology. where iron reached supremacy in the society. Lot of iron objects were found from the site. sickle. Period IV of Mangolkot comes under this span which yielded copper-bronze rings. Copper-bronze age of Sankerjang. Chronology of developmental stages of copper and iron metallurgy Bihar: The earliest evidence of copper is known from Senuwar. iron tools double axe. This is the earliest date for metal objects of Eastern India.0% was noticed in ornaments and other objects. The study reveals the alloy of brass containing of 33% zinc and 8. This may be equated with late phase of Harappan culture. have been preserved in the State Archaeological Museum. In late phase of Chalcolithic. During post Chalcolithic besides tin. copper and billon coins are known from surface findings. snake shaped bangle. antimony rods. Ray et al (1997) had worked on the brass objects of Kanjipani area of Orissa and also studied the lost wax processes practiced in the area. Thousands of cast copper coins and punch marked silver. from Ferrochalcolithic level. No alloying element was detected in copper objects. needle and fragments of copper along with slag and iron objects. It was perhaps. Bhaktaband. Such as Parihati. gives the first C14 date from Orissa to be 795 BC (KN 3755).5% copper was found (Biswas 1996: 173). It has been inferred that the copper smiths of Senuwar had definitely started smelting copper ores since 1950 BC. spacer beads. on the other hand it has closer similarities with those of Singhbhum mines. hammered gold piece bearing minute parallel scratches and a bronze fish containing about 95. But the trace element study on the copper objects clearly established that it was not imported from the Aravallis of Rajasthan or Harappan sites. perhaps. which is of purest form. The earliest evidence of bronze casting of eastern India is known from Pandurajar Dhibi. chisels along with high tin bronze mirrors. the alloying element mostly used has been found to be tin. According to the authors the analysed materials were obtained from Chalcolithic context. From trench 7A. . Period III of Pandurajar Dhibi has been accepted as Iron Age. Ray et al (2000) studied a copper alloy from a site near Karanjia. was highly primitive where crude method of iron extraction from ore as carried out (Sinha 1992-93). earrings. smiths also used zinc.2% zinc. (d) Copper hoard sites also existed in West Bengal. A smithy has also been discovered from this site. The iron celt of Golbai Sasan. Orissa. An antimony-rod of Kushana period was made of brass with 36.5% tin in copper based 9 bangles and 2 rings. This is supported by two C14 dates of 1770+120 BC and 1500+110 BC.

iron implements etc. Almost no study has been initiated to reveal the metal technology of Chhattisgarh and Orissa. Iron smelting activities was noted from the site where tuyers entrapped with slag was discovered. It has been defined as the application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life or can also be described as the change and manipulation of the human environment and thus is a social phenomenon that cannot be disassociated from the society in which it exists. (Ferrochalcolithic level) of Pandurajar Dhibi. Conclusions Archaeology has always been a neglected discipline in Eastern India. The studies on archaeometallurgy in Indian context have been started since last four decades. . It is the systematic study of techniques (craft) for making and doing things. Jharkhand and West Bengal (Chattopadhyay 2004). Chalcolithic and Iron Age metal objects are gradually coming up. charcoal. It has been suggested that „necessity is the mother of all inventions' and to some extent this has been projected through the various phases of history as it becomes more and more complex with growing populations and rates of development that vary according to the levels of mobilization of technological know-how between various cultures and societies. silver and gold objects were witnessed from the Megalithic burials of Chhattisgarh. furnace remains along with entrapped paddy husks were revealed. Some metallurgical analyses have been made with the excavated specimens from Bihar. as it is the gauge for assessing economic and social developments within human society during its various phases of history. The iron objects along with a few copper. ash.com Technology forms the most important aspect of any culture. Abstract 11 CHALCOLITHIC SOUTH ASIA: ASPECTS OF CRAFTS AND TECHNOLOGIES VS Shinde & Shweta Deshpande Email: shindevs@rediffmail. One C14 date was obtained from iron bearing level of this site as 1090+110 BC (KN 3755). From Pakhanna. At the lowest level a terracotta basin for water storage has also been found attached with hearth. and is concerned with the fabrication and use of artefacts.Earliest evidence of iron is noted from period IIB. The excavations conducted in the state clearly indicate that iron manufacturing was practiced at those sites. To some extend technology is also responsible for social development and complexity as the improvement in technology and its know-how leads to the availability of sophisticated goods and the resulting differentiation amongst various groups of people including those who produce (craftsman) and buyers depending on the demand and the capacity to acquire the specific goods. The remains of a smithy were recovered from the excavation of 2002-03.

He can thus innovate and consciously modify his environment in a way no other species has achieved. the search for food and shelter. To study the technological evolution and development during the Chalcolithic period it is important to study the cultural processes for the beginning. as the capacity for constructing artefacts is a determining characteristic of our species. evolve into the first cities. which takes us into the Chalcolithic period. as it is the progress in technology that introduces social and economic complexities within simple societies. During the last 5000 years these crafts have evolved as new techniques have been invented and have become an important part of our modern life to such an extant that a world without them is difficult to envision and therefore an effort must be made to develop an insight into their beginnings. man is a technologist from the beginning. The rate of technological change that took place until the Chalcolithic was slow and spread over a long period of time and was in response to only the most basic social needs. requiring assemblage of head and haft. bead manufacturing. The development and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in South Asia are complex phenomena that have taken place over the course of more than 9000 years with the technological breakthroughs in pottery. which evolve and develop through the early phases of village societies into the developed and mature complex villages and the early cities hence it is important to trace the ongoing cultural process in the region. By 5.000 years ago however. a momentous cultural transition began which generated new needs and resources and was accompanied by a significant increase in technological innovation. till the beginning of the twentieth century when the systematic research on the Protohistoric cultures began. hence by virtue of his nature as a toolmaker. most historians were of the opinion that settled life began in the Early Historic period around the 6th or 5th century BC with the period between the Stone Age and the Early Historic period considered to be a “Dark Age”. THE BEGINNINGS. Many hundreds of millennia passed during the course of man's evolution before he arrived at the stage of standardizing his simple stone choppers and pounders and of manufacturing more advanced tools. In the context of South Asia. monumental architecture. However. during the Chalcolithic period. and the history of technology encompasses the entire evolution of man. . evolution and development of villages and cities. The region witnessed two independent streams of origin of village economies with the associated technologies. EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF VILLAGE CULTURES: A CULTURAL PROCESS The Indian subcontinent has all the favourable ecological conditions necessary to give birth to the early farming communities. which. etc. as few social resources were available for any activity other than the fulfilment of these needs. the discovery of the Harappan Civilization in the 1920's and Chalcolithic in the 1950's pushed back the antiquity of settled life in the sub-continent by two thousand years at one stroke and was considered the greatest archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. with growing technological complexities. metalworking. It began with the invention of the city. The application of mechanical principles was first achieved by pottery-making Neolithic people (6000 BC) and then during the Chalcolithic (about 4500 BC) the first step was taken towards the innovation of most modern techniques.There cannot be a precise date for the origin of technology.

x. . Of the early farming communities that came into existence in different parts of South Asia. viii. vi. iv. the Chalcolithic of South Asia has been sub-divided into Early. ii. Sankalia. the eastern and northeastern part has not been subjected to systematic archaeological research and therefore very little is known about these regions. iii. hence this date cannot be used for generalisation. v. the Deccan and the South India have been systematically studied.On the basis of material culture and technologies in use. social. We will now summarise the technologies used by the large numbers of Chalcolithic cultures identified in the subcontinent which have been classified into ten regional traditions: i. Baluchistan and adjoining regions (beginning from 5th millennium BC) Padri and Prabhas Patan traditions of Saurashtra (4th millennium BC) Anarta tradition of North Gujarat (4th millennium BC) Ganeshwar-Jodhpura of Northwest and western Rajasthan (4th millennium BC) Ahar tradition of Mewar (4th millennium BC) Kayatha and Malwa traditions of the Malwa Plateau (3rd millennium BC) Savalda and Jorwe traditions of the northern Deccan (3rd millennium BC) Neolithic/Chalcolithic traditions of eastern India (3rd millennium BC) Ochre Colour Pottery/Copper Hoard tradition of North India (3rd millennium BC) Narahan culture of eastern Uttar Pradesh (towards the end of 2nd millennium BC) Each of these is characterised by similar features with agro-pastoral economy. ix. vii. In the Ganga valley. trade. Mature and Late phases. Unfortunately. The declined phase of the Chalcolithic has been properly studied at the site of Inamgaon in the Bhima basin of the lower Deccan region. the Chalcolithic phases in Central India. In the rest of India the development of village-based culture started in the later part of the Mesolithic phase and continued into the Neolithic and Chalcolithic between 3500 and 1000 BC. The earlier (7000 BC) beginnings are seen in the northwest regions of Afghanistan and Baluchistan while the later (4500 BC) but independent of the former is seen in the southeast Rajasthan on the Banas River. political and economic stratification with minute differences in style of pottery manufacture and the level of technological development and the origin and evolution of these techniques which will be discussed briefly in this talk. thanks to the pioneering work by Deccan College under the leadership of H. though the site of Koldihwa has produced an early date (6000 BC) there is a lack of other corroborative C14 dates.D.

held at IIT-Kanpur in January 2005. Ajit Mishra (volunteer). OC Handa (Former Director Archeology & Monuments. IIT Kanpur): Marvels of Indian Iron through Ages (.(Absract 5. Shinde. Pranab Chattopadhyay.Director General Archaeological Survey): Harappan Hydraulics.S. Karpagavalli (volunteer) and Sahoo Gadadhar (volunteer) HIST IIT Kanpur Meeting Program 14-17 January 2005 The following presentations were made at the annual meeting of History of Science and Technology Project. R. A.(Absract 4) 5.P. 1000 BCE – 500 AD. Handa. JP Joshi (Former Director General Archaeological Survey): Harappan Architecture & Civil Engineering(Abstract 1) 2. Banaras University): A Comprehensive History of Iron in India.(Abstract 8) 9. JS Kharakwal (Visting Professor.Kyoto): History of Zinc Technology. It was an invited talk.(Absract 3) 4. DP Agrawal (Director Lok Vigyan Kendra. Almora: Harappan Technology and Its Legacy . Vibha Tripathi. Almora presented on: Traditional Himalayan Hydraulic . not a book project yet) 6. J. Ashish Srivastava (volunteer). Pankaj Goyal Lala Bazar. and R. Vajpeyi.C. Pankaj Goel. Vibha Tripathi (Professor of Archaeology.P Agrawal. R Balasubramaniam (Professor of Metallurgy. Joshi. D. O. sponsored by Infinity Foundation: 1.Front row sitting (left to right): V. R. Munish Joshi (Former Director General Archaeological Survey): Science & Technology during c.(Abstract 7) 8. Research Center for Humanity and Nature. Kyoto. Dinesh Sharma. not a book project yet) 3. Jeewan Kharakwal. It was an invited talk. Himachal): Traditional Technology of Himalayan Architecture . Surender (volunteer). Bisht.(Abstract 2. Munish Joshi.(Abstract 6) 7.V. RS Bisht (Former Joint. Balasubramaniam Back row standing (left to right): M.

VS Shinde (Professor. not a book project yet). Centre for Archaeological Studies and Training. Kolkata): Archaeometallurgy of Eastern India (Abstract 10. Pranab Chattopdhyaya (Fellow. It was an invited talk.Technology . A research proposal.(Abstract 9. Deccan College. 11. Poona): Chalcolithic South Asia: Aspects of Crafts And Technologies . not a book project) 10.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful