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Painted Gray ware culture: distribution and characteristic features

• Painted Gray Ware pottery Colour, Fabric, core, thickness, firing, painting (rim bands, dots and dashes, vertical, oblique and criss-cross lines, concentric circles and simicircles, a chain of short spirals, sigmas, svastikas, etc.), shapes. Ahichchhatra -1946, Ancient India, No. 1, Painted Grey Ware Hastinapura - 1955, Excavation at Hastinapura and other explorations in the Upper Ganga and Sutlej Basin. Ancient India, No. 10-11. Determination of period at Hastinapur “Provisional Conclusions” “The excavation at Hastinapura and explorations at other sites yielding the Painted Grey, Harappan, N.B.P. and Ochre-coloured wares have brought to light the following facts:• • • “1. That the PGW was later than the Ochre-Coloured Ware. The latter seems to have been associated with the well-know ‘Copper Hoards’ of the Gangetic basin. “2. That the Painted Grey Ware was later than the Harappa Ware. “3. That the Painted Grey Ware well-preceded the NBPW. Though there may have been a subsequent overlap between the two. At Hastinapura there was no overlap, but since there was a break of occupation between Periods II and III it is difficult to say what the position was during the interval. The point, therefore, needs verification from other comparable sites. “4. That a heavy flood in the Ganga washed away a considerable portion to the PGW settlement (Period II) at Hastinapura, which incident also resulted in the desertion of the site for some time to come. “5. That the pre-N.B.P. levels at Kausambi, which contained grey ware with atleast one painted specimen, are assignable to a date prior to Period III of Hastinapura. “6. That the PGW occurs at a large numger of sites in the Upper Ganga basin, e.g. Hastinapura, Ahichchhatra, Kampil, Mathura, Baghpat, Barnawa, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Tilpat, Indraprastha, etc. “7. That the people who occupied the Ghaggar valley in the wake of the Harappans used the Painted Grey Ware. “8. That on the basis of 2 and 3 above, the Painted Grey Ware may be placed somewhere within the limits of 600 B.C. on the on e hand and 1500 B.C. The corresponding strata (Period II) at Hastinapura may, however, be dated approximately from circa 1100 B.C. to cira 800 B.C.

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10% 28. (unpainted).1% • Bl slipped ware 15.6% 1.Paintings in almost all designs.4% • Plain GW 10. 540 BC. • NBPW. Grey ware with red slip-painted and unpainted.0% 1.Grey ware found in this level are thicker in section than those found with PGW.3% 1.Atranjikhera (Ganga-Yamuna Doab reagion) • Black-and-Red ware.absence of PGW.7% 6. Unpainted grey ware sherds are not fine. Iron introduced • NBPW.there is considerable thickness in which PGW is present.3% 61. Number of other samples yielded dates between 6th and 5th century BC.0% 69. 150 BCE. Middle level of the culture yielded date of 805 and 900 BCE . Noh (Rajasthan) • OCP • Black-and-red ware • PGW. absence of iron • PGW.9% 0.3% Carbon-14 dates: 1025 BC.4% 9.0% 0. Srivastava:1994). Though fabric differs shapes are same.8% 30.8% • PGW 3. They are thicker in section and inferior in treatment. Sub-phases of PGW and frequency of different wares I II III IV • B and R ware 5.1% 2.P.Continuation of Black and Red ware in PGW. other wares associated with PGW are Black-and-red ware.1% 0. The finding of PGW at Noh was interpreted as extension of the culture that flourished in upper Gangetic valley (S.4% • Red ware 64. Grey ware with black polish.8% 31.9% 56.

Noh. however. Allahpur. Bhagwanpura. Roper. Mathura. Atranjikhera. Jodhpura. Ahichchhatra. and Kausambi on the River Yamuna near Allahabad in the east. • The important sites of the PGW culture Hastinapur. . No iron is reported from the PGW levels at Ropar. etc. Bahawalpur State (in Pakistan) and Thar Desert of Bikaner in the vedic Saraswati-Drishadwati basin in the west. Alamgirpur. Jakhera. PGW overlap with another preiron culture derivable from an amalgam of a pre-Harappa and the Harappa.• At Bhagwanpura. Sardargarh both in district Ganganagar. Chak 86. • Distribution Ropar in Punjab in the north. Gilund and Ujjain in the south.


(Hastinapur and Atranjikhera) and north-east Rajasthan (Noh and Jodhpura) yielded delicate objects in copper (Hastinapur. a water channel and rammed road.40 sites 2-2. slag. a borer and a small arrowhead). • Settlement size Makhan Lal.nail pares. has yielded a couple of large sized baked bricks along with an evidence of a 5 m wide and 0. a pair of tongs from the smithy (from Atranjikhera). nails. Atranjikhera and Jakhera (both in district Etah. as an exception. an antimony rod.99 hectares.99 hectares. rods.Kausambi region less than 1 hectares. The thirteen room mud structure was unearthed at the site of Bhagwanpura. Erdosy (1985).3 sites G. ash.5 sites .1 site 1-1. UP) situated close to the mineral rich Agra-Gwalior belt have yielded iron working evidence complete with furnace remains. wattle and daub circular structures. and axes. The copper objects found along with iron. points. Rajasthan).Kanpur district (1984) 2 hectares or less.8 m high protective rampart. spearheads.99 hectares. or mud brick houses were in vogue during this period (Hastinapura).• The beginning of iron age and absence of stone tools.99 hectares.2 sites 3-3. charcoal and related tools. • Structural evidence Generally. sickle and rarely ploughshare (Jakhera). apart from above artifacts pins.9 sites 2-2. The site of Jakhera. especially at the sites in western UP. knife-blades. The iron objects at this stage usually fall in the category of hunting tools like arrowheads. The site of Noh (district Bharatpur.

barley. -Most notable is finding of glass bangles. -And the third in which the degerated PGW.C. -Painted plano-convex gamesman from Noh. -Reel shaped ear studs of jasper and agate. jasper. etc.• Agricultural produce Rice. -The occurrence of cut and charred bones of animals indicate the inclusion of meat in the dietary (Hastinapura). -Among beads ghata-shaped beads of T. cattle. when sites like Hastinapura. -The second the stage of Western UP. overlapped by the NBPW. in which iron perhaps had not yet come into use.3 and 4. There are stages of the spread of the culture. trickled east ward up to north-west Bihar (Vaisali) and south ward in to Madhya pradesh (Ujjain). pig and sheep. -The terracotta toys including the bull and the horse -Beads of agate.2. . Ahichchhatra.C. Other antiquities -Bone points (styli) and T. Mathura. -Oblong dice in bone. buffalo. carnelian. bearing on its four faces markings 1. discs are the most common finding of this peirod. wheat • Domesticated animals -Horse. -The earliest along the Sarasvati and parts of Punjab and Haryana. were occupied. are common. etc.

“(d) That the combined stream of the Ghaggar and Sarsuti is identifiable with the Sarasvati and the Sutlej with the sutudru.C. Baghapat. Moving eastwards.“here it may be worth while to recall some relevant information from ancient Indian literatures:“(a) That Hastinapura. Kurukshetra. on the banks of which the early Aryans used to live. Ahichchhatra and Kampil were respectively the capitals of the Pauravas. and North and south Panchalas. Barnawa. . “(b) That in the regime of Nichakshu. Indraprastha. who formed a part of the early Aryan stock in India. there occurred a flood in the Ganga which washed away Hastinapura and capital was shifted to Kausambi. were in one way or other connected with the Mahabharata story. “One may also recall here the inscriptional evidence from Boghaz Keui (Boghazkoy). the fifth ruler after the Mahabharata battle. which shows that the Aryan-speaking people had made their appearance in Western Asia by the fourteenth century B. they are likely to have reached the Ghaggar and Sutlej Valleys during the following couple of centuries. etc. Ahichchhatra. Tilpat.. “(c) That Mathura. Kampil.

the questions wind themselves up. viz. be emphasized that the evidnce is entirely circumstantial and until and unless positive ethnographic and epigraphic proofs are obtained to substantiate the conclusions they cannot but be considered provisional?” . some obvious questions begin to pose themselves. however. the Pauravas. who formed a part of the early Aryan stock in India. a conclusion that would appear to force itself on us is: that the sites of Hastinapura. Such an association may also explain the synchronism between the appearance of the Painted Grey Ware in the Ghaggar-Sutlej valleys and the probable date of the arrival of the Aryan in that area. are identifiable with those of the same name mentioned in the Mahabharata. Mathura.. in their lower levels? “(ii) that the date of the Mahabharata battle falls within Period II at Hastinapura? “(iii) that the people who appeared in the Ghaggar-Sutlej valleys in a post-Harappan context give a period which synchronizes with the arrival of the Aryan-speaking people in that area. Otherwise. Barnawa. nos. Panchalas. when the archaeological data are viewed against the background of literature. may not the archaeological evidence. the painted Grey Ware.. Kurukshetra. viz. If that be so. 4 and 5 above. the Painted Grey Ware would be associable with the early settlers on these sites. be taken to indicate that the Puranic tradition regarding the washing away of Hastinapura and the subsequent shifting of the capital to Kausambi may have some historical basis? “If it is believed that all these coincidences are nothing more than mere chances. as per literary and inscriptional evidence cited above – used the Painted Grey Ware? “Further.“Now. etc. May it. etc. Is it a mere chance! “(i) that a large number of sites associated with the Mahabharata story contain the same ceramic industry.

Gandhara Grave Culture of Swat Valley .

it has been called culture because the material culture recovered from excavation confine to the hilly track of Gandhara. Gandhara grave culture for the first time provides information for the earlier development of the region. Earlier than this our historical notion has been vague and mythological. Since the authors of the culture are not known. Iron Age. “Gandhara grave culture thus presents a pattern of living in the hill zone of Gandhara. adapted themselves to the natural resources”.The proposition does not imply that the graves are special to Gandhara. the culture has been named firstly by characteristic feature of graves and secondly for the region in which it has been discovered for the first time. The history of the region goes back to 6th century BCE when Achaemenian Iranians incorporated this region into their empire. As Dani clarify. This provided two cultural sequences 1. Bronze Age and 2. who were equjipped with poor bronze and iron tools and weapons. The term Gandhara has so far been applied in archaeology to a particular school of art and the associated Buddhist culture that developed in this region. and shows how the peoples. . as evidenced in the graves.

Dani has identified it as different from two cultures which flourished during Bronze Age in Pakistan. Baluchi village cultures which developed along the route connecting Indus valley culture with the Mesopotemia. which was more common. Dani categorically hypothesized that it is not improper to seek the origin of the painted grey ware. 1. . 1. Plain Grey ware. The tradition of painting which is the main characteristic of the Indus civilisation was absent. and 2. known from East Punjab and the Upper Ganges Valley in India. to the developments of this grey ware in the intervening plains between the Indus and East Punjab. They used two wares. Indus valley civilization which flourished in the furtile plain of Indius and 2. The peoples of Gandhara grave culture show strong link with the northern Iran and Central Asia. Plain red ware.

Fractional and multiple burials.The important excavated sites: Aligram. The house architecture was simple. Bir-kot-ghundai. The report of food grains and animal bones is absent. But it is observed that horse played a significant role in the life of the people. and 3. But the presence of circular and rectangular storage rooms with a connecting platform. These stone blocks were properly chiselled. and plaster of mud applied from inside. Kalako-deray. Urn burial after cremation. These has been called as three different rituals. . For the graves at Thana long slabs of schist stones were cut out from the living rock to serve as floor for the dead bodies. and the inner face. 2. at Balambat the rubble stone masonry was used without any mortar. Balambat and Timargarha 3 (Dir Valley) The burials are divided into three types1. were duly pecked with sharp tools in order to give a flat surface. Terraced cultivation was probably in practice and higher slopes were used for grazing the cattle. Loebanr III (Swat Valley). which lined the graves. Inflexed burial. suggests extra store of corns. Ghaligai. At Timargarha large slabs of stones were used to make the box-like graves. The habitation appears extending from foot hills to the brink of the river.

Horns. Beads (Pd III): a) Barrel-bicone-circular with wide axial hole. Pendants. two antimony rods of copper. pyramidal top.four in copper. II and III. Copper arrow-heads. Humped bull. conical top. two of ivory. all made of thin coiled wire. Glass objects (period III upper levels): four fragments of blue coloured glass bangles. These are characterized by variety of shapes of their tops. harpoon and knife-blade. I. Apart from these.Material culture from Timargarha Pins. convex top. from Pd III. loop head. one of silver. . Terracotta objects (Pd III): Ram-head. all come from graves of pd. crescent shaped and the other of bone.available from graves of Pd. Human figurine. Cat. two of gold. Total 16 are of copper and 1 of ivory. both came from pd III graves. surmounted by flat top. Finger rings. conoid top. Ivory objects (pd III): Awl and antimony rods. Stone Objects (Pd III): finished ring stone and one polished axe having pointed butt end. II. b) Whorl beads – short-cylinder-circular with a wide axial is of eye-type made by bending the stem end. including globular. and several beads of semi-precious stones. and III. is rhomboidal.

3. 2.Iron objects All of these came from pd. Nail: With thick circular top. Three fragments of nail. 3. 2. 4. One blade of a knife. 1. III of Balambat Only four objects: 1. Spear-head: Leaf shaped. III graves of Timargarha. Check-bar horse’s harness: Straight bar (rectangular in section) with three elliptical holes made at equal distance from each other. From Pd. one on each side. Finger ring of rounded wire. no mid rib. . Spoon: The handles terminate in two rings.

Several such figurines are found at the site which has been identified for ritual purpose. .

Bowl-on-stand are consistently found in the graves probably due to its relation to some ritual . The drinking vessels are usually in grey ware and are very dominant in number probably due to popularity of some special drink among people.The urns of this form used for burial purpose also represent the possible totemic idea attached after it.



The periods of Dani and Stacul could be equated as follows: Dani Stacul Period III Period III and II Period II and I Period I . Period II – 12th to 10th century BCE. Period III – 9th to the middle of 6th century BCE. and possibly earlier.C. Iron bearing level. Period I – 16th to 13th century BCE.ChronologyNeolithic – 1st half of the 2nd millennium B. Period IV – from the middle of the 6th to the 3rd quarter of the 4th century BCE – the historical age of the Achaemenians.


and a few fragments of an inferior variety of the blackand-red ware. Housing evidence. no iron objects are available. I B. ghata-shaped beads. Charred rice an important discovery in this period. I A. Lumps of iron slag. beads. and a terracotta disc. broken pieces of indeterminate objects and a fragmentary arrowhead provide the evidence of the beginnings of ironsmithy. besides some plain grey ware. Antiquities. Ropar. Antiquities. one with a socket cover. Same at Ropar. Burnt clay lumps with reed impressions indicate that the houses were generally made of daubed wattle.terracotta discs of plain and decorated variety.not show any major change except for the appearance of a few sherds of the NBPW and some new designs on the PGW sherds. fragment of a conch.unidentified iron objects are available.C.• Associated pottery Mathura.C.Period I. a bone arrowhead.other finding Beads. and glass and T.confined traces of mud walls. bone ware. black-slipped ware and dusty red ware.Period II (PGW) Other associated wares in these levels are plain grey ware. bone arrowheads. Other important finds.PGW Pd. Iron was also introduced. Bhagwanpura. a terracotta amulate. bone. some sherds of the black slipped ware. Pd. figurine of a terracotta bird. . terracotta gamesmen. and semiprecious stones were used for ornaments. glass. Bone points (styli). and two broken styli.PGW along with late Harappan. ghata-shaped beads. an unperforated gadrooned bead.ear stud of transluscent greenish glass. iron spearheads and an arrowheads with leaf shaped point socketed tang and an axe and copper objects from the other antiquities.copper was the chief metal in use. Bangles of T. Hastinapura. terracotta discs with scalloped or angular designs at the rim. Noh.