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Iron tools in Tamil Nadu

  • IASbaba
  • May 16, 2022
  • 0
History and Art and Culture
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In News: Carbon dating of excavated finds in Tamil Nadu pushes evidence of iron being used in India back to 4,200 years ago

  • Before this, the earliest evidence of iron use was from 1900-2000 BCE for the country, and from 1500 BCE for Tamil Nadu
  • The latest evidence dates the findings from Tamil Nadu to 2172 BCE.
  • The excavations are from Mayiladumparai near Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu, about 100 km south of Bengaluru.
  • Mayiladumparai is an important site with cultural material dating back between the Microlithic (30,000 BCE) and Early Historic (600 BCE) ages.
  • The site is situated in the midst of several archaeological sites such as Togarapalli, Gangavaram, Sandur, Vedarthattakkal, Guttur, Gidlur, Sappamutlu and Kappalavad etc. All these important archaeological sites lie within 10 km.

Timeline revisited

The dates when humans entered the Iron Age vary from one region of the world to another

  • In 1979, use of iron was traced to 1300 BCE at Ahar in Rajasthan.
  • Later, samples at Bukkasagara in Karnataka, indicating iron production, were dated back to 1530 BCE.
  • The date was subsequently pushed back to 1700-1800 BCE with excavations finding evidence of iron smelting at Raipura in the Mid-Ganga valley, and then to 1900-2000 BCE based on investigations in sites at Malhar near Varanasi and Brahmagiri in North Karnataka.
  • A series of dating results on finds from various parts in India have shown evidence of iron-ore technology before 1800 BCE.
  • Before the latest discovery, the earliest evidence of iron use for Tamil Nadu was from Thelunganur and Mangadu near Mettur, dating back to 1500 BCE.

Historical significance

  • With the latest evidence tracing our Iron Age to 2000 BCE from 1500 BC, we can assume that our cultural seeds were laid in 2000 BCE.
  • And the benefit of socio-economic changes and massive production triggered by the iron technology gave its first fruit around 600 BCE — the Tamil Brahmi scripts
  • The Tamil Brahmi scripts were once believed to have originated around 300 BCE, until a landmark finding in 2019 pushed the date back to 600 BCE.
  • This dating narrowed the gap between the Indus Valley civilization and Tamilagam/South India’s Sangam Age.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) Which one of the following is not a Harappan Site? (2019)

  1. Chanhudaro
  2. Kot Diji
  3. Sohagaura
  4. Desalpur

Source: Indian Express

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