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The Painted Grey Ware culture (PGW) is an Iron Age Indian culture of the western Gangetic plain and the Ghaggar-Hakra valley on the Indian subcontinent, lasting from roughly 1200 BCE to 600 BCE.It is a successor of the Black and red ware culture (BRW) within this region, and contemporary with the continuation of the BRW culture in the eastern Gangetic plain and Central India.
An archaeological culture is a recurring assemblage of artifacts from a specific time and place that may constitute the material culture remains of a particular past human society. The connection between the artifacts is based on archaeologists' understanding and interpretation and does not necessarily relate to real groups of humans in the past. The concept of archaeological culture is fundamental to culture-historical archaeology.
The Ghaggar-Hakra River is an intermittent, endorheic river in India and Pakistan that flows only during the monsoon season. The river is known as Ghaggar before the Ottu barrage and as the Hakra downstream of the barrage.
The Indian subcontinent, is a southern region and peninsula of Asia, mostly situated on the Indian Plate and projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. Geologically, the Indian subcontinent is related to the land mass that rifted from Gondwana and merged with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago. Geographically, it is the peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east. Politically, the Indian subcontinent includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Characterized by a style of fine, grey pottery painted with geometric patterns in black,the PGW culture is associated with village and town settlements, domesticated horses, ivory-working, and the advent of iron metallurgy. Total number of PGW sites discovered so far is more than 1100. Although most PGW sites were small farming villages, "several dozen" PGW sites emerged as relatively large settlements that can be characterized as towns; the largest of these were fortified by ditches or moats and embankments made of piled earth with wooden palisades, albeit smaller and simpler than the elaborate fortifications which emerged in large cities after 600 BCE.
The PGW Culture probably corresponds to the middle and late Vedic period, i.e., the Kuru-Panchala kingdom, the first large state in the Indian subcontinent after the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.The later vedic literature provides a mass of information on the life and culture of the times. It is succeeded by Northern Black Polished Ware from c.700-500 BCE, associated with the rise of the great mahajanapada states and of the Magadha Empire.
The Vedic period or Vedic age, is the period in the history of the northern Indian subcontinent between the end of the urban Indus Valley Civilisation and a second urbanisation which began in the central Indo-Gangetic Plain c. 600 BCE. It gets its name from the Vedas, which are liturgical texts containing details of life during this period that have been interpreted to be historical and constitute the primary sources for understanding the period. These documents, alongside the corresponding archaeological record, allow for the evolution of the Vedic culture to be traced and inferred.
Kuru was the name of a Vedic Indo-Aryan tribal union in northern Iron Age India, encompassing the modern-day states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and the western part of Uttar Pradesh, which appeared in the Middle Vedic period and developed into the first recorded state-level society in the Indian subcontinent.
Panchala was an ancient kingdom of northern India, located in the Ganges-Yamuna Doab of the upper Gangetic plain. During Late Vedic times, it was one of the most powerful states of the Indian subcontinent, closely allied with the Kuru Kingdom. By the c. 5th century BCE, it had become an oligarchic confederacy, considered as one of the solasa (sixteen) mahajanapadas of the Indian subcontinent. After being absorbed into the Mauryan Empire, Panchala regained its independence until it was annexed by the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE.
The PGW culture cultivated rice, wheat, millet and barley, and domesticated cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses. Houses were built of wattle-and-daub, mud, or bricks, ranging in size from small huts to large houses with many rooms. There is a clear settlement hierarchy, with a few central towns that stand out amongst numerous small villages. Some sites, including Jakhera in Uttar Pradesh, demonstrate a “fairly evolved, proto-urban or semi-urban stage” of this culture, with evidence of social organization and trade, including ornaments of gold, copper, ivory, and semi-precious stones, storage bins for surplus grain, stone weights, paved streets, water channels and embankments.
Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. With roughly 200 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state in India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. The state is divided into 18 divisions and 75 districts with the capital being Lucknow. The main ethnic group is the Hindavi people, forming the demographic plurality. On 9 November 2000, a new state, Uttarakhand, was carved out from the state's Himalayan hill region. The two major rivers of the state, the Ganga and Yamuna, join at Allahabad (Prayagraj) and then flow as the Ganga further east. Hindi is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state.
The plough was used for cultivation. There are also indications of growing complexity of society and the formation of 'castes'. The old tribal groups must have disappeared as population increased and the size and number of settlements multiplied.
The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic example of caste. It has origins in ancient India, and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. It is today the basis of educational and job reservations in India. The caste system consists of two different concepts, varna and jati, which may be regarded as different levels of analysis of this system.
Arts and crafts of the PGW people are represented by ornaments (made from terracotta, stone, faience, and glass), human and animal figurines (made from terracotta) as well as "incised terracotta discs with decorated edges and geometric motifs" which probably had "ritual meaning," perhaps representing symbols of deities.There are a few stamp seals with geometric designs but no inscription, contrasting with both the prior Harappan seals and the subsequent Brahmi-inscribed seals of the Northern Black Polished Ware culture.
Faience or faïence is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery on a buff earthenware body, at least when there is no more usual English name for the type concerned. The invention of a white pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an oxide of tin to the slip of a lead glaze, was a major advance in the history of pottery. The invention seems to have been made in Iran or the Middle East before the ninth century. A kiln capable of producing temperatures exceeding 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) was required to achieve this result, the result of millennia of refined pottery-making traditions. The term is now used for a wide variety of pottery from several parts of the world, including many types of European painted wares, often produced as cheaper versions of porcelain styles.
Terracotta, terra cotta or terra-cotta, a type of earthenware, is a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the fired body is porous. Terracotta is the term normally used for sculpture made in earthenware, and also for various practical uses including vessels, water and waste water pipes, roofing tiles, bricks, and surface embellishment in building construction. The term is also used to refer to the natural brownish orange color of most terracotta, which varies considerably.
The historical Vedic religion refers to the religious ideas and practices among most Indo-Aryan-speaking peoples of ancient India after about 1500 BCE. These ideas and practices are found in the Vedic texts, and they were one of the major influences that shaped contemporary Hinduism.
The PGW pottery shows a remarkable degree of standardization. It is dominated by bowls of two shapes, a shallow tray and a deeper bowl, often with a sharp angle between the walls and base. The range of decoration is limited - vertical, oblique or criss-cross lines, rows of dots, spiral chains and concentric circles being common.
At Bhagwanpura in the Kurukshetra district of Haryana, excavations have revealed an overlap between the late Harappan and Painted Grey Ware cultures, large houses that may have been elite residences, and fired bricks that may have been used in Vedic altars.
Fresh surveys by archaeologist Vinay Kumar Gupta suggest Mathura was the largest PGW site around 375 hectares in area.Among the largest sites is also the recently excavated Ahichatra, with at least 40 hectares of area in PGW times along with evidence of early construction of the fortification which goes back to PGW levels. Two periods of PGW were identified recently at Ahichhatra, the earliest from 1500 to 800 BCE, and the Late from 800 to 400 BCE.
Towards the end of the period, many of the PGW settlements grew into the large towns and cities of the Northern Black Polished Ware period.
In the 1950s, archaeologist B.B. Lal associated Hastinapura, Mathura, Ahichatra, Kampilya, Barnava, Kurukshetra and other sites of PGW culture with the Mahabharata period. Furthermore, he pointed out that the Mahabharata mentions a flood and a layer of flooding debris was found in Hastinapura. However, B.B. Lal considered his theories to be provisional and based upon a limited body of evidence, and he later reconsidered his statements on the nature of this culture (Kenneth Kennedy 1995). B.B. Lal confirms that Mahabharata is associated with PGW sites in a recent 2012 presentation at the International Seminar on Mahabharata held by Draupadi Trust and gives a date to c. 900 BCE for the War recounted in the Mahabharata.
The pottery style of this culture is different from the pottery of the Iranian Plateau and Afghanistan (Bryant 2001). In some sites, PGW pottery and Late Harappan pottery are contemporaneous.The archaeologist Jim Shaffer (1984:84-85) has noted that "at present, the archaeological record indicates no cultural discontinuities separating Painted Grey Ware from the indigenous protohistoric culture." However, the continuity of pottery styles may be explained by the fact that pottery was generally made by indigenous craftsmen even after the Indo-Aryan migration. According to Chakrabarti (1968) and other scholars, the origins of the subsistence patterns (e.g. rice use) and most other characteristics of the Painted Grey Ware culture are in eastern India or even Southeast Asia.
In 2013, the University of Cambridge and Banaras Hindu University excavated at Alamgirpur near Delhi, where they found a period overlap between the later part of the Harappan phase (with a "noticeable slow decline in quality") and the earliest PGW levels; Sample OxA-21882 showed a calibrated radiocarbon dating from 2136 BCE to 1948 BCE, but seven other samples from the overlap phase that were submitted for dating failed to give a result. km east of Mathura across the Yamuna river, where two of the radiocarbon dates from the PGW deposit came out to be 2160 BCE and 2170 BCE, but they mention that "there is a possibility that the cultural horizon which is now regarded as belonging to the P.G.W. period might turn out to be as belonging to a period with only plain grey ware." However, later on, other two datings confirming early PGW horizon in Kampil excavations were published as 2310 +/- 120 BCE and 1360 +/- 90 BCE by archaeologist D.P. Tewari.A team of the Archaeological Survey of India led by B.R. Mani and Vinay Kumar Gupta collected charcoal samples from Gosna, a site 6
The Cemetery H culture was a Bronze Age culture in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, from about 1900 BCE until about 1300 BCE. It was a regional form of the late phase of the Harappan civilisation.
The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilisation in the northwestern regions of South Asia, lasting from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, and in its mature form from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilisations of the region comprising North Africa, West Asia and South Asia, and of the three, the most widespread, its sites spanning an area stretching from northeast Afghanistan, through much of Pakistan, and into western and northwestern India. It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, which flows through the length of Pakistan, and along a system of perennial, mostly monsoon-fed, rivers that once coursed in the vicinity of the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra river in northwest India and eastern Pakistan.
Indraprastha is mentioned in ancient Indian literature as a city of the Kuru Kingdom. It was the capital of the kingdom led by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata epic. Under the Pali form of its name, Indapatta, it is also mentioned in Buddhist texts as the capital of the Kuru mahajanapada. It is often thought to have been located in the region of present-day New Delhi, particularly the Old Fort, although this has not been conclusively confirmed. The city is sometimes also known as Khandavaprastha, the name of a forest region on the banks of Yamuna river which had been cleared to build the city.
Indo-Aryan migration models discuss scenarios around the theory of an origin from outside the Indian subcontinent of Indo-Aryan peoples, an ascribed ethnolinguistic group that spoke Indo-Aryan languages, the predominant languages of today's North India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Proponents of Indo-Aryan origin outside of the Indian subcontinent generally consider migrations into the region and Anatolia from Central Asia to have started around 1500 BCE, as a slow diffusion during the Late Harappan period, which led to a language shift in the northern Indian subcontinent. The Iranian languages were brought into Iran by the Iranians, who were closely related to the Indo-Aryans.
The black and red ware culture (BRW) is a late Bronze Age Indian and early Iron Age Indian archaeological culture, associated with the Indus Valley Civilisation and South India.
The Ochre Coloured Pottery culture (OCP) is a 4th millennium BC to 2nd millennium BC Bronze Age culture of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, extending from eastern Punjab to northeastern Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh. It is considered a candidate for association with the early Indo-Aryan or Vedic culture.
The Northern Black Polished Ware culture is an urban Iron Age Indian culture of the Indian Subcontinent, lasting c. 700–200 BCE, succeeding the Painted Grey Ware culture and Black and red ware culture. It developed beginning around 700 BC, in the late Vedic period, and peaked from c. 500–300 BC, coinciding with the emergence of 16 great states or mahajanapadas in Northern India, and the subsequent rise of the Mauryan Empire.
Kalibangān is a town located aton the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar in Tehsil Pilibangān, between Suratgarh and Hanumangarh in Hanumangarh District, Rajasthan, India 205 km. from Bikaner. It is also identified as being established in the triangle of land at the confluence of Drishadvati and Sarasvati Rivers. The prehistoric and pre-Mauryan character of Indus Valley Civilization was first identified by Luigi Tessitori at this site. Kalibangan's excavation report was published in its entirety in 2003 by the Archaeological Survey of India, 34 years after the completion of excavations. The report concluded that Kalibangan was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization. Kalibangan is distinguished by its unique fire altars and "world's earliest attested ploughed field".
Braj Basi Lal, better known as B. B. Lal, is an Indian archaeologist. He was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from 1968 to 1972 and has served as Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. Lal also served on various UNESCO committees.
Several periodisations are employed for the periodisation of the Indus Valley Civilisation. While the Indus Valley Civilisation was divided into Early, Mature and Late Harappan by archaeologists like Mortimer Wheeler, newer periodisations include the Neolithic early farming settlements, and use a Stage-Phase model, often combining terminology from various systems.
In the prehistory of the Indian subcontinent, an "Iron Age" is recognized as succeeding the Late Harappan culture. The main Iron Age archaeological cultures of present-day northern India are the Painted Grey Ware culture and the Northern Black Polished Ware. This corresponds to the transition of the Janapadas or principalities of the Vedic period to the sixteen Mahajanapadas or region-states of the early historic period, culminating in the emergence of the Maurya Empire towards the end of the period.
Pottery in the Indian subcontinent has an ancient history and is one of the most tangible and iconic elements of Indian art. Evidence of pottery has been found in the early settlements of Lahuradewa and later the Indus Valley Civilization. Today, it is a cultural art that is still practiced extensively in Indian subcontinent. Until recent times all Indian pottery has been earthenware, including terracotta.
Bhirrana, also Bhirdana and Birhana, is a small village located in Fatehabad District, in the Indian state of Haryana. Its history stretches back to pre-Harappan times, as revealed by archaeological discoveries.
Alamgirpur is an archaeological site of the Indus Valley Civilization that thrived along Yamuna River from the Harappan-Bara period, located in Meerut district, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is the easternmost site of the civilization.
Bhagwanpura, also known as Bhagpura, is a village in Thanesar sub-district of Kurukshetra district, Haryana, India. It is an archaeological site that lies on the bank of Hakra Ghaggar channel. Situated 24 km northeast of Kurukshetra, the site is notable for showing an overlap between the late Harappan and Painted Grey Ware cultures. Painted Grey Ware is generally associated with the Vedic people, so this area can be said as the junction of two great civilizations of India.
Daimabad is a deserted village and an archaeological site on the left bank of the Pravara River, a tributary of the Godavari River in Shrirampur taluka in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra state in India. This site was discovered by B. P. Bopardikar in 1958. It has been excavated three times so far by the Archaeological Survey of India teams. The first excavation in 1958-59 was carried out under the direction of M. N. Deshpande. The second excavation in 1974-75 was led by S. R. Rao. Finally, the excavations between 1975-76 and 1978-79 were carried out under the direction of S. A. Sali. Discoveries at Daimabad suggest that Late Harappan culture extended into the Deccan Plateau in India. Daimabad is famous for the recovery of many bronze goods, some of which were influenced by the Harappan culture.
Manda is a village and an archaeological site in Jammu in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was excavated by Archaeological Survey of India during 1976-77 by J. P. Joshi. The site contains ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization.
Jognakhera is a site belonging to late Harappan phase of Indus Valley Civilisation. Jogankhera is located in Kurukshetra District, Haryana, India.
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