Iron Use Started in India 4,200 Years Ago

  • 17 May 2022

Iron implements unearthed from excavations at Mayiladumparai in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district have revealed that the Iron Age in Tamil Nadu dates back 4,200 years, potentially making it the oldest in India, for now.

  • Previously, the Iron Age burial site of Adichanallur in southern Tamil Nadu dated between 1000 BCE and 600 BCE.
  • Of the 28 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry-based (AMS) dating of sites in India, this is the earliest. The 28 sites include sites in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

Interpretation of the Find

  • Through the findings, it has been established that Tamils who lived 4200 years ago were aware of iron.
  • Dense forests were converted into fertile lands only after humankind began realising the use of iron.
  • This finding has answered questions relating to the start of agricultural activity in Tamil Nadu.

Other Findings

  • The late Neolithic phase in Tamil Nadu has been identified to have begun before 2200 BCE, based on a cultural deposit of 25 cm below the dated level.
  • Archaeologists also found that black and red ware pottery was introduced in the late Neolithic phase itself, rather than the widely held belief that this occurred in the Iron Age.