EARLY IRON AGE: BEGINNING OF
HISTORICAL PHASE
In the history of the use of metal, iron followed copper and bronze. In India
the advent of iron marked not only a technological change, but a cultural
change as well, particularly in certain regional contexts where, for
environmental reasons, a more advanced technology than copper-bronze was
a precondition for the full realisation of cultural potentialities. Throughout the
subcontinent iron led slowly but perceptibly to the transition from the pre and
proto-historical to the historical culture.
Iron Age Sites and Cultures
Regardless of the fact that Indian iron technology may be the result of some
diffusion from the west, the early history of iron in India can be examined in
tenus of different regional contexts, through the study of the various iron-
using areas of the subcontinent.
  The chronology of iron differs from one area to another, but between the
  period 1000 BC and 500 BC its use may be said to have spread to all major
  areas:
  The upper Ganges valley and its peripheries
  Malwa plateau and the Tapti valley
  South and Central Indian megalithic areas
  Baluchistan plains
  Middle and lower Ganges valleys
  Northwest, mainly Peshawar region
    From the evidence available at present, the earliest presence of iron may
be said to be in the first three major regions listed above.
    In the upper Ganges valley and the Indo Gangetic divide iron is first
found associated, around 800 BC, with a culture known as Painted Grey Ware
(PGW) (after its characteristic