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Iron Age in Tamil Nadu dates back 4,200 years, ‘oldest in India’

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  • Published
    17th May, 2022


Iron implements unearthed from excavations at a small hamlet called Mayiladumparai have revealed that the Iron Age in Tamil Nadu dates back 4,200 years, potentially making it the oldest in India.


Key-highlights of the Findings:

  • Previously, the Iron Age burial site of Adichanallur in southern Tamil Nadu had revealed an impressive collection of iron implements, currently housed in Chennai’s Egmore Museum, dated between 1000 BCE and 600 BCE.
  • Among the other important findings is evidence that 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.
  • The excavation conducted in the year 2021 at Mayiladumparai in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu yielded two important AMS dates that provide a clue for understanding the introduction of iron and also the transformation from the late Neolithic Phase to the Early Iron Age.
  • The site met with Neolithic and Iron Age habitation mound in the terraces of the hillock called S???Rappa? malai.
  • The rock shelter at the top of the hill yielded habitation material with a petroglyph.
  • The rock art with paintings both in red and white pigments was observed in the rock shelter called Ni?al-su?ai (nekul-ju?ai) and the grooves used for polishing Neolithic celts were also noticed near the rock shelter

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