Home Region:  Central India (South Asia)

Deccan - Iron Age

EQ 2020  in_deccan_ia / InDecIA

The South Indian Iron Age lasted, roughly, from 1200 to 300 BCE. [1] The vast majority of Iron Age megalithic structures and associated sites have been found in the modern-day Indian states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. [2] As in the preceding Neolithic period, South Indians sustained themselves through bovine and caprine pastoralism as well as the cultivation of millet and pulses - and, increasingly, wheat, barley, and rice. Settlement designs became more complex and labour-intensive, and new social arrangements and mortuary practices emerged. [3]
Population and political organization
Differences in the scale, design and materials of mortuary megalithic structures and associated grave goods point to the growing hierarchization of South Indian societies at this time. [3] However, there was some variation in terms of the sociopolitical organization of individual communities: for example, it is likely that some chiefs with limited decision-making powers ruled over single settlements, and that more powerful leaders based in large centres exerted some control over surrounding settlements, and that some polities were made up of several settlements ruled by a hierarchy of leaders who answered to a single paramount chief. The first type of polity probably prevailed at the beginning of the Iron Age, while the second and third type likely became more common towards its end. [4]
No population estimates for this period could be found in the specialist literature.

[1]: (Johansen 2014, 59) Peter G. Johansen. 2014. ’The Politics of Spatial Renovation: Reconfiguring Ritual Practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India’. Journal of Social Archaeology 14 (1): 59-86.

[2]: (Brubaker 2001-2002, 253) Robert Brubaker. 2001-2002. ’Aspects of Mortuary Variability in the South Indian Iron Age’. Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61: 253-302.

[3]: (Johansen 2014, 65) Peter G. Johansen. 2014. ’The Politics of Spatial Renovation: Reconfiguring Ritual Practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India’. Journal of Social Archaeology 14 (1): 59-86.

[4]: (Brubaker 2001-2002, 287-91) Robert Brubaker. 2001-2002. ’Aspects of Mortuary Variability in the South Indian Iron Age’. Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61: 253-302.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
43 P  
Original Name:
Deccan - Iron Age  
Alternative Name:
Megalithic Period  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[1,200 BCE ➜ 300 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Mauryan Empire  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Deccan - Neolithic  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[500 to 1,000] people 1200 BCE 1000 BCE
[2,000 to 4,000] people 999 BCE 600 BCE
[5,000 to 10,000] people 599 BCE 300 BCE
Polity Population:
[500 to 1,000] people 1200 BCE 1000 BCE
[5,000 to 15,000] people 999 BCE 600 BCE
[20,000 to 25,000] people 599 BCE 300 BCE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
1 1200 BCE 1001 BCE
[1 to 2] 1000 BCE 601 BCE
2 600 BCE 301 BCE
Religious Level:
1  
Military Level:
1 1200 BCE 1000 BCE
[1 to 2] 999 BCE 600 BCE
2 599 BCE 300 BCE
Administrative Level:
1 1200 BCE 1000 BCE
[1 to 2] 999 BCE 600 BCE
2 599 BCE 300 BCE
Professions
Professional Soldier:
unknown  
Professional Priesthood:
unknown  
Professional Military Officer:
unknown  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Judge:
unknown  
Formal Legal Code:
unknown  
Court:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
unknown  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Port:
unknown  
Canal:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
unknown  
Script:
unknown  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
unknown  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
unknown  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown  
Sacred Text:
unknown  
Religious Literature:
unknown  
Practical Literature:
unknown  
Philosophy:
unknown  
Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown  
History:
unknown  
Fiction:
unknown  
Calendar:
unknown  
Information / Money
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
unknown  
Foreign Coin:
unknown  
Article:
unknown  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
inferred absent  
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
inferred absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
inferred present  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
inferred absent 1199 BCE 551 BCE
unknown 550 BCE 451 BCE
present 450 BCE 300 BCE
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
inferred present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent 1200 BCE 1000 BCE
present 999 BCE 700 BCE
absent 999 BCE 700 BCE
present 699 BCE 300 BCE
  Donkey:
inferred present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
unknown  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
inferred absent  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Deccan - Iron Age (in_deccan_ia) was in:
 (1200 BCE 301 BCE)   Deccan
Home NGA: Deccan

General Variables
Identity and Location


Alternative Name:
Megalithic Period

"Megaliths, although they were certainly used throughout the Iron Age, seem to appear sometime sooner [...] and to persist until quite a bit later than the Iron Age, well into the Early Historic and even later" [1] .

[1]: K. Morrison, M. Lycett and M. Trivedi, Megaliths and Memory: Excavations at Kadebakele and the Megaliths of Northern Karnataka (2010), Meetings of the Association of South Asian Archaeology, p. 2


Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[1,200 BCE ➜ 300 BCE]

[1]

[1]: P. Johansen, The politics of of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India (2014), Journal of Social Archaeology 0(0): 1-28


Political and Cultural Relations


Preceding Entity:
Deccan - Neolithic

[1]

[1]: P. Johansen, The politics of of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India (2014), Journal of Social Archaeology 0(0): 1-28



Language

Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[500 to 1,000] people
1200 BCE 1000 BCE

Inhabitants. Settlement of 50 ha at 200 persons per hectare would have 10,000 people. Presumably largest settlement of 50 ha at end of polity. Will use 20 ha (lower limit of upper range) for middle period and 5 ha for early period.
In the Bellary and Raichur districts of Karnataka, there were at least two levels of settlement hierarchy [1] :
1. Settlements of 20-50 ha2. Settlements of 1-5 ha

[1]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365

Population of the Largest Settlement:
[2,000 to 4,000] people
999 BCE 600 BCE

Inhabitants. Settlement of 50 ha at 200 persons per hectare would have 10,000 people. Presumably largest settlement of 50 ha at end of polity. Will use 20 ha (lower limit of upper range) for middle period and 5 ha for early period.
In the Bellary and Raichur districts of Karnataka, there were at least two levels of settlement hierarchy [1] :
1. Settlements of 20-50 ha2. Settlements of 1-5 ha

[1]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365

Population of the Largest Settlement:
[5,000 to 10,000] people
599 BCE 300 BCE

Inhabitants. Settlement of 50 ha at 200 persons per hectare would have 10,000 people. Presumably largest settlement of 50 ha at end of polity. Will use 20 ha (lower limit of upper range) for middle period and 5 ha for early period.
In the Bellary and Raichur districts of Karnataka, there were at least two levels of settlement hierarchy [1] :
1. Settlements of 20-50 ha2. Settlements of 1-5 ha

[1]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365


Polity Population:
[500 to 1,000] people
1200 BCE 1000 BCE

People. Early = 500-1000 / Middle = 5,000-15,000 / Late = 20,000-25,000
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
Early in period = same as the population of a single settlement at that time
1. Single settlement
e.g. 5 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 1000. [500-1000]: 1200-1000 BCE
Later in period = population of a large settlement, plus population of numerous lesser settlements that have substantial populations
1. Large regional center
e.g. 50 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 10,000. [5,000-10,000]: 599-300 BCE
2. Numerous settlements and substantial populationse.g. settlement of 20 ha [2] at 200 per ha gives an upper limit of 4,000. 5 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 1000. Multiple these figures by 3 to approximate "numerous lesser settlements" = 15,000

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365

Polity Population:
[5,000 to 15,000] people
999 BCE 600 BCE

People. Early = 500-1000 / Middle = 5,000-15,000 / Late = 20,000-25,000
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
Early in period = same as the population of a single settlement at that time
1. Single settlement
e.g. 5 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 1000. [500-1000]: 1200-1000 BCE
Later in period = population of a large settlement, plus population of numerous lesser settlements that have substantial populations
1. Large regional center
e.g. 50 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 10,000. [5,000-10,000]: 599-300 BCE
2. Numerous settlements and substantial populationse.g. settlement of 20 ha [2] at 200 per ha gives an upper limit of 4,000. 5 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 1000. Multiple these figures by 3 to approximate "numerous lesser settlements" = 15,000

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365

Polity Population:
[20,000 to 25,000] people
599 BCE 300 BCE

People. Early = 500-1000 / Middle = 5,000-15,000 / Late = 20,000-25,000
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
Early in period = same as the population of a single settlement at that time
1. Single settlement
e.g. 5 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 1000. [500-1000]: 1200-1000 BCE
Later in period = population of a large settlement, plus population of numerous lesser settlements that have substantial populations
1. Large regional center
e.g. 50 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 10,000. [5,000-10,000]: 599-300 BCE
2. Numerous settlements and substantial populationse.g. settlement of 20 ha [2] at 200 per ha gives an upper limit of 4,000. 5 ha settlement [2] at 200 per ha gives upper limit of 1000. Multiple these figures by 3 to approximate "numerous lesser settlements" = 15,000

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
1
1200 BCE 1001 BCE

levels.
Initially a given polity only consisted of a single settlement
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
In the Bellary and Raichur districts of Karnataka, there were at least two levels of settlement hierarchy [2] :
1. Settlements of 20-50 ha2. Settlements of 1-5 ha

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365

Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]
1000 BCE 601 BCE

levels.
Initially a given polity only consisted of a single settlement
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
In the Bellary and Raichur districts of Karnataka, there were at least two levels of settlement hierarchy [2] :
1. Settlements of 20-50 ha2. Settlements of 1-5 ha

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365

Settlement Hierarchy:
2
600 BCE 301 BCE

levels.
Initially a given polity only consisted of a single settlement
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
In the Bellary and Raichur districts of Karnataka, there were at least two levels of settlement hierarchy [2] :
1. Settlements of 20-50 ha2. Settlements of 1-5 ha

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Peregrine, M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Prehistory, vol. 8: South And Southwest Asia (2003), p. 365


Religious Level:
1

levels.
"Social differences and nascent inequalities are demonstrated by the design of Iron Age settlements in central Karnataka where residential spaces were built to be practically and symbolically distinct from one another. Labor investment, access patterns, elevation, and, in some cases, construction materials were all variables that appear to have defined the residential spaces of some social groups in Iron Age settlement communities as more exclusive than those of others (Bauer, in press; Johansen, 2008, 2011). Yet, the most direct expression of Iron Age social differences comes from the remarkable variation observed in the mortuary record, and in particular that among a new suite of commemorative and memorial practices involving the construction of a range of large (and not so large) stone features collectively referred to as megaliths. The production of this new suite of monumental features marked important changes in the character and purpose of ritual practices in southern India, from those of the open public performances of the Neolithic, which appear to have emphasized group solidarity, to those of the Iron Age, which were more labor-intensive, often but not always more exclusive, and which emphasized politically salient social differences." [1]
"South Indian megaliths were distinctive and ubiquitous architectural features of Iron Age landscapes throughout most regions of South India (Figures 1 and 3). Megaliths include a wide range of commemorative-memorial stone and earth features such as dolmens, stone circles, cairns, menhirs, alignments, avenues, and passage chamber features, located in a variety of mortuary and non-mortuary contexts (Brubaker, 2001; Krishnaswami, 1949; Leshnik, 1974; Moorti, 1994; Morrison et al., in press; Rao, 1988; Sundara, 1975) (Figure 3). Megaliths are most frequently recorded in large mortuary complexes, but also occur in small groups or as isolated features (Brubaker, 2001). Large megalithic complexes are typically found within a short distance of settlements but individual features and small groups of megaliths also frequently occur in and around settlements as pre-abandonment and post-habitation occupations (Bauer, 2010, 2011; Brubaker, 2001; Johansen, 2009, 2011; Moorti, 1994; Morrison et al., in press; Sundara, 1975). The location of many recorded megalithic mortuary complexes close to settlements suggests that particular cemeteries were the relatively exclusive domain of specific settlement communities (see Bauer, 2010, 2011)." [1]
"Megalithic construction and maintenance were intricately related to Iron Age death rituals and political claims to a variety of socio-symbolic resources. Their construction inscribed a range of important social meanings to places, through punctuated ritual practices involving the interment of the dead or small special offerings, burnings, feasting, and the creation or sanctification of precious pools and tanks of water (cf. Bauer, 2011; Bauer and Morrison, 2007; Bauer et al., 2007; Morrison et al., in press; Sinopoli, 2009)."

[1]: (Johansen 2014, 1-28) Johansen, P. 2014. The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India. Journal of Social Archaeology. 0(0).


Military Level:
1
1200 BCE 1000 BCE

levels.
weapons
"Among the material changes documented in the Iron Age archaeological record are more complex and labor-intensive settlement designs, new mortuary practices, the production and consumption of a range of new slipped and polished ceramic wares as well as iron tools, weapons, and hardware. Most notably, there was significant transformation in the organization of social relations during the Iron Age that produced tangible social differences and inequalities." [1]
Initially a given polity only consisted of a single settlement
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [2]

[1]: (Johansen 2014, 1-28) Johansen, P. 2014. The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India. Journal of Social Archaeology. 0(0).

[2]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

Military Level:
[1 to 2]
999 BCE 600 BCE

levels.
weapons
"Among the material changes documented in the Iron Age archaeological record are more complex and labor-intensive settlement designs, new mortuary practices, the production and consumption of a range of new slipped and polished ceramic wares as well as iron tools, weapons, and hardware. Most notably, there was significant transformation in the organization of social relations during the Iron Age that produced tangible social differences and inequalities." [1]
Initially a given polity only consisted of a single settlement
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [2]

[1]: (Johansen 2014, 1-28) Johansen, P. 2014. The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India. Journal of Social Archaeology. 0(0).

[2]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

Military Level:
2
599 BCE 300 BCE

levels.
weapons
"Among the material changes documented in the Iron Age archaeological record are more complex and labor-intensive settlement designs, new mortuary practices, the production and consumption of a range of new slipped and polished ceramic wares as well as iron tools, weapons, and hardware. Most notably, there was significant transformation in the organization of social relations during the Iron Age that produced tangible social differences and inequalities." [1]
Initially a given polity only consisted of a single settlement
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [2]

[1]: (Johansen 2014, 1-28) Johansen, P. 2014. The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India. Journal of Social Archaeology. 0(0).

[2]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302


Administrative Level:
1
1200 BCE 1000 BCE

levels.
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
_Early in period_
1. Chief
_Later in period_
1. Paramount chief
2. Lesser chief

"The disparities of scale, design, and materials in megalithic mortuary preparation and associated grave goods demonstrate differential access to labor and a variety of goods and resources that strongly suggest significant differences in social rank within Iron Age settlement communities" [2] . However, few sources offers an explicit description of the social and political hierarchy of the time, as "the study of variation among megalithic cemeteries has been beset by low-sample sizes of well-documented excavated interments and by a remarkable paucity of radiometric dates" [2] .
"Among the material changes documented in the Iron Age archaeological record are more complex and labor-intensive settlement designs, new mortuary practices, the production and consumption of a range of new slipped and polished ceramic wares as well as iron tools, weapons, and hardware. Most notably, there was significant transformation in the organization of social relations during the Iron Age that produced tangible social differences and inequalities." [3]

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Johansen, The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India (2014), Journal of Social Archaeology 0(0): 1-28

[3]: (Johansen 2014, 1-28) Johansen, P. 2014. The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India. Journal of Social Archaeology. 0(0).

Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]
999 BCE 600 BCE

levels.
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
_Early in period_
1. Chief
_Later in period_
1. Paramount chief
2. Lesser chief

"The disparities of scale, design, and materials in megalithic mortuary preparation and associated grave goods demonstrate differential access to labor and a variety of goods and resources that strongly suggest significant differences in social rank within Iron Age settlement communities" [2] . However, few sources offers an explicit description of the social and political hierarchy of the time, as "the study of variation among megalithic cemeteries has been beset by low-sample sizes of well-documented excavated interments and by a remarkable paucity of radiometric dates" [2] .
"Among the material changes documented in the Iron Age archaeological record are more complex and labor-intensive settlement designs, new mortuary practices, the production and consumption of a range of new slipped and polished ceramic wares as well as iron tools, weapons, and hardware. Most notably, there was significant transformation in the organization of social relations during the Iron Age that produced tangible social differences and inequalities." [3]

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Johansen, The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India (2014), Journal of Social Archaeology 0(0): 1-28

[3]: (Johansen 2014, 1-28) Johansen, P. 2014. The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India. Journal of Social Archaeology. 0(0).

Administrative Level:
2
599 BCE 300 BCE

levels.
"At the smallest and least complex (in terms of population, geographic scale and decision-making arrangements) end of this continuum, chiefs with limited decision-making prerogatives probably presided over single settlements. In larger examples, more powerful leaders based in larger centers likely exerted varying degrees of control over multiple and varying numbers of settlements. Finally, at the most complex end of this continuum, paramount chiefs ruling from large regional centers with lesser chiefs as political subordinates dominated even larger polities containing numerous settlements and substantial populations. In the present context it seems most likely that chiefdoms of the first type were prevalent during the earlier phases of the Iron Age, with those of the latter two types developing with increasing frequency as time passed." [1]
_Early in period_
1. Chief
_Later in period_
1. Paramount chief
2. Lesser chief

"The disparities of scale, design, and materials in megalithic mortuary preparation and associated grave goods demonstrate differential access to labor and a variety of goods and resources that strongly suggest significant differences in social rank within Iron Age settlement communities" [2] . However, few sources offers an explicit description of the social and political hierarchy of the time, as "the study of variation among megalithic cemeteries has been beset by low-sample sizes of well-documented excavated interments and by a remarkable paucity of radiometric dates" [2] .
"Among the material changes documented in the Iron Age archaeological record are more complex and labor-intensive settlement designs, new mortuary practices, the production and consumption of a range of new slipped and polished ceramic wares as well as iron tools, weapons, and hardware. Most notably, there was significant transformation in the organization of social relations during the Iron Age that produced tangible social differences and inequalities." [3]

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302

[2]: P. Johansen, The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India (2014), Journal of Social Archaeology 0(0): 1-28

[3]: (Johansen 2014, 1-28) Johansen, P. 2014. The politics of spatial renovation: Reconfiguring ritual practices in Iron Age and Early Historic South India. Journal of Social Archaeology. 0(0).


Professions
Professional Soldier:
unknown

Full-time specialists


Professional Priesthood:
unknown

Full-time specialists


Professional Military Officer:
unknown

Full-time specialists


Bureaucracy Characteristics


Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown

Full-time specialists



Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
present

"[I]t is clear that water retention techniques began to be practised in a variety of settings during the Iron Age [...]. In addition, the development of water management technology during this period generally coincided with the introduction of new cultigens - including rice cultivation - suggesting that water retaining features became increasingly important to agricultural production by the end of the first millennium BCE" [1] .

[1]: A. Bauer, K. Morrison, Water Management and Reservoirs in India and Sri Lanka, in H. Selin (ed), Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (2008), pp. 2207-2214


Food Storage Site:
unknown

Irrigation systems may have produced surplus food that required storage.


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

"At the Iron Age habitation site Kadebakele (Northern Karnataka) [...] inhabitants modified the drainage pattern on top of a granitic hill to form a water catchment basin [...] it certainly provided much-needed water to residents at certain times" [1]

[1]: A. Bauer, K. Morrison, Water Management and Reservoirs in India and Sri Lanka, in H. Selin (ed), Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (2008), p. 2207-2214


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

About 20% of sites in this period are located near sources of iron ore, while smaller percentages are located near sources of gold, copper, lead, zinc, and silver [1] .

[1]: R. Brubaker, Aspects of mortuary variability in the South Indian Iron Age, in Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute 60-61, pp. 253-302


Information / Writing System






Information / Kinds of Written Documents









Information / Money




Information / Postal System



Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

Lower Deccan (Krishna-Tungabhadra River Valleys; Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab) 1100-100 BCE: "Preferred settlement location are on high hilltops or on the slopes of outcrops, with some evidence for walls and other defensive features." [1]

[1]: (? 2002, 365)? South Indian Iron Age. Peter N Peregrine. Melvin Ember. eds. 2002. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 8: South and Southwest Asia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Lower Deccan (Krishna-Tungabhadra River Valleys; Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab) 1100-100 BCE: "Preferred settlement location are on high hilltops or on the slopes of outcrops, with some evidence for walls and other defensive features." [1]

[1]: (? 2002, 365)? South Indian Iron Age. Peter N Peregrine. Melvin Ember. eds. 2002. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 8: South and Southwest Asia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Lower Deccan (Krishna-Tungabhadra River Valleys; Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab) 1100-100 BCE: "Preferred settlement location are on high hilltops or on the slopes of outcrops, with some evidence for walls and other defensive features." [1]

[1]: (? 2002, 365)? South Indian Iron Age. Peter N Peregrine. Melvin Ember. eds. 2002. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 8: South and Southwest Asia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.



Moats around defensive walls are known in the Ganga valley in India from about 500 BCE, or perhaps earlier. [1] Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a moat. [2]

[1]: (? 1990, 298) Amalananda Ghosh ed. 1990. An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology. Volume I. E J BRILL. Leiden.

[2]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.



Earth Rampart:
unknown

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions ramparts constructed with earth. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 103) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Ditch:
present

Lower Deccan (Krishna-Tungabhadra River Valleys; Krishna-Tungabhadra Doab) 1100-100 BCE: "Preferred settlement location are on high hilltops or on the slopes of outcrops, with some evidence for walls and other defensive features." [1]

[1]: (? 2002, 365)? South Indian Iron Age. Peter N Peregrine. Melvin Ember. eds. 2002. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 8: South and Southwest Asia. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York.



Military use of Metals
Steel:
absent
1199 BCE 551 BCE

Probably not common but it is quite probable that the elite soldiers used wootz steel swords. Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword (or a sword of Indian steel?) in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [1] At Naikund in Maharashtra: knowledge of steeling and hardening from 700 BCE. [2] Historical records show Indian steel was exported to Abyssinia in 200 BCE. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123). [3]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[2]: (Deshpande and Dhokey 2008) P P Deshpande. N B Dhokey. April 2008. Metallographical investigations of iron objects in ancient Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals. Volume 61. Issue 2-3. Springer. pp. 135-137.

[3]: Lynn Biggs. Berenice Bellina. Marcos Martinon-Torres. Thomas Oliver Pryce. January 2013. Prehistoric iron production technologies in the Upper Thai-MalayPeninsula: metallography and slag inclusion analyses of ironartefacts from Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. Springer.

Steel:
unknown
550 BCE 451 BCE

Probably not common but it is quite probable that the elite soldiers used wootz steel swords. Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword (or a sword of Indian steel?) in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [1] At Naikund in Maharashtra: knowledge of steeling and hardening from 700 BCE. [2] Historical records show Indian steel was exported to Abyssinia in 200 BCE. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123). [3]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[2]: (Deshpande and Dhokey 2008) P P Deshpande. N B Dhokey. April 2008. Metallographical investigations of iron objects in ancient Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals. Volume 61. Issue 2-3. Springer. pp. 135-137.

[3]: Lynn Biggs. Berenice Bellina. Marcos Martinon-Torres. Thomas Oliver Pryce. January 2013. Prehistoric iron production technologies in the Upper Thai-MalayPeninsula: metallography and slag inclusion analyses of ironartefacts from Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. Springer.

Steel:
present
450 BCE 300 BCE

Probably not common but it is quite probable that the elite soldiers used wootz steel swords. Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword (or a sword of Indian steel?) in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [1] At Naikund in Maharashtra: knowledge of steeling and hardening from 700 BCE. [2] Historical records show Indian steel was exported to Abyssinia in 200 BCE. (Biggs et al. 2013 citing Tripathi and Upadhyay 2009, p. 123). [3]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[2]: (Deshpande and Dhokey 2008) P P Deshpande. N B Dhokey. April 2008. Metallographical investigations of iron objects in ancient Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals. Volume 61. Issue 2-3. Springer. pp. 135-137.

[3]: Lynn Biggs. Berenice Bellina. Marcos Martinon-Torres. Thomas Oliver Pryce. January 2013. Prehistoric iron production technologies in the Upper Thai-MalayPeninsula: metallography and slag inclusion analyses of ironartefacts from Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. Springer.


Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [1] Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [2] First finds of iron weapons in northern India earlier than 1000 BCE and from at least 1000 BCE in Karnataka in south India where iron arrowheads, spears and swords have been found. [3]

[1]: (Singh 1997) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[2]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.

[3]: (Tewari 2010) Tewari, Rakesh. 2010. Updates on the Antiquity of Iron in South Asia. in Man and Environment. XXXV(2): 81-97. Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies.


Copper:
present

‘Before 600 BC, warfare in India consisted of duels among the Kshatriya aristocrats in chariots and cow lifting raids carried out by tribal militias’. Kshatriya charioteers wore helmets made of metal [1] , presumably of copper.

[1]: (Roy 2013) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Number 8. Routledge. Abingdon.


Bronze:
present

Copper and sometimes bronze weapons found in non-Ayran Vedic-era hoards at Kallur (Hyderabad in the Deccan) include barbed spears and harpoons. [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 91) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997 (1965). Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
unknown

According to Jaina texts, Ajatashatru, a 5th century BCE king of Magadha in North India, used a catapult "capable of hurling huge pieces of stone". [1] Ancient Indian armies had siege engines that could "fling stones and lead balls wrapped up in burning materials. The Mahabharata mentions an Asma-yantra (a stone-throwing machine) in the battle with Jarasandha and we have further records that such engines were used in later periods to set enemy fortifications alight and that ’liquid fires’ containing naphtha were in use in ancient India." [2]

[1]: (Singh 2008, 272) Upinder Singh. 2008. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Longman. Delhi.

[2]: (Forbes 1959, 88-89) Robert James Forbes. 1959. More studies in early petroleum history. Brill Archive.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Much later, Byzantines or possibly Chinese were the first to use sling siege engines


Sling:
present

Present for the Indus Valley Civilization: "Commonest among the weapons of offence and defence in the Indus valley are sling pellets of baked clay." [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 90) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.


Self Bow:
present

Arrowheads have been excavated [1] (bow type not specified). ’From the Kushans, the Indians learnt the use of composite bows. The Sanchi sculptures which can be dated to the first century BC show many soldiers carrying strung and unstrung composite bows. Murray B. Emeneau writes that the Guptas used Sassanian types of composite bows.’ [2]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401

[2]: (Roy 2013, 23) Kaushik Roy. 2013. Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Javelin:
present

Copper and sometimes bronze weapons found in non-Ayran Vedic-era hoards at Kallur (Hyderabad in the Deccan) include barbed spears and harpoons. [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 91) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997 (1965). Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi.




Crossbow:
unknown

Known to Chinese in the first millennium BCE but Vedic literature does not describe anything like a crossbow although Pant suggests "the weapon mentioned as the nalika in ancient Sanskrit literature was a crossbow." [1] "The hand crossbow was usd on Indian battlefields probably from the third century A.D. It was mainly used as an infantry weapon and occasionally as a cavalry weapon. A Sanskrit inscription at Avanthipuram, in South India, reads: ’... Of him who has the name of Ananta impelled with speed and skillfully discharged from the machines of his bow fitted with the well stretched string....’ Obviously, the machine referred to was a hand crossbow." [1]

[1]: (Phillips 2016) Henry Pratap Phillips. 2016. The History and Chronology of Gunpowder and Gunpowder Weapons (c.1000 to 1850). Notion Press.


Composite Bow:
absent

’From the Kushans, the Indians learnt the use of composite bows. The Sanchi sculptures which can be dated to the first century BC show many soldiers carrying strung and unstrung composite bows. Murray B. Emeneau writes that the Guptas used Sassanian types of composite bows.’ [1]

[1]: (Roy 2013, 23) Kaushik Roy. 2013. Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Weapon that has only been found in the New World.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

According to a military historian the Maurayan heavy infantry is known to have used iron weapons including maces, dagger-axes, battle-axes and a slashing sword [1] - do Maurayan specialists agree? The Indus Civilization used the mace. [2]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.

[2]: (Singh 1997, 89) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997 (1965). Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi.


Found in burials [1] In Nimar District, Madhya Pradesh (in Central India region, but outside of the Deccan), excavators at Navdatoli ’found a copper fragmentary sword or dagger’ Carbon-14 dates of the site suggest a time between 1631-1169 BCE. [2]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401

[2]: (Singh 1997, 86) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.


Found in burials [1]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401


Polearm:
present

At a "megalithic habitation site" in Tamil Nadu, rock-art has been found depicting "two horse riders fighting each other with poles" [1] .

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India (2008), p. 253


Dagger:
present

Found in burials [1] Daggers and knives were known in Vedic-period India. [2]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401

[2]: (Singh 1997, 86) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997 (1965). Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi.


Battle Axe:
present

Found in burials [1] Indus Civilization used flat axes of copper and bronze. “The shorter axes with a deep and circular edge suggest weapons of war.” These are also found at Lothal and in south western India at Rangpur. [2]

[1]: J. Sudyka, The "Megalithic" Iron Age Culture in South India: Some General Remarks (2011), Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia 5: pp. 359-401

[2]: (Singh 1997, 88) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.


Animals used in warfare

At a "megalithic habitation site" in Tamil Nadu, rock-art has been found depicting "two horse riders fighting each other with poles" [1] . The Gupta Empire, after 350 CE, was built around a powerful cavalry force. [2] "In the Deccan and South India, chariots do not seem to have been used much at any time, because of the rugged terrain of the region - the ox-drawn chariots mentioned in early Tamil literature were probably only glorified bullock-carts." [3] According to a military historian "By the sixth century BCE, Indian armies had large cavalry contingents" [4] - do ancient Indian specialists agree?

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India (2008), p. 253

[2]: (Roy 2013) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Number 8. Routledge. Abingdon.

[3]: (Eraly 2011, 164) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

[4]: (Gabriel 2012, 127) Richard A Gabriel. 2012. Man and Wound in the Ancient World. A History of Military Medicine from Sumer to the Fall of Constantinople. Potomac Books. Washington, D.C.


Elephant:
absent
1200 BCE 1000 BCE

According to Pliny the Elder, the Satavahana army, in the early first millennium CE, included 1,000 elephants. [1] Buddhist texts suggest "Indians had become skilled in taming and training elephants" by the early first millennium BCE." [2] Potent force by the fourth century BCE. [2]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Medieval India (2008), p. 382

[2]: (Eraly 2011, 165) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

Elephant:
present
999 BCE 700 BCE

According to Pliny the Elder, the Satavahana army, in the early first millennium CE, included 1,000 elephants. [1] Buddhist texts suggest "Indians had become skilled in taming and training elephants" by the early first millennium BCE." [2] Potent force by the fourth century BCE. [2]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Medieval India (2008), p. 382

[2]: (Eraly 2011, 165) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

Elephant:
absent
999 BCE 700 BCE

According to Pliny the Elder, the Satavahana army, in the early first millennium CE, included 1,000 elephants. [1] Buddhist texts suggest "Indians had become skilled in taming and training elephants" by the early first millennium BCE." [2] Potent force by the fourth century BCE. [2]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Medieval India (2008), p. 382

[2]: (Eraly 2011, 165) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

Elephant:
present
699 BCE 300 BCE

According to Pliny the Elder, the Satavahana army, in the early first millennium CE, included 1,000 elephants. [1] Buddhist texts suggest "Indians had become skilled in taming and training elephants" by the early first millennium BCE." [2] Potent force by the fourth century BCE. [2]

[1]: U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Medieval India (2008), p. 382

[2]: (Eraly 2011, 165) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


Donkey:
present

In ancient India the buffalo, bullock, yak, goat, camel, elephant, horse, ass and the mule were all used for transport [1] [2] in different regions according to local conditions. [2]

[1]: (Mishra 1987, 83) Kamal Kishore Mishra. 1987. Police Administration in Ancient India. Mittal Publications. Delhi.

[2]: Prakash Charan Prasad. 1977. Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India. Abhinav Publications. New Delhi.



In ancient India the buffalo, bullock, yak, goat, camel, elephant, horse, ass and the mule were all used for transport [1] [2] in different regions according to local conditions. [2] Were camels used in the Deccan region of India?

[1]: (Mishra 1987, 83) Kamal Kishore Mishra. 1987. Police Administration in Ancient India. Mittal Publications. Delhi.

[2]: Prakash Charan Prasad. 1977. Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India. Abhinav Publications. New Delhi.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

According to a military historian the Mauryans carried shields made of raw oxhide stretched over a wood or wicker frame [1] - do Mauryan specialists agree?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Shield:
present

According to a military historian the Mauryans carried shields made of raw oxhide stretched over a wood or wicker frame [1] - do Mauryan specialists agree?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Scaled Armor:
unknown

Reference for Vedic-period India (mostly Ganges valley but may also be relevant further south) mentions a coat of mail but the description reads more like scaled armor: "No material evidence exists to prove the use of body-armour, helmets and shields by the people of the Indus valley. It has been suggested, however, that domed pieces of copper, each pierced by two holes, were stitched on to a piece of cloth and used as a coat of mail." [1] According to a military historian: "In India, protective body armor was in use around 1600 B.C.E. The Vedic Epics use the word varman to describe what was probably a coat of mail, probably a leather garment or coat reinforced with brass plates at critical points." [2] - do ancient Indian specialists agree with this?

[1]: (Singh 1997, 91) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997 (1965). Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi.

[2]: (Gabriel 2007, 79) Richard A Gabriel. 2007. Soldiers’ Lives Through History: The Ancient World. Greenwood Press. Westport.




Leather Cloth:
present

According to a military historian helmets were not widely used until the CE period; soldiers used thick turbans to protect their heads [1] - do ancient Indian historians agree? According to a military historian the Mauryans carried shields made of raw oxhide stretched over a wood or wicker frame [2] - do Mauryan specialists agree? Soldiers of the Vijayanagara c1400 CE used iron plates inside raw leather tunics and headpieces similar to helmets. [3] It’s possible that leather tunics was a military technology with ancient roots. According to a military historian: "In India, protective body armor was in use around 1600 B.C.E. The Vedic Epics use the word varman to describe what was probably a coat of mail, probably a leather garment or coat reinforced with brass plates at critical points." [4] - do ancient Indian specialists agree with this?

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 220) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 219) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.

[3]: (Domingos Paes [c1520] 1991, 276) Domingos Paes (c1520-1522). Of the things which I saw and contrived to learn concerning the Kingdom of Narsimga, etc. The Vijayanagar Empire: Chronicales of Paes and Nuniz. Asian Educational Services. New Delhi.

[4]: (Gabriel 2007, 79) Richard A Gabriel. 2007. Soldiers’ Lives Through History: The Ancient World. Greenwood Press. Westport.



Helmet:
present

‘Before 600 BC, warfare in India consisted of duels among the Kshatriya aristocrats in chariots and cow lifting raids carried out by tribal militias’. Kshatriya charioteers wore helmets made of metal [1] , presumably of copper. Refers to north of India? Deccan in south unlikely to be more developed than this. According to a military historian helmets were not widely used until the CE period; soldiers used thick turbans to protect their heads [2]

[1]: (Roy 2013) Kaushik Roy. 2013 Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Number 8. Routledge. Abingdon.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 220) Gabriel, Richard A. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Greenwood Publishing Group.


Chainmail:
absent

In Ancient India soldiers of the Gupta Empire who could afford to do so and were willing to bear the heat (or for night operations?) wore chain mail. [1]

[1]: (Rowell 2015 89) Rebecca Rowell. 2015. Ancient India. Abdo Publishing. Minneapolis.


Breastplate:
unknown

Ancient Indians used iron for armour cuirasses and breastplates but copper was also used. [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.


Naval technology

Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.