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The Painted Grey Ware culture (PGW) is an Iron Age Indo-Aryan culture of the western Gangetic plain and the Ghaggar-Hakra valley in the Indian subcontinent, conventionally dated c.1200 to 600–500 BCE, or from 1300 to 500–300 BCE It is a successor of the Cemetery H culture and 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.
|c. 1200–600 BCE
|Extensive Iron metallurgy
|Cemetery H culture
Black and red ware
Ochre Coloured Pottery culture
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. As of 2018[update], 1,576 PGW sites have been discovered. 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 civilisation. 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.
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