Recent excavations in Mayiladumparai at Krishnagiri district dates Iron Age to have begun in Tamil Nadu at 4,200 years before present. In a report released by the Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology titled ‘Mayiladumparai ­ Beginning of Agrarian Society; 4,200­ year­old Iron Age Culture in Tamil Nadu’, it is found that people in the region used iron as early as 2200 BCE. Samples from the site were sent to Beta Analytic, a radiocarbon dating lab in Florida. Mayiladumparai is now one of the oldest iron age sites in India.

The technology of Iron

The people of Indus valley didnot use iron. Historically, the epoc can be described as copper age. It is well evident and proven that Vedic Indians also had no knowledge of iron. One of the reasons of their decline too was the lack of awareness of iron. The transition from chalcolithic age, the copper age, was not uniform in the Indian subcontinent. The earliest Iron Age sites of India were located in three main regions: the Ganga plains, the central regions of Malwa and the Tapti valley, and the megalithic sites in south India.

Till the recent discovery, megalith sites in Tamil Nadu were dated about 1000 BC.

Paiyampalli, in Tirupattur taluk of Tirupattur district is among the earliest megalithic sites in Tamil Nadu.

As early as in 1863, Robert Bruce Foot had discovered early stone age tools in Pallavaram near Chennai. Sir Mortimer Wheeler discovered that , Arikamedu was an important Indo Roman trading center.

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