DIHRM -MAHM AMT – III rd sem – PAINTED GREY WARE (PGW)
PAINTED GREY WARE (PGW) by: Dr Ashwani Asthana
This culture is characterised after very distinctive ceramic industry. It is grey in
colour with black pre firing painting.
It is a village culture with agricultural cum pastoral base economy.
There are no sign of urbanisation such as town planning, large scale trade and
commerce, coinage etc.
No script is present
The sites are at a distance of 10 to 12 km away from one another sometimes 5 km
The first evidence of PGW comes from Explorations at Ahichchattra
The first evidence through excavation or stratigraphical position comes from
• Stratigraphically PGW is found in 4 contexts:
• Ropar, Sanghol, Daulatpur, Alamgirpur and Hullas (Western U.P and
• Here PGW is found overlying the late Harappan period with a break
• Dadheri, Katpalon, Nagar, Bhagwanpura, Manda
• Here PGW and Late Harappans were found living together.
• Hastinapur and Ahichhchatra
• Here PGW is found overlying OCP culture with a break.
• Atranjikhera, Noh and Jodhpura.
• Here PGW is found overlying BRW with a break and on the upper side
PGW further overlaps with NBPW.
• PGW constitutes 3 to 10% and the rest is red ware.
• Wheel thrown pottery
• Well levigated clay and has a smooth surface, Grey to ashy grey in
• Fine grained section.
• Fired in a reducing condition at temperature of 800c and retaining
that temperature for at least 12 hours.
• a) Bowls
• Straight Sided Bowls
• Tapering Sided Bowls
• Convex Sided Bowls
• Hemispherical Sided
• Incurved Bowls (rim part incurved)
• Concave Sided
• Corrugated Side
• Miniature Bowls
• b) Dishes
• Featureless, round sided dishes.
• Dishes with Straight Side
• Tapering Sided.
• c) Less common Types
• Lota (water vessel) from Ropar
• Spouted Vessel fromSardargarh
• Big Water Jar from Sonk (Mathura)
• They are pre firing.
• Chocolate to Black Pigment (in colour)
• Acc. To Vibha Tripathi – The design vary upto 42 in number.
• Simple Horizontal Bands
• Group of Parallel, Vertical, Oblique or Criss- Cross Lines.
• Dot and Dash
• Dot and alternate Dash
• Chains of Small Spirals
• Concentric Circles and semi circles
• Sigma and Swastika
• Simple Intersecting Loops
• Found in both sides depending on the shapes
• Houses were made of Wattle and Daub and mud bricks
• Ahichhchatra, Atranjikhera and Hastinapur
• Patches of Burnt earth
• mud bricks
• burnt bricks
• mud platform
• mud plasters pieces with reed and bamboo impression found.
• Pd I - Evidence of post holes in circular and rectangular
• Pd II - Well planned 13 roomed house with corridor and courtyards
• Size of the rooms 1.6 x 1.6 m, 3.55 x 4.2 m
• Mud walls and thatched roofs
• Pd III- Sizes of the bricks 20x20x8. 12x 12x8, 30x20x8, 16x12x4 cm
• At Atranjikhera it is evident that the posts were made up of wood of cheer,
• From Atranjikhera and Jakhera, we have the evidence of a dam made of
• At Atranjikhera the embarkment of 35 in length and 1.4 m in height
(available height) was exposed.
• From Jakhera the Basal width was 4.8 m and height was 1 to 2 m
• copper, iron, brass, bronze in metal
• from Hastinapur 2 bangles of glass were found
• MATERIAL CULTURE
• beads of terracotta, agate, jasper, carnelian, chalcedony, Lapis Lazuli,
Glass and Bone and Ivory.
• Teracotta bangles and bangles of Glass
• Teracotta Pendants
• Limited No. of Copper bangles
• Kitchen Objects
• Pestle and querns of stone
• Tongs of Iron
• Household items
• nails, pins, needles, knifes, toothpicks and hooks
• From Atranjikhera we have the evidence of a copper dish and a comb of ivory
• Terracotta Figurines
• From Jakhera 3 terracotta figures 2 of males and one of female with incised
designs to show ornamentation.
• From Hastinapur the animal figurines of bull, crudely moulded figurines of
• From Ahichhchatra a terracotta figure of horse was found
• Miscellaneous Objects
• Terracotta discs, bowls, potter’s stamps, gamesman and hoop scotch
• SUBSISTENCE PATTERN
• Evidence from Hastinapur and Atranjikhera shows that the people of Hastinapur
cultivate only rice whereas the people of Atranjikhera cultivate Wheat and
• Thus in general PGW people knew about cultivation of Rice, Wheat, Barley and
Peas. Wheat was introduced in Daub region by PGW people. In Atranjikhera we
do have evidence of rice but less in comparission of Barley and Wheat.
• Evidence of milk products from Atranjikhera. Evidence of ghee
• Fowls, river turtle, bivalve.
• Bones of deer, horse, bull, pig, goat from Hastinapur, Allahapur and
• Fish hook from several sites attest that it was part of their subsistence pattern.
• Ores of iron brought from Kumaon Hills, Thapli, found several PGW sites
where the smelting was done.
• ‘Ores and finished goods were traded.
• TRANSPORT AND TRAVEL
• It is through various terracotta objects one can say that they were having
horse cart, evidence of river boats also.
• ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF PGW
• Acc. to Prof. B.B. Lal
• The grey ware is very closely resembles PGW like the ware from the sites
Tsani, Tsangali and Zerila and Shah Tepe and Seistan in Iran and Shahi
Tump in Baluchistan which dates back to 2nd mellenium BC.
• Thus known that the movement is from west to east of PGW.
• Acc. to Prof. V.N. Misra
• PGW is derived from BRW on the basis of :-
• (1) Nearly 50% of PGW shapes are present in BRW
• (2) PGW is not found beyond the western boundary of India.
• (3) On the basis of concentration of the sites, the epicentre of PGW lies
somewhere in Punjab,
• Haryana and Northern U.P
• (4) Occurrence of grey ware is very less in relation to the PGW
• (5) In Asia Minor the Hittites and Mittani’s are supposed to have being
Aryans and several sites have yielded the relics of these people but not
• On the basis of the Point 4 PGW and BRW we have in Harayana and
Punjab region sites are younger to the U.P. region and we find that
experimental stage of PGW is in Western U.P. and northern Rajasthan.
• Thus refutes the theory of B.B Lal of the foreign origin of PGW.
• Excavation and Exploration in the Swat valley the geographical area and its
location on the land routes we have large no. of grave sites and habitational
• The main sites excavated are Timargarha (Ahmed Hasan Dani, 1967), Ghali
Gai (1967, Stacul)
• In these sites iron appears along with the grey ware for the first time it was
noticed and the time assigned was between 1300-1200 BC
• Pirak Damb, Baluchistan yielded very imp. Result.
• Out of 11 occupational levels, level 6 yielded grey ware and black pottery
along with iron objects. It is datable to 1100 BC. This site was excavated by
Jerrige and Enold
• On the basis of iron at these sites painted grey ware in India and the
movement of the Aryans, Dani. Stacul, Jerrige and Enold emphasises that
the link between PGW of the Swat valley and PGW of India.
• Dani writes, “It may not be improper to seek the origin of PGW to the
development of GW of the Gandhara Grave Culture as this region is yet to
explored the interesting places between Indus and Beas.”
• Prof. B.K. Thapar, suggest that PGW of India has closest affinity with N. Iran by
the end of 3rd MBC.
• On the basis of the treatment, fabric forms but he also failed to give a route for
• A.Ghosh the absence of the common pottery tradition has been explained.
• The migrating folk adopted the local tradition in the absence of their own pottery
tradition which was also different to pursue in vague of constant migration.
• In the light of this discussion it can be concluded that views of Prof. V.N. Misra’s
point 4 and 5 does not stand and origin lies in the west.
• BLACK AND RED WARE
• Black from inside. The rim part is black below black rim the rest of
the body is red.Fugitive painting with white then related to Ahar
• Found in Early Harappan Period – Kunal, Somnath (pre Prabhas)
• Late Harrapan – Kutch,Mature Harappan – Lothal ( Micaceous
• Black topped Ware in Foreign Language.
• CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES
• Well Thrown Pottery,Well Levigated clay,Fabric ranges from fine to
• Dishes, vases, bowls,Well fired or ill fired,Handmade pottery also.
• MATERIAL CULTURE
• At Atranjikhera -No metal tools,Debitage of the carnelian,Chips and
cores of quartzite
• Ornaments-one bead each of carnelian, shell and copper,Copper
• From Jodhpura one bone spike was found,From NOH we have
Shapeless iron pieces,A bead of terracotta,A bone spike
• SUBSISTENCE PATTERN
• From Atranjikhera, we have evidence of rice and moong.
• According to R.C. Gaur, the pottery of Atranjikhera, Gilund and Ahar
is very much similar but the pottery of NOH is plain and painted.
• TYPOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE
• BRW is painted form known as Ahar Tradition. It has pronounced
carinated concave sides.
• The fabric is coarse whereas plain BRW with no painting or
carination are completely fine.
• Dishes with featureless rim and convex sides is completely
unknown at Ahar and Gilund whereas in Duab region it is present
• Bowls with channels or pronounced carination and dish on the stand
are completely unknown in BRW of Daub Region whereas they are
present at Ahar and Gilund.