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Early Metal in South India: Copper and Iron in Megalithic Contexts

  • Praveena Gullapalli

Abstract

In South India early metal artifacts, usually associated with megalithic sites, include both copper and iron. Although in some cases copper artifacts predate those made of iron, there is no evidence of an extensive metallurgical tradition based on copper and its alloys. Typological studies have had limited success in explaining the megalithic sites and the production and consumption of metal, while other approaches have not explicitly addressed the social contexts of metal production. While there emerge some suggestive patterns from the archaeometallurgical evidence to date, understanding the role of metal production and consumption in megalithic contexts means reevaluating traditional paradigms about the nature of these sites and about how metal technologies develop.

Keywords

India Megaliths Iron Copper Origins 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Ben Roberts and Chris Thornton for inviting me to be a part of their Society for American Archaeology(SAA) session and of this volume. I would also like to thank Robert Brubaker and Peter Johansen for sharing with me some of their work.This chapter benefitted greatly from the comments of the reviewers and of Paul Craddock, who kindly pointed me in some very fruitful directions. All errors of commission and omission are of course my own.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Praveena Gullapalli
    • 1
  1. 1.Anthropology DepartmentRhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA

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