Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW)

  • It is an urban Iron Age Indianculture of the Indian Subcontinent, lasting c. 700–200 BCE (proto NBPW between 1200 and 700 BCE).
  • It developed beginning around 700 BCE, in the late Vedic period, and peaked from c. 500–300 BCE, coinciding with the emergence of 16 great states or Mahajanapada in Northern India, and the subsequent rise of the Mauryan Empire.


Some notable NBPW sites in India are-

  • Charsada (ancient Pushkalavati) and Taxila, in Pakistan
  • Delhi lor Indraprastha
  • Hastinapura, Mathura, Kampil/Kampilya, Ahichatra, Ayodhya, Sravasti, Kausambi, Varanasi, all in Uttar Pradesh
  • Vaishali, Rajgir, Pataliputra, and Champa in Bihar
  • Ujjain and Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh

Norther Black polished ware sites


  • It is a glossy shiny type of pottery
  • It is made of fine fabric and served as tableware for richer class. It is considered as deluxe pottery only found with the elites revealing societal stratification which was a result of Brahmanical hegemony.
  • It is classified into two- bi-chrome and monochrome.
  • Monochrome pottery has a fine and thin fabric. Potted on fast wheel and have a strikingly lustrous surface. 90% of this type is jet black, brownish black and bluish black and 10% have colours like pink, golden, brown among others.
  • Bi-chrome pottery is found less. It shows all the features of monochrome except that it shows combination of two colours.