The Indus valley civilization was at its peak from c. 2550 BCE. Urbanized and sophisticated, the culture’s signature pottery had black designs on a red (from ferric oxide) base, but also produced ware in a range of different colours. The Indus valley settlements began to decline from around 1800 BCE, and the epicentre of the subcontinent’s most advanced civilization moved eastward to the Gangetic plain. This culture, less urbanized, developed a new style of pottery, Painted Grey ware (the earliest found at Ahicchatra), sometimes mixed with Black and Red ware. Northern Black Polished ware (NBPW) first arose around 1200 BCE, but gained wide distribution with the rise of kingdoms in northern India in the 6th century BCE. NBPW has been found over much of the subcontinent, but this may be because of distribution through trade, rather than independent development.
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