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Wootz steel is a steel characterized by a pattern of bands or sheets of micro carbides within a tempered martensite or pearlite matrix. It was developed in India around 300 BC. The word wootz may have been a mistranscription of wook, an anglicised version of urukku, the word for steel in Tamil and Malayalam or ukku, the word for steel in Kannada, Telugu and many other southern Indian languages.
According to traditional history Wootz steel originated in India before the time of Christ. Wootz steel was widely exported and traded throughout ancient Europe and the Arab world, and became particularly famous in the Middle East, where it became known as Damascus steel. Archaeological evidence suggests that this manufacturing process was already in existence in South India even before the Christian era