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Wootz steel is a crucible steel characterized by a pattern of bands. These bands are formed by sheets of microscopic carbides within a tempered martensite or pearlite matrix in higher carbon steel, or by ferrite and pearlite banding in lower carbon steels. It was a pioneering steel alloy developed in Southern India (Tamilakam present day Tamil Nadu and Kerala) and Sri Lanka in the 6th century BC and exported globally. It was also known in the ancient world by many different names including ukku, Hindvi steel, Hinduwani steel, Teling steel and seric iron.