Both pressureless-sintered and dense, fine-grained silicon nitride ceramics were produced from mechanochemically activated nitride-based precursors. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmition Electron Microscopy (TEM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and an ultra-low load microhardness tester were used to characterize these ceramics. Depth-sensing indentation (DSI) tests in the range of 200-1800 mN were performed on the silicon nitride ceramic to determine dynamic hardness (H-d) and reduced elastic modulus (E-r) values. These values were deduced by analyzing the unloading segments of the DSI curves. It was found that both H-d and E-r exhibits a significant indentation load dependence. Nix-Gao (NG) model was used to analyze the dynamic hardness data in the calculation of the load independent hardness value.