The harder metal allowed farmers to tackle tougher soils, while the plentiful iron deposits made tools more easily accessible and inexpensive. by at least c.1500 BC[52] Archaeological excavations in Hyderabad show an Iron Age burial site. This allowed people to cast objects out of iron, and eventually carbon was added to produce steel. [57], The protohistoric Early Iron Age in Sri Lanka lasted from 1000  BC to 600  BC. Some 5,000 years ago, Iron Age … In the Mesopotamian states of Sumer, Akkad and Assyria, the initial use of iron reaches far back, to perhaps 3000 BC. By heating the iron, however, they could make it softer and use hammers to shape it. Then one day, a strange army rides in to conquer your lands. Iron made life a lot easier in those days, when just living to the age of 45 was a feat. Pirates and raiders began attacking communities to steal any bronze they could find. In the Indian sub-continent, the Iron Age is taken to begin with the ironworking Painted Gray Ware culture in the 18th century BC, and to end with the reign of Ashoka (3rd century BC). [9], Similarly, recent archaeological remains of iron working in the Ganges Valley in India have been tentatively dated to 1800  BC. Of Mice and Merchants: Connectedness and the Location of Economic Activity in the Iron Age. Waldbaum, Jane C. From Bronze to Iron. Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support. Iron is important to us because steel, which is made from iron, is the basis of most of the structures we build and of the vehicles we ride in on the ground. So what really did end the Iron Age? Such iron, being in its native metallic state, required no smelting of ores.[5][6]. The techniques used in Lingnan are a combination of bivalve moulds of distinct southern tradition and the incorporation of piece mould technology from the Zhongyuan. [11][12][13][14], Modern archaeological evidence identifies the start of large-scale iron production in around 1200  BC, marking the end of the Bronze Age. The Iron Age in the Ancient Near East is believed to have begun with the discovery of iron smelting and smithing techniques in Anatolia or the Caucasus and Balkans in the late 2nd millennium BC (c. 1300  BC). By convention, the Iron Age in the Ancient Near East is taken to last from c. 1200 BC (the Bronze Age collapse) to c. 550 BC (or 539 BC), roughly the beginning of historiography with Herodotus; the end of the proto-historical period. The Sahel (Sudan region) and Sub-Saharan Africa are outside of the three-age system, there being no Bronze Age, but the term "Iron Age" is sometimes used in reference to early cultures practicing ironworking such as the Nok culture of Nigeria. Sa Huynh beads were made from glass, carnelian, agate, olivine, zircon, gold and garnet; most of these materials were not local to the region and were most likely imported. It was long held that the success of the Hittite Empire during the Late Bronze Age had been based on the advantages entailed by the "monopoly" on ironworking at the time. In most regions, the primary metal for making tools was bronze, an alloy composed of copper and tin. The availability of iron solved the problem of material shortages to make bronze. It was attributed to Seth, the spirit of evil who according to Egyptian tradition governed the central deserts of Africa. Perhaps not the most peaceful of cultural exchanges, but where the technology did travel, it caught on fast. ): John Collis, "The European Iron Age" (1989). Technological advancement and mastery of iron metallurgy were achieved during this period of peaceful settlements. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you (Thames & Hudson, London). There is also evidence of iron metallurgy in Termit, Niger from around this period. Salt mining became important in Austria, with important mines at Hallstatt (Kern et al., 2009) (Figs. For much of Europe, the period came to an abrupt local end after conquest by the Romans, though ironworking remained the dominant technology until recent times. In this system, high-purity wrought iron, charcoal, and glass were mixed in a crucible and heated until the iron melted and absorbed the carbon. The earliest tentative evidence for iron-making is a small number of iron fragments with the appropriate amounts of carbon admixture found in the Proto-Hittite layers at Kaman-Kalehöyük and dated to 2200–2000  BC. Andre Gunder Frank and William R. Thompson, This page was last edited on 22 October 2020, at 00:59. Sri Lanka, University of Kelaniya: Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology: 39. As evidence, many bronze implements were recycled into weapons during that time. [4] Meteoric iron, a characteristic iron–nickel alloy, was used by various ancient peoples thousands of years before the Iron Age. A full answer would take too long, so instead I’ll just mention why iron is superior to bronze. Anthony Snodgrass[15][16] suggests that a shortage of tin, as a part of the Bronze Age Collapse and trade disruptions in the Mediterranean around 1300  BC, forced metalworkers to seek an alternative to bronze. Charcoal analysis from a copper mining area in the Tyrol suggests that Early Iron Age miners chose coniferous wood for fire-setting. This means we could just read what the ancient people said about it in books, letters, and other records, instead of relying on archaeological evidence to learn as much about the past. Iron I (1200–1000 BC) illustrates both continuity and discontinuity with the previous Late Bronze Age. A.M. Snodgrass (1971), "The Dark Age of Greece" (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh). [66], In Philippines and Vietnam, the Sa Huynh culture showed evidence of an extensive trade network. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period; The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from that era. The Germanic Iron Age of Scandinavia is taken to end c. 800 AD, with the beginning of the Viking Age. Log in here for access. Iron metal is singularly scarce in collections of Egyptian antiquities. [1] For example, Tutankhamun's meteoric iron dagger comes from the Bronze Age. imaginable degree, area of Mark E. Hall, "Towards an absolute chronology for the Iron Age of Inner Asia," Antiquity 71.274 [1997], 863–874. A thousand years before the age of empires in Rome and Greece, the Iron Age was ushered into the world with the clank and clatter of the blacksmith's anvil. The Pazyryk culture is an Iron Age archaeological culture (c. 6th to 3rd centuries BC) identified by excavated artifacts and mummified humans found in the Siberian permafrost in the Altay Mountains. [53], The beginning of the 1st millennium BC saw extensive developments in iron metallurgy in India. The products of the combination of these two periods are bells, vessels, weapons and ornaments, and the sophisticated cast. [45] Iron production quickly followed in the 2nd century BC, and iron implements came to be used by farmers by the 1st century in southern Korea. F.R. Studies** also indicate that children with behavior problems and iron deficiency may also benefit from taking iron. In: Bandaranayake and Mogren (1994). By the 1860s, it was embraced as a useful division of the "earliest history of mankind" in general[2] and began to be applied in Assyriology. [76], This article is about the historical/archaeological period known as the Iron Age. just create an account. Instead, iron and steel tools continued to be used even into the present. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. The metal was probably discovered there by accident when some ore was dropped into a fire and cooled into wrought iron, historians think. By that time, much of Europe had settled into small village life, toiling the soil with bronze and stone tools. Citania de Briterios located in Guimaraes, Portugal is one of the examples of archaeological sites of the Iron Age. Between 1800 BCE and 1700 BCE, sudden scarcity in tin caused a steep decline in bronze tool and weapon production. ), Colombo: Archaeological Survey Department of Sri Lanka, 1992: 709-29, Karunaratne and Adikari 1994, Excavations at Aligala prehistoric site. Who discovered the chemical element iron? You can't squish this 'iron' beetle. The answer was steel, an alloy made mostly of iron and some carbon or other metals. Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. "The Iron Age Chronology Debate: Is the Gap Narrowing? [70][71], Archaeological sites containing iron smelting furnaces and slag have also been excavated at sites in the Nsukka region of southeast Nigeria in what is now Igboland: dating to 2000 BC at the site of Lejja (Eze-Uzomaka 2009)[14][71] and to 750 BC and at the site of Opi (Holl 2009). An Iron Age culture of the Tibetan Plateau has tentatively been associated with the Zhang Zhung culture described in early Tibetan writings. [23] The development of iron smelting was once attributed to the Hittites of Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age. - Definition & Examples, Respiratory Splinting: Definition & Techniques, Managing Rehabilitation Services & Programs, Quiz & Worksheet - Assessing Scientific Questions, Quiz & Worksheet - Purpose of Public Schooling, Quiz & Worksheet - Achilles' Strength Quotations, Flashcards - Real Estate Marketing Basics, Flashcards - Promotional Marketing in Real Estate, What is Cooperative Learning? [3] New York, Tewari (2003) concludes that "knowledge of iron smelting and manufacturing of iron artifacts was well known in the Eastern Vindhyas and iron had been in use in the Central Ganga Plain, at least from the early second millennium BC". New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Co. Muhly, James D. 'Metalworking/Mining in the Levant' pp. It is defined by archaeological convention, and the mere presence of some cast or wrought iron is not sufficient to represent an Iron Age culture; rather, the "Iron Age" begins locally when the production of iron or steel has been brought to the point where iron tools and weapons superior to their bronze equivalents become widespread. Iron tools and the way they were made changed little from the early Iron Age to the early 20th-century, when the Industrial Revolution changed nearly everything. What we do know is that the Hittites swept down into the Middle East, decimating armies like a mythological force. [65], Archaeology in Thailand at sites Ban Don Ta Phet and Khao Sam Kaeo yielding metallic, stone, and glass artifacts stylistically associated with the Indian subcontinent suggest Indianization of Southeast Asia beginning in the 4th to 2nd centuries BC during the late Iron Age. The Iron Age in Egyptian archaeology essentially corresponds to the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt. Elsewhere it may last until the early centuries AD, and either Christianization or a new conquest in the Migration Period.

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