When did ironworking technology first arrive in Europe?
Where is the earliest evidence of iron-making found?
What is the defining characteristic of an Iron Age culture?
What is the Pazyryk culture?
When did iron and copper working in Sub-Saharan Africa spread from Central Africa to the African Great Lakes?
What was the primary material used in Egypt until the conquest by the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 671 BC?
When did iron objects first appear among the Indo-European Saka in present-day Xinjiang (China)?
What is the Iron Age being seen as in ancient India, ancient Iran, and ancient Greece?
What is Citania de Briterios?
The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity, following the Stone Age and Bronze Age.
The Iron Age began locally when the production of iron or steel replaced their bronze equivalents in common use, and its spread to various regions varied depending on the region under consideration.
The duration of the Iron Age is defined by archaeological convention and varies by region, with the end of the Iron Age marked by the beginning of the historiographical record.
The characteristic of an Iron Age culture is the mass production of tools and weapons made from steel, typically alloys with a carbon content between approximately 0.30% and 1.2% by weight.
Ironworking technology was introduced to Europe in the late 11th century BC, probably from the Caucasus, and slowly spread northwards and westwards over the succeeding 500 years.
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).
Iron smelting appears sporadically in the archaeological record from the middle Bronze Age, and 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 in modern-day Turkey.
Iron metal is singularly scarce in collections of Egyptian antiquities, and bronze remained the primary material there until the conquest by the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 671 BC.
The Iron Age in Europe is being seen as a part of the Bronze Age collapse in the ancient Near East, in ancient India, ancient Iran, and ancient Greece.
The Iron Age as an archaeological period is roughly defined as that part of the prehistory of a culture or region during which ferrous metallurgy was the dominant technology of metalworking.
The use of steel has been based as much on economics as on metallurgical advancements, and early steel was made by smelting iron.
The development of iron smelting was once attributed to the Hittites of Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age, but this view has come under scrutiny and no longer represents a scholarly consensus.Iron Age Around the World
- Iron Age in Europe is characterized by elaboration of designs in weapons, implements, and utensils, hammered into shape, and decoration is elaborate and curvilinear rather than simple rectilinear.
- Citania de Briterios located in Guimarães, Portugal is one of the examples of archaeological sites of the Iron Age, a Celtiberian stronghold against Roman invasions.
- The Iron Age in Central Asia began when iron objects appear among the Indo-European Saka in present-day Xinjiang (China) between the 10th century BC and the 7th century BC, such as those found at the cemetery site of Chawuhukou.
- 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.
- Iron was introduced to the Korean peninsula through trade with chiefdoms and state-level societies in the Yellow Sea area in the 4th century BC.
- Iron was being used in Mundigak to manufacture some items in the 3rd millennium BC such as a small copper/bronze bell with an iron clapper, a copper/bronze rod with two iron decorative buttons.
- The beginning of the 1st millennium BC saw extensive developments in iron metallurgy in India. Technological advancement and mastery of iron metallurgy were achieved during this period of peaceful settlements.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no continent-wide universal Bronze Age, the use of iron immediately succeeded the use of stone.
- Very early copper and bronze working sites in Niger may date to as early as 1500 BC.
- Iron and copper working in Sub-Saharan Africa spread south and east from Central Africa in conjunction with the Bantu expansion, from the Cameroon region to the African Great Lakes in the 3rd century BC.
- Instances of carbon steel based on complex preheating principles were found to be in production around the 1st century CE in northwest Tanzania.
- The Iron Age in Asia was marked by the introduction of iron, the development of metallurgy techniques, and the spread of ironworking from the Near East to Eastern Asia.
Test your knowledge of the Iron Age with our quiz! From the mass production of steel tools and weapons to the spread of ironworking technology across different regions, the Iron Age marks a significant period in human history. Explore the various cultures and regions that experienced the Iron Age, from Europe to Asia and Africa, and learn about the technological advancements that shaped this era. Challenge yourself and see how much you know about this fascinating period of prehistory and protohistory!
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