Between 1200 BCE. and 600 BC, the Iron Age began. During this period, people started making tools and weapons from iron and steel in parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe.
During the Bronze Age, humans may have melted some iron, thinking of it as an inferior metal. Bronze tools and weapons are far better than that of iron.
The Hittites, who lived in the place which now we call Turkey, were the first to make steel. They found that heating iron with carbon can make iron harder which can be used for different purposes.
Duration of Iron Age
Different regions have different duration of the the Age. Archeological conventions define, the mere presence of some ironworkers is not enough to represent the Iron Age culture. “Iron Age” begins locally when iron and steel production is brought to a point where iron tools and weapons superior to their bronze counterparts become widespread.
The Iron age is also concluded by the beginning of the historical convention. For the ancient Near East, the Achaemenid Empire was founded c. 550 BCE (considered historical based on records by Herodotus) is usually taken as a cut-off date, and in Central and Western Europe, the Roman conquest of the 1st century BCE marked the end of the Iron Age. It is taken to end the Germanic Iron Age of Scandinavia. 800 AD with the beginning of the Viking era.
There is no definitive cultural break between the 13th and 12th centuries BCE in the entire region. Although some new features in the mountainous country, Transjordan, and coastal region may suggest the presence of the Aramian and Sea People groups.
However, there is evidence of strong continuity with Bronze Age culture, although culture in the later Iron Age as one begins to diverge significantly from the late second millennium.
The Iron Age, as an archaeological period, is broadly defined as that part of the prehistory of a culture or region during which iron metallurgy was the dominant technique of metals.
By convention, the Iron Age in the ancient Near East was moved from 1200 BC (Fall of Bronze Age) to 550 BCE (or 539 BCE), roughly the beginning of historiography with Herodotus; The end of the proto-historical period. In Central and Western Europe, the Iron Age is moved from c to the last. From 800 BC 1 BCE, in Northern Europe from c. From 500 BCE to 800 AD.
In the 18th century BCE, Iron Age begins with the iron-painted gray ware culture. And end with the reign of Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. The use of the term “Iron Age” in the archeology of South, East, and Southeast Asia is more recent and less common than in Western Eurasia; Prehistory ended at least in China before ironwork came into being, so the term is often used.
In China, there is no recognizable prehistoric period featuring ironwork, as in Bronze Age China, which moved almost directly to the Qin Dynasty of imperial China. In the context of China, the “Iron Age” is sometimes used for the transitional period of c. 500 BCE to 100 BCE during which ferrous metallurgy existed, even though not prominent.
The rising Iron Age in Europe is being seen as a part of the decline of the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East, in ancient India (along with the Rigvedic Vedic civilization), ancient Iran, and ancient Greece (Greek Dark Ages with).
In other regions of Europe, the Iron Age began in the 8th century BC in Central Europe and in the sixth century BC in Northern Europe. The Near Eastern Iron Age is divided into two subclasses, Iron I and Iron II. Iron I (1200–1000 BC) shows both continuity and dissatisfaction with the last Late Bronze Age.
Characteristic of an Iron Age culture is the mass production of equipment and weapons made of steel, typically alloys with a carbon content between about 0.30% and 1.2% weight. Iron metallurgy, along with the ability to produce carbon steel, results in equipment or weapons that are equivalent or superior to brass. The use of steel has been as much based on economics as on metallurgical progress. The initial steel was made by smelting iron.
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