The Prehistory had two great ages, the Stone Age and the Metal Age , and in the latter we find 3 ages well marked by specific characteristics; When was the iron age?
- Copper Age
- Bronze Age
- Iron age
The Iron Age was the most advanced stage of Prehistory and where civilizations were no longer nomads, the first ancient civilizations and more began to form.
The Iron Age is located approximately between 1500 BC and 500 BC , but not all over the world there was a simultaneous change of age.
Although the exact way in which iron was discovered cannot be determined, it is presumed that its discovery was due to an error. Possibly raw material of this element was thrown into the fire and when it hardened they discovered that it was a new metal.
Its discovery and use did not appear at the same time in all the civilizations of the Iron Age. However, due to the knowledge and contact that existed between the different communities of prehistory , it was possible that the discovery of the new metal spread throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.
El Hierro was an element that changed and accelerated the development of mankind .
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Early Iron Age When was the iron age?
The Iron Age dates from approximately 1,200 to 550 BC . The development of this era came as a consequence of man’s knowledge of metals such as copper , tin, bronze, silver and gold, which many civilizations in Europe, Asia and Africa had already learned to melt and forge.
When the different settlements of man began to discover and use iron, in the middle of the year 1,200 BC, it was an experimental stage and not very relevant due to the few significant changes with respect to the Copper Age. However, from the year 1,000 BC, the use of iron began to become widespread and to become an indispensable metal in the manufacture of weapons and tools.
Unlike copper and bronze, iron turned out to be a more rigid and abundant metal . For this reason, it became popular and viable during the time. Even so, copper, bronze and other metals continued to be used during the iron age, the only difference was that from this era, the different existing metals were used to manufacture specific objects according to the type of metal and of according to the type of part or tool required.
First uses of Iron
Due to the consistency and hardness of iron, it began to be used to manufacture agricultural equipment, such as picks and axes. Likewise, tools such as hammers and mandarins were made , which were useful instruments for forging iron. However, one of the fields in which iron was used the most was in the production of weapons of war such as knives, swords, spearheads, armor and helmets .
Its use in the manufacture of weapons was practical due to the rigidity of the metal. That is why the civilizations that equipped their armies with iron weapons tended to be more powerful due to the resistance and effectiveness that these weapons had compared to those made with copper or bronze.
Social and cultural impact
Just as the discovery of copper and bronze had a positive impact after their discovery in their respective eras, the discovery of iron also had a positive impact on the culture and social activity of the Iron Age civilizations. Among the important changes we can mention:
- Weapon making : Iron turned out to be the best raw material for making weapons. This gave way to more powerful armies equipped with higher quality weaponry.
- Advances in agriculture : The man was able to develop a better worked agriculture thanks to the creation of plow points, axes and picks. This allowed sowing on hard and not very clear soils.
- Diversification of crafts : The appearance of iron on the scene, gave way to the forging of tools that enriched the practice of crafts and jewelry, which was supported by the variation of available raw materials.
- Commerce and navigation : After the invention of the wheel and the construction of ships with sails that took advantage of the winds for their movement, commerce expanded. These Iron Age advances allowed for greater cultural exchange and the exchange of manufactured goods.
- Population growth : Trade and advances in toolmaking allowed civilizations to establish themselves and be successful in their agricultural, livestock and commercial activities. These circumstances led to an increase in the population.
- Intellectual Progress : Advances during the Iron Age greatly contributed to the unfolding of knowledge and intellectual capacity. The end of the Iron Age became the cause of the development of writing, a product of the advances and desire for progress typical of the Iron Age.
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Major Findings When was the iron age?
Due to the oxidation of iron itself, there have not been many finds of iron pieces found in good condition compared to copper and bronze utensils. Some artifacts made of iron have been found inside tombs of the indicated period. During the Iron Age, the use of different metals for the manufacture of utensils was common, which is why in many urns implements that belonged to the deceased were obtained, such as iron swords with ornate handles, bronze knives, gold beads , jewelry, ornaments, ceramic, copper and bronze vessels .
The findings dating from the Iron Age have revealed the great advances that were made during the time in terms of the forging of different metals, for the creation of helmets and shields, as well as the decorative craftsmanship in ceramic containers. These findings have been made throughout Europe, in North Africa, and in different parts of the Asian continent , where human civilization developed fully and significantly, as a counterpart to the development of civilizations belonging to the American continent and Oceania.
These advances that humanity obtained during prehistory, undoubtedly helped to forge and enrich the life prospects of continuous generations, managing to leave their mark to this day.
END of the Iron Age
After countless thousands of years of man coming and going without any type of record, around 3000 years ago the first written records were located , which led to the END of the Iron Age and at the same time the BEGINNING of the Ancient Age. . When was the iron age?