Iron Age Facts

Iron Age Facts
The Iron Age refers to the chronological period in human history that came after the Bronze Age and was characterized, as the name indicates, by the widespread emergence of iron weapons and tools. Since technological advancement has been uneven among human societies and civilizations, the times in which different cultures entered the Iron Age has varied. Generally speaking, the Iron Age began around 1200 BC and lasted until around 500 BC, although many societies never truly experienced the Iron Age. For instance, when the various indigenous societies of Mesoamerica first encountered the Spanish in the early sixteenth century, they went from a Neolithic/Bronze Age type society to the post-Iron Age overnight. Many scholars believe that around the year 1200 BC was the beginning of the Iron Age, because that is when the Bronze Age system of the ancient Near East collapsed, which coincided with the Sea Peoples invasions of the eastern Mediterranean region.
Interesting Iron Age Facts:
Just as there is no definite date on when the Iron Age began, there isn't one for when it ended. For southern Europe, the Iron Age is generally considered to have ended around the time the Etruscans were dominant in Italy and the Greece began its Classical phase, or around the late eight century BC. In the Near East, the Iron Age ended with the emergence of the Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century BC.
The Kingdom of Israel is considered an Iron Age kingdom/empire.
The Assyrians were the most powerful Iron Age kingdom in the Near East.
In northern and western Europe, the Iron Age began around 1200 BC and was spread by various Celtic peoples.
The Iron Age began in India at about the same time as in the Near East, but lasted a little longer, until about 200 BC.
The Iron Age didn't come to China until the ninth century BC and Japan until the late fourth century BC.
Different parts of sub-Saharan Africa entered the Iron Age at different periods, with most taking place in the early first millennium BC. With the exception of Nubia, which had extensive contact with Egypt, sub-Saharan African societies did not experience the Bronze Age.
Unlike the end of the Bronze Age, which was marked by devastation in the Near East and eastern Mediterranean, the Iron Age didn't end abruptly. Many scholars consider the life of the sixth century BC Greek historian Herodotus to mark the end of the Iron Age and the beginning of an era when historical records were kept. Today, though, as scholars know more about Egyptian and Mesopotamian record keeping and historiography, the idea that historical record keeping should mark the end of the Iron Age has been disputed.
Iron tools and weapons gave societies that had them an advantage in war, agriculture, and monument building. Iron weapons could cut through bronze armor and weapons, and iron tools were much more durable than bronze tools.
Although the Sea Peoples were among the first people to use iron weapons extensively, the Hittites began using iron weapons before 1200 BC.
The precise reasons why societies switched from bronze to iron remains unknown, although it probably has to do with scarcity of minerals needed to produce bronze, since bronze is actually an alloy.


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