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Forum LockedWho used iron first?

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dud View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Who used iron first?
    Posted: 22-Jan-2009 at 16:46
The use of iron in tools and weapons played a significant role in ancient history. With iron tools, the people of the Indian subcontinent were able to clear the thick forests. Armies with iron weapons had a significant advantage over armies with bronze or other weak metal weapons. If I remember correctly, the use of iron, like chariots, was spread by pastoral nomads, but were these pastoralists the first to employ iron? If not, who was the first?
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edgewaters View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2009 at 21:57

Originally posted by dud

Armies with iron weapons had a significant advantage over armies with bronze or other weak metal weapons.

No, not at first. Early ironmaking techniques produced a metal that was no harder than bronze, and was actually heavy, more brittle, harder to work, and of course rusts. It took a considerable amount of refinement before ironmaking developed to the point where it was superior to bronze - at first, it was a cheap alternative.

Bronze was always expensive. Copper is relatively common, but tin could only be found in limited quantities and only in certain regions. Some groups didn't have good access to tin, such as central Europe - so they began using iron (eg Hallstatt culture).

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ulrich von hutten View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ulrich von hutten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jan-2009 at 16:59
Who used iron first?
My mother in law.

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Jallaludin Akbar View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jallaludin Akbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jan-2009 at 21:45
LoL nice one.



^well, this is the most famous pillar of King Asoka (of mauryan empire). No, it is not the first iron object made but it is an incredible feat of engineering. The pillar is made out of a mixture of iron and other metal materials and is rust-proof+still stands today beside the Qutub Minar. Proof of the scientific prowess of our ancient world. 
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
-Mahatma Gandhi

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2009 at 02:46
To the best of my knowledge, the first people known to have mined for iron, refined it and hammered it into weapons and tools would seem to be the Hittites in Anatolia, beginning sometime after 1400 BC.

But a claim for India as early as 1800 BC might be good too.

And then there are unique pieces like the two iron daggers of Egyptian make found in the funerary goods of Tutanchamen. Apparently these aren't made from mined iron, but from meteoric iron, the metal the Egyptians called "bia en pet" (according to one transliteration), i.e. "copper from the sky", which is found in the Egyptian desert in the form of granules, little balls.

One must not insult the future.
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Voskhod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Voskhod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jan-2009 at 11:43
IIRC the first to use it was probably the Hittites. Their military success is often credited to their use of iron.
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