Dates

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Dates

Post by DIESEL on Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:21 pm

Classically, the Iron Age is taken to begin in the 12th century BC in the ancient Near East, ancient Iran, ancient India (with the post-Rigvedic Vedic civilization), and ancient Greece (with the Greek Dark Ages). In other regions of Europe, it started much later. The Iron Age began in the 8th century BC in Central Europe and the 6th century BC in Northern Europe. Iron use, in smelting and forging for tools, appears in West Africa by 1200 BC, making it one of the first places for the birth of the Iron Age.(It is believed that meteoric iron, or iron-nickel alloy, was used by various ancient peoples thousands of years before the Iron Age.This iron, being in its native metallic state, required no smelting of ores.)

The Iron Age is divided into two subsections, Iron I and Iron II. Iron I (1200–1000 BC) illustrates both continuity and discontinuity with the previous Late Bronze Age. There is no definitive cultural break between the thirteenth and twelfth century throughout the entire region, although certain new features in the hill country, Transjordan and coastal region may suggest the appearance of the Aramaean and Sea People groups. There is evidence, however, that shows strong continuity with Bronze Age culture, although as one moves later into Iron I the culture begins to diverge more significantly from that of the late second millennium.

The Iron Age is usually said to end in the Mediterranean with the onset of historical tradition during Hellenism and the Roman Empire, in India with the onset of Buddhism and Jainism, in China with the onset of Confucianism, and in Northern Europe with the early Middle Ages.

The arrival of iron use in various areas is discussed in more detail below, broadly in chronological order.

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