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Continents

Post by DIESEL on Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:29 pm

Sub-Saharan Africa
Inhabitants at Termit, in eastern Niger became the first iron smelting people in West Africa and among the first in the world around 1500 BC. Iron and copper working then continued to spread southward through the continent, reaching the Cape around AD 200.The widespread use of iron revolutionized the Bantu-speaking farming communities who adopted it, driving out and absorbing the rock tool using hunter-gatherer societies they encountered as they expanded to farm wider areas of savannah. The technologically superior Bantu-speakers spread across southern Africa and became wealthy and powerful, producing iron for tools and weapons in large, industrial quantities. In addition to wrought iron, very early instances of carbon steel were found to be in production around 2000 years before present in northwest Tanzania, based on complex preheating principles. These discoveries, according to Schmidt and Avery (archaeologists credited with the discovery) are significant for the history of metallurgy.

Indian subcontinent
Archaeological sites in India, such as Malhar, Dadupur, Raja Nala Ka Tila and Lahuradewa in present day Uttar Pradesh show iron implements in the period 1800 BC – 1200 BC. Some scholars believe that by the early 13th century BC, iron smelting was practiced on a bigger scale in India, suggesting that the date the technology's inception may be earlier.

The beginning of the 1st millennium BC saw extensive developments in iron metallurgy in India. Technological advancement and mastery of iron metallurgy was achieved during this period of peaceful settlements. An iron working centre in east India is dated to the first millennium BC.

In Southern India (present day Mysore) iron appeared as early as 11th to 12th centuries BC; these developments were too early for any significant close contact with the northwest of the country.

The Indian Upanishads mention weaving, pottery, and metallurgy.

The Indian Mauryan period saw advances in metallurgy.

As early as 300 BC, certainly by AD 200, high quality steel was produced in southern India, by what would later be called the crucible technique. In this system, high-purity wrought iron, charcoal, and glass were mixed in crucible and heated until the iron melted and absorbed the carbon.

China
In 1972, near the city of Gaocheng (藁城) in Shijiazhuang (now Hebei province), an iron-bladed bronze tomahawk (铁刃青铜钺) dating back to the 14th century BC was excavated. After a scientific examination, the iron was shown to be made from meteoric siderite. The Iron Age in East Asia began in earnest, however, when cast-iron objects appeared in Yangzi Valley toward the end of the 6th century BC. The few objects were found at Changsha and Nanjing. According to the mortuary evidence suggests that the initial use of iron in Lingnan belongs to the mid to late Warring States period (from about 350 BC).

The techniques used in Lingnan is a combination of bivalve moulds of distinct southern tradition and the incorporation of piece mould technology from the Zhongyuan The products of the combination of these two periods are bells, vessels, weapons and ornaments and the sophisticated cast.

An Iron Age culture of the Tibetan Plateau has tentatively been associated with the Zhang Zhung culture described in early Tibetan writings.

Japan
The Yayoi period (弥生時代, Yayoi-jidai?) is an era in the history of Japan from about 500 BC to 300 AD.[24] Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new pottery styles and the start of an intensive rice agriculture in paddy fields. The Yayoi followed the Jōmon period (14,000 BC to 500 BC) and Yayoi culture flourished in a geographic area from southern Kyūshū to northern Honshū.

The succeeding Kofun period (古墳時代, Kofun-jidai?) lasts from around 250 to 538. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period.

Korea
Iron objects were introduced to the Korean peninsula through trade with chiefdoms and state-level societies in the Yellow Sea area in the fourth century BC, just at the end of the Warring States Period but before the Western Han Dynasty began. Yoon proposes that iron was first introduced to chiefdoms located along North Korean river valleys that flow into the Yellow Sea such as the Cheongcheon and Taedong Rivers.[27] Iron production quickly followed in the 2nd century BC, and iron implements came to be used by farmers by the 1st century AD in southern Korea. The earliest known cast-iron axes in southern Korea are found in the Geum River basin. The time that iron production begins is the same time that complex chiefdoms of Proto-historic Korea emerged. The complex chiefdoms were the precursors of early states such as Silla, Baekje, Goguryeo, and GayaIron ingots were an important mortuary item and indicated the wealth or prestige of the deceased in this period.

Eastern Europe
The early 1st millennium BC marks the Iron Age in Eastern Europe. In the Pontic steppe and the Caucasus region, the Iron Age begins with the Koban and the Chernogorovka and Novocherkassk cultures from ca. 900 BC. By 800 BC, it was spreading to Hallstatt C via the alleged "Thraco-Cimmerian" migrations.

Along with Chernogorovka and Novocherkassk cultures, on the territory of ancient Russia and Ukraine the Iron Age is to a significant extent associated with Scythians, who developed iron culture since the 7th century BC. The majority of remains of their iron producing and blacksmith's industries from 5th to 3rd century BC was found near Nikopol in Kamenskoe Gorodishche, which is believed to be the specialized metallurgic region of the ancient Scythia.

From the Hallstatt culture, the Iron Age spreads west with the Celtic expansion from the 6th century BC. In Poland, the Iron Age reaches the late Lusatian culture in about the 6th century, followed in some areas by the Pomeranian culture.

The ethnic ascriptions of many Iron Age cultures has been bitterly contested, as the roots of Germanic, Baltic and Slavic peoples were sought in this area.

[edit] Central Europe

In Central Europe, the Iron Age is generally divided in the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture (HaC and D, 800–450) and the late Iron Age La Tène culture (beginning in 450 BC). The Iron Age ends with the Roman Conquest

Italy
In Italy, the Iron Age was probably introduced by the Villanovan culture but this culture is otherwise considered a Bronze Age culture, while the following Etruscan civilization is regarded as part of Iron Age proper. The Etruscan Iron Age was then ended with the rise and conquest of the Roman Republic, which conquered the last Etruscan city of Velzna in 265 BC.

British Isles
In the British Isles, the Iron Age lasted from about 800 BC[32] until the Roman conquest and until the 5th century AD in non-Romanised parts. Structures dating from this time are often impressive, for example the brochs and duns of northern Scotland and the hill forts that dotted the islands.

Northern Europe
The Iron Age is divided into the Pre-Roman Iron Age and the Roman Iron Age. This is followed by the migration period. Northern Germany and Denmark was dominated by the Jastorf culture, whereas the culture of the southern half of the Scandinavia was dominated by the very similar Gregan Iron Age.

Early Scandinavian iron production typically involved the harvesting of bog iron. Scandinavian peninsula, Finland and Estonia show sophisticated iron production very early, but further dating is currently impossible. The range varies from 3000–2000 BP. This knowledge is associated with the non-Germanic part of Scandinavia. Metalworking and Asbestos-Ceramic pottery are somewhat synonymous in Scandinavia due to the latter's capacity to resist and retain heat. The iron ore used is believed to have been iron sand (such as red soil), because its high phosphorus content can be identified in ****. They are sometimes found together with asbestos ware axes belonging to the Ananjino Culture. The Asbestos-Ceramic ware remains a mystery, because there are other adiabatic vessels with unknown usage.

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