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The Iron Age

The Iron Age, introduced by the Hittites, is the last in the tripartite division of human prehistory into Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Inevitably each overlaps with the others, as the ripples of a new technology spread outwards.

The technology of iron is known throughout the Middle East by 1000 BC, and over the next 600 years it penetrates the whole of Europe. It reaches China in about 600 BC. At the same period there is iron smelting in Cush (modern Sudan), enabling the secret to spread southwards in Africa. In America ironworking is unknown until the arrival of the Europeans.

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