Iron Age: a general characteristic of the era

Many secrets exist in world history. But every study from archaeologists leaves no hope of finding out anything new in the facts revealed. The moments when you realize that a long time ago on the lands we walked today, huge dinosaurs lived, the Crusaders fought, and the ancient people broke the camp were exciting and extraordinary.


In its periodization, world history laid down two approaches demanded for determining the human race: 1) materials for the manufacture of tools and 2) technology. Thanks to these approaches, the notions of "stone", "iron", "bronze" centuries arose. Each of these epochs became a separate step in the development of the history of mankind by the next cycle of evolution and the knowledge of human capabilities. It is noteworthy that in this process there was no stagnation, the so-called stagnation. From the most ancient times to the present day, there is a regular acquisition of knowledge and the acquisition of the latest techniques for the extraction of useful materials. In our article you will learn about the Iron Age and its general characteristics.

iron relic

Methods for dating time periods in world history

Natural sciences have become an excellent tool in the hands of archaeologists to determine the date in time intervals. Today, historians and researchers can produce geological dating, they are entitled to use the radiocarbon method, as well as dendrochronology. The active development of the most ancient person allows to improve the existing technologies.

Five thousand years ago in the history of mankind began the so-called written period. Therefore, there are other prerequisites for determining the time frame. Historians suggest that the era of the isolation of the ancient man from the world of the fauna began two million years ago and extended until the fall of the Western part of the Roman Empire, which happened in 476 AD.

It was a period of antiquity, then the Middle Ages lasted until the Renaissance. The period of the New History lasted until the end of the First World War. And we live in the era of modern times. Outstanding figures of the time put their benchmarks. For example, Herodotus was actively interested in the struggle of Asia with Europe. Later thinkers considered the development of the Roman Republic to be the most important event in the development of civilization.However, a huge number of historians came together in a single assumption - in the era of the Iron Age art and culture did not carry great importance. Indeed, in the first place at the time came the tools of labor and war.

Background of the metal era

Primitive history is divided into several important eras. For example, the Stone Age includes the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and the Neolithic. The time interval from these periods is characterized by the development of man and the newest methods of stone processing.

First, a hand cutter was widely spread from tools. At the same time, the man mastered the fire. Made the first clothes from the skin of the animal. There were ideas about religion, and also at this time the ancient people began to equip their homes. During the time when the man led a semi-nomadic way of life, he hunted large and strong animals, so he needed a weapon better than what he had.

ancient settlement

The next most important stage in the development of stone processing is at the junction of millennia and the completion of the stone age. Then there is agriculture and cattle breeding. And then there is the ceramic industry.So in the early Iron Age, ancient people mastered copper and its processing techniques. The beginning of the era of manufacturing metal products formed the front of the activity in advance. The study of the characteristics and properties of metals gradually led to the fact that the man opened the bronze and also distributed it. The Stone Age, the iron, including the bronze, is all a single and harmonious process of human striving for civilization, which is based on the mass movements of ethnic groups.

Researchers who studied the era of iron and its duration

Since the distribution of the metal is usually attributed to the primitive and early class history of mankind, therefore, the characteristic features of this period are interests in metallurgy and the manufacture of tools.

Even in antiquity, the idea of ​​the division of centuries based on materials was formed, but it was more fully described nowadays. Thus, the early Iron Age was researched and continued to be studied by scientists in various fields. For example, in Western Europe, the fundamental works about this era were written by Gernes, Tishler, Kostzewski and other scholars.

However, in Eastern Europe, similar works and monographs, maps and textbooks were written by Gauthier, Spitsyn, Krakow, Smirnov, Artamonov and Tretyakov. They all believe that the spread of iron is a characteristic feature of the culture of primitive times. However, each state in its own way has experienced a bronze and iron age.

The first of these is considered a prerequisite for the emergence of the second. The Bronze Age was not so extensive within the framework of human development. As for the chronological framework of the Iron Age, this period took only two centuries from the ninth to the seventh century BC. During this period, many tribes of Asia and Europe received a powerful impetus to the advancement of metallurgy. Indeed, at that time the metal remained one of the most important materials for the manufacture of tools and household items, therefore, influenced the development of modernity and is part of that time.

Cultural background of this era

Despite the fact that the period of the Iron Age did not imply the active development of culture, nevertheless, modernization slightly affected this sphere of the life of the ancient man. It should be noted:

  • First, the first economic prerequisites emerged for the establishment of a working relationship and discord in the tribal structure.
  • Secondly, the most ancient history is marked by the accumulation of certain values, increasing property inequality, as well as mutually beneficial exchange of the parties.
  • Thirdly, the formation of classes in society and the state was widely spread and strengthened.
  • Fourthly, a huge part of the funds was transferred to the private property of selected minorities, and slavery and progressive stratification of society also arose.
ancient city

Iron Age. Russia

On the lands of modern Russia, iron was first found in Transcaucasia. Objects from this metal began to actively displace the bronze. This is evidenced by the fact that iron was found everywhere, in contrast to tin or copper. Iron ore was located not only deep in the bowels of the earth, but also on its surface too.

Today, the ore found in the swamp does not represent the interests of the modern metal industry. However, in the ancient era, it meant a lot. Thus, the state, which had income in the production of bronze, lost it in the production of metal.It is noteworthy that with the advent of iron, the countries that needed copper ore quickly caught up with those kingdoms that were advanced in the Bronze Age.

It should be noted that during the excavation of Scythian settlements, priceless relics of the beginning of the Iron Age were found.

Scythian products

Who are the Scythians? Simply put, these are Iranian-speaking nomads who moved through the territories of modern Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Siberia and southern Russia. Once upon a time Herodotus wrote about them.

Scythian relics on the territory of Russia

It is worth noting that these nomads grew grain. They brought it for export to Greek cities. Grain production was kept on slave labor. Very often, the bones of the dead slaves accompanied the burial of the Scythians. The tradition to kill slaves at the burial of the lord is known in many countries. These customs Scythians are not ignored. In the places of their former settlements, archaeologists still find agricultural tools, including sickles. It is worth noting that arable tools were found little. Perhaps they were wooden and had no iron elements.

It is known that the Scythians were able to process ferrous metal.They produced flat arrows, which consisted of spikes, bushings and other elements. Scythians began to manufacture tools and other household items of better quality than before. This indicates global changes not only in the life of these nomads, but also of other steppe ethnic groups.

ancient cross

Iron Age. Kazakhstan

This period in the Kazakh steppes came in the eighth and seventh centuries BC. This era coincided with the movement of agricultural and pastoral tribes from Mongolia to mobile forms of farming. They are based on the system of seasonal regulation of pastures, as well as water sources. These forms of livestock farming in the steppes are called "nomadic" and "semi-nomadic farms" in science. New forms of cattle breeding laid the development of the economy of the tribes who lived in the special conditions of the steppe ecosystem. The basis of this form of the economy was formed in the Begaz-Dandybaev era.

Tasmal Culture

Nomads lived on the boundless steppes of Kazakhstan. On these lands, history is represented in the form of mounds and burial grounds, which are considered invaluable monuments of the Iron Age.In this region, graves with paintings are often found, which, according to archaeologists, served as lighthouses or compasses in the steppe.

Historians are interested in Tasmola culture, which was called by the territory of Pavlodar. The very first excavations were carried out in this area, where skeletons of man and horse were found in large and small barrows. Kazakh scientists consider these mounds to be the most common relics of the Stone, Iron, and Ages epoch.

excavated relics

Cultural features of Northern Kazakhstan

This region differs from other regions of Kazakhstan in that the farmers, that is, the local residents, have moved either to a settled or nomadic way of life. The culture described above is also valued in these regions. Researchers, archaeologists are still attracted monuments of the Iron Age. A lot of research has been done on the Birlik, Bekteniz mounds, etc. The right bank of the Esil River has preserved the fortifications of this era.

Another "iron" coil in the history of mankind

Historians say that the 19th century is iron. The thing is that he went down in history as an era of revolutions and changes. The architecture is radically changed.At this time, intensively embedded concrete in the construction business. Everywhere pave the railroad tracks. In other words, the century of railways began. Massively laid rails, connecting cities and countries. So there were ways in France, Germany, Belgium and Russia.

In 1837, workers of the railways connected St. Petersburg and Tsarskoe Selo. The length of these paths was 26.7 km. The railway in Russia began to actively expand in the 19th century. It was then that the domestic government thought about the laying of paths. Strangely enough, but the starting point for the development of this area was the Department of Water Communications, which was established at the end of the 18th century by Paul the First.

The organization under the leadership of N. P. Rumyantsev acted more than successfully. The new institution was actively developing and expanding. At its base, created by Rumyantsev in 1809, opened the Military Institute of Communications. After the victory in 1812, domestic engineers improved the communications system. It was this institute that produced modern and competent specialists for the construction and operation of domestic railways. Historians recorded the maximum point towards the end of the 19th century. This is the highest level of growth of the railway network.In just 10 years, the global length of the railway has increased by 245,000 kilometers. Thus, the total length of the global network has become 617 thousand kilometers.

first train

The first Russian train

As mentioned above, the debut in the national railway was the flight “St. Petersburg - Tsarskoe Selo”, which departed in 1837 on October 30 at 12:30. On this route a lot of artificial structures were built, among them bridges. The largest of them ran through the Obvodnaya Canal, the length of which was more than 25 meters.

In general, in the New Iron Age a huge number of bridges built of metal structures were built. Abroad, 7 locomotives and various crews were purchased. And a year later, namely in 1838, in the Tsarskoye Selo Institute of Communications, a domestic locomotive was built under the name “Agile”.

For 5 years on this route more than 2 million passengers were transported. At the same time, this road brought a profit of about 360 thousand rubles to the treasury. The significance of this railway lay in the fact that this experience of construction and operation proved the idea of ​​the smooth operation of this kind of transport in the climatic conditions of our country all year round.

The financial exploitation of the canvas also proved the profitability and expediency of a new method of delivering passengers and goods. It is worth noting that the first experience in organizing railways in Russia gave a powerful impetus to the development and laying of railroad tracks throughout the country.


If we return to the question of the era of the Iron Age, we can trace its influence on the development of all mankind.

So, the era of metal is a part of history, which was distinguished on the basis of data obtained by archaeologists, and is also characterized by the predominant predominance of iron, iron and steel objects at the excavation sites.

It is believed that this century has replaced the bronze one. Its beginning in different areas and regions refers to different time intervals. Markers of the beginning of the Iron Age are considered the regular manufacture of weapons and tools, the spread of not only blacksmithing, but also the steel industry, as well as the widespread use of iron products.

The end of this era is attributed to the advent of the technological era, which is associated with the industrial revolution. And some historians extend it to the days of modernity.

The widespread introduction of this metal causes many possibilities for the production of a series of tools. This phenomenon is reflected in the improvement and spread of farming in forest areas or on soils that are difficult to cultivate.

iron production

Progress is observed in the construction business, as well as in crafts. The first tools appear in the form of a saw, file, and even hinged tools. The mining of metals has made it possible to manufacture wheeled vehicles. The latter was the impetus for the expansion of trade.

Then coins appear. Iron processing had a positive effect on military affairs. These facts in many regions contributed to the disintegration of the primitive system, as well as the formation of statehood.

Remember that the Iron Age is divided into early and late. This era is used in the study of primitive societies. In the Chinese lands, progress in the steel industry was separate. The production of bronze and casting from the Chinese was at the highest level. However, ore iron was known to them for a long time than in other countries. They were the first to produce cast iron, having noticed its fusibility.Masters produced many objects not by forging, but by casting.

Successful centers for metal processing were in the territories of the former USSR Transcaucasia, the Dnieper region, the Volga-Kama region. It is noteworthy that social inequality intensified in pre-class societies. It was a general characteristic of the Iron Age, in which the most significant changes in the history of mankind related to the development of iron are presented.

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