Cultures > Iron Age Mesopotamia

Iron Age Mesopotamia

Background

The Iron Age is the period that begins after the Bronze Age ended in civilizations and is marked by the widespread use of iron. The earliest production of iron appears to have taken place in the region of Anatolia around 1,200 BCE although there is much archaeological evidence that suggests much earlier use. There is not much chronological classification given to this age as the Iron Age begins and ends in different places around the world at different time periods.

The Iron Age was originally one of three major periods of civilization as classified by Christian Thomsen (1788–1865) along with the Stone Age and the Bronze Age for understanding how civilizations developed.

The widespread use of iron is believed to have played an essential role in the Bronze Age Collapse in the area around the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia which saw widespread chaos and social unrest throughout the region. It caused massive changes in ancient society in nearly all areas including military, agriculture, religion, art, and many other aspects of daily life.

Iron was much lighter and stronger than bronze which meant it made much more effective swords and shields along with agricultural tools and cutting weapons. Armies which had widespread iron weapons had significant advantages over those who used primarily bronze tools and this was a principle reason behind the great destabilization of Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age Collapse when the world transitioned from the Bronze age into the Iron Age.

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