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Iron Age

The stage of human material cultural development, following the Stone Age and Bronze Age, during which iron is generally used for weapons and tools. Though used ornamentally as early as 4000 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia, iron's difficu;ty of working precluded its general use until efficient techniques were developd in Armedia, c.1500 BC. By c.500 BC the use of iron was dominant throughout the known world, and by c.300 BC the Chinese were using cast iron. Some cultures, as those in America and Australia, are said never to have had an iron age.