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Iron Age


  • Originally published 05/30/2013

    Ancient iron beads linked to meteorite

    Since it was found in 1911, an Egyptian iron bead has sparked wonder and debate over how it was produced — made around 3,300 BC, it predates the region's first known iron smelting by thousands of years. Now, researchers say the iron was made in space and delivered to Earth via meteorite."Tube-shaped beads excavated from grave pits at the prehistoric Gerzeh cemetery, approximately 3300 BCE, represent the earliest known use of iron in Egypt," the scientists write in the May 20 issue of .Early studies of the beads found their iron to be rich in nickel, a key indicator that the metal originated from a meteorite. But researchers contested that idea in the 1980s, suggesting the metal was instead the result of early attempts at smelting....

  • Originally published 02/20/2013

    Norwegian guerrilla warfare in the Iron Age

    This is the crux of a doctoral dissertation that researcher Ingrid Ystgaard will defend this spring at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She has studied weapons found in graves and the battle techniques they suggest during the transition from the early to the late Iron Age. The division between these periods was around 500 AD....

  • Originally published 01/20/2013

    Privacy hedges date back to the Iron Age

    The hedge around your house is much more than just a random shrub with green leaves. It’s a symbol of private property and marks the boundary between what’s mine and what’s yours.The idea to enclose and define with straight lines is actually an ancient one.Some of the first archaeological evidence of landscape boundaries dates back to England around 1,500 BC, but 500 years later it also appears in the rest of Northwestern Europe.“From being a predominantly open landscape with large commons with scattered trees and bushes, the landscape became dominated by linear demarcation lines. People started to enclose their fields and suddenly started building embankments and trenches around their houses and villages,” says PhD student Mette Løvschal, who works at Aarhus University’s Department of Culture and Society – Section for Prehistoric Archaeology, where she is using archaeological finds and anthropological theories to try and solve the riddle of when, how and why we suddenly started enclosing what was ours....

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    Storms reveal Iron Age skeleton on Shetland Islands

    A series of storms that hit Scotland's Shetland Islands over the holidays revealed what archaeologists believe could be 2,000-year-old human remains.Police were initially called to the scene when storms eroded a cliff at Channerwick and exposed the skeleton, but officials soon determined that they wouldn't have to open a homicide investigation.Local archaeologist Chris Dyer said the ancient skeleton looked as if it were contemporary with the remains of Iron Age structures revealed nearby. Researchers then identified evidence of one or possibly two more burials at the site, but another storm caused a further chunk of the cliff to crumble, covering up the discovery....

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