Before the Iron Age, Most Iron Came From Space
New research is showing just how coveted meteoritic iron was in the Bronze Age. Earth is not short of iron—the metal makes up much of our planet’s core and is the fourth most abundant element in the crust. But actually getting that iron out to use it—to make tools, for example—hasn’t always been a simple process. Most iron is packed away in ore, and you have to know how to smelt it to produce the metal, long prized for its strength and workability. Humans didn’t really master the process and produce iron at a large scale until around 1200 B.C...