What Was Iron Used for in Ancient Times?

Iron is one of the most important metals in human history. It has been used for various purposes since ancient times. In this article, we will explore what iron was used for in ancient times and how it has contributed to our civilization.


Iron was first discovered around 3000 BCE in Anatolia, modern-day Turkey. It was initially used for making weapons and tools, but its uses expanded over time. The discovery of iron had a profound impact on human civilization.

Uses of Iron in Ancient Times

Iron was primarily used for making weapons and armor during ancient times. The Hittites, an ancient civilization that emerged around 1600 BCE, were known for their iron weaponry. The Assyrians and Babylonians also used iron weapons extensively.

Apart from weapons, iron was also used for making tools such as plows and hoes. This led to a significant improvement in agriculture as farmers could now cultivate the land more efficiently.

Iron Smelting

The process of extracting iron from its ore is called smelting. Iron smelting was a complex process that required significant skill and knowledge. The earliest evidence of iron smelting dates back to around 1200 BCE in Africa.

Iron Trade

The trade of iron also played an essential role in ancient times. Iron mining centers developed across various regions such as Anatolia, India, China, and Europe. The trade of iron facilitated the exchange of culture and ideas between different civilizations.

The Iron Age

The widespread use of iron led to the emergence of the Iron Age, which lasted from approximately 1200 BCE until 500 BCE. During this period, societies across the world witnessed significant changes in their economic, social, and political structures.

The Legacy of Iron

Iron has left an indelible mark on human civilization. It has been used for various purposes, from making weapons and tools to constructing buildings and infrastructure. The industrial revolution of the 18th century would not have been possible without iron.


In conclusion, iron has played a crucial role in human history. Its discovery led to significant advancements in agriculture, warfare, and trade. The legacy of iron continues to influence our lives today, and it will undoubtedly shape the future of human civilization for years to come.