Excavation in Turkey may re-write history of iron tool production

March 28th, 2009 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, March 28 (ANI): The discovery of fragments of an iron tool in Turkey has pushed back the start of the Iron Age by several centuries, which may lead to the history of iron tool production being re-written.

According to a report in the Asahi Shimbun, the fragments were found at Kaman-Kalehoyuk, about 100 kilometers southeast of Ankara, by researchers of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan.

They said that iron fragments believed to be part of a blade were found in a geological layer dating from 2100 B.C. to 1950 B.C.

Until now, the first use of man-made iron tools and weapons was believed to have been around 1500 B.C. by Hittites who lived in the Anatolian Peninsula.

The artifact, which is in pieces, would have a total length of 5 centimeters if connected. Although the tool was badly corroded, an X-ray of a cross section produced an image of a sharp edge.

Researchers believe the tool was a single-edged dagger.

Another fragment, a piece of iron slag, measures 2 centimeters in diameter. Two rocks containing iron were also found, suggesting that iron workshops existed at the site.

During excavations that wound up last year, researchers discovered iron from a geological layer from before 1500 B.C.

However, they said that there was a chance the artifact had settled from a later period.

Hideo Akanuma, a senior curator at the Iwate Prefectural Museum, began analyzing the metal fragments last year.

According to Akanuma, “The discovery of iron in different stages of processing as well as its raw materials from the same geological layer is conclusive evidence that iron processing occurred at the site.”

The Hittites are credited with being the first race of people to artificially create iron. (ANI)

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