Iron & Steel History

From the Stone Age, to the Bronze Age, to the Iron Age, humans have harnessed the world's resources to better their lives. This timeline looks at some of the people and events that had a major influence on the history of the planet.

0200 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Ancient China

Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 25): Throughout the early part of this dynasty, the Chinese made a rapid transition from the production of low-carbon iron to high-carbon cast iron, and there is evidence that they could produce heat-treated steel.

0400 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Waning Of The Iron Age

By the 4th century BC, southern India begin exporting Wootz steel, also known as Seric steel. Wootz steel is a crucible steel characterized by a pattern of bands and high carbon content. It was a pioneering steel alloy developed in India in the mid-1st millennium BC and exported globally.

0476-03-01 00:00:00

Medieval Western Europe

476-1400 AD: At the start of the Middle Ages, notably in Western Europe, iron was still being made by a process of extracting a soft, spongy ball of iron—called a bloom—from the bottom of the furnace and then hammering the balls into bars of wrought iron. By the 1100s, water-powered hammers replaced hand hammers for forging out iron bars.

0618-03-01 00:00:00

Medieval China

Tang Dynasty: The world’s first explosive, gunpowder, is inadvertently invented by several Chinese alchemists. Made of a mixture of sulphur, saltpeter and charcoal, the invention leads to the evolution of guns, cannons, artillery, and spurs ironmaking throughout Asia and Europe.

0700 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Ancient Egyptians

Although the Iron Age had ended around 550 BC, abundant supplies of iron ore were still available, and iron tools were still being made. The leading practitioners were the ancient Egyptians who may have used metal from meteorites to make iron objects.

0800 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Transition From Bronze To Iron

Austria. Evidence that Central Europe made the transition from bronze to iron around this time is found in the historic cemetery of Hallstatt, now in Northern Austria. The kinds of implements and weapons used in the Bronze Age were now being made of iron.

0930 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Earliest Bloomery Established

Jordan. Earliest bloomery for smelting iron is established at Tell Hammeh, an archaeological Tell, or mound.

0960-03-01 00:00:00


Song Dynasty: Earliest depiction of an iron cannon was created.

1000 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Silk Road

1000 – 900 BC: With the collapse of the Bronze Age and the end of the Mycenaean civilization in Greece as well as the Hittite Empire in Turkey, the Iron Age shifts in importance to Xinjiang region of China, where the “Silk Road,” an important trade route, became the crossroads of Central and East Asia.

1100 BC-03-01 00:00:00

Iron Age Begins

The beginning of the Iron Age, an important era in human history lasting until at least 600 B.C., depending on the region. The Age is defined by people throughout much of Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa, who began making tools and weapons from iron and steel. It marked the end of the Bronze Age.

Iron & Steel History

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d Game mode