The Coming of Iron in a Comparative Perspective

Wiebke Bebermeier, Markolf Brumlich, Violetta Cordani, Salvatore de Vincenzo, Heidemarie Eilbracht, Jörg Klinger, Enrico Lehnhardt, Michael Meyer, Stephan G. Schmid, Brigitta Schütt, Michael Thelemann, Matthias Wemhoff


The paper deals with the introduction of iron as a new raw material in the transition period between the outgoing Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. Objective of the paper is to introduce the interdisciplinary research group A5: Iron as a new raw material of the Excellence Cluster Topoi. The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations. After a short overview of the history of the spread of iron technology after the decline of the Hittite empire, the central research categories of the group: space, knowledge, innovation and resource are introduced. The interdisciplinary composition of the group enables the integration of different methodological approaches from the archaeological sciences, ancient oriental studies and physical geography. Furthermore, the spatio-temporal potentials and limitations of the single disciplinary methodological approaches are discussed and a brief overview of the regions under investigation is given. The introduction of iron as a new raw material is in detail presented in the light of two case study regions: the Ancient Orient and the Teltow region.


Iron Age; innovation; knowledge transfer; iron smelting

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eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies (ISSN 2192-2608)