-0400 – blast furnace

Bronze mettalurgy was being used for several thousand years before this. The presence of iron artifacts in a culture is evidence of the ability to melt and refine iron ore which requires higher temperatures than bronze work and usually indicates knowledge of how make a high temperature furnace. Some of the earliest ironwork of this type seems to have appeared around -500 to -400 in China. Iron working also existed prior to this date, but the advent of the high temperature furnace allowed iron to be melted and poured, greatly enhancing the ability of iron workers.

PRECURSOR:
bronze

SUBSEQUENT:
steel

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