Frequent question: How did Iron Change West Africa?

Iron smelting and forging technologies may have existed in West Africa among the Nok culture of Nigeria as early as the sixth century B.C. In the period from 1400 to 1600, iron technology appears to have been one of a series of fundamental social assets that facilitated the growth of significant centralized kingdoms in …

Why was Iron important in Africa?

Iron played a central role in many societies of early Africa. It held both spiritual and material power. Physically, Africans used iron to create tools for agriculture, utensils for everyday life, and weapons for protection and conquest (Shillington, 2012, p. 45).

How was iron introduced to Africa?

Iron smelting came into Central Africa from two directions. In the northwest the oldest source of the new knowledge was on the Nigerian plateau. … The eastern tradition of smelting used furnaces as well as bellows to create the necessary draft with which to turn charcoal and ironstone into wrought iron and molten waste.

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What were the effects of the discovery of iron technology in African societies?

The use of iron tools made cultivation of the land easier/faster as they were more efficient. Iron tools were used to clear forests thereby enabling people to migrate/settle in new areas. Iron weapons were used to fight other communities thereby increasing warfare/conflicts.

Who were the first people in West Africa to develop iron?

Key Takeaways: African Iron Age

The earliest iron artifacts in the world were beads made by the Egyptians about 5,000 years ago.

Does Africa have iron?

Iron ore production in Africa is dominated by South Africa, Mauritania and Algeria. Many countries possess iron ore deposits that are as yet untapped/unmined.

Where did Iron Works begin in Africa?

Iron smelting and forging technologies may have existed in West Africa among the Nok culture of Nigeria as early as the sixth century B.C. In the period from 1400 to 1600, iron technology appears to have been one of a series of fundamental social assets that facilitated the growth of significant centralized kingdoms in …

Where is iron found in Africa?

In Southern Africa most iron ore reserves lie in South Africa itself. The chief deposits are at Postmasburg, in the Bushveld Complex, at Thabazimbi, and in the vast low-grade deposits of Pretoria. There are also substantial reserves in Zimbabwe.

What Caused the Iron Age?

Earthquakes, famine, sociopolitical unrest and invasion by nomadic tribes may also have played a role. Some experts believe that a disruption in trade routes may have caused shortages of the copper or tin used to make bronze around this time. Metal smiths, as a result, may have turned to iron as an alternative.

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When was metal first used in Africa?

Although this review principally concerns Africa south of the Sahara desert, the earliest evidence of metal production and use was in Egypt. Copper was first used there around 5000–4000 BCE and was being smelted by 3000 BCE.

What was the impact of iron metallurgy in Africa?

The use of iron ushered in an Iron Age in Africa, with the expansion of agriculture, industry, trade, and political power. In some African cultures, smelters and ironworkers are of low status because of the manual labor inherent in their work. In others, they are of high status because of the value of their wares.

How did the development of iron technology affect life in West Africa?

West Africans discovered they could heat certain kinds of rock to get a hard metal, iron, which they could heat to shape into useful tools and weapons. … useful iron farming tools, like the hoe, for digging. What were the most valuable goods traded across the Sahara? The most valuable goods traded were gold and salt.

What is Iron Age technology?

As its name suggests, Iron Age technology is characterized by the production of tools and weaponry by ferrous metallurgy (ironworking), more specifically from carbon steel.

Did Africans invent iron?

Africa south of the Sahara, it now seems, was home to a separate and independent invention of iron metallurgy … To sum up the available evidence, iron technology across much of sub-Saharan Africa has an African origin dating to before 1000 BCE.

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What is smelting in Africa?

The Iron Age of Africa is generally considered to have taken place between 200 AD and 1000 AD when iron smelting was a practice. … The advantages of Iron are obvious, easier to cut trees with and easier to shave stone. In the 2nd millenium BC, it is believed that Western Asians invented the process of iron smelting.

Did Africa have a Bronze Age?

Unlike Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa lacks a Bronze Age, a period in which softer metals, such as copper, were made into artifacts. In Sub-Saharan Africa there is a Stone Age and an Iron Age.

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