The Iron Mystery

Let’s take a trip back 82,016 years in time.

If the availability of iron wasn’t common until about 1200CE how did a select few groups of people have objects and tools forged from iron as early as 3000BCE?

Let’s take a trip back 82,016 years in time. We’re looking for the year 80,000BCE. Wait for it…

Boom! This guy falls out of the sky.

Photo Credit: Eugene Zibiso

A meteorite. An iron meteorite to be specific. An iron, nickel, cobalt, but mostly iron, meteorite if we need to nit-pick the details.

This blew my mind a little bit. Let’s fast forward to 1000CE. You’re sneaking along in the woods looking for a wallaby for dinner and all of a sudden there’s this giant boulderish thing sunk into the ground. It’s as out of place as Donald Trump at a Kanye West concert.

You have just stumbled on 60 tons of material that was immensely valuable. By immensely valuable we’re talking 60 times it’s weight in silver.

A pound of silver currently sells for $265.
Against todays prices we can say that back in the day one pound of iron was worth…60 times $265 = $15,840 for one pound of meteoric iron. $15,840!
In 2016…
A pound of iron sells for 3 cents.

Millennium passed before the knowledge of how to process typical iron ore into usable iron made it’s way around the world. In the meantime, certain, you could call them lucky, societies would cold forge little pieces of these meteorites into all types of objects and tools.

I would like to make the link between an overly prosperous society and these meteorites but I haven’t found one that’s verifiable. Still, a meteorite as your source of metal is pretty damn cool. Before it came crashing to Earth in a fiery ball it was out in space zinging around the Solar System. Solar System, fiery ball, earrings.

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