Iron AgeIron Age - The next age of development for mankind after the Bronze Age was the Iron Age. It came roughly 2000 years after the start of the Bronze. Since both are metals and since bronze is an alloy (of copper and tin), whereas iron is a single metal, one might ask why it took so long for humans to utilize it on a wide scale. The answer can be found in the element's melting point, which is much higher than either copper or tin. Those metals can be worked in ordinary ceramic kilns, but iron requires more sophisticated furnaces capable of generating higher temperatures. Why is iron superior to bronze? Well in its purest form, it really isn't. But when combined with Carbon, it forms steel which is much stronger than bronze and, more importantly, harder (meaning steel weapons hold an edge better). Also, iron is a much more abundant element in the earth's crust than copper and especially tin, which is relatively scarce.