Dagger with iron blade and golden hilt from Alaca Höyük. 28½ cm long.
Dated: Early Bronze Age (2300-2100 BC).
Regarding iron in the 3th – 2nd millennium BC in Anatolia:
The Hittites appear to be the first to understand the production of iron from its ores; they began smelting iron between 1500 and 1200 BC. The practice spread to the rest of the Near East after the Hittite empire fell in 1180 BC, which meant the real beginning of the Iron Age in Anatolia.
Iron objects before 1500 BC were made of meteoric iron, recognizable at its high percentage of nickel (c. 7½ %).
Due to his scarcity, meteoric iron was more valuable than gold.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen