Iron key dating
This is more than just a cool story from the Bronze Age though – it's evidence that this kind of analysis can help narrow down just when and where we developed the technological know-how to start producing our own iron goods.
No one's quite sure when iron was smelted by human hand for the first time, but further research using these techniques and tools could be a big help in pinpointing the switch from meteoric iron to iron ore."The study emphasises the importance of analytical methods for properly studying the evolution of the use of metals and metal working technologies in our past cultures," writes Jambon.
Historians have therefore always been puzzled by the presence of some iron weapons and tools dating back to the Bronze Age, which were highly valued as rarities at the time. Key to answering that question is the fact that iron from meteorites falling to Earth contains a lot of nickel, whereas iron ore on the surface doesn't, because of the way nickel drifted towards the molten iron core of our planet during its formation.
It has to be taken by sea, river and rail to Witton Park for smelting and the pig iron is then taken back by rail to Middlesbrough for finishing.Middlesbrough itself is little more than a farm and has a population of just 25.From Eston to East Cleveland there are small farming villages dating back to the Domesday Book.Along the coast, alum is mined and more importantly, ironstone is collected from the beaches for furnaces on Tyneside.- The Stockton & Darlington Railway' is built by a group of Darlington quakers led by Edward Pease.
The alloy was durable and easily available, made by smelting copper and mixing it with tin and other metals.