Did Neanderthals use Iron tools?

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posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 02:42 AM
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I remember reading an EXTREMELY interesting paper once, and I'll see if I can find it online while writing this. It discussed the peculiarities of Iron and Bronze and argued that Iron was in fact worked before Bronze, and the reason for lack of strong archaeological evidence is because of the intrinsic natures of the two metals.

Iron oxidizes and therefore erodes away, and the paper argues in general that the length of time for an iron object to erode completely into less than recognizable dust is about 3,000 years. So the evidence of any iron working much older than 3-4k years would begin to become very thin or hard to find.


that the possibility that the iron age started considerably before the full bronze age must be
re-examined, the lack of extensive evidence of their usage is because of the ease of rusting of iron and
iron-carbon alloys by oxidation. Furthermore, a rusted object looks ugly and should be buried. Thus,
their return to earth’s surface as iron oxide destroys the onginrd manufactured iron product.


But some trace elements remain, mainly found as red ochre.

I'm so glad to have found the paper lol.

e-reports-ext.llnl.gov...


Our
selection of 7000 B. C., for the be@rmingof the Metals Age, is based on the fact that large villages
were, by thk time, a part of the scene of human activity. Examples are Jericho, and Catal Huyuk and
Hallan Cemi in Turkey. The town of Jericho is reported to have had 2500 inhabitants at the time of
its prime in 7000 B.C. The story of Catal Huyuk in Turkey is equally impressive with a history
dating back to at least 6000 B. C., with a population estimated at over 7,000 people. Evidence of open
hearths abounded in these ancient cities. Waldbaum[l 1] has documented fourteen iron objects at
another four sites dating before 3000 B.C. The oldest object is a four-side instrument from a gravesite
at Samara in northern Iraq, dated ca. 5000 B.C.


Some facts regarding found metals.

The paper goes on in passing mentions that perhaps Neanderthals used Iron tools because their camp sites reveal hot hearths and a lot of red ochre which most scientists try to explain as a pigment except that the Ochre is shown to have been mined, and that millions of pounds were mined, far more than needed for just pigments by primitive dunderheads.

news.leiden.edu...

webcache.googleusercontent.com...:uGTulhKzDtUJ:journals.uair.arizona.edu...& cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

This cached website contests that at least carbon dating iron would be difficult at best


The rationale behind the feasibility of the 14C dating of iron is that the carbon in the iron originatesfrom the fuel of the smelting process, and for most ancient iron this fuel will have been charcoal.There seems to be an implicit assumption that the use of fossil fuel can be unambiguously recog-nized because of the geological age of the carbon (although the possibilities of Neanderthal ironsmelting have been raised, apparently seriously, by Sherby and Wadsworth 2001). The potentialdangers of serious misdating arising because of the intermixing of carbon from charcoal- and fossilfuel-smelted iron seem not to be appreciated (see Cook et al. 2003, discussed below).


I also want to leave the thought, think of the spiritual metaphor to be found in the various metals, Iron has use but is weak and erodes away, Bronze is strong but tarnishes, Gold is soft yet remains pure.

These must have had profound impact on the first metal workers, almost like the metal workers were seeking answers to life more than practicing metal working, probably felt they were tuning into various spirits through the forge.




posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 04:01 AM
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FreeMason
I also want to leave the thought, think of the spiritual metaphor to be found in the various metals, Iron has use but is weak and erodes away, Bronze is strong but tarnishes, Gold is soft yet remains pure.



Even more profoundly, Iron falls from the sky.
There would have been many "The Gods must be crazy" type of incidents where the inhabitants of thousands of years ago were minding their own business when a lump of the strange metal magically appears, as if handed down by the gods.

Here is one random page on the topic.
The Prehistoric Use of Meteorites in North America

And a more specific example.
Gerzeh, a prehistoric Egyptian meteorite


One of the earliest examples of iron used by man was discovered in a prehistoric Egyptian cemetery. The site of Gerzeh, 40 miles south of Cairo, was excavated in 1911-1912, ...
Two graves, Tombs 67 and 133, were also found to contain iron beads; at the time of excavation these examples of Egyptian pre-dynastic culture were considered to be the earliest specimens of worked iron. Subsequent analysis revealed the iron to contain significant levels of nickel, leading to identification of their me-teoritic origin.
Iron meteorites were also used to make other items later in Egyptian history, including a dagger blade from Tutankhamen’s tomb



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 04:52 AM
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Depends on the context, but even when iron has degraded away it still leaves its tell-tale mark in the ground and good archaeologists will always spot it.

(It's very different to red ochre.)

Plus while it might become difficult in some environments for iron to survive, the main way in which we spot where and when iron working is going on is from the waste products, the remains of hearths, the slag, the burning deposits, the associated tools needed to work iron. All of this stuff survives surprisingly well.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:43 AM
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Here's a piece of iron that doesn't 'erode away.' Iron Pillar of Delhi

We know about as much of Neanderthal as we do this OOPART ... it's all speculation.
edit on 12102013 by Snarl because: Autocorrect



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 08:15 AM
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Snarl
We know about as much of Neanderthal as we do this OOPART ...


How does this get classified as an "OOPART"?
According to the link you provided, it is known where it was made, why it was made, how it was made, the people who made it and what it is made of.
So the metallurgy of it makes it corrosion resistant, but I've got a sink in my kitchen that also doesnt corrode due to metallurgy. Are you saying that simply because it is old, it must therefore be paranormal, supernation, or given to us by aliens?



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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The first question is if they actually could forge iron tools in the first place.

It's only recently known that Neanderthal man was more like us then we thought. Since there is evidence found of them creating complex tools and that they made stuff to wear and look good...

There is also evidence that they have been mixing with other early humans, and modern man, whenever the possibility made it possible... I think that they were not only more like us then we thought, they would also be considered mating material, by other hominid species. It seems that they were capable to communicate, and co exist, with modern man as human beings, instead of getting ridiculed as a lesser species.

If they got that far, they could just as easily worked with iron in my opinion.

However.... They lived in smaller groups and probably had a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. Surviving the cold climate, while using whatever they could find.
Is it plausible for them to mine iron ore, and coal ? Very basic stuff you need no matter what.

A mining operation would be a pretty big project, for the lifestyle we think they lived. That doesn't make it impossible though. Iron could be very easy to find. I really don't know much about mining iron and other related topics, to even try to give any explanation on the matter.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 09:18 AM
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Even 500 thousand years ago some one was building at least primitive shelters as evidenced by this find in Japan, news.bbc.co.uk...
So could the Neanderthal have used Iron, Well I for one see no reason why not, our perception of them is coloured by darwinian inspired myth that these human's were little more than apemen whom said UG all day and when around clubbing there mate (there may be some like that today but?).
Evidence shows a sophisticated society with ritual, belief and they buried there dead, the ice has scoured away any evidence of shelters outside the cave's were we find the majority of there remains but it is percievable that they may once had build settlement's and perhaps have embarked upon trade with one another.
There dead were often found with traces of red ochre on the bones leading some anthropologist's to assume it is possible they painted there dead and they were also found buried in a foetel position suggesting a return to the womb belief or maybe a belief in rebirth.
Today we can find people whom are low intelligence yet fully normal and people whom are very high intelligence and I would suggest with lower numbers a similar state may have been present amongst there society.
I once read long ago a short story in which a man travelling back in time found an advanced race whom were driven underground and over generations of inbreeding and living in poor conditions hiding from an enemy in the sky they devolved into stoop shouldered strong but less intelligent people.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 09:28 AM
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This is all very interesting, but it comes down to how you draw your lines in the sand. The Samarians and Egyptians had writing but we don't call that the information age. The significance of the bronze and iron ages may have more to do with how these technologies impacted culture and history. Bronze weapons beat sticks and stones. Iron weapons beat bronze weapons. These changes in technology had huge impacts on culture and history. The term "Bronze Age" is simply a line in the sand that we create to help us understand and communicate periods of history. Don't get too technical with the details of when people first used iron and the arbitrary label "Iron Age".

It's like Pluto. Once, we called it a planet. Now, we call it a dwarf planet. Nothing material about Pluto changed, just how in our minds we draw the lines to help us understand our world. There was a time when Earth was not considered a planet.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 09:47 AM
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Thanks for the links, some intriguing food for thought. I'm sure there has been many independent inventions through out history that went unnoticed by the public for whatever reasons. Especially since many early inventions were accidental.

Related to this I have always found it interesting that the wheel is thought to have been "invented" approximately 3,500 B.C. It seems like something so obvious that one could imagine even older peoples using it.

I find the pdf's proposal of 7,000 B.C. for the start of both the Bronze and the Iron age to be highly possible, if not probable. S&F.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by mcx1942
 


The wheel wasn't part of the tool set in the Americas, technological inventions of the civilizations throughout history, worked perfectly without it.

It isn't that big a deal I guess, to build cities and pyramids etc... without a wheel.

Who needs one... if you got anti-gravity tech around. Something to think about huh ?



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 10:44 AM
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alfa1

Snarl
We know about as much of Neanderthal as we do this OOPART ...


How does this get classified as an "OOPART"?
According to the link you provided, it is known where it was made, why it was made, how it was made, the people who made it and what it is made of.
So the metallurgy of it makes it corrosion resistant, but I've got a sink in my kitchen that also doesnt corrode due to metallurgy. Are you saying that simply because it is old, it must therefore be paranormal, supernation, or given to us by aliens?


Oh, no Sir, I did not. I merely said everything we 'know' about Neanderthal and the Pillar of Delhi is speculative and will most likely remain so. Why would aliens give us a pillar of iron? Really? And, you have a sink made of iron that doesn't corrode? I find it fascinating that with all the alloys modern man has learned to produce, that there's a manufacturer of sinks, who produced an iron sink that you somehow wound up with, to support an argument in this thread. Figure the odds!!


This is ATS. I'm helping deny ignorance by saying that there probably isn't anyone who knows. Anything you hear (anywhere) about Neanderthal is an educated guess ... and I want to know where those people got their education. I don't want to speculate. I want to know if they studied books that were fundamentally flawed ... books so dogmatic they almost take on a religious undertone ... and cannot reconcile with any possibility of human-like beings existing (thriving even) before whatever happened with the dinosaurs and ... well ... killed them.

The link provided was to an article hosted by Wikipedia, which is a generally respectable source of aggregate knowledge. That link proved my point about several aspects of my post. You were quick to disagree, rather than looking at the article and seeing the discrepancies noted right in there, or looking further into the example I provided to draw contrast to what we 'know' and what can only be guessed at. And look, I've already written three paragraphs to assist the community in the further denial of your ignorance. An 'iron' hammer may have been a better tool.

I'm willing to bend on firmly defining the Pillar of Delhi as an OOPART, but in my defense, I am not the first person to have said so. I 'consider' it to be an OOPART because there aren't anymore of them to be found in the area, and there are no other examples of the knowledge to forge one for which I am aware. There are also several other known examples of oxidation resistant iron pillar-like objects around the world which are frequently defined as such. Not a definition I'm interested in arguing over at all. Touché.

To the topic of this thread: Did Neanderthal use iron tools? I don't see why not. They were human-like, they lived in communities, they provided medical care to one another in life and buried their dead when that didn't work out so well. Digging around in the ground is hard work and tools certainly make such a job easier. How's that for speculation?



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 12:17 PM
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Iron can survive in the right conditions, what is missing from neanderthal habitations sites is

Iron slag

Tools to handle iron making

Remains of a fire to melt it

A mine where it was dug up - unless they were reprocessing meteor iron

Strangely they - continued to use bone and stone tools - why would they do that if they had iron?



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 

may be it's for the same reason that i drive an M G and not a rolls royce .

COST.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 01:58 PM
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Hanslune
Iron can survive in the right conditions, what is missing from neanderthal habitations sites is

Iron slag

Tools to handle iron making

Remains of a fire to melt it

A mine where it was dug up - unless they were reprocessing meteor iron

Strangely they - continued to use bone and stone tools - why would they do that if they had iron?


No they have actually found all those things, in Spain they found permanent Neanderthal "hearths" that would easily be hot enough to work iron. (Except the slag which is not necessary for working iron).

As in the paper suggests, temperature does not need to be hot enough to melt iron to release slag for its use, it only needs to be hot enough to mold iron as if a plastic which is about 1,000C which is easily accomplished in even a fireplace.

As for tools to make it, where was the red ochre found? On stone tools, so possibly those stone tools were being used to work the iron.

And I already mentioned the ochre sites where the iron was being mined and its quantities.

I also have thought about why use bone/stone as tools? Iron is corruptible and hard to sharpen and more brittle, so I think it is likely the iron was used more religiously than it was practically.
edit on 12-10-2013 by FreeMason because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 04:05 PM
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tom.farnhill
reply to post by Hanslune
 

may be it's for the same reason that i drive an M G and not a rolls royce .

COST.


If you mean time and effort yes but then why would they have gone to effort to create the process and then not use it?



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 04:15 PM
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FreeMason

No they have actually found all those things, in Spain they found permanent Neanderthal "hearths" that would easily be hot enough to work iron. (Except the slag which is not necessary for working iron

As in the paper suggests, temperature does not need to be hot enough to melt iron to release slag for its use, it only needs to be hot enough to mold iron as if a plastic which is about 1,000C which is easily accomplished in even a fireplace.).


Yes you can hot hammer iron but did they do so?


As for tools to make it, where was the red ochre found? On stone tools, so possibly those stone tools were being used to work the iron.


Tools for hammering and working the iron is what is missing - it is my understanding that you cannot gain workable iron from red ochre without smelting it - perhaps someone with more technical knowledge on this can comment?


I also have thought about why use bone/stone as tools? Iron is corruptible and hard to sharpen and more brittle, so I think it is likely the iron was used more religiously than it was practically.


Perhaps but if so why work with it at all? It is thought that early man had a good knowledge of rocks and that lead to the easier to work with copper which is can be found in usable lumps and that they also knew that heat treating stone tools could make them better, as was the same with wooden spears, those two pieces of knowledge led to first copper being melted and worked, then bronze and later iron. AFAWK

Could some Neanderthal genius hot worked iron? Yep but we don't have sufficient nor compelling evidence for it IMHO at this time.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 10:20 PM
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Snarl
And, you have a sink made of iron that doesn't corrode? I find it fascinating that with all the alloys modern man has learned to produce, that there's a manufacturer of sinks, who produced an iron sink that you somehow wound up with, to support an argument in this thread. Figure the odds!!


Sorry, I thought everyone knew that stainless steel was an iron alloy. (With chromium)
It works by the oxidised layer creating a protective barrier. The Iron Pillar of Delhi does exactly the same thing, but with phosphorus, not chromium. Thats the analogy I was trying to make.

Speaking of old iron, here's one of the oldest things I own. A bit of banded iron formation from a few billion years ago...

Its a bit rusty now.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 10:56 PM
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Hanslune
Could some Neanderthal genius hot worked iron? Yep but we don't have sufficient nor compelling evidence for it IMHO at this time.


Anything relating to our hominid ancestors fascinates me, so I have been following this thread.

The premise is intriguing. And I must say that it has given me pause for thought. But in the end....Hans sums it up with the above sentence.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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alfa1
Speaking of old iron, here's one of the oldest things I own. A bit of banded iron formation from a few billion years ago...Its a bit rusty now.


Well played, Sir.
Well played indeed.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 11:56 PM
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Hanslune
Could some Neanderthal genius hot worked iron? Yep but we don't have sufficient nor compelling evidence for it IMHO at this time.


bigfatfurrytexan
Anything relating to our hominid ancestors fascinates me, so I have been following this thread.

The premise is intriguing. And I must say that it has given me pause for thought. But in the end....Hans sums it up with the above sentence.


Agreed. 20,000+ year old evidence is a difficult thing to conveniently locate in the fossil record. Conversations with some very learned, very experienced, extremely open-minded scholars/doers has led me to several conclusions. We're not looking in the right places and there's a serious cover-up underfoot. The egos in the fields of anthropology and archeology leave an awful lot to be desired. It's amazing what a fine bottle of single malt scotch can unearth.

Settled science (having nothing to do with scientific method, mind you) has conceded strength to the Neanderthal. Why are 'they' seemingly so reluctant to concede a greater capacity for intelligence as well? Maybe Neanderthal was more peaceful and wiped out by the less intelligent yet more violent. Consider how difficult a time we have coexisting with people of differing political views ... or skin color even. Were modern humans wiped out to a point of almost extinction, I have no doubt the survivors would be re-plunged into a stone-age lifestyle. What evidence of our existence would remain after 20,000 years, let alone 65 million?

In a virtual ELE scenario, I would be more concerned with surviving week-to-week, than with the preservation of the knowledge to say ... construct a forge, or to mine and store gas. Any memories of yesteryear would most likely be handed down verbally ... story to legend to myth. We've been walking around the block for a while now ... and there's a familiar corner up ahead. But, I digress.





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