The Iron Age was a time in history after people began to use iron tools. Before this, they had used bronze or stone tools. Most of Europe, Africa and Asia reached the Iron Age by 500 BC. In Europe, it is a period of prehistory, because Iron Age people did not write their history down.
Iron is easy to find, but hard to make tools with. It melts at a higher temperature than bronze. The people who learned how to make iron tools were able to make many of them. This meant that people's behaviours changed. For example, more people could own a metal plough. They could farm their fields better and grow more crops. Some people invented coins to help buy and sell their crops and their iron tools. And of course, bronze weapons and armor were no match for those made out of iron, so many peoples who did not have iron were conquered by those who did. Armour was rare in western Europe's Iron Age, but people used shields and helmets to keep safe in battles. In ancient times people were dependent on animals and plants only.