The term Iron Age refers to the period in a civilisation's development at which time iron working was the most sophisticated form of metalworking achieved. Though well made bronze tools far surpass iron tools as far as hardness and utility are concerned the abundance of iron ore sources made iron cheap and contributed greatly to its adoption as the most common metallurgical process. The Iron Age is part of the Three-age system for prehistoric societies.
- Earlier Bronze Age
- Later Middle Ages and in parts of Europe, Roman occupation. In Sweden and partly in other nordic countries, the last part of the Iron Age (about 800 - 1100) is commonly called the Viking Age.