Richardson and Hertz present opposing viewpoints for the origin of iron working in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron, one arguing a European origin and the other a Near Eastern/ Egyptian.
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The transition from the use of bronze to iron implements was so seminal a change as to provide names for two epochs in the development of Western civilization. As with all large epochs, the period when one age ended and the other began is hazy at best, and there is still some disagreement over who were the first peoples to use iron preferentially to bronze. Richardson argues in this article that, contrary to the consensus of his time (and indeed contrary to modern thought), iron was first worked not in the Near East and Egypt, but in Europe. Included is Amelia Hertz' rebuttal and Richardson's answer, which provides an interesting balance of opinion to the piece as well as illustrating how two scholars can interpret similar evidence in completely different ways. Although it is interesting for its subject matter, it also serves as a good illustration of professional scholarly debate for those interested in academic discourse.