Why are we here?
How can I accept the horror that is humanity? I am humanity. Whenever I come across something that is disturbing or that I don’t understand, I try to follow it back. The oldest figure made by humans that we have found is 35,000 years old. From the very beginning humans have made figures of humans. Reproduction is proof that you are alive and proof that you are part of the system. Iron decays fairly easily in the environment. This makes it hard to accurately time the first use of iron by humans .
Researchers have shown that the earliest surviving iron artifacts came from meteorites. That make sense to me. A human built a firepit somewhere in Egypt and one of the rocks became soft in the fire. Someone noticed and using another rock they shaped the meteorite. When it cooled it became hard. Did they know it was a meteorite? Was there a story from hundreds of years of storytelling that identified this type rock as having fallen from the sky? The ancient Egyptians called iron Ba-ne-pe, which means “metal from heaven”.
From there we have to make the leap with those early humans from finding iron to making iron. Smelting is a fairly complicated process. I have not been able to find information on how humans went from working meteoritic iron to making iron but here are some amazing videos on smelting iron. One from Africa and one from Oakland California.