An interesting deduction is made about iron production in central Norway at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150708072520.htm … iron was exported from central Norway south into Europe and further north (in Norway) between 300BC and 600AD. Production came to a temporary halt in the 6th century AD and the researchers have made a connection with the Plague of Justinian, when the population of Europe went into a rapid decline. The trade picked up again in the 7th century AD onwards, and thrived during the Viking era.
Iron production in Norway, as in Britain, was a process that was introduced from outside. The Norwegian scientist suggested iron making originated somewhere like Georgia in the Transcaucasus zone (and close to the Hittite heartland). This is just an educated guess of course but furnaces in Georgia only go back to around 800BC – so where did the Hittites get their iron? (or are the Hittites misplaced on the historical time scale of orthodox chronology).
At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530094635.htm … we are told that Egyptians, on the other hand, used iron from meteorites to make items such as beads and accessories for the dead. Joyce Tildesley, the Egyptologist, is quoted as saying. 'to the ancient Egyptians (iron) was a rare and beautiful material which, as it fell from the sky, surely had some magical/religious properties. They therefore used this remarkable metal to create small objects of beauty and religious significance which were so important to them that they chose to include them in their graves.'