Practically speaking, nothing. The Iron Age is the third principle stage of the Three Age System developed by Danish archaeologist Christian Thomsen that he used to classify ancient civilizations. These three stages are Stone, Bronze, and Iron. Each marks the evolution of a culture, society, or civilization along the technological arch and describes the principle material used to form that group’s tools.

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More recently, within the past hundred years, two additional ages have been discussed colloquially: Industrial and Space. However, while generally accepted, the use of either has never been formalized by the archaeological community, and differ from the Three-Age format by not representing the tool material of the society.

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