The earliest known production of steel is a piece of ironware excavated from an archaeological site in Anatolia (Kaman-Kalehoyuk) and is about 4,000 years old. Other ancient steel comes from East Africa, dating back to 1400 BC. In the 4th century BC steel weapons like the Falcata were produced in the Iberian Peninsula, while Noric steel was used by the Roman military. The Chinese of theWarring States (403–221 BC) had quench-hardened steel, while Chinese of the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) created steel by melting together wrought iron with cast iron, gaining an ultimate product of a carbon-intermediate steel by the 1st century AD. The Haya people of East Africa discovered a type of high-heat blast furnace which allowed them to forge carbon steel at 1,802 °C (3,276 °F) nearly 2,000 years ago. This ability was not duplicated until centuries later in Europe during the Industrial Revolution.
Modern steel replaced iron in 1870. Because of its higher levels of carbon, steel was harder than wrought iron, but not as brittle as cast iron. Prior to the late 1800s, steel was made by a process called cementation in which carbon is added to iron. The Bessemer process allowed for the mass production of steel at a cheaper rate.
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