Traditional iron smelting. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Early Societies (Late Stone Age – Early Iron Age): Features of the early Iron Age

  • The early Iron Age succeeded the late Stone Age.
  • Tools and weapons made in the Early Iron Age were made from iron and wood
  • This is because iron was easier to shape as compared to stone and it produced more efficient tools like iron axes, hoes and knives and weapons like swords, spears and arrows
  • The first traces of Iron Age in present day Zimbabwe was pottery called Bambata ware
  • Iron Age in Zimbabwe was also characterized by three types of pottery namely:
    1. Ziwa ware which was found in places like the Eastern Highlands, Harare, Lowveld etc
    2. Zhizo ware around Bulawayo
    3. Gokomere ware which is widely distributed in the south-central.
  • Pole and dagga settlement structures
  • Domestication of animals
  • Sedentary Agriculture
  • The growth of social institutions
  • Larger villages and communities
  • Discrimination against women
  • Growth of homesteads
  • The rich started to influence laws and government
  • The growth of territories
  • Rise of wars and territorial conquests
  • The rise of religious practices
  • The rise of trade
  • Bantu migrations

The spread of the use of Iron

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.