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"It can be dug up straight out of the ground and used without much trouble." is a bit simplistic if not to say incorrect. Iron oxidizes easily, and iron ores therefore require smelting: see

- Smelting is an ancient technology, available to very low-tech societies. I think the statement reflects the fact that, compared to other metals, iron was relatively easy for primitive societies to work. --Pacman 06:40, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

They actually did not smelt iron, it was refined in a bloomery. DM 13:19, 5 March 2008 (EST)
You USE a bloomery, but the process is smelting Pacman 20:35, 17 February 2011 (EST)

A knowledgeable expert needs to look at this article and discuss the principle ores of iron which are are Hematite, (70% iron), Magnetite, (72 % iron) and Taconite which is a low-grade iron ore, containing up to 30% Magnetite and Hematite, and how iron is extracted from them. --AvengingAngel 18:26, 15 May 2007 (EDT)

Agreed. I have a little knowledge, but not enough DM 13:19, 5 March 2008 (EST)