Iron Age (800/750-15 B.C.): Although iron objects had already sporadically appeared towards the end of the Bronze Age, the beginning of the Iron Age in central Europe was marked by the full mastery of ironworking at around 800/750 B.C. The transition from the Bronze Age was gradual and continuous. In Austria, the Iron Age, which was the last period of prehistory, ended with the occupation of the land south of the Danube by the Romans around 15 B.C. ( Roman era)The age is characterised by the increasingly frequent use of iron in the manufacture of weapons, tools and everyday objects, which led to a number of profound changes: In contrast to copper and tin, the components of bronze, iron ores were easily extracted and needed neither specialised mining techniques nor extensive trading connections. Iron was thus simpler and cheaper to obtain; agricultural and craft production increased, the population grew, society became more sharply differentiated and new economic and political centres appeared. As the climate became damper and cooler, sheep and cattle farming gained importance. In the area of Austria, the exploitation of easily accessible iron-ore deposits and in particular salt mining in Hallstatt and at Duerrnberg near Hallein ( Bad Duerrnberg) led to considerable economic growth, evident from the magnificent archaeological finds of this period. In central Europe, the Iron Age is divided into an early stage, the Hallstatt Culture (named after the rich finds of the Hallstatt burial field) and a later stage, the La Tène Culture, after the archaeological site at La Tène on Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland. Finds at Duerrnberg indicate a peaceful transition from the Hallstatt to the La Tène culture, a transition apparently marked by a change in culture rather than a change in population.
Literature#L. de Pauli, Die Alpen in Fruehzeit und Mittelalter, 31984.