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In many regions, copper-arsenic alloys, of superior properties to copper in both cast and wrought form, were produced in the next period.

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Small pieces of iron would have been produced in copper smelting furnaces as iron oxide fluxes and iron-bearing copper sulfide ores were used.There are also occasional references to iron in even earlier periods, but this material was of meteoric origin.Once a relationship had been established between the new metal found in copper smelts and the ore added as flux, the operation of furnaces for the production of iron alone naturally followed.In order to effect the agglomeration and separation of melted or smelted copper from its associated minerals, it was necessary to introduce iron oxide as a flux.This further step forward can be attributed to the presence of iron oxide gossan minerals in the weathered upper zones of copper sulfide deposits.

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