List of Iron Age states

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This article is about the period from 1200 BC to 600 BC. For the preceding article, see List of Bronze Age states. For the succeeding article, see List of Classical Age states.
Iron Age
Bronze Age

Bronze Age collapse

Ancient Near East (1200 BC – 500 BC)

Anatolia, Assyria, Caucasus, Cyprus, Egypt, Levant, Neo-Babylonian Empire, Persia

India (1200 BC – 200 BC)

Painted Grey Ware
Northern Black Polished Ware
Mauryan period
Anuradhapura Kingdom

Europe (1200 BC – 1 BC)

Hallstatt C
La Tène C
Villanovan C
British Iron Age
Dacia, Transylvania, Southeastern Europe
Greece, Rome, Celts

China (600 BC – 200 BC)

Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period

Japan (100 BC – 300 AD)

Yayoi period

Korea (400 BC – 400 AD)

Late Gojoseon period
Proto-Three Kingdoms period

Sub-Saharan Africa (1000 BC – 800 AD)


Axial Age
Classical antiquity
Zhou dynasty
Vedic period
Alphabetic writing

Ancient history
Greek, Roman, Chinese, Islamic

The Iron Age is the period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron, circa 1200 BC to 600 BC.

The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles. The Iron Age as an archaeological term indicates the condition as to civilization and culture of a people using iron as the material for their cutting tools and weapons.[1] The Iron Age is the third principal period of the three-age system created by Christian Thomsen (1788–1865) for classifying ancient societies and prehistoric stages of progress.[2]

Development of states[edit]

The development of states—large-scale, populous, politically centralized, and socially stratified polities/societies governed by powerful rulers, marks one of the major milestones in the evolution of human societies. Archaeologists often distinguish between primary (or pristine) states and secondary states. Primary states evolved independently through largely internal developmental processes rather than through the influence of any other pre-existing state. The earliest known primary states appeared in Mesopatamia c. 3700 BC, in Egypt c. 3300 BC, in the Indus Valley c. 2500 BC, India c. 1700 BC, and in China c. 1600 BC. As they interacted with their less developed neighbors through trade, warfare, migration, and more generalized ideological influences, the primary states directly or indirectly fostered the emergence of secondary states in surrounding areas, for example, the Hittites in Anatolia, the Minoan and Mycenaean states of the Aegean, or the Nubian kingdoms in the Sudan. Professor Gil Stein at the University of Chicago Oriental Institute states "The excavations and archaeological surveys of the last few decades have vastly increased both the quantity and quality of what we know about ancient states and urbanism. Archaeologists have broadened the scope of their research beyond the traditional focus on rulers and urban elites. Current research now aims at understanding the role of urban commoners, craft specialists, and village-based farmers in the overall organization of ancient states and societies. Given the immense geographical scope encompassed by the term 'the Ancient World'".[3] This list's the main types state that existed in Africa, Americas, Central Asia, East Asia, Europe, Eurasian Steppe, South Asia, and West Asia, from the beginning of the Iron Age to the beginning of Classical antiquity a period of 600 years.


Map of the world early iron age 1000 BC
State Capital/s Type Existed
Assyrian Assur, Nineveh, Harran Empire 911 - 612 BC
Aethiopia Adulis Kingdom c. 13th - 5th centuries BC
Carthage Carthage Kingdom 814 - 650 BC
Carthaganian Carthage Empire 650 - 146 BC
Cyrenaica Cyrene Kingdom 631-525 BC
D'mt Yeha Kingdom 980 - 400 BC
Egypt Memphis,Thebes Kingdom 1069 - 525 BC
Egyptian Memphis, Thebes Empire 1550 - 1069 BC
Garamantian Garama Tribal confederation/empire 1000 BC - 700 AD
Kush Meroë Kingdom 1070 BC - 350 AD
Libu Tribal confederation 1550 - 146BC
Macrobia Tribal kingdom c. 8th - 4th centuries BC
Nok Tribal chiefdom/kingdom 1000 BC - 300 AD
Punt Kingdom 2400 - 1069 BC


State Capital/s Type Existed
Maya Various Kingdom city states 2000 BC - 900 AD
Olmec La Venta, Tenochtitlán Kingdom city states 1400-400 BC
Paracas Tribal Chiefdoms 800 - 100 BC
Pueblo Various Tribal chiefdoms 12th century BC - 14th century AD
Zapotec Kingdom city states 700 BC - 1521 AD


North and West[edit]

State Capital/s Type Existed

South and East[edit]

State Capital/s Type Existed
Alba Longa Lavinium Kingdom 1200-753 BC
Alashiya Enkomi, Kalavasos Kingdom 1450-1050 BC
Arcadia Kingdom 1000-743 BC
Argolis Argos Kingdom 1200-379 BC
Athens Athens Kingdom city state 1556-1068 BC
Athens Athens Republican city state 1068-355 BC
Boeotia Thebes Kingdom 1100-750 BC
Corinth Corinth City state 700-338 BC
Dacia Sarmizegetusa, Regia Tribal kingdom 700 BC - 106AD
Daunia Tribal kingdom 7th century - 89 BC
Epirus Amvrakia, Passaron, Phoenice Kingdom 1183 - 168 BC
Etruria Veii Kingdom 768 - 264 BC
Getae Not specified Tribal Kingdom 7th century BC -4th century AD
Iapydes Various Tribal confederation 9th century - 34 BC
Illyria Scodra Kingdom 2000-168 BC
Lacedaemon Sparta Kingdom 1300-950 BC
Liburnia Tribal thalassocracy [4] 11th century - 34 BC
Locria Amphissa, Naupactus Kingdom 1250-386 BC
Lucania Tribal kingdom 1000-356 BC[5]
Macedon Aigai, Pella Kingdom 860-146 BC
Magna Graecia Various Kingdom city states 740 - 89 BC
Messapia Hyria Tribal kingdom 8th century - 89 BC
Messenia Messene Kingdom 1300-724 BC
Mycenaea Mycenae Kingdom city states 1600 - 1100 BC
Oenotria Metabon Tribal kingdom 1000 - 325 BC
Oscans Ausones Tribal kingdom 1000 - 4th centuries BC
Padanian Etruria Various Federated city states 9th century - 5th century BC
Iapyges Gnapia Tribal kingdom 11th century - 89 BC
Rome Rome Kingdom 753 - 509 BC
Sabinum Tribal kingdom c. 760 - 494 BC
Samnium Bovianum Tribal confederation c. 600 - 82 BC
Sicani Tribal confederation c. 13th century - 300 BC
Sicels Tribal confederation c. 11th century - 425 BC
Sparta Sparta Kingdom 950-146 BC
Tartessos Tartessus Tribal kingdom 1000-450 BC [6]
Thrace Bizye. Svetopolis Tribal chiefdom 1500 - 450 BC
Tyrrhenia Various Kingdom city states 1100 - 764 BC
Veneti Tribal kingdom c. 10th century - 231 BC

Eurasian Steppe and Central Asia[edit]

name capital state type existed
Aria Kingdom/client 700 BC - 300 BC
Bactria Bactra Tribal kingdom/client 2140 - 550 BC
Balhara Balkh Tribal kingdom 12th century - 7th century BC
Bulgar Balkh/Phanagoria Tribal confederation 7th century BC - 7th century AD
Caspiane Tribal kingdom/client 650 BC - 387 AD
Chorasmia Tribal confederation 1290-180 BC
Colchis Phasis Kingdom 1300 BC - 2nd century AD
Dahae Tribal confederation 700 - 530 BC
Dingling Tribal chiefdoms 650-209 BC
Magyar Tribal confederation/principality 1100 BC - 895 AD
Iberians Tribal confederation 1000 - 302 BC
Massagatae Tribal confederation 600 - 46 BC
Melanchlaeni Tribal confederation 650 - 350 BC
Qiang Tribal chiefdoms/confederation 2000 BC- 150 BC
Scythia Neopolis Tribal kingdom 690 - 250 BC
Tocharia Neopolis Tribal kingdom city states 650 - 176 BC
Xianyun Nomadic tribal federation 824-209 BC
Yuezhi Nomadic tribal confederation 650-20 BC

East Asia[edit]

name capital state type existed
Ba Yíchéng Tribal confederation 13th century - 311 BC
Cai Shàngcài),Xīncài,Xiàcài Marquisate/client 980 - 447 BC
Cao Táoqiū Dukedom/client 1053 - 487 BC
Chen Wǎnqiū Dukedom/client 1046-479 BC
Chu Danyang,JiangYing,JiYing,Shouchun, Viscountcy/kingdom/client 1030-223 BC
Deng Dengzhou Marquisate/client 1200-678 BC
Donghu Nomadic tribal confederation 1400-150 BC
Eastern Guo Dengzhou Marquisate/client 1046-767 BC
Gojoseon Asadal, Wanggeom-seong Kingdom 2333-108 BC
Guan Guan Kingdom city state 1046 - 1040 BC
Gumie Gumie Kingdom 1046 - 480 BC
Han Hancheng Marquisate/client 1046-764 BC
Huang Can'hu, Yicheng, Hubei Marquisate/client 891-648 BC
Jin Tang, Quwo, Jiang, Xintian Dukedom/client 1042-376 BC
Kỷ line Not specified Kingdom 853-755 BC
Jōmon Heijō-kyō, Heian-kyō, Tokyo Principalities/empire 600 BC - present day
Lu Qufu Marquisate/dukedom/client 1042-249 BC
Pi Xuecheng Earldom/client 1046-418 BC
Qi Qi Dukedom 1600-445 BC
Qi Linzi Dukedom/client 1046-221 BC
Qin Qin, Quanqiu, Qian, Pingyang Marquisate/dukedom/client 858-221 BC
Quan Dukedom/client 1250-704 BC
Quanrong Nomadic Tribal Confedracy 954-301 BC
Shang Anyang Kingdom 1600-1046 BC
Shěn Shěn Earldom/marquisate 1050-500 BC
Shu Kingdom 1046-316 BC
Song Shangqiu Dukedom and vassal 1058-286 BC
Sui Suizhou Marquisate and client 771-221 BC
Sumpa Tribal chiefdom/client 1600 BC - 7th century AD
Tan Mingshui Viscountcy and vassal 1046-684 BC
Teng Tengzhou Viscountcy 1046-414 BC
Văn Lang Anyang Confederation/kingdom 2879-258 BC
Western Guo Yongdi,Shangyang,Xiayang Countship/dukedom 1046-687 BC
Wey Shangqiu Dukedom and vassal 1046-687 BC
Wu Gusu Dukedom and vassal 1046-473 BC
Xing Xingtai Marquisate/client 1046-632 BC
Xu Gusu Viscountacy/client 2000-512 BC
Yan Ji Kingdom/principality 1046-222 BC
Zheng Zheng, Xinzheng Kingdom 806-375 BC
Zhou Haojing, Luoyi Kingdom 1046-256 BC
Zou Viscountacy/dukedom 1012-350 BC

South Asia[edit]

name capital state type existed
Anarta Dvaraka Kingdom 1100-550 BC
Anga Champa or Campā Kingdom 1380-550 BC
Asmaka Potana Kingdom 1150-300 BC
Avanti Mahissati,Ujjaini Kingdom 900-322 BC
Āryāvarta Multiple Tribal confederated kingdoms 1750 - 600 BC
Chedi Suktimati Kingdom 1250-344 BC
Chola Urayur/Kaveripattinam Kingdom 2645-110 BC
Danda Janasthana Kingdom 1100 - 450 BC
Dasarna Kingdom 1150 - 600 BC
Drangiana Tribal chiefdom 950 - 600 BC
Gurjara Kingdom 1000 - 550 BC
Haryanka Rajagriha, later Pataliputra Kingdom 684 - 413 BC
Himalaya Kingdom 600 - 322 BC
Kalinga Dantapura/Rajapura[7] Kingdom 1376 - 285 BC
Kamboja Rajapura Kingdom 1450 - 195 BC
Kasmira Asirgarh Qila Kingdom 1250 - 322 BC
Kekeya Kingdom 1250 - c. 4th century BC
Kimpurusha Kingdom 1000 - 325 BC
Kirata Tribal kingdom 1350 - c. 300 BC
Kosala Shravasti Kingdom 1300 - 266 BC
Kuru Āsandīvat, Indraprastha Kingdom 1376 - 285 BC
Lanka Lankapura Kingdom 1200 - 543 BC
Madra Sagala Kingdom 1350 - 350 BC
Magadha Rajagriha or Rajgir Kingdom 1200-800 BC
Malla Kusavati, Pava Republic 780 - 323 BC
Matsya Viratanagara Kingdom 1250 -318 BC
Nepa Kingdom 750 - 323 BC
Panchala Ahichatra, Kampilya Kingdom 1200 - 700 BC
Panchala Ahichatra, Kampilya Republic 700 - 308 BC
Pandya Madurai Kingdom 1350 - 460 BC
Parvata Kingdom c. 9th century - 325 BC
Pragjyotisha Kingdom c. 11th century - 350 BC
Pundra Pundravardhana Kingdom 1300 BC - 550 AD
Saurashtra Kingdom 950- 355 BC
Shakya Kapilavatthu Monarchical Republic 800 - 320 BC
Sindhu Vrsadarbhpura Kingdom 1300 - 320 BC
Surasena Methora Kingdom 1300 - 323 BC
Trigarta Prasthala Kingdom 1150-322 BC
Vanga Gange Kingdom 1300 BC - 580 AD
Vatsa Kauśāmbī Kingdom 1100-323 BC
Vidarbha Kundinapuri Kingdom 1200-322 BC
Virata Kundinapuri Kingdom 1300-322 BC
Vriji Vaishali Confederacy 1250 - 322 BC
Yaksha Narmada Kingdom 1200 - 350 BC

West Asia[edit]

name capital state type existed
Ammon Rabbath Ammon Kingdom 1000 - 332 BC
Anshan Anshan Kingdom 717 - 646 BC
Aram-Damascus Damascus Kingdom 1184 - 732 BC
Aramea Tribal chiefdom's/kingdom 2300 – 700 BC
Arzawa Apasa Federation 15th – 12th Century BC
Awsan Ḥajar Yaḥirr Kingdom 7th century BC - 100 AD
Arme-Shupria Van Kingdom 1290 - 1190 BC
Assyria Assur Kingdom 1975 - 934 BC
Assyrian Empire Assur,Nineveh,Harran Empire 911 - 612 BC
Bashan Bashan Confederation 1330 - 928 BC
Bit-Istar Kingdom 12th century - 710 BC
Chaldea Bit Yakin Kingdom 1100 - 539 BC
Corduene Principality/kingdom/client 800 BC - 653 AD
Cilicia Tarsus Kingdom 795 - 546 BC
Drangiana Tribal chiefdom 950 - 600 BC
Diauehi Zua, Ultu Kingdom 1118-760 BC
Dilmun Qal'at Kingdom 2600-675 BC
Doris Doris Kingdom 1200-580 BC
Edom Rabbath Ammon Kingdom 1200 - 125 BC
Elamite Empire Susa Empire 1210-535 BC
Ellipi Kingdom 850-609 BC
Eshnuna Eshnunna Kingdom city state 2000 - 8th century BC
Hadhramaut Kingdom 700 BC - 320 AD
Haram Haram Kingdom city state 600 - 175 BC
Hittite Empire Hattussa Empire 1600 - 1178 BC
Ionia Delos Kingdom city states 1070-545 BC
Israel and Judah United Kingdom 1000 - 930 BC
Israel Kingdom 930- 720 BC
Judah Kingdom 930- 586 BC
Lukka Tribal kingdom 2000-1183 BC
Lullubi Lulubuna Tribal kingdom 2400-650 BC
Lycia Xanthos, Patara Kingdom 1183-546 BC
Lydia Sardis Kingdom 1200-680 BC
Lydian Empire Sardis Empire 680-546 BC
Mannaea Izirtu Kingdom 1110-616 BC
Magan Kingdom 2200-550 BC
Media Ecbatana Kingdom 750-678 BC
Median Empire Ecbatana Empire 678-549 BC
Mysia Pergamene Kingdom 1320 - 301 BC [8]
Nairi Multiple Tribal confederation 1190-890 BC
Namar Namar Kingdom 2350-750 BC
Neo-Babylonian Empire Babylon Empire 626 - 539 BC
Neo-Hitit Multiple Kingdom city states 1200-800 BC
Paphlagonia Gangra Kingdom 1480 - 183 BC[9]
Parsua Tribal chiefdom/kingdom[10] 860-600 BC
Persis Tribal kingdom 10th century - 550 BC
Philistia Ashdod, Ekron, Gaza Kingdom city states 1175-732 BC
Phoenicia Byblos, Tyre, Berytus, Sidon Kingdom city states 1800-539 BC
Phrygia Kingdom 1200-700 BC
Qedar Adumattu Tribal confederation/client 870 BC - 250 AD
Quwê Kingdom/client kingdom 895-625 BC
Sabaea Ma'rib Kingdom 1100-275 BC
Sam'al Samal Principality/kingdom 1200-680 BC
Saparda Kingdom 7200-670 BC
Tabal Kanesh Kingdom 1180 - 609 BC
Tarhuntassa Tarhuntassa Kingdom 1350 - 1200 BC
Troas Troy Kingdom 3000-700 BC
Tuwanuwa Tuwanuwa Kingdom city state 1000 - 700 BC
Urartu Arzashkun, Tushpa Kingdom 860 - 590 BC
Zabdicene Principality/client 780 BC - 5th century AD
Zikirti Kingdom 750 - 521 BC

Types of state[edit]

  • Chiefdoms

A chiefdom is a form of hierarchical political organization in ancient tribal societies usually based on kinship, and in which formal leadership is monopolized by the legitimate senior members of select families or 'houses'. These elites form a political-ideological aristocracy relative to the general group.[11] A chiefdom is thus led by a highly ranked incumbent of an inherited political role, tribal chief or king: chiefs lead because of their ascribed status, not their achieved status, examples of this type of state would be, Aedui, Brigantes.

  • City states

A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity, not administered as a part of another local government, whose territory consists of a sovereign city its dependencies and possibly its surrounding territory, examples of this type of state would be, Sparta, Tyre.

  • Client states

A client state is a state that is economically, politically or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state in international affairs.[12] Types of client states include: satellite state, associated state, puppet state, neo-colony, protectorate, vassal state and tributary state, More powerful ancient states would create client states by making the leaders of that state subservient out of those it defeated, examples of this type of state would be, Armenia, Ammon, Zheng.

  • Confederations

A confederation in the context of the history may refer to a semi-permanent political and military alliance consisting of multiple nations (or "chiefdoms" "tribes", "bands", or "villages") which maintained their separate leadership, examples of this type of state would be, the Alemanni, Caledonii, Xiongnu.

  • Dukedoms

A dukedom or duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess. Some historic duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms,others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the ancient era, examples of this type of state would be the Qin and Swabia.

  • Earldoms

A Earldom is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by an Earl, Count or Countess in which case it would be called a Countship. Some historic earldom's/countship's were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms,others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the ancient era, examples of this type of state would be the,

  • Empires

The term empire derives from the Latin imperium (power, authority). Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy. An imperial political structure is established and maintained in two ways: (i) as a territorial empire of direct conquest and control with force (direct, physical action to compel the emperor's goals) or (ii) as a coercive, hegemonic empire of indirect conquest and control with power (the perception that the emperor can physically enforce his desired goals). Examples of this type of state would be, the Athenian Empire, Median Empire and Roman Empire.

  • Federations

A Federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a central (federal) government. Several ancient chiefdoms and kingdoms, such as the 4th century BC League of Corinth, Noricum in Central Europe, and the Haudenosaunee Confederation in pre-Columbian North America, could be described as federations or confederations. The Old Swiss Confederacy was an early example of formal non-unitary statehood.

  • Khanates

A khanate, or chanat, is a Turco-Mongol-originated word used to describe a political entity ruled by a Khan. In modern Turkish, the word used is kağanlık or hanlık and in modern Azeri of the Republic of Azerbaijan, xanlıq. In Mongolian the word khanlig is used, as in "Khereidiin Khanlig" meaning the khanate of the Kerait. This political entity is typical for people from the Eurasian Steppe and it can be equivalent to tribal chiefdom, principality, kingdom or even empire, examples of this type of state would be, the Göktürk Khaganate,

  • Kingdoms

A kingdom is a state ruled by a king or queen) is a form of government in which sovereignty is actually or nominally embodied in a single individual (the monarch).[13] Forms of monarchy differ widely based on the level of legal autonomy the monarch holds in governance, the method of selection of the monarch, and any predetermined limits on the length of their tenure. When the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters, it is called an absolute monarchy and is a form of autocracy. Examples of this type of state would be, Epirus, Nabatea and Pontus.

  • Marquisates

A marquisate or march is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a marquis or marchioness .Some historic marquisate's were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms,others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the ancient era, examples of this type of state would be the Jin.

  • Principality

A Principality (or Princedom) can either be a monarchical feudatory or a sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince. Most of these states have historically been a polity, but in some occasions were rather territories in respect of which a princely style is held. The prince's estate and wealth may be located mainly or wholly outside the geographical confines of the principality, examples of this type of state would be Gardman, Corduene.

  • Republics

A republic is a form of government in which power is exercised by the public at large, and affairs of state are a concern of the public sphere (from Latin: res publica), rather than privately accommodated (such as through inheritance or divine mandate). In modern times the definition of a republic is also commonly limited to a government which excludes a monarch, an example would be the: Roman Republic, and Kalinga.

  • Viscountcy

A viscountcy or county is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a viscount or viscountess. Some historic viscountcies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms,others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the ancient era, examples of this type of state would be, Chu.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Junior Encyclopædia Britannica: A reference library of general knowledge. (1897). Chicago: E.G. Melvin.
  2. ^ C. J. Thomsen and Jens Jacob Asmussen Worsaae first applied the system to artifacts.
  3. ^ Stein, Gil J (2001). Understanding Ancient State Societies in the Old World. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press. pp. 353–379. 
  4. ^ "State definiation". 2014. Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Pritchard, James Cowles. "Kingdoms of Italy: Research into the Physical History of Mankind". 1999-2014. The History Files. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ancient Kingdoms of Iberia, Spain & Portugal". 2014. Regnal Chronologies. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Far East Kingdoms, South Asia". 2014. The History Files. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Kingdoms of Anatolia". 2014. The History Files. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Middle East Kingdoms Ancient Anatolia". 2014. The History Files. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Eduljee, K D. "Zoroastrian Heritage The Zagros". 2012. The Heritage Site. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Helms, Mary W. (198). Access to Origins: Affines, Ancestors and Aristocrats. Austin: University of Texas Press. p. 4. 
  12. ^ Michael Graham Fry, Erik Goldstein, Richard Langhorne. Guide to International Relations and Diplomacy. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Continuum International Publishing, 2002. Pp. 9.
  13. ^ Stuart Berg Flexner and Leonore Crary Hauck, editors, Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Ed., Random House, New York (1993)

External links[edit]