Meteoric iron, or iron-nickel alloy, was used by various ancient peoples thousands of years before the Iron Age. This iron, being in its native metallic state, required no smelting of ores. By the Middle Bronze Age, increasing numbers of smelted iron objects (distinguishable from meteoric iron by the lack of nickel in the product) appeared throughout Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Indian subcontinent, the Levant, the Mediterranean, and Egypt. The earliest systematic production and use of iron implements originates in Anatolia, beginning around 2000 BCE. Recent archaeological research in the Ganges Valley, India showed early iron working by 1800 BC. However, this metal was expensive, perhaps because of the technical processes required to make steel, the most useful iron product. It is attested in both documents and in archaeological contexts as a substance used in high value items such as jewelry.