Via Tengrain, we have the account that an iron dagger buried with King Tut was forged from a meteoric iron. Meteoric iron, rare as it is, provided isolated 'jumpstarts' on an 'Iron Age', because the purity of the metal eliminates the need for smelting. It is generally believed that smelting was an outgrowth of ceramic manufacture, with pigments fashioned from ores such as malachite or azurite being applied to pots which were then fired, producing unexpected results. Iron smelting was pioneered by the Hittites, an Indo-European group from Anatolia. While the early iron was not appreciably harder than bronze, a copper/tim alloy, its abundance in the earth's crust made it a more attractive metal for fashioning implements than bronze, the manufacture of which necessitated long-distance trade.
Meteoric iron was also forged into implements by the Inuit of Greenland and the Hopewell of Ohio, two otherwise 'Stone Age' (please note that I am not using the term pejoratively) cultures.
The people of the ancient world were just as smart as modern individuals, and probably more observant, in the aggregate. An individual coming upon an unusual rock would have checked it out, and anyone finding a chunk of an iron meteorite would have discovered its malleability upon trying to chip a stone tool out of it. These malleable implements, so ubiquitous today, would have been gifts fit for a king.
Confession time, in college I took a class titled 'Archaeometallurgy and Artifact Analysis', a seminar with about ten attendees. It was a great class, involving a bit of shopwork to demonstrate such concepts as malleability and ductility (cup and cone fractures FTW). I could nerd out on this subject for hours if anybody really wanted to talk about arsenical bronzes.