A tinderbox is a container made of wood or metal containing flint, firesteel, sulphur-tipped matches and tinder (typically charcloth, but possibly a small quantity of dry, finely divided fibrous matter such as hemp), used together to help kindle a fire. Tinderboxes fell out of general usage when friction matches were invented. Throughout prehistoric Europe flint and iron pyrites (commonly known as fools gold) were struck against one another in order to create a spark for firelighting. With development of iron ore smelting in the iron age the firesteel eventually replaced pyrites. This was simply a piece of carbon steel (it is difficult to obtain sparks with ordinary iron), which was usually wrought into a 'D' shape, or an oval ring, so that it could be conveniently looped around two or three fingers for striking. The flint was sometimes chipped to provide a suitably sharp edge to obtain a spark and if necessary other hard stones, such as quartzite, chert or chalcedony could be substituted.