The history of silverware is an evolutionary one with the first eating utensils already in use further back than can be traced. There is evidence of iron knives as early as 1000 B.C. while forks were not widely embraced until the 17th century.
Knives evolved thousands of years ago from sharpened stones that humans would use to spear their food. They would also hollow out the horns of animals into rough representations of spoons. The knife proved the most popular early form of flatware and was the first to evolve from stone to metal.
During the Renaissance, knives were desirable and costly accessories, and everyone was expected to bring their own to dinner. Forks were first introduced into modern European culture in the 11th century, though they did not become a common or regularly used piece of flatware for hundreds of years.