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Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze, the presence of writing in some areas, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age system proposed in 1836 by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen for classifying and studying ancient societies and history. An ancient civilization is deemed to be part of the Bronze Age because it either produced bronze by smelting its own copper and alloying it with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or traded other items for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze is harder and more durable than the other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage. While terrestrial iron is naturally abundant, the higher temperature required for smelting, , in addition to the greater difficulty of working with the metal, placed it out of reach of common use until the end o ...
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Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent. Today, Mesopotamia occupies modern Iraq. In the broader sense, the historical region included present-day Iraq and Kuwait and parts of present-day Iran, Syria and Turkey. The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) originating from different areas in present-day Iraq, dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history () to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. Later the Arameans dominated major parts of Mesopotamia (). Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. It has been ...
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Serbia
Serbia (, ; Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Basin and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest, and claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia without Kosovo has about 6.7 million inhabitants, about 8.4 million if Kosvo is included. Its capital Belgrade is also the largest city. Continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the territory of modern-day Serbia faced Slavic migrations in the 6th century, establishing several regional states in the early Middle Ages at times recognised as tributaries to the Byzantine, Frankish and Hungarian kingdoms. The Serbian Kingdom obtained recognition by the Holy S ...
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Pločnik (archaeological Site)
Pločnik is an archaeological site in the village of the same name in Toplica District, Serbia. A 120 hectare settlement belonging to the Neolithic Vinča culture existed on the site from 5500 BCE until it was destroyed by fire in 4700 BCE. The site was first discovered during railway construction in 1927, but was investigated only sporadically until excavations carried out by the Prokuplje Museum the National Museum of Serbia began in 1996. The Vinča houses at Pločnik had stoves and special holes specifically for rubbish, and the dead were buried in cemeteries. People slept on woollen mats and fur and made clothes of wool, flax and leather. The figurines found not only represent deities but many show the daily life of the inhabitants while crude pottery finds appear to have been made by children. Women are depicted in short tops and skirt wearing jewellery. A thermal well found near the settlement might be evidence of Europe's oldest spa. The preliminary dating of a Pločnik m ...
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Vinča Culture
The Vinča culture (), also known as Turdaș culture or Turdaș–Vinča culture, is a Neolithic archaeological culture of Southeast Europe, dated to the period 5700–4500 BC or 5300–4700/4500 BC.. Named for its type site, Vinča-Belo Brdo, a large tell settlement discovered by Serbian archaeologist Miloje Vasić in 1908, it represents the material remains of a prehistoric society mainly distinguished by its settlement pattern and ritual behaviour. Farming technology first introduced to the region during the First Temperate Neolithic was developed further by the Vinča culture, fuelling a population boom and producing some of the largest settlements in prehistoric Europe. These settlements maintained a high degree of cultural uniformity through the long-distance exchange of ritual items, but were probably not politically unified. Various styles of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines are hallmarks of the culture, as are the Vinča symbols, which some conjecture to ...
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Tin Sources And Trade In Ancient Times
Tin is an essential metal in the creation of tin-Bronze, bronzes, and its acquisition was an important part of ancient history, ancient cultures from the Bronze Age onward. Its use began in the Middle East and the Balkans around 3000 BC. Tin is a relatively rare element in the Crust (geology), Earth's crust, with about two Parts-per notation, parts per million (ppm), compared to iron with 50,000 ppm, copper with 70 ppm, lead with 16 ppm, arsenic with 5 ppm, silver with 0.1 ppm, and gold with 0.005 ppm. Ancient sources of tin were therefore rare, and the metal usually had to be traded over very long distances to meet demand in areas which lacked tin deposits. Known sources of tin in ancient times include the southeastern tin belt that runs from Yunnan in China to the Malay Peninsula; Cornwall and Devon in Great Britain, Britain; Brittany in France; the border between Germany and the Czech Republic; Spain; Portugal; Italy; and Central Africa, central and Southern Africa, South Africa. ...
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Cassiterite
Cassiterite is a tin oxide mineral, SnO2. It is generally opaque, but it is translucent in thin crystals. Its luster and multiple crystal faces produce a desirable gem. Cassiterite was the chief tin ore throughout ancient history and remains the most important source of tin today. Occurrence Most sources of cassiterite today are found in alluvial or placer deposits containing the weathering-resistant grains. The best sources of primary cassiterite are found in the tin mines of Bolivia, where it is found in crystallised hydrothermal veins. Rwanda has a nascent cassiterite mining industry. Fighting over cassiterite deposits (particularly in Walikale) is a major cause of the conflict waged in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This has led to cassiterite being considered a conflict mineral. Cassiterite is a widespread minor constituent of igneous rocks. The Bolivian veins and the 4500 year old workings of Cornwall and Devon, England, are concentrated in ...
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Arsenical Bronze
Arsenical bronze is an alloy in which arsenic, as opposed to or in addition to tin or other constituent metals, is combined with copper to make bronze. The use of arsenic with copper, either as the secondary constituent or with another component such as tin, results in a stronger final product and better casting behavior. Copper ore is often naturally contaminated with arsenic; hence, the term "arsenical bronze" when used in archaeology is typically only applied to alloys with an arsenic content higher than 1% by weight, in order to distinguish it from potentially accidental additions of arsenic. Origins in pre-history Although arsenical bronze occurs in the archaeological record across the globe, the earliest artifacts so far known, dating from the 5th millennium BC, have been found on the Iranian plateau. Arsenic is present in a number of copper-containing ores (see table at right, adapted from Lechtman & Klein, 1999), and therefore some contamination of the copper with arse ...
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4th Millennium BC
The 4th millennium BC spanned the years 4000 BC to 3001 BC. Some of the major changes in human culture during this time included the beginning of the Bronze Age and the invention of writing, which played a major role in starting recorded history. The city states of Sumer and the kingdom of Egypt were established and grew to prominence. Agriculture spread widely across Eurasia. World population growth relaxes after the burst due to the Neolithic Revolution. World population is largely stable, at roughly 50 million, with a slow overall growth rate at roughly 0.03% p.a. Culture ;Near East *Mesopotamia **4100–3100 BC – the Uruk period, with emerging Sumerian hegemony and development of "proto-cuneiform" writing; base-60 mathematics, astronomy and astrology, civil law, complex hydrology, the sailboat, potter's wheel and wheel; the Chalcolithic proceeds into the Early Bronze Age. ** 3500– 2340 BC – Sumer: wheeled carts, potter's wheel, White Temple ziggurat, bron ...
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North Caucasus
The North Caucasus, ( ady, Темыр Къафкъас, Temır Qafqas; kbd, Ишхъэрэ Къаукъаз, İṩxhərə Qauqaz; ce, Къилбаседа Кавказ, Q̇ilbaseda Kavkaz; , os, Цӕгат Кавказ, Cægat Kavkaz, inh, Даькъасте, Däq̇aste, krc, Шимал Кавказ, Şimal Kavkaz, russian: Северный Кавказ, r=Severnyy Kavkaz, p=ˈsʲevʲɪrnɨj kɐfˈkas) or Ciscaucasia (russian: Предкавказье, Predkavkazye), is a subregion of Eastern Europe in the Eurasian continent. It is the northern part of the wider Caucasus region, and is entirely a part of Russia, sandwiched between the Sea of Azov and Black Sea to the west, and the Caspian Sea to the east. The region shares land borders with Georgia and Azerbaijan to the south. Krasnodar is the largest city within the North Caucasus. Politically, the North Caucasus is made up of Russian republics and krais. It lies north of the Main Caucasian Range, which separates it fr ...
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Maykop Culture
The Maykop culture (, , scientific transliteration: ''Majkop,''), c. 3700 BC–3000 BC, was a major Bronze Age archaeological culture in the western Caucasus region. It extends along the area from the Taman Peninsula at the Kerch Strait to near the modern border of Dagestan and southwards to the Kura River. The culture takes its name from a royal burial, the Maykop kurgan in the Kuban River valley. According to genetic studies on ancient DNA published in 2018, the Maykop population came from the south, from Imereti, and was descended from the Chalcolithic farmers known as Darkveti-Meshoko who first colonized the north side of the Caucasus. Maykop is therefore the "ideal archaeological candidate for the founders of the Northwest Caucasian language family". Territory In the south, the Maykop culture bordered the approximately contemporaneous Kura-Araxes culture (3500—2200 BC), which extends into the Armenian Plateau and apparently influenced it. To the north is th ...
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Metallurgical Diffusion
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their inter-metallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are known as alloys. Metallurgy encompasses both the science and the technology of metals; that is, the way in which science is applied to the production of metals, and the engineering of metal components used in products for both consumers and manufacturers. Metallurgy is distinct from the craft of metalworking. Metalworking relies on metallurgy in a similar manner to how medicine relies on medical science for technical advancement. A specialist practitioner of metallurgy is known as a metallurgist. The science of metallurgy is further subdivided into two broad categories: chemical metallurgy and physical metallurgy. Chemical metallurgy is chiefly concerned with the reduction and oxidation of metals, and the chemical performance of metals. Subjects of study in chemical metallurgy include mi ...
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