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The Bronze Age is a prehistoric
period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Period, a descriptor for a historical or period drama ...
that was characterized by the use of
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
, in some areas
proto-writing Proto-writing consists of visible marks Communication, communicating limited information. Such systems emerged from earlier traditions of symbol systems in the early Neolithic, as early as the 7th millennium BC in Ancient China, China. They used ...
, and other early features of urban
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by
Christian Jürgensen Thomsen Christian Jürgensen Thomsen (29 December 1788 – 21 May 1865) was a Danish antiquarian 's cabinet of curiosities, from ''Museum Wormianum,'' 1655 An antiquarian or antiquary (from the Latin: ''antiquarius'', meaning pertaining to ancient tim ...

Christian Jürgensen Thomsen
, for classifying and studying ancient societies. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by producing
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
by
smelting Smelting is a process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal. It is a form of extractive metallurgy. It is used to extract many metals from their ores, including Silver mining#Ore processing, silver, iron-making, iron, copper ...
its own
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
and alloying with
tin Tin is a with the Sn (from la, ) and  50. Tin is a silvery-colored metal that characteristically has a faint yellow hue. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent ...

tin
,
arsenic Arsenic is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same num ...

arsenic
, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze is harder and more durable than other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage. While terrestrial
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
is naturally abundant, its high melting point of 1538 °C (2800 °F) placed it out of reach of common use until the end of the second millennium BC. Tin's low melting point of 231.9 °C (449.4 °F) and copper's relatively moderate melting point of 1,085 °C (1,985 °F) placed them within the capabilities of the Neolithic
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
kiln , Wrecclesham Wrecclesham is a village on the southern outskirts of the large town of Farnham Farnham is a market town in Surrey, England, within the Borough of Waverley Borough Council, Waverley.OS Explorer map 145:Guildford and Farnham ...

kiln
s, which date back to 6,000 BC and were able to produce temperatures greater than 900 °C (1,652 °F).James E. McClellan III; Harold Dorn (2006).
Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction
'. JHU Press. . p. 21.
Copper/tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
, before trading in bronze began in the
third millennium BC Third or 3rd may refer to: Numbers * 3rd, the ordinal form of the cardinal number 3 *fraction (mathematics) A fraction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European ...
. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
period, with the
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

Chalcolithic
serving as a transition. Bronze Age cultures differed in their
development of the first writing The history of writing traces the development of expressing language by letters or other markings and also the studies and descriptions of these developments. In the history of how writing systems have evolved in different human civilizations, ...
. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
(
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

cuneiform
script) and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
(
hieroglyph A hieroglyph (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximat ...
s) developed the earliest practical writing systems.


History

The overall period is characterized by widespread use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction and development of bronze technology were not universally synchronous. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques. Tin must be mined (mainly as the tin ore
cassiterite Cassiterite is a tin Tin is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all ...

cassiterite
) and smelted separately, then added to hot copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of extensive use of metals and of developing trade networks (See ''
Tin sources and trade in ancient timesTin Tin is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numb ...
''). A 2013 report suggests that the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to the mid-5th millennium BC in a
Vinča culture The Vinča culture (), also known as Turdaș culture or Turdaș–Vinča culture, was a Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently ...
site in
Pločnik Pločnik ( sr, Плочник) is a village in the municipality of Prokuplje Prokuplje ( sr-cyrl, Прокупље, ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pengui ...
(
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
), although this culture is not conventionally considered part of the Bronze Age. The dating of the foil has been disputed.


Near East

Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
and the
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental ...
were the first regions to enter the Bronze Age, which began with the rise of the
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
n civilization of
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
in the mid 4th millennium BC. Cultures in the ancient Near East (often called one of "the
cradles of civilization A cradle of civilization is any location where civilization is understood to have independently emerged. According to current thinking, there was no single "cradle" of civilization; instead, several cradles of civilization developed independentl ...
") practiced intensive year-round agriculture, developed
writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communic ...
s, invented the
potter's wheel , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , ...

potter's wheel
, created centralized governments (usually in form of hereditary monarchies), written law codes,
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
s and nation-states and empires, embarked on advanced architectural projects, introduced
social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience Experience refers to conscious , an English ...
, economic and civil administration,
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
, and practiced organized
warfare War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

warfare
, medicine and religion. Societies in the region laid the foundations for
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
,
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
and
astrology Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divination, divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of Celestial objects in astrology, celestial objects. Astrology has be ...
. :'' Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details'' ImageSize = width:800 height:115 PlotArea = width:720 height:90 left:65 bottom:20 AlignBars = justify Colors = id:period value:rgb(1,0.7,0.5) # id:age value:rgb(0.95,0.85,0.5) # id:era value:rgb(1,0.85,0.5) # Period = from:-3500 till:-1000 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:500 start:-3000 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:100 start:-3500 PlotData = align:center textcolor:black fontsize:8 mark:(line,black) width:15 shift:(0,-5) bar:  color:period from: -3300 till: -1200 text:Classic Bronze Age bar:NEast color:era from: -3300 till: -1200 shift:(0,5) text:
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
from: -3300 till: -2100 text:Early Bronze Age from: -2100 till: -1550 text:Intermediate Bronze Age from: -1550 till: -1200 text:Late Bronze Age bar:Mesop. color:age from: -2900 till: -2350 text:
Sumerian city-states The earliest cities in history were in the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratifi ...
from: -2350 till: -2193 text:
Akkadia The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ Ārām''-Nahrīn'' or ܒ ...
from: -2119 till: -2000 text: Ur from: -2050 till: -1700 shift:(0,5) text:
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
from: -1900 till: -1800 text:
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
from: -1600 till: -1200 text:
Kassites The Kassites () were people of the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratificati ...
bar:Egyptian color:era from: -3200 till: -1070 shift:(0,5) text:
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
from: -3200 till: -3000 text: Protodynastic from: -3000 till: -2700 text:
Archaic Archaic is a period of time preceding a designated classical period, or something from an older period of time that is also not found or used currently: *List of archaeological periods **Archaic Sumerian language, spoken between 31st - 26th centu ...
from: -2700 till: -2180 text:
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associate ...
from: -2050 till: -1700 text: Middle Kingdom from: -1550 till: -1070 text:
New Kingdom New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of th ...
ImageSize = width:400 height:665 PlotArea = width:300 height:640 left:80 bottom:20 AlignBars = justify Colors = id:time value:rgb(0.7,0.7,1) # id:period value:rgb(1,0.7,0.5) # id:age value:rgb(0.95,0.85,0.5) # id:era value:rgb(1,0.85,0.5) # id:eon value:rgb(1,0.85,0.7) # id:filler value:gray(0.8) # background bar id:black value:black Period = from:1200 till:3300 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:100 start:1200 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:50 start:1200 PlotData = align:center textcolor:black fontsize:8 mark:(line,black) width:20 shift:(25,-5) bar:Phase color:era from: 3300 till: 3000 text:EBA I from: 3000 till: 2700 text:EBA II from: 2700 till: 2200 text:EBA III from: 2200 till: 2100 text:EBA IV from: 2100 till: 2000 text:MBA I from: 2000 till: 1750 text:MBA II A from: 1750 till: 1650 text:MBA II B from: 1650 till: 1550 text:MBA II C from: 1550 till: 1400 text:LBA I from: 1400 till: 1300 text:LBA II A from: 1300 till: 1200 text:LBA II B bar:Period color:age from: 3300 till: 2100 text:Early Bronze Age (EBA) from: 2100 till: 1550 text:Middle Bronze Age (MBA) from: 2100 till: 1550 shift:(25,-20) text:(Intermediate Bronze Age) from: 1550 till: 1200 text:Late Bronze Age (LBA) bar:Age color:period from: 3300 till: 1200 shift:(-25,0) text:Bronze Age


Anatolia

The
Hittite Empire The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittite Empire
was established in
Hattusa Hattusa (also Ḫattuša or Hattusas ; Hittite language, Hittite: URU (Sumerogram), URU''Ḫa-at-tu-ša'', Hattic language, Hattic: Hattush) was the capital of the Hittites, Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. Its ruins lie near modern Boğazk ...
in northern Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite Kingdom was at its height, encompassing central Anatolia, southwestern
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
as far as
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
, and upper
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
. After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
conjectured to have been associated with the sudden arrival of the
Sea Peoples The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a f ...
,. Quote: "First coined in 1881 by the French Egyptologist G. Maspero (1896), the somewhat misleading term "Sea Peoples" encompasses the ethnonyms Lukka, Sherden, Shekelesh, Teresh, Eqwesh, Denyen, Sikil / Tjekker, Weshesh, and Peleset (Philistines). Drews 1993, 57 for a summary). The use of quotation marks in association with the term "Sea Peoples" in our title is intended to draw attention to the problematic nature of this commonly used term. It is noteworthy that the designation "of the sea" appears only concerning the Sherden, Shekelesh, and Eqwesh. Subsequently, this term was applied somewhat indiscriminately to several additional ethnonyms, including the Philistines, who are portrayed in their earliest appearance as invaders from the north during the reigns of Merenptah and Ramesses Ill (see, e.g., Sandars 1978; Redford 1992, 243, n. 14; for a recent review of the primary and secondary literature, see Woudhuizen 2006). Henceforth the term Sea Peoples will appear without quotation marks.]"''The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe Ca. 1200 B.C.'', Robert Drews, pp. 48–61
Quote: "The thesis that a great "migration of the Sea Peoples" occurred ca. 1200 B.C. is supposedly based on Egyptian inscriptions, one from the reign of Merneptah and another from the reign of Ramesses III. Yet in the inscriptions themselves, such a migration nowhere appears. After reviewing what the Egyptian texts have to say about 'the sea peoples', one Egyptologist (Wolfgang Helck) recently remarked that although some things are unclear, "eins ist aber sicher: Nach den agyptischen Texten Haben wir es Nicht mit einer 'Volkerwanderung' zu tun." Thus the migration hypothesis is based not on the inscriptions themselves but their interpretation."
the kingdom disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC.
Arzawa Arzawa was the name of a region and a political entity (a " kingdom" or a federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regio ...
in Western Anatolia during the second half of the
second millennium BC The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession fr ...
likely extended along southern Anatolia in a belt that reaches from near the
Turkish Lakes Region Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...
to the
Aegean Aegean may refer to: *Aegean Sea *Aegean Islands *Aegean Region (geographical), Turkey *Aegean Region (statistical), Turkey *Aegean civilizations *Aegean languages, a group of ancient languages and proposed language family *Aegean Sea (theme), a n ...
coast.
Arzawa Arzawa was the name of a region and a political entity (a " kingdom" or a federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regio ...
was the western neighbor – sometimes a rival and sometimes a vassal – of the
Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms
Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms
. The Assuwa league was a confederation of states in western Anatolia that was defeated by the Hittites under an earlier
Tudhaliya ITudhaliya is the name of several Hittite kings: *Tudhaliya (also Tudhaliya I) is a hypothetic pre-Empire king of the Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian peoples, Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing an empire ce ...
, around 1400 BC. Arzawa has been associated with the much more obscure
Assuwa Assuwa was a confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written ...
generally located to its north. It probably bordered it, and may even be an alternative term for it (at least during some periods).


Egypt


= Early Bronze dynasties

= In
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
, the Bronze Age begins in the
Protodynastic period Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Prehistoric Egypt, Egyptian prehistory, dating from approximately 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which began in Naqada II, became h ...
, BC. The archaic ''Early Bronze Age of Egypt'', known as the
Early Dynastic Period of Egypt The Archaic or Early Dynastic Period of Egypt (also known as Thinite Period, from Thinis, the supposed hometown of its rulers) is the era immediately following the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt ''c.'' 3100 BC. It is generally taken ...
,Karin Sowada and Peter Grave. Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Old Kingdom. immediately follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt, . It is generally taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the Protodynastic Period of Egypt until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king. Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art, architecture and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic Period.
Memphis Memphis is the name of: *Memphis, Egypt , alternate_name = , image = , alt = , caption = Ruins of the pillared hall of Ramesses IIat Mit Rahina , map_type = Egypt , map_alt = , map_size = , reli ...
in the Early Bronze Age was the largest city of the time. The
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associate ...
of the regional Bronze Age is the name given to the period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement – the first of three "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley (the others being Middle Kingdom and the
New Kingdom New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of th ...
). The
First Intermediate Period of Egypt The First Intermediate Period, described as a 'dark period' in ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place t ...
, often described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned about 100 years after the end of the Old Kingdom from about 2181 to 2055 BC. Very little monumental evidence survives from this period, especially from the early part of it. The First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time when the rule of Egypt was roughly divided between two competing for power bases: Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt and Thebes in Upper Egypt. These two kingdoms would eventually come into conflict, with the Theban kings conquering the north, resulting in the reunification of Egypt under a single ruler during the second part of the 11th Dynasty.


= Nubia

= The Bronze Age in
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

Nubia
started as early as 2300 BC. Copper smelting was introduced by Egyptians to the Nubian city of
Meroë Meroë (; also spelled ''Meroe''; Meroitic or ; ar, مرواه, translit=Meruwah and ar, مروي, translit=Meruwi, label=none; grc, Μερόη, translit=Meróē) was an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile The Nile ( ar, الني ...
, in modern-day
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
, around 2600 BC. A furnace for bronze casting has been found in
Kerma Kerma was the capital city of the Kerma culture, which was located in present-day Sudan at least 5500 years ago. Kerma is one of the largest archaeological sites in ancient Nubia. It has produced decades of extensive excavations and research, incl ...

Kerma
that is dated to 2300–1900 BC.


= Middle Bronze dynasties

= The
Middle Kingdom of Egypt The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (also known as The Period of Reunification) is the period in the history of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the count ...
lasted from 2055 to 1650 BC. During this period, the Osiris funerary cult rose to dominate Egyptian popular religion. The period comprises two phases: the 11th Dynasty, which ruled from Thebes and the 12th and 13th Dynasties centered on
el-Lisht Lisht or el-Lisht ( ar, اللشت, translit=Al-Lišt) is an Egyptian village located south of . It is the site of royal and elite burials, including two s built by and . The two main pyramids were surrounded by smaller pyramids of members of th ...
. The unified kingdom was previously considered to comprise the 11th and 12th Dynasties, but historians now at least partially consider the 13th Dynasty to belong to the Middle Kingdom. During the
Second Intermediate Period The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now th ...
, Ancient Egypt fell into disarray for a second time, between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom. It is best known for the
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with th ...
, whose reign comprised the 15th and 16th dynasties. The Hyksos first appeared in Egypt during the 11th Dynasty, began their climb to power in the 13th Dynasty, and emerged from the Second Intermediate Period in control of
Avaris Avaris (; Egyptian: ḥw.t wꜥr.t, sometimes ''hut-waret''; grc, Αὔαρις, Auaris; el, Άβαρις, Ávaris) was the Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''wikt:ḥqꜣ, ḥqꜣ(w)-wikt:ḫꜣst, ḫꜣswt'', Egyptological pr ...
and the
Delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), the fourth letter of the modern English alphabet * Delta Air Lines, an Ame ...
. By the 15th Dynasty, they ruled lower Egypt, and they were expelled at the end of the 17th Dynasty.


= Late Bronze dynasties

= The
New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartne ...
, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, lasted from the 16th to the 11th century BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the
Third Intermediate Period The Third Intermediate Period of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the country . Ancient Egyptian civilization followed and coalesced around 3100 ...
. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of Egypt's power. The later New Kingdom, i.e. the 19th and 20th Dynasties (1292–1069 BC), is also known as the Ramesside period, after the eleven pharaohs that took the name of Ramesses.


Iranian Plateau

Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite: ''hatamti''; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronz ...

Elam
was a ''pre-Iranian'' ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia. In the Old Elamite period (Middle Bronze Age), Elam consisted of kingdoms on the , centered in
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
in the
Khuzestan Khuzestan Province (also spelled Xuzestan; fa, استان خوزستان ''Ostān-e Khūzestān'') is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it cover ...

Khuzestan
lowlands. Its culture played a crucial role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the
Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subreg ...
Achaemenid dynasty The Achaemenid dynasty ( peo, 𐏃𐎧𐎠𐎶𐎴𐎡𐏁𐎡𐎹, translit=Haxāmanišyaʰ; fa, دودمان هخامنشی; grc, Ᾰ̓χαιμενῐ́δαι, translit=Akhaimenídai) was an ancient Persian royal house. They were the ruling d ...
that succeeded it. The Oxus civilization was a Bronze Age
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
n culture dated to and centered on the upper
Amu Darya The Amu Darya, tk, Amyderýa/ uz, Amudaryo// tg, Амударё, Amudaryo ps, , tr, Ceyhun / Amu Derya grc, Ὦξος, Ôxos (also called the Amu, Amo River, or Jay-hoon, and historically known by its Latin language, Latin name or Greek ) i ...
(Oxus). In the Early Bronze Age, the culture of the
Kopet Dag The Köpet Dag, Kopet Dagh, or Koppeh Dagh ( tk, Köpetdag; fa, کپه‌داغ), also known as the Turkmen-Khorasan Mountain Range, is a mountain range on the border between Turkmenistan and Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called ...
oases and
Altyndepe (, sometimes Altyn Tepe, Turkmen "Golden Hill"), is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. ...

Altyndepe
developed a proto-urban society. This corresponds to level IV at Namazga-Tepe. Altyndepe was a major center even then. Pottery was wheel-turned. Grapes were grown. The height of this urban development was reached in the Middle Bronze Age , corresponding to level V at Namazga-Depe. This Bronze Age culture is called the
Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (short BMAC), also known as the Oxus civilization,: "The Oxus Civilization, also named the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (or Culture) (BMAC), developed in southern Central Asia during the ...
(BMAC). The
Kulli culture Kulli may refer to: * Kulli culture, prehistoric culture in southern Balochistan, Pakistan ca. 2500 - 2000 BCE ;Places in Estonia: *Kulli, Harju County, village in Raasiku Parish, Harju County *Kulli, Pärnu County, village in Varbla Parish, ...
, similar to those of the
Indus Valley Civilisation The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), also known as the Indus Civilisation, was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other ear ...
, was located in southern
Balochistan Balochistan (; bal, بلوچِستان; also romanised as Baluchistan) is an arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development ...

Balochistan
(Gedrosia) . Agriculture was the economic base of these people. At several places, dams were found, providing evidence for a highly developed water management system.
Konar Sandal Konar Sandal is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second princi ...

Konar Sandal
is associated with the hypothesized "
Jiroft culture The Jiroft cultureOscar White MuscarellaJiroft(2008), in: Encyclopedia Iranica. "For archeological accuracy the terms "Jiroft" or "Jiroft culture" employed to define a specific ancient Iranian culture and its artifacts should only be cited within q ...
", a 3rd-millennium-BC culture postulated based on a collection of artifacts confiscated in 2001.


Levant

In modern scholarship, the chronology of the Bronze Age Levant is divided into Early/Proto Syrian; corresponding to the Early Bronze. Old Syrian; corresponding to the Middle Bronze. Middle Syrian; corresponding to the Late Bronze. The term Neo-Syria is used to designate the early
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
. The old Syrian period was dominated by the Eblaite first kingdom, Nagar and the Mariote second kingdom. The Akkadians conquered large areas of the Levant and were followed by the , –1600 BC, which arose in
Mari Mari may refer to: Places *Mari, Paraíba, Brazil, a city *Mari, Cyprus, a village *Mari, Greece, a village, site of ancient town of Marius (Laconia), Marius *Mari, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran *Mari, Punjab, a village and a union counci ...
,
Yamhad Yamhad was an ancient Semitic people, Semitic kingdom centered on Aleppo, Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhad dynasty, Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military ...
,
Qatna Qatna (modern: ar, تل المشرفة, Tell al-Mishrifeh) was an ancient city located in Homs Governorate Homs Governorate ( ar, مُحافظة حمص / ALA-LC ALA-LC ( American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standa ...
,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
. From the 15th century BC onward, the term Amurru is usually applied to the region extending north of Canaan as far as
Kadesh Qadesh, Qedesh, Qetesh, Kadesh, Kedesh, Kadeš and Qades come from the common Semitic root "Q-D-Š", which means "sacred." Kadesh and variations may refer to: Ancient/biblical places * Kadesh (Syria) or Qadesh, an ancient city of the Levant, on o ...
on the
Orontes River ; tr, Asi , name_native_lang = , name_other = Asi , name_etymology = , image = Noria in Hama 01.jpg , image_size = 250 , image_caption = The Norias of Hama along the Orontes in Syria , map ...
. The earliest known
Ugaritic Ugaritic () is an extinct , classified by some as a of the and so the only known Amorite dialect preserved in writing. It is known through the discovered by French in 1929 at , including several major literary texts, notably the . It has be ...
contact with Egypt (and the first exact dating of Ugaritic civilization) comes from a
carnelian Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a brownish-red mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal stru ...

carnelian
bead identified with the Middle Kingdom pharaoh Senusret I, 1971–1926 BC. A
stela A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country ...
and a statuette from the Egyptian pharaohs Senusret III and Amenemhet III have also been found. However, it is unclear at what time these monuments got to Ugarit. In the Amarna letters, messages from Ugarit BC written by Ammittamru I, Niqmaddu II, and his queen, were discovered. From the 16th to the 13th century BC, Ugarit remained in constant touch with Egypt and Cyprus (named Alashiya). The
Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cuneiform ; ''Mittani'' '), also called Hanigalbat or Hani-Rabbat (''Hanikalbat'', ''Khanigalbat'', cuneiform ') in Assyrian or Naharin in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian language, Hurrian-speaking state in nor ...

Mitanni
was a loosely organized state in northern Syria and south-east Anatolia from –1300 BC. Founded by an Indo-Aryan ruling class that governed a predominantly Hurrian population, Mitanni came to be a regional power after the Hittite destruction of Kassite Babylon created a power vacuum in Mesopotamia. At its beginning, Mitanni's major rival was Egypt under the Thutmosids. However, with the ascent of the Hittite empire, Mitanni and Egypt allied to protect their mutual interests from the threat of Hittite domination. At the height of its power, during the 14th century BC, it had outposts centered on its capital,
Washukanni Washukanni (also spelled Waššukanni) was the capital of the Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age ...
, which archaeologists have located on the headwaters of the Khabur River. Eventually, Mitanni succumbed to Hittite, and later Assyrian attacks, and was reduced to a province of the Middle Assyrian Empire. The
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
were an ancient Semitic-speaking people of the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
who inhabited part of
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
during the tribal and monarchic periods (15th to 6th centuries BC), and lived in the region in smaller numbers after the fall of the monarchy. The name "Israel" first appears BC, at the end of the
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
and the very beginning of the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
, on the
Merneptah Stele The Merneptah Stele – also known as the Israel Stele or the Victory Stele of Merneptah – is an inscription by the ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the plac ...
raised by the Egyptian pharaoh
Merneptah Merneptah or Merenptah (reigned July or August 1213 BC – May 2, 1203 BC) was the fourth pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along th ...
. The
Arameans The Arameans (Old Aramaic Old Aramaic refers to the earliest stage of the Aramaic language Aramaic ( Classical Syriac: ''Arāmāyā''; Old Aramaic: ; Aramaic alphabet, Imperial Aramaic: ; Hebrew alphabet, square script ) is a language t ...
were a Northwest Semitic semi-nomadic and pastoralist people who originated in what is now modern Syria (Biblical Aram) during the Late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age. Large groups migrated to Mesopotamia, where they intermingled with the native Akkadian (Assyrian and Babylonian) population. The Aramaeans never had a unified empire; they were divided into independent kingdoms all across the Near East. After the Bronze Age collapse, their political influence was confined to many Syro-Hittite states, which were entirely absorbed into the Neo-Assyrian Empire by the 8th century BC.


Mesopotamia

The Mesopotamian Bronze Age began about 3500 BC and ended with the Kassites, Kassite period ( BC – BC). The usual tripartite division into an Early, Middle and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division primarily based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people. Ur, Kish (Sumer), Kish, Isin, Larsa and Nippur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon, Calah and Assur in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The Akkadian Empire (2335–2154 BC) became the dominant power in the region, and after its fall the Sumerians enjoyed a renaissance with the Neo-Sumerian Empire.
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
was extant from as early as the 25th century BC, and became a regional power with the Old Assyrian Empire (–1750 BC). The earliest mention of Babylon (then a small administrative town) appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC. The Amorite dynasty established the
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
of Babylon in the 19th century BC. Over 100 years later, it briefly took over the other city-states and formed the short-lived First
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
n Empire during what is also called the First Babylonian dynasty, Old Babylonian Period. Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia all used the written East Semitic languages, East Semitic Akkadian language for official use and as a spoken language. By that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use in Assyria and Babylonia, and would remain so until the 1st century AD. The Akkadian Empire, Akkadian and
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian traditions played a major role in later Assyrian and Babylonian culture, even though Babylonia (unlike the more militarily powerful Assyria) itself was founded by non-native Amorites and often ruled by other non-indigenous peoples, such as
Kassites The Kassites () were people of the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratificati ...
,
Arameans The Arameans (Old Aramaic Old Aramaic refers to the earliest stage of the Aramaic language Aramaic ( Classical Syriac: ''Arāmāyā''; Old Aramaic: ; Aramaic alphabet, Imperial Aramaic: ; Hebrew alphabet, square script ) is a language t ...
and Chaldeans, as well as its Assyrian neighbors.


Asia


Central Asia


= Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex

= The
Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (short BMAC), also known as the Oxus civilization,: "The Oxus Civilization, also named the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (or Culture) (BMAC), developed in southern Central Asia during the ...
(BMAC), also known as the Oxus civilization, was a Bronze Age civilization in
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
, dated to c. 2400–1600 BC, located in present-day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper
Amu Darya The Amu Darya, tk, Amyderýa/ uz, Amudaryo// tg, Амударё, Amudaryo ps, , tr, Ceyhun / Amu Derya grc, Ὦξος, Ôxos (also called the Amu, Amo River, or Jay-hoon, and historically known by its Latin language, Latin name or Greek ) i ...
(Oxus River). Its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi (1976). Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bactra (modern Balkh), in what is now northern Afghanistan, and Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margiana, Marguš, the capital of which was Merv, in modern-day southeastern Turkmenistan. According to recent studies the BMAC was not a primary contributor to later South-Asian genetics.


Seima-Turbino Phenomenon

The Altai Mountains in what is now southern Russia and central Mongolia have been identified as the point of origin of a cultural enigma termed the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon. It is conjectured that changes in climate in this region around 2000 BC and the ensuing ecological, economic and political changes triggered a rapid and massive migration westward into northeast Europe, eastward into China and southward into Vietnam and Thailand across a frontier of some 4,000 miles. This migration took place in just five to six generations and led to peoples from Finland in the west to Thailand in the east employing the same metal working technology and, in some areas, horse breeding and riding. It is further conjectured that the same migrations spread the Uralic languages, Uralic group of languages across Europe and Asia: some 39 languages of this group are still extant, including Hungarian language, Hungarian, Finnish language, Finnish and Estonian language, Estonian. However, recent genetic testings of sites in south Siberia and Kazakhstan (Andronovo horizon) would rather support a spreading of the bronze technology via Indo-European migrations eastwards, as this technology was well known for quite a while in western regions.


East Asia


= China

= In China, the earliest bronze artifacts have been found in the Majiayao culture site (between 3100 and 2700 BC). The term "Bronze Age" has been transferred to the archaeology of China from that of Western Eurasia, and there is no consensus or universally used convention delimiting the "Bronze Age" in the context of Chinese prehistory. By convention, the "Early Bronze Age" in China is sometimes taken as equivalent to the "Shang dynasty" period of Chinese prehistory (16th to 11th centuries BC), and the "Later Bronze Age" as equivalent to the "Zhou dynasty" period (11th to 3rd centuries BC, from the 5th century, also dubbed "Iron Age China, Iron Age"), although there is an argument to be made that the "Bronze Age" proper never ended in China, as there is no recognizable transition to an "Iron Age". Significantly, together with the jade art that precedes it, bronze was seen as a "fine" material for ritual art when compared with iron or stone, stone artifacts only becoming popular for tombs during the Han on probable Indian influence (replacing wooden temple in that instance). Bronze metallurgy in China originated in what is referred to as the Erlitou () period, which some historians argue places it within the range of dates controlled by the Shang dynasty. Others believe the Erlitou sites belong to the preceding Xia dynasty, Xia () dynasty. The U.S. National Gallery of Art defines the Chinese Bronze Age as the "period between about 2000 BC and 771 BC," a period that begins with the Erlitou culture and ends abruptly with the disintegration of Western Zhou dynasty, Western Zhou rule. While there may be a reason to believe that bronze work developed inside China separately from outside influence, the discovery of Europoid Tarim mummies, mummies in Xinjiang suggests a possible route of transmission from the West beginning in the early second millennium BC. This is, however, still just speculation since there is a lack of direct evidence. A few human mummies alone cannot provide sufficient explanation of metallurgy transmission. Furthermore, the oldest bronze objects found in China so far were discovered at the Majiayao site in Gansu rather than at Xinjiang The Shang dynasty (also known as the Yin dynasty) of the Yellow River Valley rose to power after the Xia dynasty around 1600 BC. While some direct information about the Shang dynasty comes from Shang-era inscriptions on bronze artifacts, most comes from oracle bones – turtle shells, cattle scapulae, or other bones – which bear glyphs that form the first significant corpus of recorded Chinese characters. Iron has been found from the Zhou dynasty, but its use was minimal. Chinese literature dating to the 6th century BC attests knowledge of iron smelting, yet bronze continues to occupy the seat of significance in the archaeological and historical record for some time after this. Historian W.C. White argues that iron did not supplant bronze "at any period before the end of the Zhou dynasty (256 BC)" and that bronze vessels make up the majority of metal vessels through the Han dynasty, Later Han period, or to 221 BC. The Chinese bronze artifacts generally are either utilitarian, like spear points or adze heads, or Chinese ritual bronzes, "ritual bronzes", which are more elaborate versions in precious materials of everyday vessels, as well as tools and weapons. Examples are the numerous large sacrificial tripods known as Ding (vessel), dings in Chinese; there are many other distinct shapes. Surviving identified Chinese ritual bronzes tend to be highly decorated, often with the ''taotie'' motif, which involves highly stylized animal faces. These appear in three main motif types: those of demons, of symbolic animals, and abstract symbols. Many large bronzes also bear Chinese bronze inscriptions, cast inscriptions that are the great bulk of the surviving body of early Chinese writing and have helped historians and archaeologists piece together the history of China, especially during the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC). The bronzes of the Western Zhou dynasty document large portions of history not found in the extant texts that were often composed by persons of varying rank and possibly even social class. Further, the medium of cast bronze lends the record they preserve a permanence not enjoyed by manuscripts. These inscriptions can commonly be subdivided into four parts: a reference to the date and place, the naming of the event commemorated, the list of gifts given to the artisan in exchange for the bronze, and a dedication. The relative points of reference these vessels provide have enabled historians to place most of the vessels within a certain time frame of the Western Zhou period, allowing them to trace the evolution of the vessels and the events they record.


= Korea

= The beginning of the Bronze Age on the peninsula is around 1000–800 BC. Although the Korean Bronze Age culture derives from the Liaoning bronze dagger culture, Liaoning and Manchuria, it exhibits unique typology and styles, especially in ritual objects. The Mumun pottery period is named after the Korean name for undecorated or plain cooking and storage vessels that form a large part of the pottery assemblage over the entire length of the period, but especially 850–550 BC. The Mumun period is known for the origins of intensive agriculture and complex societies in both the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago. The Middle Mumun pottery period culture of the southern Korean Peninsula gradually adopted bronze production (–600? BC) after a period when Liaoning-style bronze daggers and other bronze artifacts were exchanged as far as the interior part of the Southern Peninsula (–700 BC). The bronze daggers lent prestige and authority to the personages who wielded and were buried with them in high-status megalithic burials at south-coastal centers such as the Igeum-dong site. Bronze was an important element in ceremonies and as for mortuary offerings until 100.


= Japan

= The Japanese archipelago saw the introduction of bronze during the beginning of the Early Yayoi period (≈300 BC), which saw the introduction of metalworking and agricultural practices brought in by settlers arriving from the continent. Bronze and iron smelting techniques spread to the Japanese archipelago through contact with other ancient East Asian civilizations, particularly immigration and trade from the Korean peninsula and ancient mainland China. Iron was mainly used for agricultural and other tools, whereas ritual and ceremonial artifacts were mainly made of bronze.


South Asia

:''Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details'' ImageSize = width:800 height:50 PlotArea = width:720 height:25 left:65 bottom:20 AlignBars = justify Colors = id:age value:rgb(0.95,0.85,0.5) # id:filler value:gray(0.8) # background bar id:black value:black Period = from:-3300 till:-1000 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:500 start:-3300 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:100 start:-3300 PlotData = align:center textcolor:black fontsize:8 mark:(line,black) width:15 shift:(0,-5) bar:India color:age from: -3300 till: -1550 shift:(0,7) text:Bronze Age India from: -3300 till: -2700 text:Indus Valley Civilization, Early Indus from: -2700 till: -1900 text:Mature Harappan from: -1900 till: -1550 text:Cemetery H culture, Late Harappa from: -1500 till: -1200 text:Vedic period#Early Vedic period (c. 1500 – c. 1200 BCE), Rigvedic


= Indus Valley

= The Bronze Age on the Indian subcontinent began around 3300 BC with the beginning of the Indus Valley Civilization, Indus Valley civilization. Inhabitants of the Indus Valley, the Harappans, developed new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead and tin. The Late Harappan culture, which dates from 1900–1400 BC, overlapped the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age; thus it is difficult to date this transition accurately. It has been claimed that a 6,000 year old copper amulet manufactured in Mehrgarh in the shape of wheel spoke is the earliest example of lost wax casting in the world.


Southeast Asia


= Thailand

= In Ban Chiang, Thailand, (Southeast Asia) bronze artifact (archaeology), artifacts have been discovered dating to 2100 BC. However, according to the radiocarbon dating on the human and pig bones in Ban Chiang, some scholars propose that the initial Bronze Age in Ban Chiang was in late 2nd millennium. In Nyaunggan, Burma, bronze tools have been excavated along with ceramics and stone artifacts. Dating is still currently broad (3500–500 BC). Ban Non Wat, excavated by Charles Higham, was a rich site with over 640 graves excavated that gleaned many complex bronze items that may have had social value connected to them. Ban Chiang, however, is the most thoroughly documented site while having the clearest evidence of metallurgy when it comes to Southeast Asia. With a rough date range of late 3rd millennium BC to the first millennium AD, this site alone has various artifacts such as burial pottery (dating from 2100–1700 BC), fragments of Bronze, copper-base bangles, and much more. What's interesting about this site, however, isn't just the old age of the artifacts but the fact that this technology suggested on-site casting from the very beginning. The on-site casting supports the theory that Bronze was first introduced in Southeast Asia as fully developed which therefore shows that Bronze was innovated from a different country. Some scholars believe that the copper-based metallurgy was disseminated from northwest and central China via south and southwest areas such as Guangdong province and Yunnan province and finally into southeast Asia around 1000 BC. Archaeology also suggests that Bronze Age metallurgy may not have been as significant a catalyst in social stratification and warfare in Southeast Asia as in other regions, social distribution shifting away from chiefdom-states to a heterarchical network. Data analyses of sites such as Ban Lum Khao, Ban Na Di, Non-Nok Tha, Khok Phanom Di, and Nong Nor have consistently led researchers to conclude that there was no entrenched hierarchy.


= Vietnam

= Dating back to the Neolithic Age, the first bronze drum, called the Dong Son drum, were uncovered in and around the Red River Delta regions of Northern Vietnam and Southern China. These relate to the prehistoric Dong Son Culture of Vietnam. Archaeological research in Northern Vietnam indicates an increase in rates of infectious disease following the advent of metallurgy; skeletal fragments in sites dating to the early and mid-Bronze Age evidence a greater proportion of lesions than in sites of earlier periods. There are a few possible implications of this. One is the increased contact with bacterial and/or fungal pathogens due to increased population density and land clearing/cultivation. The other one is decreased levels of immunocompetence in the Metal age due to changes in the diet caused by agriculture. The last is that there may have been an emergence of infectious disease in the Da But the period that evolved into a more virulent form in the metal period.


Europe

A few examples of named Bronze Age cultures in Europe in roughly relative order. :''Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details'' ImageSize = width:800 height:145 PlotArea = width:720 height:105 left:65 bottom:20 AlignBars = justify Colors = id:era value:rgb(1,0.85,0.5) # Period = from:-3300 till:-300 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:500 start:-3300 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:100 start:-3300 PlotData = align:center textcolor:black fontsize:8 mark:(line,black) width:15 shift:(0,-5) bar:Europe color:era width:25 from: -3200 till: -600 shift:(0,15) text:Bronze Age Europe from: -3200 till: -2850 text:Aegean Civilization, Aegean Bronze from: -2850 till: -2500 text:Corded Ware culture, Corded Ware from: -2500 till: -2150 text:Beaker culture, Beaker from: -2150 till: -1600 text:Unetice culture, Unetice from: -1600 till: -1250 text:Tumulus culture, Tumulus from: -1250 till: -750 text:Urnfield culture, Urnfield from: -1250 till: -600 shift:(40,0) text:Lusatian culture, Lusatian bar:Britain color:era from: -2700 till: -700 shift:(0,15) text:Bronze Age Britain from: -2700 till: -2500 shift:(0,2) text:Mount~Pleasant link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pleasant_Phase from: -2500 till: -1900 text:Beaker culture, Beaker from: -1900 till: -1500 text:Bedd Branwen Period, Bedd Branwen from: -1500 till: -1300 shift:(0,3) text:Acton~Park link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acton_Park_Phase from: -1300 till: -1200 shift:(0,0) text:Knighton~Heath link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knighton_Heath_Period from: -1200 till: -850 text:Urnfield culture, Urnfield from: -850 till: -700 shift:(0,2) text:Ewart~Park link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewart_Park_Phase bar:Scand. color:era from: -1700 till: -500 shift:(0,15) text:Nordic Bronze Age from: -1700 till: -1500 text:Phase I from: -1500 till: -1300 text:Phase II from: -1300 till: -1100 text:Phase III from: -1100 till: -900 text:Phase IV from: -900 till: -700 text:Phase V from: -700 till: -500 text:Phase VI :''The chosen cultures overlapped in time and the indicated periods do not fully correspond to their estimated extents.''


Balkans

A study in the journal ''Antiquity (journal), Antiquity'' published in 2013 reported the discovery of a tin bronze foil from the Pločnik (archaeological site), Pločnik archaeological site securely dated to c. 4650 BC as well as 14 other artifacts from
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
and Bulgaria dated to before 4000 BC has shown that early tin bronze was more common than previously thought, and developed independently in Europe 1500 years before the first tin bronze alloys in the
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental ...
. The production of complex tin bronzes lasted for c. 500 years in the Balkans. The authors reported that evidence for the production of such complex bronzes disappears at the end of the 5th millennium coinciding with the "collapse of large cultural complexes in north-eastern Bulgaria and Thrace in the late fifth millennium BC". Tin bronzes using
cassiterite Cassiterite is a tin Tin is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all ...

cassiterite
tin would be reintroduced to the area again some 1500 years later.


Aegean

The Aegean Bronze Age began around 3200 BC, when civilizations first established a far-ranging trade network. This network imported
tin Tin is a with the Sn (from la, ) and  50. Tin is a silvery-colored metal that characteristically has a faint yellow hue. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent ...

tin
and charcoal to Alashiya, Cyprus, where
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
was mined and alloyed with the tin to produce bronze. Bronze objects were then exported far and wide and supported the trade. Isotope, Isotopic analysis of tin in some Mediterranean bronze artifacts suggests that they may have originated from Bronze Age Britain, Great Britain. Knowledge of navigation was well developed at this time and reached a peak of skill not exceeded (except perhaps by Polynesia#Polynesian navigation, Polynesian sailors) until 1730 when the invention of the Marine chronometer, chronometer enabled the precise determination of longitude. The Minoan civilization based in Knossos on the island of Crete appears to have coordinated and defended its Bronze Age trade. Ancient empires valued luxury goods in contrast to staple foods, leading to famine.


=Aegean collapse

= Bronze Age collapse theories have described aspects of the end of the Bronze Age in this region. At the end of the Bronze Age in the Aegean region, the Mycenaean Greece, Mycenaean administration of the regional trade empire followed the decline of Minoan primacy. Several Minoan client states lost much of their population to famine and/or pestilence. This would indicate that the trade network may have failed, preventing the trade that would previously have relieved such famines and prevented illness caused by malnutrition. It is also known that in this era the breadbasket of the Minoan empire, the area north of the Black Sea, also suddenly lost much of its population, and thus probably some capacity to cultivate crops. Drought and famine in Anatolia may have also led to the Aegean collapse by disrupting trade networks, and therefore preventing the Aegean from accessing bronze and luxury goods. The Aegean collapse has been attributed to the exhaustion of the Geography of Cyprus, Cypriot forests causing the end of the bronze trade. These forests are known to have existed into later times, and experiments have shown that charcoal production on the scale necessary for the bronze production of the late Bronze Age would have exhausted them in less than fifty years. The Aegean collapse has also been attributed to the fact that as
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

iron
tools became more common, the main justification for the tin trade ended, and that trade network ceased to function as it did formerly. The colonies of the Minoan empire then suffered drought, famine, war, or some combination of those three, and had no access to the distant resources of an empire by which they could easily recover. The Thera eruption occurred BC, north of Crete. Speculation includes that a tsunami from Thera (more commonly known today as Santorini) destroyed Cretan cities. A tsunami may have destroyed the Cretan navy in its home harbor, which then lost crucial naval battles; so that in the Minoan chronology, LMIB/LMII event ( BC) the cities of Crete burned and the Mycenaean civilization took over Knossos. If the eruption occurred in the late 17th century BC (as most chronologists now think) then its immediate effects belong to the Middle to Late Bronze Age transition, and not to the end of the Late Bronze Age, but it could have triggered the instability that led to the collapse first of Knossos and then of Bronze Age society overall. One such theory highlights the role of Cretan expertise in administering the empire, post—Thera. If this expertise was concentrated in Crete, then the Mycenaeans may have made political and commercial mistakes in administering the Cretan empire. Archaeological findings, including some on the island of Thera, suggest that the center of the Minoan civilization at the time of the eruption was actually on Thera rather than on Crete. According to this theory, the catastrophic loss of the political, administrative and economic center due to the eruption, as well as the damage wrought by the tsunami to the coastal towns and villages of Crete precipitated the decline of the Minoans. A weakened political entity with a reduced economic and military capability and fabled riches would have then been more vulnerable to conquest. Indeed, the Santorini eruption is usually dated to BC, while the Mycenaean Greeks first enter the historical record a few decades later, BC. The later Mycenaean assaults on Crete ( BC) and Troy ( BC) would have been a continuation of the steady encroachment of the Greeks upon the weakened Minoan world.


Central Europe

In Central Europe, the early Bronze Age Unetice culture (1800–1600 BC) includes numerous smaller groups like the Straubingen culture, Straubing, Adlerberg culture, Adlerberg and Hatvan cultures. Some very rich burials, such as the one located at Leubingen with grave gifts crafted from gold, point to an increase of social stratification already present in the Unetice culture. All in all, cemeteries of this period are rare and of small size. The Unetice culture is followed by the middle Bronze Age (1600–1200 BC) Tumulus culture, which is characterised by inhumation burials in tumuli (barrows). In the eastern Hungary, Hungarian Körös River, Körös tributaries, the early Bronze Age first saw the introduction of the Mako culture, followed by the Otomani culture, Otomani and Gyulavarsand cultures. The late Bronze Age Urnfield culture (1300–700 BC) is characterized by cremation burials. It includes the Lusatian culture in eastern Germany and Poland (1300–500 BC) that continues into the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
. The Central European Bronze Age is followed by the Iron Age Hallstatt culture (700–450 BC). list of archaeological sites, Important sites include: * Biskupin (Poland) * Nebra (Unstrut), Nebra (Germany) * Vráble (Slovakia) * Zug-Sumpf, Canton of Zug, Zug, Switzerland The Bronze Age in Central Europe has been described in the chronological schema of German prehistorian Paul Reinecke. He described Bronze A1 (Bz A1) period (2300–2000 BC: triangular daggers, flat axes, stone wrist-guards, flint arrowheads) and Bronze A2 (Bz A2) period (1950–1700 BC: daggers with metal hilt, flanged axes, halberds, pins with perforated spherical heads, solid bracelets) and phases Hallstatt A and B (Ha A and B).


South Europe

The Apennine culture (also called Italian Bronze Age) is a technology complex of central and southern Italy spanning the
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

Chalcolithic
and Bronze Age proper. The Camuni were an ancient people of uncertain origin (according to Pliny the Elder, they were Euganei; according to Strabo, they were Rhaetians) who lived in Val Camonica – in what is now northern Lombardy – during the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
, although human groups of hunters, shepherds and farmers are known to have lived in the area since the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
. Located in Sardinia and Corsica, the Nuragic civilization lasted from the early Bronze Age (18th century BC) to the 2nd century AD, when the islands were already Romanized. They take their name from the characteristic Nuragic towers, which evolved from the pre-existing megalithic culture, which built dolmens and menhirs. The nuraghe towers are unanimously considered the best-preserved and largest megalithic remains in Europe. Their effective use is still debated: some scholars considered them as monumental tombs, others as Giants' grave, Houses of the Giants, other as fortresses, ovens for metal fusion, prisons or, finally, temples for a solar cult. Around the end of the 3rd millennium BC, Sardinia exported towards Sicily a ''Culture'' that built small dolmens, trilithic or polygonal shaped, that served as tombs as it has been ascertained in the Sicilian dolmen of “Cava dei Servi”. From this region, they reached Malta island and other countries of Mediterranean basin. The Terramare was an early Indo-European languages, Indo-European civilization in the area of what is now Pianura Padana (northern Italy) before the arrival of the Celts and in other parts of Europe. They lived in square villages of wooden stilt houses. These villages were built on land, but generally near a stream, with roads that Grid plan, crossed each other at right angles. The whole complex denoted the nature of a fortified settlement. Terramare was widespread in the Pianura Padana (especially along the Panaro (river), Panaro river, between Modena and Bologna) and in the rest of Europe. The civilization developed in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, between the 17th and the 13th centuries BC. The Castellieri culture developed in Istria during the Middle Bronze Age. It lasted for more than a millennium, from the 15th century BC until the Roman conquest in the 3rd century BC. It takes its name from the fortified boroughs (''Castellieri'', Friulian language, Friulian: ''cjastelir'') that characterized the culture. The Canegrate culture developed from the mid-Bronze Age (13th century BC) until the Iron Age in the Pianura Padana, in what are now western Lombardy, eastern Piedmont and Canton Ticino, Ticino. It takes its name from the township of Canegrate where, in the 20th century, some fifty tombs with ceramics and metal objects were found. The Canegrate culture migrated from the northwest part of the Alps and descended to Pianura Padana from the Swiss Alps passes and the Ticino. The Golasecca culture developed starting from the late Bronze Age in the Po plain. It takes its name from Golasecca, a locality next to the Ticino where, in the early 19th century, abbot Giovanni Battista Giani excavated its first findings (some fifty tombs with ceramics and metal objects). Remains of the Golasecca culture span an area of c. 20,000 square kilometers south to the Alps, between the Po, Sesia and Serio (river), Serio rivers, dating from the 9th to the 4th century BC.


West Europe


= Atlantic Bronze Age

= The Atlantic Bronze Age is a cultural complex of the period of approximately 1300–700 BC that includes different cultures in Portugal, Andalusia, Galicia, and the British Isles. It is marked by economic and cultural exchange. Commercial contacts extend to Denmark and the Mediterranean. The Atlantic Bronze Age was defined by many distinct regional centers of metal production, unified by a regular maritime exchange of some of their products.


= Great Britain

= In Great Britain, the Bronze Age is considered to have been the period from around 2100 to 750 BC. Human migration, Migration brought new people to the islands from the continent. Recent tooth enamel isotope research on bodies found in early Bronze Age graves around Stonehenge indicates that at least some of the migrants came from the area of modern Switzerland. Another example site is Must Farm, near Whittlesey, which has recently been host to the most complete Bronze Age wheel ever to be found. The Beaker culture displayed different behaviors from the earlier
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
people, and cultural change was significant. Integration is thought to have been peaceful, as many of the early henge sites were seemingly adopted by the newcomers. The rich Wessex culture developed in southern Britain at this time. Additionally, the climate was deteriorating; where once the weather was warm and dry it became much wetter as the Bronze Age continued, forcing the population away from easily defended sites in the hills and into the fertile valleys. Large livestock farms developed in the lowlands and appear to have contributed to economic growth and inspired increasing forest clearances. The Deverel-Rimbury culture began to emerge in the second half of the Middle Bronze Age ( –1100 BC) to exploit these conditions. Devon and Cornwall were major sources of
tin Tin is a with the Sn (from la, ) and  50. Tin is a silvery-colored metal that characteristically has a faint yellow hue. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent ...

tin
for much of western Europe and
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
was extracted from sites such as the Great Orme mine in northern Wales. Social groups appear to have been tribal but with growing complexity and hierarchies becoming apparent. The burial of the dead (which, until this period, had usually been communal) became more individual. For example, whereas in the Neolithic a large chambered cairn or long barrow housed the dead, Early Bronze Age people buried their dead in individual tumulus, barrows (also commonly known and marked on modern British Ordnance Survey maps as tumuli), or sometimes in cists covered with cairns. The greatest quantities of bronze objects in England were discovered in East Cambridgeshire, where the most important finds were recovered in Isleham (more than Isleham Hoard, 6500 pieces). Alloying of copper with zinc or tin to make brass or
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
was practiced soon after the discovery of copper itself. One copper mine at Great Orme in North Wales, extended to a depth of 70 meters. At Alderley Edge in Cheshire, carbon dates have established mining at around 2280 to 1890 BC (at 95% probability). The earliest identified metalworking site (Sigwells, Somerset) is much later, dated by Globular Urn style pottery to approximately the 12th century BC. The identifiable sherds from over 500 mould fragments included a perfect fit of the hilt of a sword in the Wilburton style held in Somerset County Museum.


= Ireland

= The Bronze Age in Ireland commenced around 2000 BC when copper was alloyed with tin and used to manufacture Ballybeg type flat axes and associated metalwork. The preceding period is known as the Copper Age and is characterised by the production of flat axes, daggers, halberds and stitching awl, awls in copper. The period is divided into three phases: Early Bronze Age (2000–1500 BC), Middle Bronze Age (1500–1200 BC), and
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
(1200– BC). Ireland is also known for a relatively large number of Early Bronze Age burials. One of the characteristic types of artifact of the Early Bronze Age in Ireland is the flat axe. There are five main types of flat axes: Lough Ravel ( BC), Ballybeg ( BC), Killaha ( BC), Ballyvalley (–1600 BC), Derryniggin ( BC), and a number of metal ingots in the shape of axes.


North Europe

The Bronze Age in Northern Europe spans the entire 2nd millennium BC (Unetice culture, Urnfield culture, Tumulus culture, Terramare culture, Lusatian culture) lasting until BC. The Nordic Bronze Age, Northern Bronze Age was both a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, –500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of written sources. It is followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age. Even though Northern European Bronze Age cultures were relatively late, and came into existence via trade, sites present rich and well-preserved objects made of wool, wood and imported Central European bronze and gold. Many rock carvings depict ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships suggest that shipping played an important role. Thousands of rock carvings depict ships, most probably representing sewn plank built canoes for warfare, fishing, and trade. These may have a history as far back as the neolithic period and continue into the Pre-Roman Iron Age, as shown by the Hjortspring boat. There are many mounds and rock carving sites from the period. Numerous artifacts of bronze and gold are found. No written language existed in the Nordic countries during the Bronze Age. The rock carvings have been dated through comparison with depicted artifacts.


Caucasus

Arsenical bronze artifacts of the Maykop culture in the North Caucasus have been dated around the 4th millennium BC. This innovation resulted in the circulation of arsenical bronze technology over southern and eastern Europe.


Pontic–Caspian steppe

The Yamnaya culture is a Late Copper Age/Early Bronze Age culture of the Southern Bug/Dniester/Ural River, Ural region (Pontic–Caspian steppe, the Pontic steppe), dating to the 36th–23rd centuries BC. The name also appears in English as Pit-Grave Culture or Ochre-Grave Culture. The Catacomb culture, –2200 BC, comprises several related Early Bronze Age cultures occupying what is presently Russia and Ukraine. The Srubna culture was a Late Bronze Age (18th–12th centuries BC) culture. It is a successor to the Yamnaya and the Poltavka culture.


Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa

Iron and copper smelting appeared around the same time in most parts of Africa. As such, most Classical African Civilization, African civilizations outside of Egypt did not experience a distinct Bronze Age. Evidence for iron smelting appears earlier or at the same time as copper smelting in Nigeria c. 900–800 BC, Rwanda and Burundi c. 700–500 BC and Tanzania c. 300 BC. There is a longstanding debate about whether the development of both copper and iron metallurgy were independently developed in sub-Saharan Africa or were introduced from the outside across the Sahara Desert from North Africa or the Indian Ocean. Evidence for theories of independent development and outside introduction are scarce and subject to active scholarly debate. Scholars have suggested that both the relative dearth of archeological research in sub-Saharan Africa as well as long-standing prejudices have limited or biased our understanding of pre-historic metallurgy on the continent. One scholar characterized the state of historical knowledge as such: "To say that the history of metallurgy in sub-Saharan Africa is complicated is perhaps an understatement."


West Africa

Copper smelting took place in West Africa prior to the appearance of iron smelting in the region. Evidence for copper smelting furnaces was found near Agadez, Niger that has been dated as early as 2200 BC. However, evidence for copper production in this region before 1000 BC is debated. Evidence of copper mining and smelting has been found at Akjoujt, Mauretania that suggests small scale production to 400 BC.


Americas

The Moche culture, Moche civilization of South America independently discovered and developed bronze smelting. Bronze technology was developed further by the Incas and used widely both for utilitarian objects and sculpture. A later appearance of limited bronze smelting in West Mexico suggests either contact of that region with Andean civilizations, Andean cultures or separate discovery of the technology. The Calchaquí people of Northwest Argentina had bronze technology.Ambrosetti, El bronze de la región calchaquí, Buenos Aires, 190

accessed 28 March 2015.


Trade

Trade and industry played a major role in the development of the ancient Bronze Age civilizations. With artifacts of the Indus Valley Civilization being found in ancient
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
and Ancient Egypt, Egypt, it is clear that these civilizations were not only in touch with each other but also trading with each other. Early long-distance trade was limited almost exclusively to luxury goods like spices, textiles and precious metals. Not only did this make cities with ample amounts of these products extremely rich but also led to an intermingling of cultures for the first time in history. Trade routes were not only over land but also over water. The first and most extensive trade routes were over rivers such as the Nile, the Tigris and the Euphrates which led to growth of cities on the banks of these rivers. The domestication of camels at a later time also helped encourage the use of trade routes over land, linking the Indus Valley with the Mediterranean. This further led to towns sprouting up in numbers anywhere and everywhere there was a pit-stop or caravan-to-ship port.


See also

*
Altyndepe (, sometimes Altyn Tepe, Turkmen "Golden Hill"), is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. ...

Altyndepe
* Dover Bronze Age Boat * Ferriby Boats * Human timeline * Langdon Bay hoard * Middle Bronze Age migrations (Ancient Near East) * Namazga * Oxhide ingot * Shropshire bulla


Notes


References

* * Eogan, George (1983). ''The hoards of the Irish later Bronze Age'', Dublin: University College, 331 p., * Hall, David and Coles, John (1994). ''Fenland survey : an essay in landscape and persistence'', Archaeological report 1, London : English Heritage, 170 p., * Pernicka, E., Eibner, C., Öztunah, Ö., Wagener, G.A. (2003). "Early Bronze Age Metallurgy in the Northeast Aegean", In: Wagner, G.A., Pernicka, E. and Uerpmann, H-P. (eds), ''Troia and the Troad: scientific approaches'', Natural science in archaeology, Berlin; London : Springer, , pp. 143–172 * Piccolo, Salvatore (2013). ''Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily''. Abingdon (GB): Brazen Head Publishing, , * Waddell, John (1998). ''The prehistoric archaeology of Ireland'', Galway University Press, 433 p., * *


Further reading

* * * * * * * *


External links

*
Links to the Bronze Age in Europe and beyond
Commented web index, geographically structured (private website)
Bronze Age Experimental Archeology and Museum Reproductions

Umha Aois – Reconstructed Bronze Age metal casting

Umha Aois – ancient bronze casting videoclip
*
Aegean and Balkan Prehistory
articles, site-reports and bibliography database concerning the Aegean, Balkans and Western Anatolia * *
The Transmission of Early Bronze Technology to Thailand: New Perspectives

Human Timeline (Interactive)
– Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History (August 2016). ;Seafaring
Divers unearth Bronze Age hoard off the coast of Devon
{{Authority control Bronze Age, Articles which contain graphical timelines Historical eras