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What was the Bronze Age?

A nuraghe, a bronze age structure in Italy.
The Bronze Age began when ancient peoples realized the value of metallic ores.
The Bronze Age began in what is now Iran.
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  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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The Bronze Age refers to a period of time in prehistoric societies where metallurgy had advanced to the point of making bronze — an alloy of tin and copper — from natural ores, but not yet to the point of the systematic production of iron (the Iron Age). This period is more advanced than the Stone Age, in which artifacts and tools are largely made from carved stone. Stone, Bronze, and Iron make up the traditional three-age system for classifying prehistoric cultures. In some areas of the Earth, like Africa, certain groups went straight from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, and rare groups, such as isolated Amazonian tribes in Brazil, have not yet progressed past the Stone Age.

This period primarily took place between 3500 BC and 1200 BC, and it is traditionally divided into the Early (c.3500-2000 BC), Middle (c.2000-1600 BC), and Late (c.1600-1200 BC) ages, with progressively more sophisticated metallurgy, culminating in the discovery of ironworking.

The Bronze Age began 5,500 years ago in the present-day areas of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, which was also the cradle of human civilization. By this time, permanent settlements were already a few thousands years old, but it took time for these early people to discover the potential of metallic ores. The birthplace of metallurgy is usually taken to be Anatolia, Turkey.

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The Indian Bronze Age began in 3300 BC with the Indus Valley civilization. In China and southeast Asia, it began around 2100 BC. Throughout Europe, people started using this metal between 2100 BC and 2000 BC or so, with sophisticated civilizations rising throughout the 2nd millennium BC.

This period of development was important to mankind because it allowed people to create more durable tools and artifacts for productive use. Bronze is preferable to stone for a wide variety of applications — whether someone is making a knife, an axe, armor, pottery, or artwork, bronze is harder and longer-lived. A more durable capital base enhances the potential for sustained economic activity, but also warfare.

During this age, much of humanity was segmented into thousands of warring tribes. Small nations did exist, but it would be many centuries before countries resembling any of those today — such as the Roman Empire — came into existence.

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anon296760
Post 56

I think this time period was fascinating considering the people in it had discovered an efficient way to use bronze in early methods of manufacturing. I think that's how you say it. Congrats to the person who wrote this. It was very helpful for my school information.

anon235024
Post 44

The point about the three-age system (stone, bronze, iron) is that it describes European and Middle Eastern prehistory on the basis of a culture's technology.

Once you get to history, we know who most of the cultures are: Egypt, Persia, the Hittites, the Greeks, and the Romans left us documents about themselves and their neighbours. But the stone age people who built Stonehenge, or the bronze age people who built towers in Sardinia or whoever, are pre-literate and therefore we don't know who they are.

Our epoch, being historical, doesn't need a technological 'age' definition, but if it did, if all our records were somehow wiped out, I'd suspect future generations of archaeologists would call us the 'Silver Disc Age' and wonder who was this god AOL that we kept worshipping by putting small silver discs in holes in the ground.

anon151623
Post 41

The bronze age is the beginning of of the sword. Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.

student79
Post 40

Dis-information? Yes! Also, the Arrogant Age, wherein our educators and scientists cannot be seen as "wrong" about anything, particularly our history. Please tell me how (circa 3500 b.c.) an emerging (from the Stone Age) society came by the chemical and metallurgical knowledge to make bronze; a very complicated process?

anon130030
Post 39

The USA is apparently now in the age of dis-information. The once world renowned 'Museum of Science and Industry' in Chicago, has as it's largest display, Michael Jordan paraphernalia and endorsement products. Now is that truly 'Progressive' for humanity?

anon129734
Post 38

i want to know either the era of mohenjodaro and aztec civilizations was bronze age or copper age or anything else?

anon113866
Post 36

what are two main discoverers made during the Bronze Age.

Blogengeezer
Post 34

#11 anon, hit it. Without oil, we are right back to 'The Bronze Age'. Are we ready for that? Contrary to the population explosion after the (easy life) industrial age (to 7 billion) the earth's total population was in the millions. Survival was to 'average' age of 12 to 14. OTZI (the Iceman) was a rare individual indeed. A true "survivalist."

anon84108
Post 33

what is the government, culture, and technology?

anon76199
Post 32

what if people remained hunter gathers during the bronze age? what effect might that have?

anon76135
Post 31

The humans developed the things required for his survival in early ages and humans are always developing the things for his survival in the next coming ages till the life is ended from earth or until the end of the earth.

We survived lots of ages like bronze, stone, copper, iron, ice ages and we are still in the evolution of technology for our future and for our survival.

I hope one day humans will also survive on other planets if we don't waste our natural resources. Because we are wasting them very fast, so it is the time to understand the things we are doing. Don't fight for land, fight for mankind's survival.

That's all i want to say. Don't waste our resources, utilize them but in a good manner. Then we can survive for more centuries.

anon73834
Post 30

why was the bronze age important to the sewing industry?

anon71334
Post 29

I think we live in the Hole Age. Everything has holes in it! Even the natural stuff has holes in it!

Nah, I think we will soon live in the Net Age- We'll be able to do anything on the Internet soon.

anon60178
Post 23

Thanks, this really helped me with my homework. =)

anon52526
Post 21

From my own observation the only generally accepted designation of ages is the prehistoric stone, bronze and iron ages. The addition of the copper age in the three age system still seems somewhat contentious because it's considered a transitional stage between the stone age neolithic period and the early bronze age.

The problem with the historic eras is that they become much more culturally specific in relation to that society or region's interpretation of its historical milestones.

anon51359
Post 20

what's the period of early vadic period and later vadic period?

anon50565
Post 19

Is there a difference between the Copper age and the bronze age?

anon48877
Post 16

i really want to learn more about the bronze age.

anon47126
Post 15

hey, the bronze age is cool.

anon45685
Post 13

i guess we are an alloy age because we are the combination of those ages! we are in a identity crisis age! hope we got to find ourselves and have a common uniqueness! *Sand*

anon45620
Post 12

i'd think that even though we are developing, it is not over by any means. we have to develop much more in standard culture and in behavior, or else what is the difference between us and prehistoric man.

anon45562
Post 11

we live in the oil age.

anon44290
Post 10

Yes this has been determined we are living in the Steel Age.

anon35860
Post 9

Nice. Helped me a lot and thanks

anon32786
Post 8

I do feel sorry for the Amazonian, or Inca tribes who at the latter part of this time had created beautiful golden artifacts. Their advanced metallurgy skills seem to interfere with the traditional European concept of history and its time lines.

anon25251
Post 6

we live in the information age

anon25107
Post 5

People have decided on either the Internet Age or the Information age, (bummer, huh? i was hoping for the 'oozing awesomeness age'!!!) But this age won't be officially named until we are all long dead. (so the oozing awesomeness thing still has a shot!)

I don't agree with the small tribes thing, back then there was, Samaria, Babylon, I think Eygpt too, these places were all very advanced.

anon19951
Post 4

Maybe we live in the "Tech Age"? UnicornL80?

anon19950
Post 3

Was the ice age classified as an "Age"? Or just something else? And I agree with you, UnicornL80, I would like to know what age we live in!

anon19949
Post 2

Hey, i think the stone age was sexxy because they didn't have any clothes!

UnicornL80
Post 1

In terms of Human evolution, we presently stand on the shoulders of those before us who scraped through the Ages:

the Stone Age,

the Copper Age,

the Bronze Age, and

the Iron Age.

What I'd like to know is: What is now officially the Age we are living? Has this been determined yet?

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