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Bronze Age

Bronze Age, period in the development of technology when metals were first used regularly in the manufacture of tools and weapons. Pure copper and bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, were used indiscriminately at first; this early period is sometimes called the Copper Age. The earliest use of cast metal can be deduced from clay models of weapons; casting was certainly established in the Middle East by 3500 BC Following the Neolithic period, the development of a metallurgical industry coincided with the rise of urbanization. The organized operations of mining, smelting, and casting undoubtedly required the specialization of labor and the production of surplus food to support a class of artisans, while the search for raw materials stimulated the exploration and colonization of new territories. This process culminated in the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Sumer. Later, the Minoan civilization and the Mycenaean civilization opened extensive trade routes in central Europe, where tin and copper were mined. This activity fostered native industries and political unification, especially in Hungary, Austria, and the Alpine region. It laid the foundations of the Iron Age civilization, which was to follow under Greek, Etruscan, and Scythian influences. In the New World the earliest bronze was cast in Bolivia c.AD 1100. The Inca civilization used bronze tools and weapons but never mastered iron.

See V. G. Childe, The Prehistory of European Society (1958, repr. 1962); J. W. Alsop, From the Silent Earth (1964); G. Clark, World Prehistory: An Outline (2d ed. 1969); A. H. Jones, Bronze Age Civilization (1975); B. Fell, Bronze-Age America (1982).

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"Bronze Age." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Bronze Age

Bronze Age a prehistoric period that followed the Stone Age and preceded the Iron Age, when weapons and tools were made of bronze rather than stone.

The Bronze Age began in the Near East and SE Europe in the late 4th and early 3rd millennium bc. It is associated with the first European civilizations, the beginnings of urban life in China, and the final stages of some Meso-American civilizations, but did not appear in Africa and Australasia at all.


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"Bronze Age." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bronze Age." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/bronze-age

"Bronze Age." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/bronze-age

Bronze Age

Bronze Age Period in human cultural development between the Neolithic period and the discovery of iron-working techniques (the Iron Age). In Mesopotamia, bronze tools were used from c.3200 bc and the Bronze Age lasted until c.1100 bc. In Britain, bronze was used after 2000 bc, and iron technology did not become widespread until c.500 bc.

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"Bronze Age." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Bronze Age." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bronze-age

Bronze Age

Bronze Age a prehistoric period that followed the Stone Age and preceded the Iron Age, when certain weapons and tools came to be made of bronze rather than stone.

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"Bronze Age." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Bronze Age." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/bronze-age-0