Bronze Age

Article

October 25, 2021

The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the dominant use of bronze - an alloy of copper and tin - for the production of important needs. This was made possible by the development of metallurgy and the invention of charcoal. The epoch was also characterized by faster social differentiation than in previous periods: the development of states in the Middle East or the emergence of a princely class in Central Europe. Long-distance trade, social differentiation, writing and the first cities developed in their infancy. New animals were domesticated. The term Bronze Age was proposed by the Danish archaeologist Christian Jürgensen Thomsen in 1836 as part of his three-period periodization of prehistoric history. It is preceded by the Stone Age, followed by the Iron Age.

Date

The Bronze Age follows chalcolite in the Far East or the Eneolithic in Europe. If the Eneolithic designation is not used for a given area, the Bronze Age follows the Neolithic. Neolithic pottery kilns, which have been known since the period of 6,000 BC, have been able to produce temperatures of around 900 ° C. 1,085 ° C. The development of metallurgy reached these temperatures around the year 3000 BC, but not everywhere at once. The beginning of the Bronze Age is thus different for different parts of the world: around 3300 BC in the Far East, 2300 BC in Europe and around 2000 BC in China. In Central Europe it dates back to about 2300–800 years BC. The oldest evidence of copper smelting is sometimes attributed to the Vinca culture in present-day Serbia. However, there are doubts about its fact among experts. The fact that this possible technological breakthrough in the area did not lead to the transition to the society of the Bronze Age also contributes to these. On the contrary, it occurred in the area of ​​Mesopotamia around 3000 BC (present-day Iraq, Iran). In the region of Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine and the area around the Aegean Sea, this period occurred around the year 2000 BC and gradually spread from this area to Northern Europe. In the Middle East, this led to the emergence of the Sumerian civilization, and a little later, the Egyptian Empire developed. They were characterized by intensive year-round agriculture, the first script (cuneiform in Mesopotamia and hieroglyphs in Egypt), centralized governments (usually in the form of hereditary monarchies), first legislation, social stratification, slavery, organized religion and warfare. There has also been a germinal development of science, especially medicine, astronomy, mathematics and astrology. That is why this area is sometimes called the cradle of civilization. Because tin was not available in all the developed areas of the time (especially in the Middle East), the invention of bronze and its need also initiated the development of long-distance trade. As a result, civilizational skills spread north of the cradle of civilization, although such stratified state systems did not develop there. In Anatolia, this led to the creation of the third important center of civilization, the Hittite Empire, but further north, in Europe, we no longer find such a developed state unit. However, development took place on the islands in the Aegean Sea, where the Cycladic, Minoan and eventually Mycenaean civilizations emerged (already on the European mainland, which began to build the area of ​​civilization from which ancient Greece later emerged). People used the hryvnia as currency. It was a non-monetary means, it was bronze bars that people could continue to use (later the hryvnia determined the amount of precious metal to be paid). With their expansion, property disparities began to deepen in the more northern areas. People in the Bronze Age domesticated ducks, hens, cats and reindeer in northern Europe. They could make bronze tools and jewelry, various glasses

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