Bronze Age (2500-500 BC)


Figure 1.--

The Bronze Age is the first historical era. Early humans began working with copper first because its low melting point and abundance made it the easiest metal to work with. Eventually it was discovered that by adding small quantities of tin (a more difficult metal to find and mine) or other metals that much harder tools and weapons could be fashioned. The important early river valley civilizations florished and reached their peak during the bronze age and it is here that bronze was first developed. Bronze tools and weapons first appeared in Mesopotamia and Egypt (closely linked to Mesopotamia) about 2500 BC. The Bronze age began here because they were the richest most advanced civilizations with urban socities that could support new ideas and develop technology. They were also societies which could best mobilize resources for war. The Broze Age began somewhay later in other areas. Humans existed in other areas of course during the Bronze Age and bronze technology gradually spread around the world. A factor here was that metals were not abundant in the river valleys where the great civilizations rose. Thus metals like copper and tin had to be obtained through war or trade. Thus there was an underlying dynamic promoting the spread of technology. The Bronze Age reached the outlaying regions with the metal metal resources. The Bronze Age reached Britain soon after bronze was developed. Britain of course had important tin mines. Because of the still primitive technology of most Bronze Age people, there are a limited number of monumental archeological sites outside the great river valleys. One of the best known such site is Stonehenge. Many important advances were made during the Bronze Age, including the use of draft animals, wheeled vehicles, and the potter's wheel. Bronze technology was adopted by both primitive agricultural societies as well as pastoralists which tended to be more war like. Some of these peoples used bronze weapons to press in on rich civilizations of the river valleys. One of the interesting historical processes is how barbarian groups could at times successfully confront the technologically more advanced and more populated africultural civilizations. This is a process which continued into the modern world and was not finally ended until the invention of fire arms. The late Bronze age was the formatuve period for Judaism and is chronicled in the Old Testament nd the birth of Western Civilization and the idea of freedom..

Neolithic

The Neolithic or Late-Stone Age is the final period of the Stone Age. It is the era in hich humans last period of pre-history. It is the period in which agriculture was inventedand launched fundamental chnges in human society. It also was when writing, largely as a result of agriculture, was invented (about 6,000 years ago). This more or less conisides with the metal age, beginning with technology for copper and then bronze.

Technology

The Bronze Age is the first historical era. Early humans began working with copper first because its low melting point and abundance made it the easiest metal to work with. Eventually it was discovered that by adding small quantities of tin (a more difficult metal to find and mine) or other metals that much harder tools and weapons could be fashioned.

River Valley Civilizations

The important early river valley civilizations florished and reached their peak during the bronze age and it is here that bronze was first developed. Bronze tools and weapons first appeared in Mesopotamia and Egypt (closely linked to Mesopotamia) about 2500 BC. The Bronze Age began somewhat later in other areas.

Spread

The Bronze Age began somewhat later in other areas beyond the river valley civilizations. Humans existed in other areas of course during the Bronze Age and bronze technology gradually spread around the world. A factor here was that metals were not abundant in the river valleys where the great civilizations rose. Thus metals like copper and tin had to be obtained through war or trade. Thus there was an underlying dynamic promoting the spread of technology. The Bronze Age reached the outlaying regions with the metal metal resources. The Bronze Age reached Britain soon after bronze was developed. ritain of course had important tin mines. Because of the still primitive technology of most Bronze Age people, there are a limited number of monumental archeological sites outside the great river valleys. One of the best known such site is Stonehenge.

Associated Developments

Many important advances were made during the Bronze Age, including the use of draft animals, wheeled vehicles, and the potter's wheel.

Pastoralists

Bronze technology was adopted by both primitive agricultural societies as well as pastoralists which tended to be more war like. Some of these peoples used bronze weapons to press in on rich civilizations of the river valleys. One of the interesting historical processes is how barbarian groups could at times successfully confront the technologically more advanced and more populated River Valley and other agricultural civilizations. This is a process which continued into the modern world and was not finally ended until the invention of fire arms. Fire arms required a technology that patoralist/nomadic peoples could not master.

Late Bronze Age

The late Bronze age was the formatuve period for Judaism and is chroicled in the Old Testament. The late-Bronze Age, the Mediterranean on wgich the great ancient states struggled for supremecy and survivl. They are the peoples introduced to us in the Old Testament or grade-school history. They included most famously the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians, but also the Assyrians, Babylonians, Cananites (inluding the Phoenicians), Cypriots, Hittites, Minonans, Mycenaeans, Trojans, and others. One author describes these peoples as "... creating a cosmopolitn orld system such has only rarely been seen before the current day." While warfare is the best chrinicled, these people traded with each other, exchanging goods and ideas. It is this the ancient era in which Western people are most familiar with.

Collapse

History is not a steady process leading to leding to progress and advance. After cebturies of cultural and technologival technological achievement and progress, the Bronze Age culture of the eastern Medutrranean suddenly collapsed. And historians are unavle to fully account for this catastrophe. The marauding Sea People, a poorly understood people who might be likened to the medieval Vikings are commonly blamed for the collapse. But almost cerainly more is involved. Moden historians point to a nexus of events, speculating that a range of events with both human and natural causes, droughts, famines, eathquakes, floods, rebellions, storms, volcanos, and other events leading to a generalized systems collapse. Over the entire eastern Mediterranean from Italy east to Nesopotania and south the Levant abd Egypt, the civiized and cosmppolitan systen that had developed came to a dramatic and shocking halt. Both expansive empires and small kingdoms centuries in the making suddenly disappeared. This was the world's first recorded Dark Age. It would set the stage for the first Renaissance which occurred in Greece. It is where history itself was born with the writings of Herodotus. It was also the site of the birth of Western Civilization and the very idea of freedom.







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Created: 2:07 AM 5/25/2017
Last updated: 2:07 AM 5/25/2017