Time Life Emergence of Man Metalsmiths Anatolia Iran Celt Tin Copper Bronze Iron For Sale
Time Life Emergence of Man Metalsmiths Anatolia Iran Celt Tin Copper Bronze Iron:
Time-Life The Emergence of Man Series - The Metalsmiths.
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CONDITION: LIKE NEW to VERY GOOD. Light shelf wear, otherwise in Very Good to Like New condition. Seemingly unread, merely flipped through a few times, at worst perhaps read once. Inside the pages are pristine; clean, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound. I would only note that Time-Life books of the era will sometimes evidence mild “shelf sag”, i.e., the binding/pages slide down (perhaps 1/8 inch – 3mm) within the covers over the years so they end up resting on the shelf. Also, the top surface of the closed page edges (sometimes referred to as the “page block”) will evidence faint tan-colored age spotting – not to the individual opened pages, just to the top surface of the massed closed page edges. If either is pronounced, we do not offer the book – so we’re describing at worst a very mildly age-blemished state. Illustrated covers evidence only very mild edge and corner shelfwear. There are no significant blemishes to the book, inside or out. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days!
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DESCRIPTION: Hardcover (with printed, decorated laminate covers): 160 pages. Publisher: Time-Life Books Inc. (1974). Dimensions: 10¾ x 8¾ inches; 1¾ pounds.The “Emergence of Man” series was released in the mid-1970’s. Each volume undertakes to describe the major events that happened in one specific time period in the development of mankind’s civilization(s). The volumes are richly illustrated, and designed as an introduction to the time frame covered. Especially compelling are the artists interpretations or recreations of what various ancient civilizations would have looked like - their architecture, homes, monuments, cities, daily life, jewelry, food, family life, dwellings, occupations, etc. As just one instance, the ruins of Babylon and Ur, Athens and Rome hint at the incredible richness of those fabled cities. The artist’s recreations in this series are simply mind-numbing. This is as close as you can be to actually having been there.
The entire series is truly a magnificent introduction to the history of the era. If you could have just one book (or series of books) to introduce the history of humankind, this would have to be it. The overviews are concise and well-written. Together with the illustration and pictures they impart a wonderful mental and emotional “picture” of what life must have been like in various civilizations and at various times. Done in a style so wonderfully characteristic of Time-Life’s publications, these are over-sized “coffee table” type books full of impressive imagery. The pictures of the world’s greatest art and architecture alone are worth the cost of these books. But don’t get the impression that these volumes are “fluff”. While a particular volume might not quite take the place as a university degree, the material is well-written, informative, and immensely intellectually gratifying, overview though it might be. This particular volume is titled “The Metalsmiths”, chronicles the journey of man from the Stone Age into the Copper, Bronze, and Iron Ages.
Some of the subject material included is enumerated below so as to give you an idea of the rich content. The material is divided into six chapters:
“The Rise of Metals” (Tutankhamun’s Funeral Mask - Tools of stone, bone and wood - The Metal Trade of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Sumeria - Egypt’s Siberia: Nubia the Land of Gold - Metalworking Centers of the Old World - 6,000 B.C. The Copper Age - The Language of Metallurgy - A Gallery of Egyptian Techniques - Metals and Ores that Shaped the World: Electrum, Silver and Gold - The Multicolored Coppers: Melaconite, Cuprite, Azurite, Malachite, Chalcopyrite, Bornite, Native Copper - The Components of Bronze: Cassiterite, Domeykite, Algodonite - Iron, a Metal for the Masses: Meteoric, Goethite, Magnetite, Hematite, Oolitic Limonite).
“Copper’s Bright Future” (10,000 B.C. The First Mesopotamian Coppersmith - 9,500 B.C. The First Copper Artifacts - Copper Statues that Demonstrated Piety and Fledgling Skills - 6500 B.C. to 5000 B.C. An Explosion of Copper - Copper-Carnelian Jewelry - Copper and Obsidian Trade Routes - Hammered Copper and Trinket Technology - Smelting Copper in 4000 B.C. - The Copper Kiln 3200 B.C. - A Modern Way to Tell How the First Coppersmiths Worked: Metallography the Microscopic Study of Metal - Putting Ancient Methods to the Test of Modern Replication - Iran’s Tal-I-Iblis 4100 B.C. Copper Smelting Center - Two-Piece Molds for Axe Heads, Daggers, Spear Points, Arrowheads, Adzes, Knives and Chisels).
“The Impact of Bronze” (3000 B.C. Bronze Artifacts in the Dead Sea’s Cave of the Treasure - The First Copper-Arsenic Bronze Alloys - The Transition to Tin-Copper Bronze Alloys - Bronze Treasures of the Royal Cemetery of Ur - Sumerian Tin: From Bohemia and Hungary or the Caucasus of Armenia - The Bronzes of Elamite Susa - The Royal Tombs of Pre-Hittite Anatolia - The Bronze Treasures of Troy: Bronze Vessels and Weapons Inset with Lapis Lazuli, Amber and Ivory - The Danube: Tin Trade Route from Mesopotamia to Europe - The Ancient Trade Network: From Afghanistan to Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, and the Baltic Sea - Ancient Egyptian Faience Beads in Odessa, Romania, Poland, and the Ukraine - Lithuanian Amber for Mesopotamian Bronze - A Pictorial: The Cave of the Treasure - 2500 B.C. Europe’s Wandering Bell Beaker Metalsmiths: From the British Isles to Scandinavia to Poland and Spain - The Uneticians: Famed Carpathian Mountain Bronze Smithing Colonies in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Saxony, Bavaria, and the Rhineland - Bronze Age Cloak Pins - Bronze Torque Currency - Artistic Ancient Bronze Brooches - Unetician Metallurgical Trade Weapons and Adornments from Sweden to England, From Egypt to Mesopotamia - The Elaborate Bronze-Gilded Burials of the Tumulus Sun Worshippers 1450-1250 B.C. - Poland and Czechoslovakia’s Urnfield Culture, Ancestors of the Celts, Etruscans, Romans, Phrygians and Illyrians - Urnfield Fortified Towns: Federsee Lake in Wurtetemberg, Germany - Ancient Shaft Mining Techniques - Fun and Games in Bronze Age Europe - Situlae: Bronze Vessels Decorated with Scenes from Life - Situlae Depicting Banquets, Horsemen, Fauna, Musicians, Servants, Sports Contests, Ceremonial Processions, Huntsmen and Hunting Dogs, Fanning the Noblemen - Large Scale Mines: Lumbermen, Roasters and Smelters, Miners, Porters, Guards and Drivers - Bronze Age Revolution: Weapons and Warfare).
“Iron, the Democratic Metal” (The Anatolian Hittite Kingdom) - The First Iron Smelters - Meteorite Iron more Valuable than Gold - 4,000 to 1,500 B.C. Ancient Iron Artifacts: Ur, Egypt, Knossos, Syria, Anatolia - The Forgotten Splendors of Hasanlu; Iran’s Iron Working Center circa 900 B.C. - The Oldest Surviving Iron Smelting Furnace; Austria circa 500 B.C. - Hittite Iron Trade to Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Phoenicia - Hittite Immigrant Metalsmiths in Greece, Syria, and Italy - Europe’s Celtic La Tene Iron Smelting Communities - The British Iron Age: The Hallstatt/Urnfield Culture - Fagoted/Laminated Steel Swords ).
“The Asian Genius for Bronze” (The Indus Valley and Afghanistan: On the Silk Road Between China and Mesopotamia - China’s Magnificent Shang Dynasty Bronzework - Invasions of Ayrans, Persians, Alexander the Great, Parthians, and finally Genghis Khan - Indus Valley Bronze Technology - Traveling Itinerant Metalsmiths - China’s Bronze Masterpieces: Ritual Vessels, Utensils, Sculpture, Weapons and Armor - An-yan: Capital City of China’s Shang Dynasty - Shang’s Accomplished Potters - Shang Decorated Bronze Ceremonial Axe for Human Sacrifice - Shang Bronze Warrior Helmet - A Shang Officer’s Turquoise Inlaid Bronze Dagger - The Production Techniques of Shang Bronze Ceremonial Vessels - China’s Warring States Iron Age: Iron Axes, Adzes, Chisels, Spades, Sickles, and Hoes - China’s Iron Age Urban Revolution).
“The Empires of Gold” (New World: The Empire of Gold - 1300 A.D. Tairona, Columbia Fantasy Deity in Gold - The Plentiful Ancient Gold Ore of the Peruvian Andes - Goldworking in Ancient America - Sacrifices to the Rain Gods both Human and Gold - The Mayan Trade Network - Peruvian Hammered Silver: A Humanoid Wine Beaker and Three Statuettes of an Alpaca, a Llama, and a Woman - Peruvian Chavin Master Gold Smiths 600 B.C. - Platinum-Gold and Copper-Gold Alloys of 1,000 A.D. - The Ingenious Process of Depletion Gilding - An Illustrated Spaniard’s View of Aztec Goldsmiths at their Labors Using Lost Wax Techniques - Central Mexico’s Mixtec Gold Artisans - The Incas and their 2,000 Mile Long Kingdom - Paradise Lost: The Coming of the Spaniards).
There are also six photo essays:
“The Living Traditions of an Ancient Industry” (The 5,000 Year Old techniques of the Afghan Silversmith - Kashan: Millennia of Iranian Coppersmiths - Ancient Practice of Chasing Brass Lives Still in India - Panning for Gold in Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush - Producing 2500 Year Old Iron Plowshares in Afghanistan - Hand Production of Iron in India).
“Mining and Smelting in Early Times” (Deuteronomy’s Hills of Copper, Israel’s Negev Desert - Timna Valley’s Copper Industry in 4000 B.C. - Extracting Metal: Man’s First Approach - Smelting Copper from Malachite - Casting Copper Underground at Abu Matar - 1200 B.C. Exploiting Tinma’s Cliffs for the Pharaoh - Streamlining an Age-Old Smelting Process).
“Classic Techniques of Metalworking” (Flat Chasing - Raising a Silver Bowl - Embossing: A Way to Sculpt Metal - The Fine Art of Lost Wax Casting - Creating a Fine Silver Brooch with Ancient Techniques - Granulation: Working with Tiny Golden Spheres - Tutankhamun’s Granulated Gold Encrusted Daggers).
“Metal’s Contribution to the Art of War” (Ancient Egyptian King Narmer’s Mace - An Arsenal of Battle Axes - Gold and Iron Syrian Battle Axe 1400 B.C. - Assyrian Sickle-Sword-Axe 1300 B.C. - Ancient Egyptian Broad Axe - European Royal Battle Axe 700 B.C. - A Lethal Panoply of Points - Bronze Arrow and Spear Points from Central Europe - Broad Bladed Dagger from Austria 600 B.C. - Late Bronze Age European Sword - An Armory of Shields and Helmets - A Late Bronze Age French Casque Crested Helmet - A 600 B.C. Central European Helmet - An Assyrian Helmet 800 B.C. - Bits to Bridle Chargers - Metal Implements for Ancient Cavalry and Charioteers.)
“Flights of Fancy in Bronze” (1600 B.C. Ritual Bronze Cooking Vessels of the Shang - Shang Ritualistic Bronze Wine Vessels in Animal and Mythological Forms - A Shang Bronze Drinking Goblet).
“Masterpieces of Indian Gold” (The Hammered Masterpieces of the Peruvian Chavin - A Ten Inch Gold Crown - An Elaborate Nazca Mouth Mask - A Mochica Gold Spotted Jaguar - A Mochica Ear Spool of Gold, Turquoise, and shell Inlay - A Gold Chimu Funerary Mask - A Gold Chimu Wine Beaker - Lost Wax Method Produced Artifacts from the Indians of Colombia - A La Tolita Warrior’s Hammered Gold Funerary Mask with Platinum Teeth and Eyes - A Quimbaya Gold Nose Ring - A Quimbaya Gold Coca Vessel - A Gold Veraguas Monkey - A Chiriqui Gold Filigree Two-Headed Monkey - A Cocle Gold and Emerald Jaguar Pendant - An Aztec Serpent-Form Lip Plug - A Miztec Gold Skull Pendant with a Hinged Jaw).
THE BRONZE AGE:
A Brief Overview: The Bronze Age is a historical 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 Stone-Bronze-Iron system proposed in modern times for classifying and studying ancient societies. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by producing bronze by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze itself is harder and more durable than other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage. Worldwide the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition.
While iron is naturally abundant its high melting point of about 2800 farenheit (1538 centigrade) placed it out of reach of common use until the end of the second millennium BC. Tin's low melting point of 450 farenheit (232 centigrade) and copper's relatively moderate melting point of 1985 farenheit (1085 centigrade) placed them within the capabilities of the Neolithic pottery kilns. Neolithic (late Stone Age) pottery kilns date back to about 6,000 BC and were able to produce temperatures greater than 1650 farenheit (900 centigrade). Copper-tin ores occur only rarely in nature. This is evidenced by the fact that there were no tin-alloyed bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence cultures in Mesopotamia developed cuneiform script and in Egypt hieroglyphs as the earliest practical writing systems.
The overall period is of course characterized by widespread use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction and development of bronze technology were not globally synchronous. Human-made tin bronze technology requires precise production techniques. Tin must be mined mainly as the tin ore cassiterite and smelted separately. It is then added to molten copper to produce a tin-copper bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of extensive use of metals and of developing trade networks. A 2013 study suggests that the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to the mid-5th millennium BC in a Vinča culture site in Serbia), although this culture is not conventionally considered part of the Bronze Age. However the dating of the bronze artifact has been disputed.
Western Asia and the Near East were the first regions widely recognized by scholars to enter the Bronze Age. This began with the rise of the Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC. Cultures in the ancient Near East were along with India and Egypt termed a “cradle of civilization". Those cultures in the Near East practiced intensive year-round agriculture, developed a writing system, invented the potter's wheel, created a centralized government, written law codes, city and nation-states and empires. They embarked on advanced architectural projects, introduced social stratification, economic and civil administration, slavery, and practiced organized warfare, medicine and religion. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy, mathematics and astrology.
The Bronze Age in the Near East can be divided into Early, Middle and Late Bronze Age periods. Though these divisions are not applicable globally, in the Near East the Early Bronze Age is generally agreed to encompass from 3300 to 2100 BC. The Middle Bronze Age is considered to be from 2100 through 1550 BC. And the Late Bronze Age from 1550 to 1200 BC. In nearby Anatolia the Bronze Age is generally associated with the Hittite Empire. The Hittite Empire was established in Hattusa in northern Anatolia from the 18th century BC. By the 14th century BC the Hittite Kingdom was at its height. It encompassed central Anatolia, southwestern Syria as far as Ugarit, and upper Mesopotamia.
Around 1180 BC there was a period of turmoil in the Levant which many historians associate with the sudden arrival of the “Sea Peoples”. The origin and identity of the Sea Peoples is an area of uncertainty and controversy amongst ancient historians. It has been suggested and debated that the Sea Peoples were Sicilian, Etruscan, Trojan, Mycenaean or from the general area of the Aegean Sea; Minoan, early Phoenician/Philistine, or from non-Etruscan Italy. Written Egyptian sources describe them but do not identify them. The record from the Stele at/from the Battle of Tanis reads, “...They came from the sea in their war ships and none could stand against them..." As a result of their incursions into Anatolia the Hittite kingdom disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states. Some of these smaller city-states survived until as late as the 8th century BC.
Arzawa in Western Anatolia during the second half of the second millennium BC likely extended along southern Anatolia in a belt that reaches from near the Turkish Lakes Region to the Aegean coast. Arzawa was the western neighbor of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms. Arzawa was sometimes a rival and sometimes a vassal of the Neo-Hittite Kingdoms. The Assuwa League was a confederation of states in western Anatolia that was defeated by the Hittites around 1400 BC. Arzawa has been associated with the much more obscure Assuwa generally located to its north. It probably bordered it, and may even be an alternative term for it, at least during some time periods.
In Ancient Egypt the Bronze Age begins in the Proto-Dynastic period, about 3150 BC. The archaic Early Bronze Age of Egypt is known to scholars of Egyptian history as the Early Dynastic Period. It immediately follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt, which occurred about 3100 BC. It is generally taken to include the First and Second Dynasties. It lasts then from the Proto-Dynastic Period of Egypt until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty the capital of Ancient Egypt moved from Abydos to Memphis. A unified Egypt was ruled by an Egyptian god-king.
Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization took shape during the Early Dynastic Period. These would include art, architecture and many aspects of religion. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age was the largest city of the time. In the 3rd millennium BC Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement. The “Old Kingdom” of the regional Bronze Age is the name given to the period. This was the first of three "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley. The other two succeeding kingdoms are known as the “Middle Kingdom” and the “New Kingdom”. Between these kingdoms are what are known as historians as “intermediate periods”.
The First Intermediate Period of Egypt is often described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history. It 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 earliest 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. The kings of Thebes eventually conquered the north. This resulted in the reunification of Egypt under a single ruler during the second part of the 11th Dynasty.
The Middle Kingdom of Egypt lasted from 2055 to 1650 BC. During this period the Osiris funerary cult rose to dominate Egyptian popular religion. The period comprises two phases. It starts with the 11th Dynasty which ruled from Thebes. It concluded with the 12th and 13th Dynasties centered on el-Lisht. The unified kingdom was previously and traditionally considered to comprise the 11th and 12th Dynasties. However historians now consider at least a portion of the 13th Dynasty to belong to the Middle Kingdom. During the Second Intermediate Period Ancient Egypt again fell into disarray for a second time. This time period was between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom.
The Period is best known for the reign of the Hyksos, who ruled ancient Egypt during the 15th and 16th dynasties. The Hyksos first appeared in Egypt during the 11th Dynasty. They began their ascent to power during the 13th Dynasty. The Hyksos emerged from the Second Intermediate Period in control of Avaris and the Delta. By the 15th Dynasty they ruled Lower Egypt. They were not expelled from Egypt until the end of the 17th Dynasty.
The New Kingdom of Egypt lasted from the 16th to the 11th century BC. It was also known as the “Egyptian Empire”. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of Egypt's power. The later New Kingdom of the 19th and 20th Dynasties is often referred to as the Ramesside period. It is so named after the eleven pharaohs that took the name of Ramesses during the period between 1292 and 1069 BC.
Elam was a pre-Iranian ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia. In the Old Elamite or Middle Bronze Age Period Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian Plateau. These kingdoms were initially centered in Anshan. From the mid-2nd millennium BC it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a crucial role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Iranian Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it.
The Oxus civilization was a Bronze Age Central Asian culture. It was centered on the upper Amu Darya, or “ Oxus”, during the period of about 2300 to 1700 BC. In the Early Bronze Age the culture of the Kopet Dag oases and Altyndepe developed a proto-urban society. This corresponds to level IV at Namazga-Tepe. Both Altyndepe and Namazga-Tepe were major ancient population centers in present-day Turkmenistan near the Iranian border. 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 around 2300 BC, corresponding to level V at Namazga-Depe. This Bronze Age culture is called the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex.
The Kulli culture was similar to those of the Indus Valley Civilization. It was located in present-day in southern Balochistan from about 2500 to 2000 BC. The area is a region of present-day Pakistan, and was known in Hellenic times as “Gedrosia”. Agriculture was the economic base of these people. At several places, dams were found, providing evidence for a highly develop water management system. Konar Sandal is associated with the hypothesized "Jiroft culture" of Iran. This was a 3rd millennium BC culture postulated based on a collection of artifacts confiscated in 2001.
In the Levant modern scholarship has divided the chronology of the Bronze Age Levant into “Early” or “Proto Syrian”. This corresponds to the Early Bronze Age. Then the succeeding period is known as “Old Syrian”. This corresponds to the Middle Bronze Age. Finally the “Middle Syrian” period corresponds to the Late Bronze Age. The term “Neo-Syrian” is used to designate the early Iron Age. The old Syrian period was dominated by the Eblaite first kingdom, Nagar and the Mariote second kingdom. The Akkadian conquered large areas of the Levant and were followed by the Amorite Kingdoms from around 2000 to 1600 BC. These Amorite Kingdoms arose in Mari, Yamhad, Qatna, and Assyria. From the 15th century BC onward the term “Amurru” is usually applied to the region extending north of Canaan as far as Kadesh on the Orontes River.
The earliest known Ugaritic contact with Egypt comes from a carnelian bead found in Ugarit identified with the Middle Kingdom pharaoh Senusret I, who reigned from 1971 to 1926 BC. This is as well the first exact dating of Ugaritic civilization. A stela and a statuette from the Egyptian pharaohs Senusret III and Amenemhet III have also been found in Ugarit. However, it is unclear precisely when these monuments got to Ugarit. In the Amarna letters messages from Ugarit around 1350 BC were discovered. They were written by Ugarit Ammittamru I, Niqmaddu II, and his queen. From the 16th to the 13th century BC Ugarit remained in constant contact with Egypt and Cyprus, then known as “Alashiya”.
The Mitanni was a loosely organized state in northern Syria and south-east Anatolia from about 1500 to 1300 BC. Founded by an Indo-Aryan ruling class that governed a predominantly Hurrian population, the Mitanni came to be a regional power after the Hittite destruction of Kassite Babylon created a power vacuum in Mesopotamia. At its beginning the Mitanni's major rival was Egypt under the Thutmosids. However with the ascent of the Hittite Empire, the Mitanni and Egyptians allied to protect their mutual interests from the threat of Hittite domination. At the height of its power during the 14th century BC the Mitanni had outposts centered on its capital, Washukanni. Archaeologists have located this site on the headwaters of the Khabur River. Eventually the Mitanni succumbed to the Hittite and later Assyrian attacks. It was reduced to a province of the Middle Assyrian Empire.
The Israelites were an ancient Semitic-speaking people of the Ancient Near East. They inhabited part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods, approximately from the 15th to 6th centuries BC. The Israelites lived in the region in smaller numbers after the fall of the monarchy. The name "Israel" first appears around 1209 BC. This was at the end of the Late Bronze Age and the very beginning of the Iron Age. The name appears on the Merneptah Stele raised by the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah.
The Arameans were a Northwest Semitic semi-nomadic and pastoral people who originated in what is now modern Syria, or Biblical Aram. They were a distinct population 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 formed 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. These were entirely absorbed into the Neo-Assyrian Empire by the 8th century BC.
The Mesopotamian Bronze Age began about 3500 BC and ended with the Kassite period. The Kassite Period was from about 1500 to 1155 BC. The usual tripartite division into an Early, Middle and Late Bronze Age is not used with respect to the Mesopotamian Bronze Age. Instead 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, Isin, Larsa and Nippur were the major cities in the Middle Bronze Age. Babylon, Calah and Assur in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations.
The Akkadian Empire became the dominant power in the region from about 2335 through 2154 BC. After the fall of the Akkadian Empire the Sumerians enjoyed a renaissance during the Neo-Sumerian Empire. The origins of Assyria are found as early as the 25th century BC. Assyria became a regional power during the Old Assyrian Empire from about 2025 through 1750 BC. The earliest mention of Babylon appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC. Babylon was at that time merely a small administrative town.
The Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC. Over 100 years later it briefly took over the other city-states. By so doing it formed the short-lived First Babylonian Empire. This is also known to contemporary historians as the Old Babylonian Period. Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia all used the written East Semitic Akkadian language for official use and as a spoken language. By that time the Sumerian language was no longer spoken. However the Sumerian language was still in religious use in Assyria and Babylonia. It would remain so used until the 1st century AD.
The Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in later Assyrian and Babylonian culture. This was despite Babylonia itself was founded by non-native Amorites, unlike the more militarily powerful Assyria. And it was also despite the fact that Babylonia was often ruled by other non-indigenous peoples. These included Kassites, Arameans and Chaldeans, as well as its Babylonia’s Assyrian neighbors.
In Central Asia the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex is dated to about 2400 to 1600 BC. Also known as the Oxus civilization, it was a Bronze Age civilization in Central Asia. It was located in what is present-day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan. It was centered on the upper Amu Darya, or Oxus River. Its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi in 1976. Bactria was the Greek name for the area of “Bactra” (modern Balkh), in what is now northern Afghanistan. Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of “Marguš”, the capital of which was Merv, in modern-day southeastern Turkmenistan. According to recent studies  the region civilization was not a primary contributor to later South-Asian genetics.
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 theorized that there were significant changes in climate in this region around 2000 BC. The ensuing ecological, economic and political changes triggered a rapid and massive migration. The populations of this region migrated westward into northeast Europe, eastward into China and southward into Vietnam and Thailand. This migration took place across a frontier of some 4,000 miles in just five to six generations.
The migration led to peoples from Finland in the west to Thailand in the east employing the same metal working technology. In some areas the same techniques of horse breeding and riding arose. It is further conjectured that the same migrations spread the Uralic group of languages across Europe and Asia. Some 39 languages of this group are still extant, including Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian. However recent genetic testing in south Siberia and Kazakhstan support a contrary theory. The testing supports the hypothesis that the spread of bronze technology occurred via Indo-European migrations eastwards. Bronze technologies were well known for quite a while in western regions.
In China the earliest bronze artifacts have been found in the Majiayao culture site dating to between 3100 and 2700 BC. The term "Bronze Age" has been transferred to the archaeology of China from that of Western Eurasia. 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). The "Later Bronze Age" as equivalent to the "Zhou Dynasty" period (11th to 3rd centuries BC). From the 5th century BC onward there is evidence of an "Iron Age" technology. However many scholar argue that that the "Bronze Age" proper never ended in China. Their arguments are supported by the fact that there was no recognizable transition from the “Bronze Age” to an "Iron Age".
Significantly bronze art together with the jade art that precedes it was seen as a "fine" material for ritual art when compared with iron or stone. Stone only became popular for tombs in the Han. Stone tombs replaced wooden temple structures under probable Indian influence. Bronze metallurgy in China originated in what is referred to as the Erlitou period. Some historians argue this places the Bronze Age within the range of time controlled by the Shang Dynasty. Other historians believe the Erlitou sites belong to the preceding Xia Dynasty. The U.S. National Gallery of Art defines the Chinese Bronze Age as the "period between about 2000 BC and 771 BC. This is a period that begins with the Erlitou culture and ends abruptly with the disintegration of Western Zhou rule.
The widespread use of bronze in Chinese metallurgy and culture dates to significantly later. Many scholars believe that the introduction and widespread use of bronze was probably due to Western influence. It could be that bronze work developed inside China independent of outside influence. However the discovery of European mummies in Xinjiang, China suggests a possible route of transmission from the West. This could have occurred beginning in the early second millennium BC. In either event, whether bronze metallurgy developed internally or spurred by external trade contacts, it is speculation since there is a lack of direct evidence either way. A few human mummies alone cannot provide sufficient explanation of metallurgical technology transmission. Furthermore the oldest bronze objects found in China so far were discovered at the Majiayao site in Gansu rather than Xinjiang.
The Shang Dynasty of the Yellow River Valley rose to power after the Xia dynasty around 1600 BC. The Shang Dynasty is also known to some scholars as the Yin dynasty. Some direct information about the Shang Dynasty comes from Shang-era inscriptions on bronze artifacts. However most information comes from oracle bones which bear glyphs that form the first significant corpus of recorded Chinese characters. The oracle bones have included turtle shells, cattle scapulae, or other bones. Iron is found from the Zhou dynasty, but its use is minimal. Chinese literature dating to the 6th century BC attests knowledge of iron smelting. However bronze technology continues to be the most significant metallurgical industry in the archaeological and historical record for some time after this.
Historians point out that iron did not supplant bronze at any period prior the end of the Zhou dynasty in 256 BC. Even after that point in time, bronze vessels made up the majority of metal vessels through the Later Han period, or to 220 AD. Chinese bronze artifacts generally are either utilitarian or "ritual bronzes". Utilitarian bronzes include, for instance, spear points or adze heads. Ritual bronzes 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 dings in Chinese. There were many other distinct shapes.
Surviving identified Chinese ritual bronzes tend to be highly decorated. Oftentimes the decorations take the form of the taotie motif. This involved 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 cast inscriptions. These comprise the great bulk of the surviving body of early Chinese writing. They have immensely helped historians and archaeologists piece together the history of China. This is especially true of the Zhou Dynasty, 1046 to 256 BC. The bronzes of the Western Zhou dynasty document large portions of history. This history is not to be found in the extant manuscripts that were often composed by persons of varying rank and possibly even social class.
Furthermore 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. There’s first a reference to the date and place. The second is the naming of the event commemorated. The third is the list of gifts given to the artisan in exchange for the bronze. Last is 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. This has allowed them to trace the evolution of the vessels and the events they record.
The beginning of the Bronze Age on the Koran peninsula occurred around 1000 to 800 BC. The Korean Bronze Age culture derives from the Liaoning and Manchuria. Nonetheless 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. These form a large part of the pottery assemblage over the entire length of the period, but especially 850 to 550 BC. The Mumun period is known for the origins of intensive agriculture and complex societies. This applies not only to the Korean Peninsula, but to the Japanese Archipelago as well.
The Middle Mumun pottery period culture of the southern Korean Peninsula gradually adopted bronze production somewhere between 700 and 600 BC. This occurred following a period when Liaoning-style bronze daggers and other bronze artifacts were exchanged as far as the interior part of the Southern Peninsula during the time period between 900 and 700 BC. The bronze daggers lent prestige and authority to the personages who wielded and were buried with them. High-status megalithic burials occurred at south-coastal centers such as the Igeum-dong site. Bronze continued to be an important element in ceremonies and as for mortuary offerings until 100 AD.
The introduction of Bronze Age technology to the Japanese archipelago occurred during the beginning of the Early Yayoi period, about 300 BC. This period witnessed the introduction of both metalworking and agricultural practices brought in by settlers arriving from the continent. Bronze and iron smelting techniques in particular spread to the Japanese archipelago through contact with other ancient East Asian civilizations. This was particularly due to immigration from and trade with 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.
The Bronze Age on the Indian subcontinent began around 3300 BC with the beginning of the 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 dates from 1900 to 1400 BC. It overlapped the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age. Due to this overlap 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.
In Ban Chiang, Thailand bronze 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, almost a thousand years later. Ban Non Wat in Thailand is a site recently excavated and proved to be a rich site with over 640 graves excavated. Many complex bronze items excavated may have had social value connected to them. Ban Chiang however is the most thoroughly documented site in Thailand and Southeast Asia. It has the clearest evidence of metallurgy when it comes to Southeast Asia.
In general the site has a rough date range of late 3rd millennium BC to the 1st millennium AD. The site has produced various artifacts such as burial pottery dating from 2100 to 1700 BC). The site has also produced fragments of bronze and copper-base bangles. What's most interesting about this site however is not just limited to the old age of the artifacts. What is particularly significant is that the artifacts related to the technology suggest 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. This would support the presupposition that bronze technology was an innovation 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. They postulate that bronze technology finally spread 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. Scholars believe that social structure shifted away from chiefdom-states to a heterarchical network. Data analyses of various contemporaneous regional sites have consistently led researchers to conclude that there was no entrenched hierarchy.
In Nyaunggan, Burma, bronze tools have been excavated along with ceramics and stone artifacts. Dating of these artifacts is still currently broad, estimates ranging anywhere from 3500 to 500 BC. In Vietnam the first bronze drums, called the Dong Son drum, were uncovered. Dating back to the Neolithic Age they were excavated 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 period that evolved into a more virulent form in the metal period.
With respect to the Bronze Age in Europe, a study in the journal Antiquity published in 2013 reported the discovery of a tin bronze foil from the Pločnik archaeological site securely dated to about 4650 BC. It also reported on 14 other artifacts from Serbia and Bulgaria dated to before 4000 BC. These finds have shown that early tin-bronze was more common than previously thought. The tin-bronze technology evidently developed independently in Europe 1500 yearsbefore the first tin bronze alloys in the Near East.
The production of complex tin bronzes lasted for about 500 years in the Balkans. The evidence for the production of such complex bronzes disappears at the end of the 5th millennium, i.e., shortly before 4000 BC) This coincides with the collapse of large cultural complexes in north-eastern Bulgaria and Thrace in the late 5th millennium BC. Tin bronzes using cassiterite tin would be reintroduced to the area again some 1500 years later.
The Aegean Bronze Age began around 3200 BC when civilizations in the region first established a far-ranging trade network. This network imported tin and charcoal to Cyprus. In Cyprus copper was mined and alloyed with the tin to produce bronze. Bronze objects were then exported far and wide and supported the trade. Isotopic analysis of tin in some Mediterranean bronze artifacts suggests that they may have originated from Great Britain. Knowledge of navigation was well developed at this time. Navigation skills reached a peak of skill not exceeded until 1730 when the invention of the chronometer enabled the precise determination of longitude. The only possible exception may have been by Polynesian sailors.
The Minoan civilization based in Knossos on the island of Crete appears to have coordinated and defended its Bronze Age trade. Illyrians are also believed to have roots in the early Bronze Age. The Aegean Bronze Age “collapsed” around 1200 BC, leading to what historians oftentimes term the “Greek Dark Ages” The era was characterized by invasions, destruction, and population emigrations. Bronze Age collapse theories have described aspects, causes, and ramifications of the end of the Bronze Age in this region. At the end of the Bronze Age in the Aegean region, the 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. The failure would have precluded the trade in basic agricultural products 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 was the area north of the Black Sea. This region too suddenly lost much of its population. The loss in population may have led to a loss of commensurate capacity to cultivate crops. Drought and famine in Anatolia may have also led to the Aegean collapse by disrupting trade networks. The Aegean might have no only been unable to import agricultural products, but also may have been prevented the Aegean from accessing bronze and luxury goods.
The Aegean collapse has been attributed to the exhaustion of the Cypriot forests and the coal they produced causing the end of the bronze trade. These forests are known to have existed into later times. 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 tools became more common. The primary justification for the tin trade ended as demand for bronze production ceased, 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 they no longer had access to the distant resources of their former empire which might have enabled a recovery.
The Thera eruption occurred around 1600 BC less than 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Crete. Thera is more commonly known today as Santorini. Speculation includes a tsunami from Thera destroying Cretan cities. A tsunami may indeed have destroyed the Cretan navy in its home harbor. In turn the Minoans then lost crucial naval battles. The net result was that around 1450 BC the cities of Crete were sacked and burned. The Mycenaean civilization then took over Knossos. Most historians and chronologists believe that the eruption of Thera occurred in the late 17th century BC. If that is true then its immediate effects belong to the Middle to Late Bronze Age transition, and not to the end of the Late Bronze Age. However the eruption and the ensuing devastation could have triggered the instability that led to the collapse of Knossos. The subsequently to the collapse of Bronze Age society overall.
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 precipitated the decline of the Minoans. Add to that the damage wrought by the tsunami to the coastal towns and villages of Crete. 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 about 1630 BC. The Mycenaean Greeks first enter the historical record a few decades later around 1600 BC. The later Mycenaean assaults on Crete which occurred around 1450 BC), and subsequently upon Troy around 1250 BC, would have been according to this theory a continuation of the steady encroachment of the Greeks upon the weakened Minoan world.
In Central Europe the early Bronze Age Unetice culture of 1800 to 1600 BC includes numerous smaller groups like the Straubing, 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 Tumulus Culture from about 1600 to 1200BC. The Tumulus Culture was is characterized by inhumation burials in tumuli, or barrows. In the eastern Hungarian Körös tributaries the early Bronze Age first saw the introduction of the Mako culture. This was followed by the Otomani and Gyulavarsand cultures.
The late Bronze Age Urnfield culture stretched from about 1300 through 700 BC. It was characterized by cremation burials. It includes the Lusatian culture in eastern Germany and Poland. The Lusatian culture ran from 1300 through 500 BC) and continued into the Iron Age. The Central European Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age Hallstatt culture which ran from about 700 through 450 BC. Important Bronze Age archaeological sites include Biskupin in Poland, Nebra in Germany, Vráble in Slovakia, and Zug-Sumpf, Zug, in Switzerland.
The Bronze Age in Central Europe has been divided chronologically into Bronze Age A1 (BzA1) which encompassed the period 2300 to 2000 BC. The archaeological artifacts characteristic of the period are triangular daggers, flat axes, stone wrist-guards, flint arrowheads. The period following A1 was Bronze Age A2 (BzA2), which encompassed the period of 1950–1700 BC. The archaeological artifacts which characterized this period were daggers with metal hilt, flanged axes, halberds, pins with perforated spherical heads, and solid bracelets. Following Bronze Age A1 and A2 were Bronze Age phases of the Hallstatt Cultural A and B (Ha A and HaB).
The Apennine Culture was also called Italian Bronze Age. This was a technology complex of central and southern Italy spanning the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age. The Camuni were an ancient people of uncertain origin. According to the 1st century Roman author and philosopher Pliny the Elder, they were Euganei. According to the 1st century Greek historian Strabo, they were Rhaetians who lived in Val Camonica during the Iron Age. Human groups of hunters, shepherds and farmers are known to have lived in the area since the Neolithic.
Located in Sardinia and Corsica, the Nuragic civilization lasted from the early Bronze Age of about the 18th century BC to the 2nd century AD when the islands were already Romanized. They take their name from the characteristic Nuragic towers of 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 consider them to be monumental tombs.
Other scholars believe they were built as houses for mythological giants. Other scholars believe that they were utilized as fortresses. Others believe them to be ovens for metal fusion. Yet others believe that they were built as prisons. Finally there are those who believe that they were built as temples for a solar cult. Around the end of the 3rd millennium BC Sardinia exported towards Sicily a culture that built small dolmens that served as tombs, as it has been ascertained in the Sicilian dolmen of “Cava dei Servi”. These were trilithic or polygonal in shape. From this region the culture and its iconic domens reached Malta island and other countries of Mediterranean basin.
The Terramare was an early Indo-European civilization in the area of what is now Pianura Padana in northern Italy, as well as in other areas of Europe. The Terramare predate the Celts. They lived in square villages of wooden stilt houses. These villages were built on land, but generally near a stream. The villages were characterized by roads that 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, between Modena and Bologna. 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. Istria is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. In the contemporary world it is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. The Castellieri Culture 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 that characterized the culture.
The Canegrate culture developed from the mid-Bronze Age until the Iron Age, or from about the 13th century BC. It was centered around the Pianura Padana, in what are now western Lombardy, eastern Piedmont and Ticino. It takes its name from the township of Canegrate. There 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. There in the early 19th century abbot Giovanni Battista Giani excavated its first findings comprising some fifty tombs with ceramics and metal objects. Remains of the Golasecca culture span an area of about 20,000 square kilometers or almost 8,000 square miles. The region they inhabited included from the Po plain south to the Alps, between the Po, Sesia and Serio rivers. The culture dated from the 9th to the 4th century BC.
The Atlantic Bronze Age of Western Europe was a cultural complex of the period of approximately 1300 to 700 BC. It included different cultures in Portugal, Andalusia (Spain), Galicia (France), and the British Isles. It was marked by economic and cultural exchange. Commercial contacts extended to Denmark and the Mediterranean. The Atlantic Bronze Age was defined by many distinct regional centers of metal production. These centers of product were unified by a regular maritime exchange of some of their products.
In Great Britain the Bronze Age is considered to have been the period from around 2100 to 750 BC. 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 significant site is Must Farm, near Whittlesey. Recently the most complete Bronze Age wheel ever to be found was discovered there. The Beaker culture displayed different behaviors from the earlier Neolithic 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. However the climate was deteriorating. Where once the weather was warm and dry, it became much wetter. As the Bronze Age continued the changing weather forced populations away from easily defended sites in the hills and into the fertile valleys. Large livestock farms developed in the lowlands. These appear to have contributed to economic growth and inspired increasing forest clearing.
The Deverel-Rimbury culture began to emerge to exploit Te commercial conditions of the Bronze Age. This occurred during the second half of the Middle Bronze Age from about 1400 through 1100 BC. Devon and Cornwall became major sources of tin for much of Western Europe. Copper was also 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 had been until this period generally communal. However the was a notable transition to individual burials as the culture entered the Bronze Age. In the Neolithic a large chambered cairn or long barrow housed the dead. Early Bronze Age people buried their dead in individual barrows. These are commonly known and marked on modern British Ordnance Survey maps as tumuli. Alternatively in the Early Bronze Age if burials were not in tumuli, they would sometimes be in cists covered with cairns.
The greatest quantities of bronze objects in England were discovered in East Cambridgeshire. The most important of these were in Isleham where more than 6500 pieces were recovered. The alloying of copper with zinc or tin to make brass or 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 (230 feet). At Alderley Edge in Cheshire carbon dates have established early mining activities dated at around 2280 to 1890 BC. The earliest identified metalworking site at Sigwells, Somerset is much later. It is dated by the presence of Globular Urn style pottery to approximately the 12th century BC. The identifiable sherds from over 500 mold fragments included a perfect fit of the hilt of a sword in the Wilburton style held in Somerset County Museum.
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 was characterized by the production of flat axes, daggers, halberds and awls in copper. The Bronze Age in Ireland is divided into three phases. The first phase is known as the Early Bronze Age and ran from about 2000 to 1500 BC. The second phase is known as the Middle Bronze Age and ran from about 1500 to 1200 BC. Last the third phase is known as the Late Bronze Age and ran from about 1200 through 500 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. First was the Lough Ravel common to about 2200 BC. Second was the Ballybeg which was common to about 2000 BC. Third was the Killaha type flat axe also common to about 2000 BC. Fourth was the Ballyvalley type flat axe produced from about 2000–to 1600 BC. The fifth type of flat axe known as the Derryniggin type was common to about 1600 BC). There were also a number of metal ingots in the shape of axes.
The Bronze Age in Northern Europe spans the entire 2nd millennium BC. This included the Unetice culture, Urnfield culture, Tumulus culture, Terramare culture, and Lusatian culture, and lasted through about 600 BC. The Northern Bronze Age was both a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history stretching from about 1700 through 500 BC. Sites 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.
The Northern European Bronze Age cultures were relatively late. They came into existence via the external impetus of trade. Nonetheless Northern European Bronze Age sites present rich and well-preserved objects made of wool, wood and imported Central European bronze and gold. Many rock carvings depict ships. The large stone burial monuments known as stone ships suggest that shipping played an important role. There exist thousands of rock carvings depicting ships.
Most probably representing sewn plank built canoes that were utilized in warfare, and for fishing and trade. These types of plank built canoes may have a history as far back as the Neolithic period. They continued in use into the Pre-Roman Iron Age, as evidenced 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.
Arsenical bronze artifacts of the Maykop culture in the North Caucasus have been dated around the 4th millennium BC. The Maykop culture was responsible for the spread of arsenical bronze technology over southern and eastern Europe. The Yamnaya culture was a Late Copper Age/Early Bronze Age culture of the Southern Bug/Dniester/Ural region. The culture was prevalent in these locales of the of the Pontic steppes from about the 36th through 23rd centuries BC. The culture is also known in English as Pit-Grave Culture or Ochre-Grave Culture. The Catacomb culture comprised several related Early Bronze Age cultures. It occupied what is presently Russia and Ukraine during the period of about 2800 to 2200 BC. The Srubna culture was a Late Bronze Age culture which existed from the 18th to 12th centuries BC. It was a successor to the Yamnaya and the Poltavka cultures.
Iron and copper smelting appeared around the same time in most parts of Africa. As such most 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 around 900 to 800 BC; Rwanda and Burundi somewhere between 700 and 500 BC; and Tanzania somewhere around 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 supporting either theory for independent development or outside introduction are scarce and subject to active scholarly debate. Scholars have suggested that both the relative dearth of archaeological research in sub-Saharan Africa as well as long-standing prejudices have limited or biased our understanding of pre-historic metallurgy on the continent.
The Bronze Age in Nubia however was well-established as early as 2300 BC. Copper smelting was introduced by Egyptians to the Nubian city of Meroë around 2600 BC. Meroë is located in modern-day Sudan. A furnace for casting bronze has been found in Kerma. The furnace is dated to between 2300 and 1900 BC. 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 the evidence is not conclusive. Many scholars argue that evidence for copper production in this region before 1000 BC is uncertain. Confirmed evidence of copper mining and smelting has been found at Akjoujt, Mauretania. The evidence is suggestive of small scale production during the period 800 to 400 BC.
In pre-Columbian Mesoamerica the 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 Western Mexico suggests either contact of that region with Andean cultures or separate discovery of the technology. The Calchaquí people of Northwest Argentina also develop an indigenous bronze technology.
Trade and industry played a major role in the development of the ancient Bronze Age civilizations. Artifacts of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found in ancient Mesopotamia and 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. This spurred the 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. These overland routes linked the Indus Valley with the Mediterranean. This led to towns sprouting up in numbers anywhere and everywhere there was a pit-stop or caravan-to-ship port [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
Bronze Age Collapse: The Bronze Age Collapse is a modern-day term referring to the decline and fall of major Mediterranean civilizations during the 13th through 12th centuries BC. It is also sometimes referred to as the Late Bronze Age Collapse. The precise cause of the Bronze Age Collapse has been debated by scholars for over a century. Even the precise time frame it probably began and when it ended are contentious. But no consensus has been reached on any of these issues. What is clearly known is that between about 1250 and about 1150 BC multiple calamities befell Bronze Age Civilization. Major cities were destroyed. Entire civilizations fell. Diplomatic and trade relations were severed. Writing systems vanished. There was widespread devastation and death on a scale never experienced before.
The primary causes advanced for the Bronze Age Collapse are varied. They include natural catastrophes such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions). Another suggested cause is climate change which caused drought and famine. Some scholars suggest there were widespread internal rebellions, civil wars, and/or class warfare. Many historians attribute the collapse to invasions by outside groups, most pointing to the mysterious “Sea Peoples”. And finally either as a consequence of any of the preceding causes or even on its own, a severe disruption and collapse of trade systems and relation, leading to political instability.
When the collapse had run its course the Mediterranean region entered a “dark age”. During that dark age iron replaced bronze as the metal of choice. Diplomatic and trade relations were nearly non-existent. Art, architecture, and the general quality of life all suffered in comparison with the Bronze Age. This dark age was a transitional period between the preceding Bronze Age which had run from about 3300 through 1200 BCE, and the succeeding Iron Age of about 1200 through 550 BC. The Iron Age itself was a period of transformation and development. Overall it was not nearly as “dark” as 19th and early 20th century scholars believed.
The Iron Age seems to only have appeared so “dark” to these writers when contrasted with the grandeur and prosperity of the preceding Bronze Age. Nonetheless while civilizations rebuilt and struggled forward, much was lost. Much of that which was lost could not be replicated. The lessons of the Bronze Age Collapse for the present day are especially pertinent at the moment when the globally-linked world most closely resembles the intricate network of nations which characterized this era.
The Bronze Age is so-called because of the popularity of the use of bronze in metallurgy. Thus the age is characterized by bronze industries, and so the “Bronze Age” becomes a convenient designation for the period. This era saw the development and growth of civilization in every region of the Mediterranean and in every aspect. The Bronze Age is the period best known for its advances in culture, language, technology, religion, art, architecture, politics, warfare, and trade.
The Bronze Age is also what most people think of when they hear the term “ancient history”. This is because it is during the Bronze Age that the Pyramids of Giza were constructed, during the Old Kingdom of Egypt (about 2613 through 2181 BC). Ancient Egypt’s Temple of Karnak was also built during this time. The construction started during the Middle Kingdom, which ran from 2040 through 1782 BC. Construction continued through Ancient Egypt’s “New Kingdom” which ran from about 1570 through 1069 BC. In ancient Mesopotamia the Uruk Period from about 4100 through 2900 BC witnessed among other advances the invention of the wheel and writing.
The Uruk Period of ancient Mesopotamia merged into the so-called Early Dynastic Period, which ran from about 2900 through 2334 BC. The Early Dynastic Period gave way to the Akkadian Period, which ran from about 2334 through 2218 BC. It was during the Akkadian Period that the first multicultural political entity in the world was founded. Known as the Akkadian Empire, it was established by Sargon of Akkad in 2334 BC. Sargon would rule the empire until 2279 BC. Babylon would later become the great center of culture and learning in Mesopotamia. The Elamites would raise grand cities within Metopotamia as well.
There were many other significant Bronze Age cultures. The Hatti established an empire in Anatolia, present-day Turkey, from around 2700 through 2400 BC. The built a magnificent city named Hattusa around 2500 BC. The Hittite Empire flourished from about 1400 through 1200 BC. The Kingdom of Mittani stretched from northern Iraq down into turkey. The Cypriot culture developed on Cyprus. The Phoenician city of Ugarit in the Levant was a very prosperous center. The Mycenaean Civilization of Greece was at its height during the period of about 1600 through 1100 BC.
By around 1350 BC Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, the Hittite Empire, and the Mittani were closely tied in a network of trade and diplomacy. As each political entity became more stable centralized trade flourished. Modern day scholars refer to the network as the “Club of Great Powers”. This was a close-knit, international, web of relationships between the most powerful monarchs of the age. Its existence and strength is well-established through the Amarna Letters of the 14th century BC. This was correspondence between the kings of Egypt and other nations.
These cordial relationships meant prosperity for the people of the lands involved. Trade flourished as evidenced amongst other indications, in the grand building projects of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Each nation prospered through the ties of trade and diplomacy. This entire way of life would drastically alter for the worse beginning in the mid-to-late 13th century BC. This was the beginning of the so-called “Bronze Age Collapse”. When it was over almost all of the nations which made up the Club of Great Powers were gone. Only Egypt remained intact, and even then in a greatly reduced form.
The French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero who lived from 1846 to 1916 AD was first in 1881 to coin the term “Sea Peoples”. The reference was to the invading forces of the 13th and 12th centuries BC. Many scholars have posited the collapse of the Bronze Age as due to the catastrophic impact of these as-yet unidentified, mysterious “Sea Peoples”. The causes of the Bronze Age Collapse have often been presented by scholars as linear. Though they don’t always agree on the inciting event, most postulate that a set sequence of events brought down the Bronze Age.
For instance, Earthquakes brought down cities and poor harvests due to climate change caused famine. This in turn led to social and political instability resulting in internal rebellions while. At the same time large populations uprooted from their own lands by the same difficulties migrated to the Mediterranean. In their quest for a new home these uprooted peoples disrupted existing populations. The combination of all of these pressures finally resulted in the loss of diplomatic and trade relations and the fall of civilization throughout the Mediterranean.
The problem with the linear concept of causes is not just that it is too simple. All of these civilizations had survived invasions and earthquakes and instability before. The problem with the scenarios so often created in the past to explain the collapse of the Bronze Age always assume a set date for when the collapse began and ended. To bolster the theorized causation historical events are then found to fit the narrative and support that date. It is far more probable as advanced by more recent research that all of these pressures were brought to bear on Mediterranean civilization. All or most of these events occurred in quick succession, perhaps almost simultaneously.
The net result was that while still reeling from one catastrophe, these civilizations were afforded inadequate time to recover from one before another was upon them. Modern scholars have referred to this as “a perfect storm of calamities”. Perhaps the inhabitants could have survived one disaster, such as an earthquake or a drought. However they could not survive the combined effects of earthquake, drought, and invaders all occurring in rapid succession. A “domino effect” then ensued. The disintegration of one civilization led to the fall of other, interconnected and dependent civilizations. Such a series of rapid-fire successive catastrophic events is the most probable explanation for the collapse of the Bronze Age.
Again Mediterranean civilizations had experienced these challenges when faced in singularity in the past and survived. Modern scholarship also eschews the attempt to date the precise year of the collapse. The generally accepted date pinpointed by scholarship of the past has been 1177 BC. Modern though is that the precise date of 1177 BC is only a kind of “scholarly shorthand” for when the collapse began and should not be understood as a definitive date. One might argue that 1177 BC is to the end of the Late Bronze Age as 476 AD is to the end of Rome and the western Roman Empire. Both are dates to which modern scholars can conveniently point as the end of a major era.
However Italy was invaded and Rome was sacked several times during the fifth century AD. This includes not only the year of 476, but also includes in 410 AD by Alaric and the Visigoths, and then again in 455 AD by Gaiseric and the Vandals. In addition to these sacks of Rome there were also many other reasons why Rome fell. The story of the fall of the Roman Empire is much more complex, as any Roman historian will readily attest. However the date of 476 AD is convenient. It is considered acceptable academic shorthand to link the invasion of Odoacer and the Ostrogoths in AD 476 with the end of Rome’s glory days.
With that in mind the causes of the Bronze Age Collapse must be considered as suggested probabilities as far as dates go. However a general time span widely accepted is roughly 1250 through 1150 BC. Certain possible aspects of the collapse during this period such as climate change assert themselves more profoundly. This is due to the fact that there is no record of such events prior to this period of the collapse to any profound degree. It seems most likely that for so many civilizations to have succumbed the causative event or amongst the causative events must have been something in the nature of a unique catastrophe.
The catastrophic event or events must have been something beyond the ability of the various civilizations to overcome, and likely some profound event which they had never before faced. Some sort of climate change seems a strong candidate. Not just a drought or a few years of violent weather, these civilizations had faced such adverse conditions before. Rather the suggestion is that it was a decades or even century long shift in climatic conditions which caused widespread famine and collapse of entire agriculture economies.
Many modern scholars point out earthquakes in the Mediterranean were not amongst the serious or profound causations. Earthquakes commonplace in the Mediterranean basin and these would not have substantively different in the 13th through 12th centuries than previously. There is a well-established, often-cited list of 47 sites in the region that had been destroyed over a 50 year period during the Bronze Age Collapse. However it is difficult to be certain which were destroyed by earthquakes and which by invasions or internal rebellion. However some scholars have pointed out the possibility that the region could have been struck by successive swarms of earthquakes. Such “earthquake storms” or multiple series of earthquakes in rapid succession could account for widespread destruction.
Nonetheless contemporary research points to climate change as the pivotal factor in the collapse. Many archaeologists postulate that the abrupt climate change at the end of the Late Bronze Age caused region-wide crop failures. These failures of the agricultural industries could have led to socio-economic crises and unsustainability. This crisis would then have caused the mass migrations/invasions which were recorded by the people of Cyprus, Anatolia, and Egypt. The problem with validating this theory is the chronology of the Bronze Age Collapse. There is as noted no set date for when the collapse began or even how long it continued. Dates assigned for the beginning of the Bronze Age Collapse range from 1250, to 1186, to 1177 BC. Establishing a sudden onset climatic change as a singular cause is improbable.
Though they acknowledge that climate change could have played a significant part in the collapse, Archaeologists admit that they lack any useful, specific climatic data from the eastern Mediterranean for this period. However scholars have pointed out that the Soreq cave in Israel contains a 150,000-year record of precipitation for the northern Levant. This evidence indicates an unprecedented and steady decline in rainfall ongoing through 1150 BC. By that point in time the cumulative lack of rainfall would have been significant enough to have caused drought.
There is clear evidence that a so-called “mega-drought” struck the region between 1200 and 850 BC. This is evidenced not only through the examination of pollen and alluvial records, but also by surviving correspondence between regional monarchs during this interval. This evidence leads many scholars to conclude that a decline in Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures before 1190 BC decreased annual freshwater flux by lowering evaporation rates. Westerly winds took in less evaporative water vapor resulting in declining precipitation. Declining precipitation led to drought which affected harvests and resulted in famine. Famine would have then driven migration/invasion.
Class warfare as defined by the lower classes revolting against the privilege of the elite is often cited as another cause. During the reign of Ramesses III from 1186 through 1155 BC the first labor strike in history is recorded when payment to the tomb-builders at Deir-el-Medina was not delivered. Tomb robbing also became rampant at this time. Historians note the significance of the historical records which indicate the items tomb-robbers most often purchased with their loot was food.
Archaeologists point out that the destruction of the Canaanite city of Hazor is believed to have been caused by an internal rebellion of the city’s inhabitants. It is postulated that the inhabitants of Hazor may have lacked adequate food supplies. The obvious suggestion supported by the archaeological and literary evidence is that a food shortage which encouraged the lower classes to revolt against those perceived to be holding back resources.
The Bronze Age Collapse was once attributed solely to the invasion of the so-called Sea Peoples between about 1276 and 1178 BC. The identity of this coalition of “Sea Peoples” is still debated in the present day. Whoever they were and wherever they came from, they wreaked havoc on the civilizations of the Mediterranean. The names of the tribes composing the “Sea Peoples” in historical records include among others the Sherden, the Sheklesh, the Lukka, the Tursha, the Akawasha, and the Peleset. Egyptian inscriptions from the New Kingdom make clear they were fought off by Ramesses II. Ramesses II was also known as “Ramesses the Great”. He reigned from about 1279 to 1213 BC. The Sea Peoples were also fought off by his son and successor Merenptah, who ruled Egypt from 1213 to 1203 BC. The Sea Peoples were only finally defeated by his successor, Ramesses III, who defeated them in 1178 BC.
Invasions elsewhere by others have also been cited as a major cause. A number of prominent archaeologists propose variant theories for the invasions, especially of the Sea Peoples. They propose that the end of the Bronze Age could be explained by changes in warfare. According to this view barbarians like the Sea Peoples had long been employed as mercenaries by the Great Powers. The end of the Bronze Age according to this theory occurred when these mercenaries abruptly turned on their masters. This theory is untenable however as it ignores the well-established records of the Egyptian monarchs, especially Ramesses III. These historical records clearly record the Sea Peoples arriving with their wives and children in carts, indicating a migratory people following an invading force.
The severing of diplomatic ties and the collapse of commercial networks has also been cited as a cause for the collapse. Although these could be considered significant events, they cannot be posited as primary causative factors. There was no reason why the Great Powers would have suddenly decided to end relations with one another. This is particularly true when it would shortly become clear that the consequences of severing diplomatic and commercial ties would include allowing their cultures to devolve or their civilizations to end. The disruption of trade would have to be the culmination of earlier stressors. Of course one must take into consideration what “global” would have meant to the people of the ancient Mediterranean. Nonetheless the global nature of trade at that time linked these Mediterranean nations to each other so closely that if one fell, the others would follow.
Scholars have also argued that the Bronze Age Collapse can be tied to a systems collapse of the various Bronze Age civilizations. They suggest that their economies were too narrowly based and their trade networks depended on relatively peaceful conditions. They point to other major social problems such as debt slavery, alienation of land, abuse of peasants by the aristocracy. In turn they suggest that these and other similar endemic social problems drove internal discontent. Then finally at the end of the 13th century BC piracy and military conflicts disrupted trade networks. The substantial decline in trade atop all of these other systemic issues led to economic collapse, incited revolts, and led to the general breakdown of the economic, political, and social systems.
None of these causes on their own can explain the Bronze Age Collapse. Most scholars agree with the conclusion that no single cause can explain what happened in all regions and states. A scenario which might fit one region does not work in another. The linear explanation of one cause leading to another in a domino-effect ignores previous epochs in history where there were similar challenges but no collapse. In any event, whatever the cause of the collapse, collapse the Bronze Age did. The Hittite Empire fell, Ugarit was destroyed, and the Mycenaean Civilization vanished. The cities of the Levant followed a similar pattern of decline, and the Cypriots suffered as well. The golden age of the Club of Great Powers and the resultant prosperity became a memory.
The memory was recorded in myth. This was most notably in Greece in the 8th century BC by Homer and Hesiod. Both reminded their readers of a great age in the past, by then long gone, an age which was far superior to their own. However from the ashes of the Bronze Age Collapse came the seeds of the civilizations which would produce the modern world. In the words of one contemporary historian, “sometimes it takes a large-scale wildfire to help renew the ecosystem of an old-growth forest and allow it to thrive afresh”. This is no doubt true. However one is left to wonder what the modern world might be like if there had been no Bronze Age Collapse. What would the modern world be like had the ancient Mediterranean not been forced to endure a Dark Ages which endured for centuries.
Enormous cultural gains were obviously made afterwards the collapse. And the “Dark Ages” which followed the collapse were nowhere near as dark as earlier scholars imagined. To cite only one example, Egypt’s Third Intermediate Period of about 1069 of 525 BCE was well-known for its craftsmanship in metallurgy. According to historical records this metal industry worked “in gold and silver but the major part in bronze”. Obviously bronze-work survived the collapse, as did many other aspects of Bronze Age civilization.
In the wake of the Bronze Age Collapse even writing systems vanished, notably the Mycenaean and Minoan. The Phoenician alphabet eventually took the place of the Mycenaean and Minoan. Gradually the people of the Mediterranean who survived the collapse adapted to their new realities and rebuilt their lives. Those lives were obviously quite different from how they would have been if there had been no collapse. However as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed, the essence of life is change and all things, at all times, undergo transformation – willingly or unwillingly. So it was with civilizations of the Bronze Age.
The parallels between the period of the collapse and the modern-day seem quite striking. Now as then the world is intimately linked through global trade and diplomacy. Just as with the Bronze Age Collapse, the downfall of one nation in our contemporary world is certain to affect the fortunes of every other. As noted by a historian who wrote of the Bronze Age Collapse, “in a complex system such as our world today, [a tipping point] is all it might take for the overall system to become destabilized, leading to collapse”. That tipping point modern science and empirical observation suggests might be climate change. This is the one factor among the many causes of the Bronze Age Collapse which respected archaeologists and scholars feel was unprecedented at that time [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
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ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for.
My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting.
Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or message, so please feel free to write.