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Bronze Age in the world

Bronze Age in the world

Bronze Age

Bronze age
Bronze dishes, bronze bowls and gold cups from a discovery in Unterglauheim, Dillingen in Germany

Bronze Age is a  prehistoric period characterized by bronze being widely used for weapons, gear, and jewelry. In many places, bronze was a rare material, and in Norway only approx. 800 objects in bronze from a period of 1200 years.

In the first half of the 1800s, prehistoric times were divided into a stone, bronze and iron age. This meant a major advance for archaeological science. However, this three-year system has its clear limitations, not all areas have had a bronze age. Australia and North America, for example, had a rocky culture when these continents were discovered by Europeans. Nor the northernmost regions of Scandinavia, Finland, and Siberia have had any real Bronze Age.

Areas and periods

Ship picture, rock carvings
Ship picture, rock carvings

The transition from Stone to Bronze Age took place at different times in different areas. The Bronze Age lasted in Mesopotamia from the 4th millennium to about 1500 before our time bill, within the Indus culture from the 3rd millennium, and in China from approx. 1500-500 BC.

In South America, the art of producing bronze was unknown until about 1000 event. And this metal never got any use for tools. The term bronze age is therefore avoided in American archeology. In Africa south of the Sahara took a direct transition from the Stone to Iron Age. In Eurasia, pure copper was used before one learned to cast bronze. In Egypt and large parts of Asia, the Bronze Age, therefore, belongs to historical time.

Nor has the culture level been uniform in the various areas of this period. In the For-Orientation, a city culture was developed that was characterized by a strong central power, often represented by judges. In most parts of Europe, however, the settlement pattern was characterized by the village. The society has also been hierarchical but never became as centralized as in the East. From the archaeological excavations of recent years, villages also feel from Denmark and Sweden in the Bronze Age. However, from Norway, such traces have not yet been identified.

Since bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and these rarely exist within the same area. Bronze production usually requires trade between remote areas. This required organization and specialization. One of the preconditions for the Bronze Age stage seems to have been an agricultural production with the surplus to entertain specialists in crafts, trade or religion and with the centralized power to direct this production surplus.


Bronze Age in Europe

Gold cone from Schifferstadt, Museum in Speyer, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.


In Europe, there were several local cultural groups in the Bronze Age that have been in contact with each other. These cultural groups have a number of common features: burials, bronze objects found in graves.


In the Middle and Middle Bronze Age, unbridled burial was common. The tomb was covered by around burial mound. Aunjetitz culture from Central Europe, the Wessex culture of southern England and the Argar culture of southern Spain are among the more famous cultures of the Middle Ages.


The main area of the Aunjetitz culture was Bohemia and Mährenwith adjacent areas of central Germany and Poland. In the Aunjetitz culture, the raw materials for bronze production were obtained from the Eastern Alps, from Slovakia. From northern Germany, more large victims find bronze objects and richly equipped graves. From this cultural group, the first bronze weapons and bronze neck rings were already in the final stages of the Stone Age. Elements from Central European Bronze Age cultures also spread to Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia.


The knowledge of the Wessex culture is based on grave findings. Several of these have contained exceptionally rich grave goods. In some cases, it has consisted of vessels of gold, bronze daggers with gold handles, fajanseperler more. This wealth development must be based both in a good agricultural area and on the trade route to the mines in Cornwall.


The Argerich culture has its name from a Bronze Age village in southeastern Spain. From there are tufts of rectangular houses and about 1000 graves.



Find from man’s grave, Wessex culture, South England.

About. 1300 BC. spread a new burial customs with burnt burial in an urn in Central Europe. At the same time, changes were also made in jewelry and weapons. The new burial mark marks the transition to the younger Bronze Age (in Europe beyond the Nordic region about 1300-700 BC). Younger Bronze Age is also known in Central Europe for the Urnemark period.


The Cinemark culture is a collective term for several local cultural groups who practiced the new burial tradition. It had its central area in present Hungary and Romania but had branches both to the south, north, and west. In northern Italy, the new burial scene was introduced by the Terramare people and spread south to Sicily. In southern Scandinavia, several sensational discoveries were interpreted as imports from the Urnemark area. These include a find from Funen that contained a large bronze box and 11 gold bowls. Cinemark culture ceased approx. 700 BC, and was replaced by the first Iron Age culture, see  Hallstatt.


 Bronze Age in the North

Nordic Bronze Age extends from approx. 1700 BC. to approx. 500 BC, with major regional variations. The cultural conditions in the Nordic region during the period are felt largely from grave finds victims and rocks, but also an increasing number of settlements after longhouses.


The main area for the Nordic Bronze Age is Denmark and Skåne. In Norway, Jæren has the most discoveries, but bronze finds are made all the way north to Harstad. In daily life, tools of stone, bone, and horn have still been the most important. Quartz and quartzite were used for a particular type of arrowhead.


The bronze was primarily the leader class metal. Large sections of the Bronze Age findings have a clear aristocratic character. And it is common to count on a differentiated society with rich and powerful chiefs at the top.


Despite the fact that the Nordic Bronze Age was distant from the important metal deposits, the core areas in the north were among the richest and strangest of all northern Mediterranean countries. Colossal amounts of raw materials, and not so little of finished castings, have found their way to the Nordic region. Bronze management was so highly developed that it was expected that the business was driven by skilled specialists.


The Bronze Age’s weapon was dagger, sword, spear, and ax. The shape and size of the weapons changed apart during the thousand-year-long period – in the Nordic countries, as usual across most of Europe. The weapons should not only be effective, they should also be an adornment for the owner and testify of his power and wealth. Spirals, circles, triangles and other geometric figures – motifs derived from the Mediterranean countries, but created by home style and taste – decorated the warriors’ equipment.


The same geometric style and simple waxing style are known to an even greater extent on the Bronze Age’s often sumptuous women’s jewelry. Necklaces, belt embroidery, costumes and the like were usually large and overlooked with punched line patterns. In particular, the spiral was used in imaginative variations. The jewelry also reveals international connections. But at the same time, they testify of their own independent style and form on a Nordic basis. In addition, the jewelry shows that the Nordic craftsmen have mastered their profession in an excellent way. In particular, Danish bronze casters have had a highly developed work technique.


In the daily endeavor of the food, the existence of the Bronze Age people was about as in the later part of the Stone Age. However, there are marked differences. The community was more layered. Wealth and capital formation must primarily have been based on the disposition of profits from agriculture and hunting in the local community. In addition, probably control over metal imports and the further distribution of the bronze has been a significant basis for the chief team. Transport and exchange have required a good organization and were probably led by the chieftains. The sea has probably been the most important road of travel, and the depictions of ships on the carvings can give a concept of the size of the ships. The largest ships have accommodated 50 people or more.


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