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Ban Chiang, however, is the most thoroughly documented site while having the clearest evidence of metallurgy when it comes to Southeast Asia. With a rough date range of late 3rd millennium BC to the first millennium AD, this site alone has various artifacts such as burial pottery dating from — BC , fragments of Bronze, copper-base bangles, and much more. What's interesting about this site, however, isn't just the old age of the artifacts but the fact that this technology suggested 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 which therefore shows that Bronze was actually innovated from a different country. 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.

The other one is decreased levels of immunocompetence in the Metal age due to changes in 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. The production of complex tin bronzes lasted for c. The authors reported that evidence for the production of such complex bronzes disappears at the end of the 5th millennium coinciding with the "collapse of large cultural complexes in north-eastern Bulgaria and Thracein the late fifth millennium BC".

Tin bronzes using cassiterite tin would be reintroduced to the area again some years later.


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The Aegean Bronze Age began around BC, when civilizations first established a far-ranging trade network. This network imported tin and charcoal to Cyprus , where 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, and reached a peak of skill not exceeded except perhaps by Polynesian sailors until when the invention of the chronometer enabled the precise determination of longitude.

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. Ancient empires valued luxury goods in contrast to staple foods , leading to famine.

Bronze Age collapse theories have described aspects of the end of the 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. This would indicate that the trade network may have failed, preventing the trade 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, the area north of the Black Sea , also suddenly lost much of its population, and thus probably some capacity to cultivate crops.

The Aegean Collapse has been attributed to the exhaustion of the Cypriot forests causing the end of the bronze trade. The Aegean Collapse has also been attributed to the fact that as iron tools became more common, the main justification for the tin trade ended, and that trade network ceased to function as it did formerly. Speculation include a tsunami from Thera more commonly known today as Santorini destroyed Cretan cities.

If the eruption occurred in the late 17th century BC as most chronologists now think then its immediate effects belong to the Middle to Late Bronze Age transition, and not to the end of the Late Bronze Age; but it could have triggered the instability that led to the collapse first of Knossos and then of Bronze Age society overall.

One such theory highlights the role of Cretan expertise in administering the empire, post-Thera. If this expertise was concentrated in Crete, then the Mycenaeans may have made political and commercial mistakes in administering the Cretan empire. Archaeological findings, including some on the island of Thera, suggest that the centre of Minoan Civilization at the time of the eruption was actually on Thera rather than on Crete.

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A weakened political entity with a reduced economic and military capability and fabled riches would have then been more vulnerable to human predators. Indeed, the Santorini Eruption is usually dated to c. Thus, the later Mycenaean assaults on Crete c. 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 — BC Tumulus culture , which is characterised by inhumation burials in tumuli barrows.

Important sites include:. The Apennine culture also called Italian Bronze Age is a technology complex of central and southern Italy spanning the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age proper. The Camuni were an ancient people of uncertain origin according to Pliny the Elder , they were Euganei ; according to Strabo , they were Rhaetians who lived in Val Camonica — in what is now northern Lombardy — during the Iron Age , although human groups of hunters, shepherds and farmers are known to have lived in the area since the Neolithic.

They take their name from the characteristic nuragic towers, which evolved from the pre-existing megalithic culture, which built dolmens and menhirs.

Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics: Rethinking Temporality and Community in Eurasian Archaeology

The nuraghe towers are unanimously considered the best preserved and largest megalithic remains in Europe. Their effective use is still debated: some scholars considered them as monumental tombs, others as Houses of the Giants , other as fortresses, ovens for metal fusion, prisons or, finally, temples for a solar cult. From this region they 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 northern Italy before the arrival of the Celts , and in other parts of Europe.

They lived in square villages of wooden stilt houses. These villages were built on land, but generally near a stream, with roads that crossed each other at right angles. The whole complex denoted the nature of a fortified settlement. Terramare were widespread in the Pianura Padana specially along the Panaro river, between Modena and Bologna and in the rest of Europe.

It 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 Castellieri , Friulian : cjastelir that characterized the culture. It takes its name from the township of Canegrate where, 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, in the early 19th century, abbot Giovanni Battista Giani excavated its first findings some fifty tombs with ceramics and metal objects.

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Remains of the Golasecca culture span an area of c. It is marked by economic and cultural exchange. Commercial contacts extend to Denmark and the Mediterranean. The Atlantic Bronze Age was defined by a number of distinct regional centres of metal production, unified by a regular maritime exchange of some of their products. 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 indicate that at least some of the migrants came from the area of modern Switzerland.

Another example site is Must Farm, near Whittlesey, which has recently been host to the most complete Bronze Age wheel ever to be found. The Beaker culture displayed different behaviours 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.

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The rich Wessex culture developed in southern Britain at this time. Additionally, the climate was deteriorating; where once the weather was warm and dry it became much wetter as the Bronze Age continued, forcing the population away from easily defended sites in the hills and into the fertile valleys.

Large livestock farms developed in the lowlands and appear to have contributed to economic growth and inspired increasing forest clearances. Devon and Cornwall were major sources of tin for much of western Europe and copper was 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.

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The burial of the dead which, until this period, had usually been communal became more individual. For example, whereas in the Neolithic a large chambered cairn or long barrow housed the dead, Early Bronze Age people buried their dead in individual barrows also commonly known and marked on modern British Ordnance Survey maps as tumuli , or sometimes in cists covered with cairns.

The greatest quantities of bronze objects in England were discovered in East Cambridgeshire , where the most important finds were recovered in Isleham more than pieces. One copper mine at Great Orme in North Wales, extended to a depth of 70 meters.