Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, used for making tools, weapons and armor. The Bronze Age was the era from which dates the first use of bronze in the Middle East.
It is unclear when humans first began using bronze. It may have been as early as 5000 BC in what is now China, or possibly earlier in Mesopotamia (now Iraq). By 3000 BC it had spread to India, Africa and Europe by trade routes.
The earliest known copper mine was in Anatolia (modern Turkey) at least as early as 7500 BC, but more likely between 7000 and 6500 BC. Copper was used in southern Mesopotamia at least 7500 BC. The earliest known tin mines were located around the Mediterranean Sea between 3000 and 2500 BC, probably on islands such as Crete and Cyprus.
Last modified: September 20, 2022