Cultures > Bronze Age of Mesopotamia

Bronze Age of Mesopotamia

Background

One of the major periods of technological progress following the End of the Last Ice Age was the Bronze Age which followed the Stone Age. This process began with the development of metallurgy and saw the world develop in an explosion of various cultures and civilizations. The Bronze Age in Mesopotamia began around 4500 BCE during the development of Sumer.

Metallurgy

The most characteristic development of the Bronze Age was the improvement and widespread practice of metallurgy which allowed not only for improved tools but weapons and armor as well. Prior to the Bronze Age was the The most significant characteristic of the Bronze Age was the surge in metallurgy. The early part of the Bronze Age was referred to as the Chalcolithic Age. Copper and bone were the materials used to make the tools and implements that humans began using. Copper metal works were first known to the people of the Mesopotamian regions and gradually spread to other civilizations. Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, was soon discovered and manufactured in large quantities because of its durability. By 1200 BC, the discovery of iron ended the Bronze Age and then commenced the Iron Age.

Language

The earliest forms of writing were developed during this period including the Sumerian language cuneiform and the Egyptian language of hieroglyphics. One of the oldest known works of literature in the world known as the Epic of Gilgamesh. Cuneiform was made by pressing a reed stylus into a wet clay tablet and began being used around 2500 BCE. The Egyptian language would develop shortly after and another language known as Linear-B which was used in Mycenaean Greece.

Bronze Age Cultures

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources