Abstract and Keywords
Copper, gold and lead objects occur in northern and western Europe during the fourth and third millennia BC. Their contexts of use and deposition are comparable to contemporary amber and polished stone axes. All share properties such as lustre, brilliance, distinctive colour, and non-local or hard-to-access points of origin. When metal production did occur, it required specialist expertise, but was only applied on a small-scale and sporadic basis with little innovation or intensification. Whilst metal objects were evidently desirable for adornment, their appearance did not herald a revolution nor cause major social change.
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