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date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses Bronze Age metalworking and the use of bronze and copper. It first studies the different approaches to prehistoric metalworking, including the sub-discipline of archaeometallurgy. The article then reviews the early evidence for copper mining, smelting, metalworking, and the progression of different types of copper and copper alloys, emphasising the situation of Bronze Age metalworking in central and south-eastern Europe. It then focuses on Bronze Age metallurgy, which is thought to have quickly developed in scale and complexity, and challenges evolutionist assumptions in several notions of technological ‘progress’. The article also aims to deconstruct some commonly held perceptions of the social context of early metallurgy.

Keywords: metalworking, bronze, copper, archaeometallurgy, copper mining, smelting, Bronze Age metallurgy, evolutionist assumptions

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