What Was The Bronze Age?
The Bronze Age is the name given to a period in history when metals were first being worked. The name was devised as part of the Three Age System developed by the Danish archaeologist Christian Jürgensen Thomson (1788 – 1865). The Three Age System comprises the Stone Age – Bronze Age – Iron Age, devised by the change in materials being used and then made at each specific time.
Bronze was discovered by smelting copper and tin together, and this led to the production of improved weapons and fine metalwork items. In warfare, bronze body armour was designed and used to protect warriors, and elaborate items such as cauldrons, drinking vessels and ceremonial items were produced.
The Bronze Age did not happen all at once all over the world, it started at different times in different regions, most probably through the spread of ideas and information.
The Bronze Age not only bought the new metal to the attention of the world, it was also a time for the beginnings of early civilization and social complexity. People started to live together in bigger groups, which led to society being stratified – that is, having people in control over others, who held more wealth and power.
The earliest writing had been dated to this period, as well as domesticating and raising animals, the trade and exchange of prestige goods, more advanced trade and exchange networks over much larger areas. Symbols began to take on meanings, traditions were being developed as well as more structured religions. Communities began to depend upon each other for certain goods and knowledge and information was widely shared.
The Bronze Age may have been a long time ago but it set out the basics for civilization, trade and exchange that still continue today!
Archaeology Wow!! – The Sea of Galilee Boat
The Sea of Galilee Boat is an ancient fishing boat that was discovered near the Sea of Galilee in Israel by two brothers, Moche and Yuval Lufan, in 1986.
The brothers informed the authorities who sent along archaeologists to conduct a secret excavation in order to ensure that the boat was not damaged or stolen. As they uncovered more of the boat they found a lantern and pottery within it.
The boat measures 8.27m long, 2.3m wide and the sides raise up to 1.3m. In order to preserve it, the remains were kept in a chemical solution for 7 years! It is mainly made of Cedar wood, however, there are traces of at least 7 other woods showing that it either underwent a lot of repairs or that wood was very scarce at the time and the boat builders had to use whatever was available.
Researchers have found that this type of boat was used between the years 100 BC – AD 200, and Carbon Dating has given a date of 40 BC ± 80. The pottery, lantern and nails have been dated to between 50 BC – AD 50. All of these dates place the boat within the time period of Jesus.
Due to the dating of this find, the boat is of great importance to the Jewish people as it is the type of boat used by their ancestors. It is also of great importance to Christians who believe that Jesus may have been associated with the boat.
A very important find indeed, not only to the local people but to those all around the world!!
Archaeological Site Guide – Çatalhöyük, Turkey
Çatalhöyük is the remains of a Neolithic settlement in the ancient area of Anatolia, modern day Turkey. The site was discovered in 1958 and excavated by James Mellaat. Excavations stopped for a while and then in 1993 they started again under the direction of Cambridge University Archaeologist Ian Hodder.
Çatalhöyük is the largest and best preserved Neolithic site in the world. It dates from between 7,500 – 5,700 BC but was abandoned before the Bronze Age.
The site consists of domestic buildings made of mud brick that were built next to and on top of each other. there were no streets or roads. The walls had white plaster on them and some walls were decorated with murals and others had the skulls of cattle hung on them.
The buildings included hearths, ovens and raised platforms where figurines may have been displayed for religious purposes. Clay figurines of women have been found and it is beleived that these may have been worshipped as they are all very similar.
The people buried their dead in the village and also below their hearths. They took great care in the burials, wrapping the dead in linen or weaved baskets. There does not appear to have been social classes and everyone is beleived to have been equal, as well as men and women having equal status within the household.
The archaeologists have uncovered evidence of agriculture and the domestication of animals – sheep and cattle – which is very important for the time.
Excavations are ongoing and you can visit the site and watch the archaeologists at work!
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