chapter  4
The Early Bronze Age
Pages 16

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin (and sometimes other metals as well, such as arsenic and lead). Hard and durable, it is visually beautiful and pleasant to the touch. In molten form it can be cast to make all sorts of objects, from weapons and tools (arrowheads, axes, knives) to goblets, beakers, caldrons, and other expensive and impressive ritual vessels. Everywhere in Eurasia the invention or introduction of bronze had a revolutionary impact, as the Bronze Age superseded and subsumed the Neolithic era. In the East Asian Heartland Region bronze played an important, and sometimes dominant, role in society for almost three millennia.