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Bronze in Ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient Mesopotamian Bronze Age Metals

Ancient Mesopotamia saw some of the first cities in the western world and it was here (and in Egypt) that western civilization began to develop. Throughout the Bronze age Mesopotamia was the origin of several civilizations and empires; not least the Sumerian civilization and the Akkadian Empire. However, after the capture of the region by the Achaemenid Dynasty, it fell into decline and spent the rest of the ancient period beign ruled by a series of foreign powers.

The bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, most copper resistant and highly malleable, allowing the production of weapons more effective and more varied tools.

The Stone Age was followed by the Bronze Age when people learned to make bronze tools, ornaments, and weapons. Bronze is made by combining copper with tin, which produces a harder metal than copper alone, and it holds an edge much longer. The Bronze Age was a time of great invention; the wheel, plow, writing, money, cities, armies and chariots all came into use during the Bronze Age in Mesopotamia.

The Bronze Age is important in history as the period when civilization and writing began, marking the end of prehistoric times and the beginning of ancient times. In Mesopotamia, the Bronze Age lasted from roughly 4000 BC to the beginning of the Iron Age around 1000 BC.

The ancient history of Mesopotamia can be broken down as follows:
Prehistoric Mesopotamia
Bronze Age Mesopotamia
Persian Mesopotamia
Hellenistic Mesopotamia
Parthian Mesopotamia
Sassanid Mesopotamia

The Late Bronze Age collapse ended the system of great powers that had formed. The archaeological record shows a prolonged period in which individual cities were incompletely destroyed (usually just a few government buildings were ruined) and abandoned, while other cities survived yet declined in size. Each destruction was not so important as its summative contribution to unraveling the state apparatus which characterized the 2nd millennium.

The agent responsible for this is considered the Sea People, described ostensibly by Egyptians as invaders who swooped down the Syrian coast from distant lands. They were attested in earlier decades as mercenaries, but now were cast as antagonists who came with their families and belongings to settle permanently. Assyria and Babylonia were not directly exposed to the Sea People, but still suffered recessions, internal turmoil, urbanism declines and scribal activity reduction.

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Ancient Mesopotamian Bronze