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Atlantic Bronze Age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: carp's tongue sword complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Bronze Age metalworking industry which developed on the west coast of France (Brittany to Gironde) c 1000-500 BC and spread to southern England and Iberia. The unifying factor of these areas was very active trading along the Atlantic seaways. It is known from a large number of hoards with typical products being the carp's tongue sword, end-winged ax, hog-backed razor, and bugle-shaped object of uncertain function. The tradition flourished west of the area dominated by the central European Urnfield cultures.
Bactrian Bronze Age
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of northwest Afghanistan with range of pottery, seals, metal work, ornamented stone vessels, stone statuettes, etc. It was identified from materials looted from graves and appeared in Baluchistan and the Iranian plateau as far west as Susa.
Bronze Age
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The second age of the Three Age System, beginning about 4000-3000 BC in the Mideast and about 2000-1500 BC in Europe. It followed the Stone Age and preceded the Iron Age and was defined by a shift from stone tools and weapons to the use of bronze. During this time civilization based on agriculture and urban life developed. Trading to obtain tin for making bronze led to the rapid diffusion of ideas and technological improvements. The Iron Age began about 1500 BC in the Mideast and 900 BC in Europe. Bronze artifacts were valued highly and became part of many hoards. In the Americas, true bronze was used in northern Argentina before 1000 AD and it spread to Peru and the Incas. Bronze was never as important in the New World as in the Old. The Bronze Age is often divided into three periods: Early Bronze Age (c 4000-2000 BC), Middle Bronze Age (c 2000-1600 BC), and Late Bronze Age (c 1600-1200 BC) but he chronological limits and the terminology vary from region to region.
Early Bronze Age
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A period in the Levant dating to c 3200-1950 BC, just before Egypt's Archaic Period. Increasing urbanization was shown by the building of walled towns.
Late Bronze Age
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A period of the Levant, following the expulsion of the Hyksos, during which the Egyptians invaded and Canaanite cities were under Egyptian control. It is divided into LBA I, c 1550-1400 BC; LBA Iia, c 1400-1300 BC; and LBA Iib, c 1300-1200 BC.
Middle Bronze Age
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: In the Levant, the period of sophisticated urban civilization of the Canaanites, MBA I c 1950-1800 BC and MBA II c 1800-1550 BC. The Middle Bronze Age provides the background for the beginning of the story of the Old Testament. The archaeological evidence for the period shows new types of pottery, weapons, and burial practices. It was an urban civilization based on agriculture. There was much contact with the Phoenicians and the Egyptians during this time. The destruction of Megiddo, Jericho, and Tell Beit Mirsim that followed the Egyptians' expulsion of the Hyksos into Palestine occurred at the end of the Middle Bronze Age.

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