Metal Age


In the study of the historical period known as prehistory, there are two moments that mark the evolution of man. The first is the Stone Age and the second is the Metal Age . Each one has its very particular characteristics but it is in the Metal Age that groups of people begin to form villages and sedentary peoples begin to establish themselves, capable of producing their tools and food to stay alive and in community.


What is the Metal Age?

The Metal Age is the period of prehistory after the Stone Age that is made up of the Copper Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. It originates in 4,000 BC and ends in 405 BC on the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia. This stage of humanity is marked by the birth of metallurgy and the production of metal tools for agriculture and livestock and for the construction of combat weapons.


The Metal Age can be divided into three large parts , such as the Copper Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age . But it is important to say that this stage begins with the development of metallurgy in different continents such as: Europe , Africa and Asia.


Metal Age Characteristics

The Metal Age is divided into three moments and these are its characteristics:

Copper Age or Chalcolithic

  • It takes place between 6,500 to 2,500 BC
  • Gold, silver and copper were the most widely used metals in prehistory .
  • Metallurgy develops.
  • It develops the agriculture and livestock .

Bronze Age

  • It takes place between 2,500 and 1,500 BC
  • More complex societies are created than in Neolithic populations.
  • Bronze was located in India, Iran, Armenia, Egypt, and Sumeria.
  • The Aegean Sea is an exclusive space for the bronze trade.

Iron age

  • It develops from 1,500 BC
  • This metal is used to make weapons and tools.
  • The Hittites were the first to use iron in 1,300 BC
  • Being harder than bronze, new metallurgical techniques had to be developed to work it.

Stages of the Metal Age

As we mentioned earlier, the Age of Metals develops in three stages. The Copper Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

The Copper Age is the first stage. In it, man begins to use copper, gold and silver to create utensils to work the land, forge weapons, vessels and for ornaments in funeral rites.

In the Bronze Age , the alloy between copper and tin that form bronze was discovered, a metal that is more resistant than Copper. This era begins in South Asia and extends to North Africa. At this time in history, sedentary life is more consolidated than in the Neolithic.

The Iron Age is the third stage. Iron was known previously but being considered a precious metal it was only used in its beginnings to make jewelry. Iron was believed to be a sacred metal because it came from meteorites that impacted the earth.

It is important to mention that iron is a stronger metal than the previous ones and was more abundant than the other known metals. This resulted in the adaptation of metallurgical work to this metal.

How did the man of the Metal Age live?

to living in the Age of Metals occurred in villages that were transformed into small towns protected by walls. These depended on the productivity of their lands for agriculture and livestock, their importance for religious development and their commercial access routes.

In these societies there were different social groups divided into six types:

  • The bosses.
  • The priests.
  • The Warriors.
  • Blacksmiths, goldsmiths and merchants.
  • The bakers, spinners or weavers.
  • Ranchers and Farmers.

Tools in the Metal Age

The tools made in the Metal Age were axes, knives, weapons of war and some vessels and other metal objects . Many of the tools created were also used for work in the field, either for agriculture or livestock.


Much craftsmanship developed in the Metal Age related to religious cults and social classes . Vessels, bracelets and some jewels were made in bronze for some chiefs or priests of the towns.


Agriculture, livestock and hunting played a fundamental role in the economy of the peoples of the Middle Ages.

It is important to mention that metallurgy, mining, handicraft and commerce activities are also developed .


The architecture in the Metal Age is made up of houses and religious monuments . The materials used were mostly stone, adobe and wood.

The houses were square, round or rectangular and were surrounded by fortifications with tall towers made of wood called talayots.

Megalithic monuments for religious purposes are still built in the Metal Age and stone is still the main element in them. Among the religious monuments are the dolmen, the menhirs, the navetas . Many of these works are still preserved in some regions of Eastern and Western Europe.

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