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Thread: Who were the last Eurasian Bronze Age peoples?

  1. #1
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    Who were the last Eurasian Bronze Age peoples?

    I was reading about the prehistoric Nordic Bronze Age and the question occurred to me: where was the last place outside of the Americas where Bronze Age technology remained the dominant culture? Was it in Europe, Asia, Africa, even Oceania? I exclude the Americas because they did not develop metallurgy the same way Africa-Eurasia did and did not make use of iron tools.

    Today there still exist pockets of Late Stone Age and Neolithic cultures (African foragers, New Guinea, Amazon etc.) but no Bronze technology users, presumably because the networks, conditions, and geographic routes that led to the proliferation of Bronze metallurgy also allowed Iron metallurgy to rapidly replace it. So where were the last Bronze Age holdouts? I wasn't sure whether to put this in ancient history or prehistory, since this replacement could have occurred in either period, or perhaps even later?

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    British Bronze Age runs to circa 900 BC, give or take a few hundred years. I'd hazard to guess there must have been more remote areas across Eurasia.
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    Most of the last Bronze Age holdouts of Eurasia were in Central and Northern Europe where they lasted until about 700 – 500 BC. Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Andalusia and Galicia all had relatively late starts and collapses when it came to bronze age technology.

    The Korean peninsula also had a very late Bronze Age period, only adopting the technology around 1000 – 600 BC depending on location within the peninsula.

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    The southern part of the Indian subcontinent had no copper or bronze age - went straight from stone to Iron.
    Much of the north/east part also had minimal if any bronze.

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    And yet they were right there next to the Indus Valley Civilization. Isn't that strange. I guess they didn't talk much.

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    Thanks for the replies. So far, the research I've reviewed agrees with Pierre Comeau and points to the latest bronze age without coincident iron usage being in Korea around 500 BCE, and around the same time in Scandinavia.

    In general, both northeast Asia and northern Europe seem to have had the latest transition to iron from bronze. I find it fascinating how quickly and simultaneously bronze was replaced by iron across Eurasia. Korea and Sweden transitioned within a couple hundred years of each other. This points to the importance and efficiency of trade and travel networks that spanned across the old world as early as 3-4 millennia ago.

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