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The Bronze Age

The true Bronze Age - featuring objects made from an alloy of copper and tin - begins in about 2800 BC, in the Middle East. There have been earlier periods when other naturally-occuring alloys of copper are used. The most common of these alternative 'bronzes' is an alloy of copper and arsenic.

The age of tools made from pure copper (often called the Chalcolithic Period) goes back as far as about 7000 BC. Arsenical bronze objects have been found in south Iran dating back to at least 4000 BC. The term Bronze Age is sometimes extended back to include arsenical bronze.

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