Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Brief History of Bronze

Throughout much of recorded history, bronze is one of the most significant metals for virtually every thriving civilization, and is also considered one of the most innovative alloys created by man. Different scores of tools, weapons, armor, and priceless pieces of art have been forged using bronze, most of which have stood the test of time.
Bronze is known as the oldest alloy humans ever made, with its very first variation created using a mix of copper and arsenic during 3500 B.C. Realizing that tin would make the resulting material stronger and lighter, arsenic was dumped and replaced with tin. The period when bronze smelting was widespread came to be known as the Bronze Age, which is characterized by a huge collection of cups, urns, vases, and even simple home containers forged in bronze. One of the first people to use bronze on a wide scale were the ancient Sumerians, a group of people who thrived along the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.
By 3000 B.C., bronze-making gradually spread to neighboring kingdoms like Persia. The ancient Egyptians and Chinese began using bronze around 2000 B.C., where some of the earliest bronze castings were created by pouring the molten metal mixture into molds made of sand. However, bronze was slowly usurped by wrought iron as the main material for weapons because wrought iron is much easier to find, giving way to the Iron Age. Today, bronze is still being used in making smaller household items, as well as several industrial applications.

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