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Bronze Age

The Bronze Age is, with respect to a given prehistoric society, the period in that society when the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread use) included smelting copper and tin from naturally-occurring outcroppings of copper and tin ores, creating a bronze alloy by melting those metals together, and casting them into bronze artifacts. The Bronze Age also included the domestication of the horse.

As regard to metal working, the naturally-occurring ores typically included arsenic as a common impurity. Copper/tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in western Asia before 3000 BCE. The Bronze Age is regarded as the second part of a three-age system for prehistoric societies, though there are some cultures that have extensive written records during their Bronze Age. In this system, in some areas of the world the Bronze Age followed the Neolithic age. On the other hand, in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Neolithic age is directly followed by the Iron Age.[citation needed] In some parts of the world, a Copper Age follows the Neolithic Age and precedes the Bronze Age.

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