In human history, first there was the Stone Age (stone tools and weapons) followed by the Bronze Age (bronze tools and weapons). Then came the Iron Age (iron tools and weapons).
The Bronze Age started around 1700 BCE in ancient China when men learned how to mine copper and tin to make bronze weapons. Bronze is a combination of 10% tin and 90% copper. Bronze weapons are much stronger than stone weapons. The discovery of bronze changed ancient society. Miners and craftsmen were needed to mine tin and copper, and to make bronze weapons. Therefore, farmers had to produce surplus food because not everyone was farming. Weavers and potters needed to clothe the miners and craftsmen, and to provide pottery containers to the farmers to store food. Most people were still farmers, but specialized labor was developing.
A new dynasty arose, the Shang Dynasty. The Shang ruled for about 600 years, followed by the Chou Dynasty, which ruled for about 800 years. Both the Shang and Chou ruled China during the Bronze Age. That's a long time! In that time, Shang and Chou craftsmen learned to use bronze for more than weapons. They made bronze tools that helped farmers and craftsmen and miners produce more food, goods, and minerals. They made bowls, bells, drums, cups, axes, and many other things out of bronze. Bronze survives well over time. Archaeologists have found bronze Shang artifacts decorated with designs of animals and people playing musical instruments. These discoveries have helped us to understand more about daily life in ancient China during the Bronze Age.
Source: The Bronze Age
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