Re: Large cities at time of contact Re: diseases and immunity
Mon, 01 Jul 1996 08:06:26 -0700

Michael Brown wrote:

> What did they use the copper for? Ornaments or tools. If tools it would be
> proper to call them 'copper age', but if they mainly used them for ornaments
> (as did many groups in the american Southeast), then it would be proper to
> call them stone age.

This seems to limit the definition a bit. I thought such terms applied to the
technology, not the application of the technology. As far as I know, the Bronze
Age in the Near East is marked by the first smelting of copper at Tepe Yahya, not
by the utilization of Bronze as a tool.

As for the Aztecs, they were utilizing both copper and bronze for tools. I think
the bronze was incidental, ie due to the presence of arsenic or antimony (both
common in copper ores) during the smelting process. Other alloys were also common.
In comparison, this is closer to the earliest stages of the Bronze Age. Glass was
an introduction by the Spanish.