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World History: Bronze Age and Iron Age

The agricultural settlements had until this time been almost completely dependent on stone tools. In Eurasia, copper and bronze tools, decorations, and weapons began to become commonplace around 3000 BC. After bronze the Eastern Mediterranean region, Middle East and China saw the introduction of iron tools and weapons. The Americas may not have had metal tools until the Chavin horizon in 900 BC, we also know the Moche had metal armor and knives and tableware, and even the metal poor Inca had metal tipped plows, at least after the conquest of Chimor. However very little archaeological research has been done in Peru so far and all the books were burned in the Spanish conquest of Peru. Whole cities were still being discovered in 2004. There are now some digs that indicate they discovered steel long before western civilization.

Ironworking Technology
The diffusion of ironworking technology was at least partially responsible for the collapse of the Minoan, Mycenaean and Hittite civilizations around 1200 BC, as these advanced peoples lost their technological lead to their barbarian neighbors. These collapses inaugurated a period of confusion, after which two competing civilizations emerged in the west, the Greeks and Persians. Chinese civilization too began to assume its familiar aspect during the 1st millennium BC. The Zhou Dynasty produced a vast peasant workforce as well as a nobility in charge of organizing government and conducting the worship of its ancestors.

Cultural Development: Introduction of Philosophy and Religion
A duly noted cultural development was the introduction of philosophy and religion in both east and west. Over time a great variety of religions developed around the world with Hinduism and Buddhism in India, Zoroastrianism in Persia being some of the earliest major faiths. In the east, three schools of thoughts were to dominate Chinese thinking until the modern day. These were Daoism, Legalism and Confucianism. The Confucian tradition, which would attain predominance, looked not to the force of law, but to the power and example of tradition for political morality. In the west, the Greek philosophical tradition, represented by the works of Plato and Aristotle, were diffused throughout Europe and the Middle East by the conquests of Alexander of Macedon in the 4th century BC. At Alexandria, it mixed with Jewish culture to create the essential context for the appearance and early development of Christianity.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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