Metal Age of Egypt

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Metal Age of Egypt by Mind Map: Metal Age of Egypt

1. -In nature metals occur only rarely in their metallic state. There were the occasional finds of meteoric iron or alluvial gold in ancient Egypt, but most metal was won by mining ores and extracting the metal, expensive procedures given the fact that the tools used were barely harder than the rock they were supposed to crush, the fuel and its use inefficient and transportation cumbersome. Metal objects were expensive and once they ceased to be useful they were generally recycled. A large part of the objects that have survived to this day were part of tomb equipment deliberately buried.

2. -During the early stages of an age the use of the new metal was still infrequent, became widespread during the middle stage and common in the final period: The first iron weapons began to appear during the late New Kingdom, but the Egyptian Iron Age began in earnest only in the 7th or even the 6th century BCE when Greeks settlers at Naucratis introduced iron production.

3. -The prevalence of one material does not signify that longer known materials were abandoned. Flint continued to be used for the fashioning of simple, every-day tools, though not for making weapons, with ever growing infrequency until Roman times. The use of copper and bronze, even if employed ever more rarely for the fashioning of tools and weaponry, grew during the subsequent ages.

4. The metal age was divided into three parts: Copper age, Bronze age, Iron age.

5. Copper Age -The country of Atika with its great copper mines has been variously identified as a region of the Sinai desert (Wadi Arabah is mentioned), or the Negev (the Timna copper mines) I sent forth my messengers to the country of Atika, to the great copper mines which are in this place. Their galleys carried them; others on the land-journey were upon their asses. It has not been heard before, since kings reign. Their mines were found abounding in copper; it was loaded by ten-thousands into their galleys. They were sent forward to Egypt, and arrived safely. It was carried and made into a heap under the balcony, in many bars of copper, being of the color of gold of three times. -When the need for cropper outgrew local supplies foreign sources were opened up, which sometimes failed to deliver. A Late Bronze Age king of Alasiya (possibly on the island of Cyprus) apologised for sending only 500 of copper because his people were being killed by Nergal, god of destruction. If these 500 of copper were 500 talents of copper, each weighing 25 kg, the shipment would have amounted to 12.5 tons (cf. letter from the king of Alasiya). -The oldest Egyptian copper artefacts - beads and small tools - date to the early 4th millennium. It has been proposed that they were fashioned from native copper which can occasionally be found. -According to this (unproved) theory working copper predated its extraction from ore. -Others claim that the metal was extracted from malachite, hydrated copper carbonate occurring in some abundance in Egypt and used as eye paint. -The smelting requires temperatures of about 800° C which cannot be reached in open fires. Its discovery was either the result of a deliberate search for the material they knew as native copper or the serendipitous by-product of glazing steatite, or of firing faience or pottery in a kiln. It has also been suggested that this discovery was not made by the Egyptians themselves. The metal itself was rarely pure. It often contained small amounts of iron, zinc or arsenic. -The objects were generally cast, which is quite difficult to do with copper because of the formation of gas bubbles during the pouring of the metal and its shrinking when it cooled down. Then they were hammered cold to give them their final form. Hammering also increased the metal's hardness comparable to that of very soft modern steel. In later times they prevented the brittleness caused by the hammering by repeated annealing or tempering, i.e. heating the metal to 500 to 700° C, and thus softening it slightly. -In the Old Kingdom the Egyptian metalsmiths were capable of producing many objects: weapons, statuettes, ornaments, tools and vessels, some of them quite sophisticated like ewers with bodies which were hammered and spouts which were cast and affixed to the bodies by riveting or by cold hammering as soldering and similar techniques were still unknown. -The nature of objects made of copper changed with the advent of the harder bronze. Copper tools and weapons ceased to be produced, while models of such tools were still sometimes fashioned in copper. -Hard soldering with silver seems to have been done first during the 4th dynasty and was routinely performed during the 18th. Soft soldering with tin and lead was of later date. -Wood was at times covered with thin copper plating held in place by copper nails, like the door of the temple of Amen-Re at Karnak -The nature of objects made of copper changed with the advent of the harder bronze. Copper tools and weapons ceased to be produced, while models of such tools were still sometimes fashioned in copper. -Hard soldering with silver seems to have been done first during the 4th dynasty and was routinely performed during the 18th. Soft soldering with tin and lead was of later date. -Wood was at times covered with thin copper plating held in place by copper nails, like the door of the temple of Amen-Re at Karnak -The nature of objects made of copper changed with the advent of the harder bronze. Copper tools and weapons ceased to be produced, while models of such tools were still sometimes fashioned in copper. -Wood was at times covered with thin copper plating held in place by copper nails, like the door of the temple of Amen-Re at Karnak

6. 2.Bronze Age -Lower Egyptian sites such as Buto and Maadi. Perhaps olive oil was already imported. The spatial proximity of the Nile Delta and the southern Levant—easily accessible overland along the northern edge of the Sinai peninsula—seems to have facilitated contact and interaction between these two zones and likely created a liminal area where cultural borders overlapped almost naturally. In addition, it must not be forgotten that the southern Levant also had contacts with other areas, thus creating a wider network that need not always have included direct contact to places far away. -Therefore, it is not a surprise that contacts and interactions between the southern Levant/southern Palestine and Lower Egypt already started in the Chalcolithic and were intensified during the Early Bronze IA. In the late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age IA, the importation (or exchange) of a variety of object classes and raw materials (obsidian, lapis lazuli, silver, lead, basalt, bitumen) of obvious non-Egyptian provenance into Egypt was noticed in the archaeological record. One of the most important object classes is pottery (used to transport liquid or small grained dry-goods predominantly in closed vessel shapes) because by analysing the raw material of the vessels (e.g., petrography), provenience can often be ascertained, although contradictory results occur. Moreover, quantitative analysis will give an idea of trade volume and, importantly, of the proportional distribution of imports and local material. In addition, chipped stone tools (“Canaanean” blades, tabular scrapers), stone objects made of basalt, bone tools, cedar wood, shells, copper and copper ore, and malachite were found at -This represents a wide range of objects and materials that can be attributed to trade in the broadest sense, probably some kind of high-status exchange. But there are also locally made “imitations” of imports, as well as nonlocal pottery manufacturing technology (turning devices, certain tempers; i.e., scenario 2). In addition, some architectural features with affinities to the southern Levant were found. These latter attestations cannot be put down to outright trade relations but are certainly more complex (see later discussion on Tell es-Sakan and Yarmouth under the same header for some interpretations). -For the Upper Egyptian Badarian culture, hardly any imported materials (or pottery) are attested in Middle/Upper Egypt in this period. The small volume may be due to solely indirect contacts via Delta cultures by means of intermediaries. -Egyptian finds in the southern Levant comprise certain disc-shaped mace heads, pottery, Nilotic shells, chipped stone tools, and palettes, but also raw materials (gold, certain stone types lacking in southern Palestine) and even Nile fish (or their bones as tools) that were exported to the Levantine littoral but also further inland from the early fifth to the mid-fourth millennium BC. The contacts seem to have been continuous, but finds are sporadic. Judging from the distribution of the finds, it seems as if no single specific site acted as a trade emporium, where such finds should have been made in greater quantity. -Contacts between (Lower) Egypt and the southern Levant including the northern Sinai region became more intense in the course of the Early Bronze Age I (ca. 3700–3100 BC). They are better attested than before, especially in the Early Bronze Age IB, contemporary with Upper Egyptian Naqada IIIA, which expanded to Lower Egypt, the reasons for which are disputed. Although detailed cultural and chronological synchronisms are still somewhat in flux, the overall pattern of the interaction between Egypt and the southern Levant seems clear. Imported items into Egypt include Canaanean flint blades, basalt bowls and more frequently pottery, and possibly copper. The main places of contact and interaction in that period in Lower Egypt are at Minshat Abu Omar, Buto, and, to a lesser extent, Maadi because typical ceramic imports from the rare there. Tell el-Farkha and Tell el-Iswid in the eastern Delta also belong to this area of contact.

7. -The Iron Age in Egypt began in the period called the Early Iron Age between 1200 and 1000 BC, characterized by the use of irons like sienna iron to create jewelry. Iron was imported into Egypt during this period from Asia and the Middle East. -Egypt had to contend with other civilizations who encroached on their territory. There were the Hyksos who for a time controlled Egypt, and later, the Nubians held dominance over the region. Egyptian pharaohs constantly looked for an advantage over other civilizations, like stronger tools and weapons. Although only by a slight margin, iron is stronger than bronze, and high grades would have produced stronger weapons. -For centuries, Egyptians had worked with smelting, or heating metal to a molten state. They smelted everything from gold and silver to copper and tin. The Egyptians were proven to be adept at blacksmithing (working metal). Later, they learned about iron smelting and blacksmithing as well. -Iron was first introduced to Egypt by way of the Middle Eastern civilizations along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (Mesopotamia). For example, the Hittites brought iron knives into Egypt during the Late Bronze Period (1550 - 1200 BC). -In addition to imported iron, some iron in Egypt was meteoric iron, which as the name suggests comes from meteors. Later, it was also mined. Mining in Egypt was done primarily for gold, which had religious properties to Egyptians, but there were also copper and tin mines. Eventually, iron ore was located in Egypt in the mountain and desert regions in the east and in the Sinai region. However, the iron they possessed was of a low grade. -The years between 1200 and 1000 BC are called Egypt's Early Iron Age, when there was no iron production and sources of the metal were imported from other areas. There was also a deficiency in the corresponding materials needed to smelt iron, like coal. Without high grade iron or the materials needed to work the metal, Egyptians looked to Asia and the Middle East for their iron tools and weapons. -However, Egyptians had other uses for iron. To create trinkets and jewelry of various colors, Egyptians used iron. Sienna (brown) and hematite (red/black blend) iron were both used to make jewelry in Egypt during the period.