The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, and in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization.
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, and in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies.
The Chronology of this period -an entire millennium- is pegged to a few reliable dates, and these are only relative and not absolute. The most important in the correlation between Early Bronze II and the first Dynasty of Egypt, based on the presence of Canaanite vessels among the funerary offerings in the royal tombs of the First Dynasty. These vessels have become one of the corner-stones in the chronology of Near East in the Early Bronze period. The Early bronze period extended over a very long span of time; during which there were contacts between various regions of the Near East. In the absence of historical records, the nature of these contacts can be understood only in so far as they were reflected in the material culture and especially in the pottery.
The MB period is known to archeology so far mainly through its tombs, rather than through occupational strata of excavated sites, a situation which reflects clearly the archaeological-historical character of the age. Remains of this period, rather than strata in the usual sense of the word, have been uncovered in various sites, such as Tell Beth Mirsim, Lachish, Megiddo, Jericho, Hazor, Beth Yerah, and other. The information supplied by these remains is not of the kind which regularly emerges from excavations, but rather evidence of a negative nature: there are no city walls, there are hardly any building remains, there are some cave-dwellings. Stratum H at Tell Beth Mirsim and the corresponding strata at Jericho supply a picture of simi-sedentary life existing on these sites and in there vicinity (in the case of Jericho, upon the site of a large destroyed city of the EB). This connection of the simi-nomadic character of the population in this period is somewhat impaired by the excavation at Mt. Yeroham in the Negev, which produced a well-preserved small settlement about one acre in size, which architecture, pottery, and artifacts, including copper ingots. This cultural is usually thought to be connected with the arrival of the Amorites in canaan.
The Late Bronze period has been pegged to Egyptian history: it corresponds to the whole duration of the new Kingdom (Dynasties XVIII and XIX). This synchronology is based on the fact that the history of Canaan in this period, more than in any other, is tied to the history of Egypt, which ruled or influenced Canaan for most of this time. The reign of Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV, 1380-1363 BC.), that is, the Amarna period, is important for the history of the period both in Egypt and beyond. The city Akhenaton built, and which he made his capital, has become the basis for the chronology of countries far from Amarna itself. A short-lived site is always a welcome phenomenon for the history of culture, so much the more when it can be dated exactly. The Mycenaean pottery found in the ruins and dumps of that short-lived city has become the decisive criterion for dating the culture of countries situated in the Eastern Mediterranean: Canaan, Upper Canaan, Cilicia, the Hittite lands, and the sphere of influence in Western Anatolia, Greece and its islands, and even farther westward. As for Canaan – the development of the pottery falls into three general phases, the second of which is pegged to Amarna. There is every justification for that, since the history of this chapter in Canaan is reflected in the Amarna Letters.