Early Bronze Age Europe from 3200 BCE

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Map Code: Ax02196

The Bronze Age in Europe began around 3200 BCE on the coasts of the Aegean, and would reach its apogee in the Minoan civilization of Crete (c. 2500–1450 BCE). Bronze was manufactured from copper mined in Cyprus and alloyed with tin traded from as far afield as Britain. The Bell Beaker Bronze Age culture is named after characteristic bell-shaped pots that appeared to originate in the Tagus River area of Portugal around 2800 BCE, then followed a maritime diffusion pattern – through a mixture of trade, acculturation and migration – then working inland along riverine arteries. In the opposite direction, the Corded Ware Culture, named after the typical impressed pattern on its pottery, originated with the Yamnaya of the steppes, and seems to have arrived through pastoralist migration to occupy much of central Europe by 2000 BCE. The Iron Age again entered Europe through Greece c. 1200 BCE, but may have reached Central Europe separately from the Caucasus, finally reaching Scandinavia in around 500 BCE.

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