Talk:Chalcolithic

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Misplaced or Undefined Pronoun[edit]

The following set of paragraphs is rather disjointed, and hops from one topic to another. The organization results in one or more pronouns "it" that are unintelligible in what the actual referent is. Also several statements of rather specific points would benefit from citation.

During 4300 - 3200 BC of chalcolithic period (Copper Age), Indus Valley Civilization area shows ceramic similarities with southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran which suggest considerable mobility and trade.[1]

The literature of European archaeology generally avoids the use of 'chalcolithic' (they prefer the term 'Copper Age'), while Middle-Eastern archaeologists regularly use it. The Copper Age began much earlier in the Middle East, while the transition from the European Copper Age to its own full-fledged Bronze Age is far more rapid.

The period is a transitional one outside of the traditional three-age system, and occurs between the Neolithic and Bronze Age. It appears that copper was not widely exploited at first and that efforts in alloying it with tin and other metals began quite soon, making distinguishing the distinct Chalcolithic cultures and periods difficult.

Because of this it is usually only applied by archaeologists in some parts of the world, mainly south-east Europe and Western and Central Asia where it appears around the 4th millennium BC. Less commonly, it is also applied to American civilizations which already used copper and copper alloys at the time of European conquest. The Old Copper Complex, located in present day Michigan and Wisconsin, is the oldest known site in the new world, and one of the oldest sites in the world, where copper was utilized for tools and other implements. Artefacts from these sites have been dated from 6000 to 3000 BC. [1]

Since I'm not an authority, but "only" a reader, I suggest the following revisions, if they make sense to an authority. I also include further suggested edits inside brackets. In the brackets, words before a slash are those that appear in the article, and words after the slash are my suggested edit.

During 4300 - 3200 BC of the Chalcolithic Period (Copper Age), the Indus Valley Civilization area shows ceramic similarities with southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran that suggest considerable mobility and trade.[1] The period is a transitional one outside of the traditional three-age system, and the period occurs between the Neolithic and Bronze Age. It appears that copper was not widely exploited at first[This needs a citation, I believe.] and that efforts in alloying [DELETE:it/ADD:copper] with tin and other metals began quite soon,[Needs a citiation.] making distinguishing the distinct Chalcolithic cultures and periods difficult. The Copper Age began much earlier in the Middle East, while the transition from the European Copper Age to its own full-fledged Bronze Age [DELETE:is/ADD:was] far more rapid.

The literature of European archaeology generally avoids the use of 'chalcolithic' ([DELETE:they/ADD:identify one or two noted authors here, with citation] prefer the term 'Copper Age'), while [DELETE ENTIRE BRACKETED MATERIAL:Middle-Eastern archaeologists[identify one or two authors here] regularly use [it/'chalcolithic' period]. Because of this it is usually only applied by] archaeologists in some parts of the world, mainly south-east Europe and Western and Central Asia[REMOVE: where it appears around/ADD:, have used 'chalcolithic' period since about] the 4th millennium BC.[Needs a citation. It seems strange to me that writers of the 40th C-BC would be naming their own archeology!]

Less commonly, [DELETE:it is/ADD: the terms are[if both terms are used in this case]] also applied to American civilizations which [DELETE:already used/ADD:were using] copper and copper alloys at the time of European conquest. The Old Copper Complex, located in present-day Michigan and Wisconsin, is the oldest known site in the new world, and one of the oldest sites in the world, where copper was utilized for tools and other implements. [DELETE:Artefacts/ADD:Artifacts] from these sites have been dated from 6000 to 3000 BC.[1]

Tgkohn 16:24, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Vucedol culture[edit]

Ok, where should I place the article on Vucedol culture? It is an eneolithic culture.

I moved it to Vucedol culture. adamsan 08:43, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Ok, but you don't mention much about eneolithic cultures in the main article, so if sb wants to learn more about eneolithic they will receive infos in general (eneolithic in Britain), without links to other European cultures during that time. That's why I placed my article under yours.

That's why we link periods in the articles but all Category:Archaeological cultures get their own articles. This page is about the chalcolithic in general- specialist areas go on separate pages. You can add as many links as you like to Vucedol culture from pages that relate to it (regions, time periods, artefact types, famous sites etc etc). adamsan 10:42, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I was just wondering how sb would find out more about particular instance, logic is that you start from a general idea and then elaborate it. Deduction is not possible here, i.e. your article is not linked to mine, although it should be since it deals with the same topic.

Sure, the article will grow as people contribute more to it. You could add a sentence like "Eneolithic cultures include...." and then add some examples like the Vucedol. Even better, you could start a whole new paragraph on the Eneolithic of the whole region and link it from there too. Look at Iron Age whre there are different paragraphs for different regions, which then link to longer local discussions and articles on individual groups and monument types.
Just put a pair of square brackets like this [[Eneolithic]] , around a word to make a link within the text to it. The general idea is articles should not go into too much depth though as each page is limited to 32k in size and there wouldn't be room for every Chalcolithic culture in the same article. If you want to help organise the structure of archaeological articles you could join the archaeology Wikiproject. adamsan 11:40, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for the advice. There are not many cultures like this, as far as I know, might make a summary indeed.

Mold marks[edit]

"The European Battle Axe culture used stone axes modelled on copper axes, with imitation "mold marks" carved in the stone." Fascinating! Can someone supply a picture? (Maybe with a molded copper ax for comparison) Mcswell (talk) 03:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Copper/Stone Age[edit]

On the List_of_archaeological_periods at the last entry for stone age in states Chalcolithic but that redirects you to the Copper Age. Is the copper age within the Stone Age or something?

never mind for get that.

I believe the Chalcolithic period is characterized by contemporaneous use of stone and copper tools. Ötzi the Iceman is an example; he carried a copper axe, a flint knife and flint tipped arrows. --Andyt. 13:53, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Chalcolithic Page[edit]

On the Chalcolithic it states: The Copper Age began much earlier in the Middle East, while the transition from the European Copper-Age to its own full-fledged Bronze-Age is far more rapid.

The above sentance is unclear. It could mean that the Copper Age started earlier in the Middle East than in Europe, but the Europeans entered the Bronze Age before the Middle East. Or it could mean that the Bronze Age first started in the Middle East but that Europe transitioned from Copper to Bronze more rapidly than the Europeans transitioned from stone to copper.

The next sentance makes no sense: Basically, the Europeans treated their prestige copper/bronze objects rather much like they did their stone objects, whereas the Middle-East had progressed beyond this.

How had the Middle East progressed beyond this? In what way did the Europeans treat their prestige objects? Are we talking about grave goods? Sacrificial items? In other words there is no context to this sentance. --Andyt. 14:31, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Right. As no one has fixed that nonsensical statement, I'm removing it now. --Jquarry 05:47, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

My big question is just how did stone age man discover netals. You can't just look at a piece of metallic ore and deduce that it will produce a metal. Ok it would have been an accident of some sort in the first place but what sort of 'accident'. The temperatures necessary to refine an ore cannot be produced in, say, a campfire. Not for copper and certainly not for iron. Just how did a primitive man discover a metal?? Then to move on from copper to bronze. The alloying of metals is a very complicated process I can tell you, having spent 20 years of my life as a steelworks metallurgist. How on earth, having discovered copper did a man find that by adding a certain amount of tin he could make a harder, more efficient blade?? "Tin? what's that" I can imagine him asking. David Evans —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.220.221.43 (talk) 04:49, August 25, 2007 (UTC) 24.50.151.151 (talk) 15:57, 30 November 2014 (UTC) referencing Middle East section: what are you saying here? That there was 'assembly line' manufacturing? Then there would have been a definable increase in the amount of detrius associated with production. Is there? Did intelligence fall as indicate by cruder (less artistic) production? HOW THEN WOULD WE EXPLAIN A LOSS OF INTELLIGENCE? Since the entire area experienced this is it due to a solar proton storm that saturated the area with radiation? Was there extensive earthquakes releasing radon gas? A massive meteorite fall such as the Middle East Tectite field? Does archeology have a way to analyze the contributions of radioactive damage to a culture?

Copper/Stone Age2[edit]

Currently: Is the Copper Age considered to be part of the Stone Age, part of the Bronze Age, or separate from both of them (in between them)?

Also, is the Copper Age part of the Neolithic age, or is it separate from it (after it)?

Also, I think the terms Stone Age and Bronze Age were created before the term Copper Age was created. So back before the Copper Age was created, were the years that it includes considered to be part of the Stone Age or the Bronze Age? - Shaheenjim 20:20, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

You guessed it. Actually WP seems to have gotten off on a wrong concept. The copper age is a subdivision of the bronze age. It was never "broken out" as a distinct age. The true line is between the use of only stone and the use of metal with stone. Bronze was early on broken into early, middle and late. Then copper was broken out from early.Dave (talk) 22:38, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Copper age in vinca culture[edit]

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1435351.php/Copper_Age_began_earlier_than_believed_scientists_say_

Copper Age began earlier than believed, scientists say

Belgrade - Serbian archaeologists say a 7,500-year-old copper axe found at a Balkan site shows the metal was used in the Balkans hundreds of years earlier than previously thought.

The find near the Serbian town of Prokuplje shifts the timeline of the Copper Age and the Stone Age's neolithic period, archaeologist Julka Kuzmanovic-Cvetkovic told the independent Beta news agency.

'All this undeniably proves that human civilization in this area produced metal in the 5th millennium BC,' archaeologist Dusan Sljivar told Beta.

82.241.221.24 (talk) 23:41, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Neutral format recommended for year dates[edit]

It seems that BCE and CE are standard now, as opposed to the use of BC and AD. I would suggest moving to the more neutral format. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bheckard (talkcontribs) 06:46, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

That's the first I've heard about it. WP policy is, to use whatever the article starts with. There used to be and may still be people who go around ferreting out what the article started with and making sure the article conforms. By the way, BCE is not a "neutral" format. Everyone knows perfectly well where it came from and why BC was not satisfactory in some quarters. So just cut the BS. I think the WP policy is fine here.Dave (talk) 22:33, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

dating inconsistencies[edit]

I would appreciate help with the following inconsistencies. I'm working on the 6th millennium BC article, and I can't believe its so hard to date some of these things.

copper article

6th Millennium BC article

The Copper Age in the Middle East and the Caucasus begins in the late 5th millennium BC and lasts for about a millennium before it gives rise to the Early Bronze Age.

c. 6000 BC — The Copper Age comes to the Fertile Crescent. (Roux 1980) First use of copper in Middle East. (Bailey 1973)

The emergence of metallurgy occurred first in the Fertile Crescent, where it gave rise to the Bronze Age in the 4th millennium BC.

c. 6000 BC — The Copper Age comes to the Fertile Crescent. (Roux 1980) First use of copper in Middle East. (Bailey 1973)

Any help would be appreciated.- ErinHowarth (talk) 06:43, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

The dates of your sources are absolutely critical. Take only sources of only the very latest dates and make sure you cite them. I think you will find your problem goes away.Dave (talk) 22:28, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Name of this article - should be change to Chalcolithic age[edit]

The name of this article should be change to Chalcolithic age. The name Copper Age is not in used any more by Archaeologists Hanay (talk) 04:59, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

That's news to me - try a search on books and articles 2000-2011 "copper Age."Dave (talk) 22:25, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Otzi the Iceman[edit]

This section of the the Otzi the Iceman page says that Otzi's axe is 5300 years old, which is 1000 years before copper was previously thought to be in use. Its source is allegedly a BBC documentary that is improperly cited. However, this page claims that Otzi's axe is the same age, but that it only sets the copper age back 500 years. It references this source, http://viewzone2.com/oetzix.html , in which I can find no mention of Otzi's discovery changing the timeframe of the copper age at all. So apparently both "1000" and "500" are unsourced numbers. Does anyone have any concrete information about the copper age's believed date of inception prior to the Otzi discovery? The2crowrox (talk) 05:14, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Try an Internet search on books and articles published 2000-2011 on "copper age central Europe" or "copper age Otzi".Dave (talk) 22:24, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Axes such as Otzi's (i.e., natural bronze) were manufactured in huge batches all over the Balkans starting 5500 BC. This was common knowledge among archaeologists long before Otzi was discovered. His discovery only pushed back the date for the area in which he was found. Zyxwv99 (talk) 01:32, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Some details of the concept[edit]

I would like to take this opportunity to fill in some of the detail about which you all are wondering and perhaps answer some of your questions.

First, the name. What should it be named? Chalcolithic is just fine. Copper age is a synonym. It depend on the whim of the writer. Perhaps you are wondering why that is. The answer is that it really is a subage of the Bronze Age. It is not in fact outside the Three-Age system. It is a refinement of the Bronze Age. They started with copper. Then they discovered bronze. We are not allowed to change Bronze Age - only a major figure in the field of archaeology would be able to do that, and he would have to have a very good reason; that is, he would be providing an answer to a problem that was troubling everyone. But, the Bronze Age can be subdivided into periods according to the strata of a given site or region. The division depends on the workers in an area. It is professional courtesy to use the terminology of the archaeologists who excavate or first excavate the region or site and you would have to have a very good reason indeed to violate this courtesy. It is as disciplined as the naming of taxa, except there is no single official organization.

Second topic. The date. Some of you probably have in mind that the Bronze Age follows the Stone Age everywhere and the Iron Age follows the Bronze Age everywhere. Such a view might have prevailed in the early days of the three-system but it has not for a long time now. Dates are typically given by region. One region might be in the Bronze Age and another not far away in the Stone Age. If you are reading "the History of Western Civilization" you might see some conventional dates universally applied. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. He can't get you back to Kansas. He picked a date he thought might be a good average. He might as well have plucked it out of a hat.

How are dates determined? Well, when you see a date in a source your very next move should be to turn to the title page and read the date. When I work on these things on the Internet I almost always select 2000-2011 for the latest information. Otzi is a example. He moved the date of the Bronze Age in Europe by several hundred years. But, the scientists are at it every day 365 days a year trying to clear up a backlog of radiocarbon dates so they can give reasonable dates to sites. The chronology changes almost year to year; in fact, it does change year to year. It is my ideal that WP should always give the latest dates and not the most obsolete ones.

What else have we. Let me close and take a look. Well, I think that covers it. I'm busy improving Stone Age at the moment. When that gets done to my satisfaction I will be coming here. Meanwhile because of all these questions no one has dared to go further. What I have said above will have to do you for now. What I would do is research the origin of these terms and use that information to correct the article and then get on with it. Ciao.Dave (talk) 22:45, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Details revisited[edit]

I've researched this out now and Chalcolithic as part of the Stone Age has to go. That is a misunderstanding albeit not a Wikipedia one. There is no lithic of chalco. The meaning is chalco-lithic, the stone age - bronze age transition, just as you might say the red-green transition or the poverty-prosperity transition. I will be altering both the articles and the boxes to eliminate this misunderstanding..Dave (talk) 09:52, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

The Chalcolithic was originally considered by archaeologists to be the terminal phase of the Neolithic. It was not considered part of the Bronze Age because of how they defined "bronze": made by deliberately alloying copper with tin (an event that first occurred in Hungary circa 3700 BC). Starting around 5500 BC natural bronze came into widespread use (in the Balkans) , along with batch production of heavy metal tools (axes, adzes, axe-adzes, etc.). For 2000 years prior that, artifacts were made from fairly pure copper.
Colin Renfrew, in his book Before Civilization, outlines the development of copper metallurgy in south-eastern Anatolia circa 7500 BC. First came cold working of native copper, then annealing, smelting, and the lost-wax method. All four of these techniques were developed within the same century. For the first 2000 years, about the only things made from copper were jewelry and one tool: the awl (used for punching holes in leather and gauging out peg-hole in wood). More recent finds indicate that copper wire was also manufactured.
Since the so-called Copper Age or Chalcolithic now spans the entire Neolithic, it is no longer considered a useful term. Zyxwv99 (talk) 01:42, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

T.C. Pleger (2000) The Old Copper Complex of the Western Great Lakes[edit]

This is used as a reference where it is listed under Notes simply as T.C. Pleger (2000). It occurs again under References with an external (dead) link. I can't find anything about this. Can anyone provide more information? We have several other references here that seem to have the same problem. Zyxwv99 (talk) 12:26, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Your comment may suggest somehow something 'make no sense' for you. Was it this ' 7- 4 = 3' [1] or else ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.90.197.87 (talk) 23:02, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
"7000 years ago" is about 5000 BC, so your calculation is wrong. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 12:28, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
This section is interesting and useful, although it would be good to separate discussions for the N American "natural copper" culture from the Mesoamerican "smelting" culture. Kortoso (talk) 01:10, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
In fact, by virtue of your two links, you are leaving out S American metallurgy. What about simply one link: Metallurgy_in_pre-Columbian_America? Kortoso (talk) 01:14, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Part of the Bronze Age, really?[edit]

I've requested citations for the two unsourced claims in the lead that it's part of the Bronze Age, with the following edit description: cn needed for part of the Bronze age - makes no sense as there was no Bronze, and contradicted by dates of our Bronze Age article, as well as other parts of the current article.

Maybe we should be consistent and declare that the Bronze Age was a part of the Iron Age before anybody was smelting iron (after all we currently declare that the Copper Age was a part of the Bronze age before there was any bronze). And presumably the Stone Age was a part of the Printing Age before there was any printing. And so on ad infinitum.

I'd get rid of the claims myself if I knew what should be said instead, but I don't. Common sense suggests that the Copper Age is an age in its own right between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, but that sort of common sense tends to get banned in Wikipedia as alleged Original Research - others have asked this question more than once before on this Talk Page and been given unsourced assurances supporting the current position - which, for all I know, may well be the position of most Reliable Sources, but, if so, it clearly needs to be backed up by RS citations, as well as a resolution of the apparent conflicts with other articles and other parts of this article. Tlhslobus (talk) 07:08, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

A preliminary look at the sources thrown up by Google Books (searching for "the Copper Age is part of the Bronze Age") suggests that they are inconsistent - explicitly and/or implicitly, some see the Copper Age as Neolithic, some as Bronze Age, some as an age in its own right, and some are ambiguous. And some speak of the Copper Age as already having some early bronze in it. In theory we should report each of these according to its frequency in reliable sources, but reliably finding out the frequencies would be both extraordinarily difficult (and arguably itself original research, and anyway of questionable reliability), so perhaps the best thing is to mention the different views (either in the lead itself, or in one or more footnotes that can be accessed from the lead, or a bit of both), giving a supporting citation for each (including a quote or two in the citation's quote field). I may or may not eventually try this myself, but it involves quite a bit of work, so it won't be today.Tlhslobus (talk) 08:21, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Citations are not required in the lead if they are provided in the body of the text. However, the relevant part of the body is also mostly unsourced. So this is a problem. I looked at about a dozen academic archaeology papers from the 1980s to 2000s and all of them considered the Chalcolithic to precede the Early Bronze. All of them were about Middle East archaeology, which is probably relevant. Zerotalk 08:30, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Citations are not needed anywhere if none has been requested and if there's a less than 50% chance they will be requested. But once requested they must be supplied or else the challenged item can eventually be removed, though a reasonable search for sources is recommended first (except that elsewhere there is a quote from Jimbo Wales suggesting that unsourced stuff should be ruthlessly removed - unsurprisingly Wikipedia's rules contradict themselves). When a statement as strange as 'part of the Bronze Age without any bronze' is there, it badly needs backing citations (or removal) or readers will get confused and Wikipedia will lose credibility, etc. Your above-mentioned dozen papers suggest that the claims it's part of the Bronze Age are wrong (or thoroughly unrepresentative) and should simply be removed, whereas my brief Google search instead suggests that Reliable Sources differ on this and the different views should thus be given. When in doubt I prefer to show the differing views, which I may eventually try to do . Tlhslobus (talk) 09:05, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Another advantage of giving the range of views is that it tends to automatically prevent the article from contradicting itself elsewhere and from contradicting other articles.Tlhslobus (talk) 09:17, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Meanwhile the 'citation needed' usefully lets the confused reader know both that the claim is questionable and that the matter is being looked into.Tlhslobus (talk) 09:09, 2 February 2016 (UTC)