Copper Age

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The Copper Age refers to the period when copper was widespread in the making of tools, utensils and weapons. It occurred between the Neolithic (or Stone Age), and Bronze Age.

Unlike the “ages” preceding and following it, the Copper Age (Also termed “Chalcolithic”) did not always occur, as copper was difficult to find in the early days, so alloying was experimented with very early. Also, its use generally coincided with the use of stone. It never occurred at all in cultures where the technology went straight from stone to bronze, as was often the case.

The island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean was the chief source of copper in the ancient Mediterranean and Mesopotamian world. This is reflected in its name which comes from the same root as copper. ("Copper in Latin is "cyprium", or in full: "cyprium aes", literally "metal of Cyprus".)(1)


  1. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology