The arrival of the Bronze Age in Ireland was a gradual process, as there is no sharp division between the last Stone Age and the early Bronze Age. The Bronze Age is broken up into three groups including the Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, and Late Bronze Age.
Nevertheless there is a general agreement that the Bronze Age started around 2000 B. C. and lasted until about 500 B. C. As the era suggests, it was the new metal work technology practiced most effectively by the Beaker people in the north-eastern part of the country that caught the attention and imagination of those with artistic talents. As well as that it was the transition of the use of a different harder heavier metal from stone. Armor, weapons, daggers, and awls area few of the new items produced. The Bronze Age cannot be denied as a time of development. Gold items were also produced however there were mainly for ceremonial or decorative purposes.
Silver, copper, and gold of which were the raw materials were all found around Ireland including West Cork, Tipperary, and Wicklow. The knowledge of how to make bronze came to Ireland from Europe. It is made from an alloy of tin and copper. The copper was mined in Ireland, chiefly in county Kerry at Ross Island; however the tin was imported from Britain, which is believed to have been obtained by a trading of gold already available in Ireland.
Due to the richness of copper and gold in the country, Ireland had developed great trading power which was most definitely used to its greatest advantage. This is evident because Irish Bronze and gold objects are found in many parts of Western Europe. (Appreciation and history of Art). There are a mass quantity of many spectacular pieces of gold jewelry from this era that has been found over the years however many have been known to been lost or destroyed. The majority being found in bog land.
The beginning of this time was more considered a Copper age as it was the main use. But later on, the introduction of tin made it possible to forge better and more sophisticated tools and weapons from the new alloy. However these tools and weapons would have been available to just a few sections of society and this brought about social changes which saw hierarchies established with the ownership and access to the new metal being the overriding factor in where one ranked in this hierarchy.
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