Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Uzma Z. Rizvi
The Copper Age, or Chalcolithic time period, generally refers to circa 5000 BCE to 2000 BCE. This typology was initiated by Dane Christian Jurgensen Thomsen in 1807 as a three-age system of classifying human prehistory based on toolmaking technologies (i.e., Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age). These categories were later refined by John Lubbock in 1865. The term Chalcolithic (“copper-stone”) is derived from the Greek chalcos (copper) and lithos (stone). The Chalcolithic time period is significant in Old World contexts because it coincides with the beginnings of craft specialization, development of agriculture, long-distance trade, and increased sociopolitical complexity. The Copper Age in Central and Northern Europe overlaps heavily with the Middle and Late Neolithic periods. The Middle Neolithic/Copper Age I (4500–4200 BC) is best illustrated by the Tiszapolgar Culture. The first farmers of the Northern European plains, of the Funnel Beaker Culture (4200–2800 BC), settled in southern Norway to ...