Timescapes - 9,000 Years of Irish History Logo
Timescapes LogoVisit the homepageVisit the Middle Stone AgeVisit the New Stone AgeVisit the Bronze and Iron AgeVisit the Early Medieval AgeVisit the Late Medieval Ages
spacerVisit AD - 1550 - 1750Visit AD - 1750 - 1830Visit AD - 1830 - 1880Visit AD - 1880 - 1914Not implemented yetNot implemented yet


contents : Bronze and Iron Ages : Craft & Industry

Summary: New Technologies and Raw Materials

Key dates:

The first metal objects were made of copper but it was not very strong. By adding tin to copper bronze was made and this was much harder and better for tools and weapons. The best bronze was made of 9/10 copper and 1/10 tin. Metal workers would have had a stone workbench and most of his tools, such as hammers, chisels, crucibles and moulds, were also made of stone. Bronze Age craftsmen used human (animal) power and heat generated from wood. The design of bronze spearheads indicates advances both in fighting methods and in improved techniques of hollow casting. We know that in the earlier Bronze Age axes cast in the same mould were distributed throughout Ireland. We do not know how. To produce 40 axes took 700 work days excluding mining. This meant that a local metal worker had to be supported by the others in his community. While gold was in evidence in 130 localities in Ireland, it was mostly found in bedrock and therefore unavailable to the metal workers of the Bronze Age. Any gold to which he would have had access would have surfaced in small flakes in the sands and gravels of the rivers and streams such as those in the Sperrins.

all media coming soon...

picture gallery


Web Links:

Book References:

Links to museums:

Links to other templates:

Links to NI curriculum:

Valid XHTML 1.0!