PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
European Copper Age axes. The Copper Age broadly spans a period from 4500 BC to 2500 BC in Eastern Europe, representing the dawn of the age of metals. These three axes are (from left): a copper shafthole axe from the Late Copper Age; a copper shafthole combination axe/adze from the Middle Copper Age; and a copper flat axe or celt from the Early Copper Age. Though the Copper Age is the earliest of the metal-working ages, there was considerable sophistication in the use and production of such tools. The progression of such metal technology often reflects the availability of raw material and local custom more than any limits of design sophistication in the prehistoric mind.
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