21: Late Chalcolithic metallurgy & the dawn of the Bronze Age, 4500-3100 BCE (Copper vs Silver)

The Drumbeat Forever After

21-04-2022 • 56 mins

Guest: Sheila

First, strong Copper casts his legitimate insults, insults of a miserable dog, against Silver. In my delusional hubris, I've arbitrarily pieced this particular debate text together from disparate fragments and granted it unnatural life beyond death via galvanic abominations beyond the comprehension of its original creator. As usual, I'm using the ETCSL translation.

Then, we track the development of copper metallurgy in the Near East, stretching from the early Neolithic to the Uruk and beyond. Sheila, actual chemistry expert, helps us understand the reactions occurring inside these Chalcolithic crucibles.

Then, a look at specific metals: copper, silver, gold, lead, and iron— all available to smiths at the very beginning of the so-called Bronze Age.

Speaking of which, why do we call it that anyway? Now that this podcast about the Bronze Age has finally reached the beginning of the story, it's worth explaining what exactly the familiar Stone Age / Bronze Age / Iron Age trichotomy means for our understanding of world history.

Then, we learn about arsenical bronze, the first intentional copper alloy to spread across the Near East. This, predictably, segues into an examination of the various health effects of these various metals on the people working with them. I learned something new about some familiar gods, and now you will too!

Finally, the conclusion (such as it is) to Copper's debate with Silver. Silver puts up a valiant defense, given that the constraints of the genre preordained his failure. Father Enlil be praised!

Questions? Feedback? Email us at drumbeatforeverafter@gmail.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @drumbeatforever

Works cited