‘The metal revolution’, by Mercedes Murillo-Barroso (Origin. Cuadernos de Atapuerca)

‘The metal revolution’, by Mercedes Murillo-Barroso (Origin. Cuadernos de Atapuerca)



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Metals are within our body, they make up a large part of the earth's crust and form the basis of most technological advances and current construction systems.

It is difficult to imagine a world without metals and very soon human beings discovered their properties, first as pigments, then as ornaments, and then as instruments and weapons.

The knowledge of metal gives rise to a good part of the divisions of Prehistory: Copper Age, Bronze Age or Iron Age. Even many people summarize the current era with the name of a metal, the Silicon Age, basic in all electrical appliances, mobile phones and computers.

About 8000 years ago, some groups in Turkey and Iran show molten copper, that is, in the first villages they discovered that by means of fire it is possible to extract metals from rocks.

Metallurgy is the victory of the human being over matter and about that victory the Andalusian researcher Mercedes Murillo Barroso writes in a new notebook, the 15th, of the series ‘Origin. Atapuerca Notebooks‘, Sponsored by the Atapuerca Foundation and is already in bookstores

Mercedes murillo it is Professor of Prehistory at the University of Granada and a specialist in the knowledge of the first metallurgical stages of the Iberian Peninsula, those represented in the Almeria cultures of Los Millares and El Argar.

The analysis of the slags and metallic elements through microscopy, X-rays and different laboratory tests allows us to appreciate the important value that the ornament had for the use of metals.

Gold, silver or copper and bronze spread throughout Europe to give visibility to the incipient social classes that were being formed.

The elites sought the metal trade to distinguish themselves and show its status and only belatedly did metal replace stone and bronze weapons displaced wood and flint points. With the use of iron for nails and plows, the economy was boosted and cities developed.

Goldsmithing is, therefore, at the origin of metallurgy and the ornament clearly preceded the arms. The transformation of minerals therefore responds to social decisions and conflicts and not to technical or defensive needs, although with the passage of time the blacksmiths became highly valued characters and with their products violence and empires spread throughout the world.

After studying History at the University and after many previous tests, Red Historia was born, a project that emerged as a means of dissemination where you can find the most important news of archeology, history and humanities, as well as articles of interest, curiosities and much more. In short, a meeting point for everyone where they can share information and continue learning.


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