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Early metallurgy in Iberia and the western Mediterranean

Bartelheim, Martin; Pearce, Mark


Martin Bartelheim

Professor of Mediterranean Prehistory


Chris Fowler

Jan Harding

Daniela Hofman


This chapter explores early metallurgy and metalwork in Iberia and the western Mediterranean, focusing on the metal-using phase known as ‘Chalcolithic’. After providing a background on the Iberian peninsula and its potential importance for early metallurgy, the discussion turns to the earliest treatment of copper ores in the region and the socioeconomic context of early metallurgy. It then looks at the earliest use of copper artefacts in Italy and the Italian peninsula c. 4500–3500 BC, as well as Mediterranean France. Finally, it examines the social role played by copper artefacts and metallurgy in the late Neolithic and Chalcolithic societies of the western Mediterranean.


Bartelheim, M., & Pearce, M. (2015). Early metallurgy in Iberia and the western Mediterranean. In C. Fowler, J. Harding, & D. Hofman (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of Neolithic Europe. Oxford University Press.

Acceptance Date May 27, 2011
Online Publication Date Sep 2, 2014
Publication Date Mar 26, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2018
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title The Oxford handbook of Neolithic Europe
ISBN 9780199545841
Keywords Chalcolithic; Copper; Mining; Metallurgy; Economy; Society
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: