The Bronze Age

The Bronze Age covers the period from 2300 BC to 700 BC. This was a time of social change, illustrated by the emergence of hierarchical tribal societies dominated by an elite of chieftains and warriors. By 1500 BC the climate was some 2 degrees centigrade warmer than it is today. This meant that crops could be grown in areas at a higher altitude than is now possible and many upland areas of south-west Scotland were being farmed. An agricultural surplus, plus control of natural resources like copper or and gold, created a degree of wealth which was used to support the area's elite. These people expressed their personal power through the purchase and display of high status objects such as metal weapons and exotic stone tools. The climate got worse around 1100 BC and the upland margins were abandoned. As people were forced into a smaller area tension and conflict ensued. The period from 1100 BC to 200 BC saw the development of hilltop forts and defended settlements, as well as the development of specialised weapons, such as the sword.  
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