Historians characterize the Bronze Age as the time period between 3300 and 1200 BC. It was preceded by the Neolithic Stone (and transitory Copper Age) and succeeded by the Iron Age. Bronze, an alloy formed from the smelting copper and its combination with tin. Metal work and the emergence of writing were key features of this period that characterized Anatolia (Turkey), the Caucasus, Elam/Sistan (Pre-Iran), Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia in the Middle East. In Europe proper Bronze Age culture was expressed in the Aegean, Beaker, Srubna and Urnfield Cultures amongst others. The Chinese Longshan and Shang Dynasty were essentially Bronze Age cultures as well.
Trade was key to the proper functioning of these societies with Bronze playing a vital role in such a regards.