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Hello, I'm Mr. Hutchinson, and welcome to our history lesson.

We've been learning all about prehistoric Britain.

We've been learning a lot about the Stone Age or should I say stone ages, the Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic, and the Neolithic era.

And what they've all had in common is that humans were using stone tools.

Now they were using other materials too, but mostly they were using stone tools, for example, flint.

In today's lesson, however, we are going to find out about some huge change in humankind and human history because humans discovered something that would change life forever.

They discovered metal.

And the first metal that humans were using widely was bronze.

And so this is known as the Bronze Age.

And that's what we're going to be learning all about today.

So this is what our lesson is going to look like.

We're going to, first of all, just make sure that we're really clear on when the Bronze Age occurred.

Then we'll investigate some artefacts, including some bronze artefacts.

We'll then learn about a people, a group of people, and a culture, a way of living.

And that is called the Beaker culture.

Finally, we'll look at how you actually make bronze and how people in prehistoric times would have made bronze.

We'll finish with our end of lesson quiz.

So first of all, our timeline, when was the Bronze Age? Well, if we just zoom in to the last 10,000 years then we can see that here we are today.

And 2,000 years ago, just over 2,000 years ago we get 0 CE.

CE stands for common era.

Sometimes you'll AD, anno Domini, which means the day of our Lord, and sometimes you'll hear historians saying CE.

Both of them just mean after year 0.

We start counting from that year, year 0, and either CE or AD, it just means after year 0.

We're going to use CE and BCE, the common era and before the common era, but you might see BC and AD as well.

So, the Palaeolithic era ends and the Mesolithic era begins.

And the Palaeolithic era remember goes all the way back.

After the Mesolithic era, what's the next era, the next year of the Stone Age? Well done, excellent.

It's the Neolithic era.

When did the Neolithic era start? Can you remember when that was? How many years ago was the Neolithic era? You can use the timeline to help you, remember each section represents a thousand years.

When was the Neolithic era? Well done if you said 6,000 years ago.

It was 6,000 years ago or 4000 years BCE because it's 4,000 years before the year 0 when we started counting the years.

What about the Mesolithic era? When did the Mesolithic era begin? Can you remember how many years ago? Well done if you said 12,500 years ago, the Middle Stone Age began about 12,500 years ago.

That was roughly the end of the Ice Age and the Mesolithic era began.

We're going to be looking today at this next stage, the Bronze Age.

So the Neolithic age ends when humans discover metal.

We're out of the Stone Age and into the metal age, the Bronze Age.

So the Stone Age finishes, the Neolithic age finishes when humans discover metal and how to make metal.

And that was about 4,500 years ago.

So the Bronze Age began about 4,500 years ago.

Say that out loud to help you to remember it.

When did the Bronze Age begin? Well done, 4,500 years ago or 2500 BCE.

So it's 4,500 years ago before today.

If we count back from today, it's one, two, three, 4,500 years ago.

And if we count back from the year 0, then it's 1,000, 2,000, 2500 BCE.

So it can be a bit confusing because we're counting back, the year 0 is actually 2,000 years ago.

But we need to get our head round that because that's how we count years in history.

So either 4,500 years ago, or 2500 BCE, the same amount of time.

Can you remember this important date when humans first discovered metal and worked out how to make bronze? Was it 12,500 years ago, 6,000 years ago, 4,500 years ago, or 1,000 years ago? Put your finger on the correct answer now.

You have three seconds, two, one.

Well done if you said 4,500 years ago, great work.

That's how long ago the Bronze Age was, that's when we first discovered metal.

So humans have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, but it wasn't until 4,500 years ago that humans discovered metal, discovered bronze.

I should say that actually, so humans obviously are all over the world at this point.

And humans discover metal at slightly different periods.

I'm talking about discovering metal in Europe, and especially in Britain.

So it's in Britain that we discover metal about 4,500 years ago.

And we'll talk a bit about how we did that later in the lesson.

For now though, let's have a look at some artefacts.

One of the things with metal is that it doesn't rot away.

It doesn't really break down, which means that archaeologists and historians can find these artefacts really easily.

It's not like pottery or like clothing, which breaks down and crumbles down or rots away so we can't find it.

If somebody drops a metal item and it gets buried, it stays underground, but it stays intact for thousands and thousands of years.

And so we can find those objects and we're still finding them all of the time.

Archaeologists and historians are finding those objects all of the time.

So let's have a look at some of those artefacts.

There's this artefact here.

There's this one here.

There's this one here.

There's another one.

All of these pictures are from artefacts in the British Museum.

There's this one here.

Here's another artefact.

And here's another one.

So all of these are artefacts found from the Bronze Age.

And you can see that they're slightly different in different ways.

What I'd like you to do is take a close look at those, and I'd like you to put them into groups, into categories.

So how would you organise these different artefacts? What groups would you put them into and why? Now there isn't really a right or a wrong answer here.

You can choose how you want to group them and explain why.

But pause the video, and you might want to sketch them into those groups, sketch the artefacts.

What groups would you put them in and why? I wonder what categories you came up with.

I'm sure that you had some interesting ways to categorise them, and there are different ways to categorise these.

I'm going to show you how I categorised them.

I categorised them like this.

These are the groups that I put them in.

So why do you think that I put them in these groups? Have a close look.

Why do you think that I put them into these three groups? What you might have spotted is that I put them into these three groups because I was categorising them by the material that they're made out of.

So all of these items here are made out of gold and you can see its nice, shiny golden colour.

These are all golden artefacts.

These artefacts are all made out of bronze from the Bronze Age.

Now in the Bronze Age, there were some other metals like gold, but bronze was the metal that was mostly used.

So that's why we call it the Bronze Age.

And all of these artefacts are made out of bronze.

This artefact on the other hand, that's a piece of pottery that's made out of clay.

So that's not made out of metal at all.

So let's take a closer look at these different artefacts, and I'd like you to tell me a little bit about them.

So I want you to have a close look at them and think, what is this artefact, what would it be used for? Why did early humans make this artefact? And what material is it made out of? So pause the video and complete that table now.

Again, if you want to sketch the artefact, that would be a really good idea.

Otherwise you can just complete the table with the correct rows.

Great work, let's see if you are correct.

So this first artefact is a cup.

You might see it's got the handle here.

It's a kind of cup.

So it's used for drinking out of, and it's made out of gold.

This artefact, did you get what this was? What did you think that was? Well, it's actually a shield.

So it would have been used for protecting yourself during a battle.

And it's made out of that metal, bronze, this metal that was discovered.

This next artefact is a pot.

It would have been used for cooking in.

And again, it's made out of bronze.

What about some of the other artefacts that we looked at? Same task, have a close look at them.

See if you can think what they are, what they're used for, and what material they're made out of.

Pause the video and do that now.

Okay, great work, let's see if you were correct.

So get ready to mark your own work.

This first artefact, this is actually, this artefact is actually it's a kind of cape.

It's a piece of like clothing and you would've taken that and it went over your head and it would've gone over your shoulders.

Now, this artefact is actually made out of, so it would be for clothing or for decoration, so it would be a very decorative piece.

And it's actually made out of gold.

So it might show the status of somebody.

Somebody's status is how important they are.

And if they've got a gold cape like that then I think that it shows that they must've been very important because that would have been a very valuable, precious, rare thing.

So maybe it was for somebody that was the most important person in their tribe or their village.

This here is a necklace.

Again, this would have been worn around the neck.

So this would have been decoration and also to show somebody's status.

And that's made out of gold.

This last object here, this last artefact is a pair of tweezers and you might have some tweezers.

And amazingly in the Bronze Age thousands of years ago, people had those tweezers.

So why would they have used them? Well, it gives us a clue that maybe even in the Bronze Age, people were grooming.

They were trying to make themself look pretty.

So this might've been for, the men might've been pulling hairs out of their face to give themself a nice, well-groomed beard.

It could also have been used for first aid though.

Maybe if some splinters, some wooden splinters get into your arm you could use those tweezers to pull them out.

But even back in the Bronze Age, people had tweezers.

And these tweezers are made out of bronze.

So, how do we actually learn how to make this bronze? We can see that these bronze items, these bronze artefacts have obviously become very important and we've learned how to make them moving on from stone.

How did we learn how to make them? Well, one of the things that I missed, one of the artefacts I missed out from our categorization exercise when we were naming them was this.

And this is a, it's a beaker.

So a beaker is something that you drink from.

You can see here that there's another example of different beakers that were found during the Bronze Age period.

They're kind of like bells, they're like upside down bells that you ring.

And so these are beakers and they're like bell beakers.

So we call them bell beakers.

And they're actually from a group of people that we call the Bell Beaker culture, because they were using these cups.

So who were the Bell Beaker culture? Well, they started in Central Europe.

Here's a map of Europe here that you can see.

And the Bell Beaker culture started in Central Europe and in about 2800 BCE, so about 4,500 years ago, they started to spread out.

And they were so clever, the Bell Beaker culture.

They knew how to make boats and they knew how to sail across seas.

And so you can see that they sailed across the sea and into Great Britain.

And so the Bell Beaker culture came across into Great Britain.

They quickly spread across lots and lots of Europe.

And historians think that the Bell Beaker culture probably replaced most of the people living in Britain.

So those kinds of people spread out all throughout Britain.

And we are descended from that culture, that most people living in Britain had descended from that culture.

There wasn't just the people that spread out.

They also spread their ideas, their skills, their knowledge, and their types of religion.

And so across Europe, we get similar sorts of culture and similar sorts of ideas around religion, and also key skills and knowledge like how to make metal.

And so it's the Bell Beaker culture that teach us how to make bronze.

That's how it was discovered.

We're trading with them perhaps, and they teach us how to make this bronze.

This is the extent of the Bell Beaker culture.

So you can see that there are these Beaker people all across Europe, including most of Great Britain.

So see if you can complete these sentences based on what we've just been talking about.

The Beaker people spread across Africa or Europe from 4500 BCE or 2800 BCE.

Write out that sentence using just the correct option.

Here's another one before you pause.

Their ideas quickly spread, including how to make bronze or iron.

What did they teach us how to make? It's believed that none or most of the population of Britain was replaced by the Beaker culture.

So pause the video now and write out those sentences, choosing just the correct option.

Great work, let's see if you were right.

I'm going to show you the correct answers and you can tick them if you got them right.

So the Bell Beaker people spread across Europe from about 2800 BC.

Their ideas quickly spread, including how to make bronze.

It is believed that most of the population of Britain was replaced by the Beaker culture.

So they taught us how to make bronze.

They taught the people of Britain how to make bronze.

How, how do we make bronze? For millions of years and then no humans used metal.

And then the Homo sapiens for hundreds of thousands of years didn't use metal.

So how do we suddenly discover how to make metal? Well, metal is actually found in the ground.

We find it in little rocks called ore.

It's quite difficult to get out 'cause you need to crush it down into a powder and heat it up very, very hot.

And you'll be left with this, this kind of metal.

So this is one of the first metals that we found and it's called copper.

The problem with copper is it's very, very soft.

So it's not very useful as a tool because it would just bend or squash if we try to use it to hit things.

However, what the Beaker culture realised is if you add copper to another metal called tin, well, if you add copper to tin then you get a new metal called bronze.

And that is hard because the tin is hard, and sharp because the tin can be sharpened but it's strong because the copper is strong.

So tin is quite brittle.

It will break quite easily, but it's also very sharp.

Copper is quite soft but doesn't break very easily.

And so by smelting them both together, melting them, but we say the word smelting.

By smelting them together and mixing them, we get bronze.

So copper add tin equals bronze.

And we call bronze an alloy because it's a mixture of two metals.

So let's see if you can remember.

Copper add tin equals what? What's the name of the metal that's made? You can see here it's been shaped into a kind of dagger.

Say it out loud, copper plus tin equals? Excellent, bronze.

That's why it's called the Bronze Age.

Okay, here's a new one for you.

What do we need to add to copper? What was that sharp metal that we can add to copper to make bronze? Say it out loud.

Good, tin, excellent.

And this is a kind of alloy.

An alloy just means a mixture of two metals and often we've smelt two metals because it gives us the best of both worlds.

Like with bronze.

And so once the Beaker culture taught us how to smelt like that, then we could have bronze.

Let's look now and watch this video and see how prehistoric humans would've made bronze when they were first making it.

Making bronze takes lots of skill.

So this is the copper ore.

We need to crush them down into a fine powder.

All right, so I need to take some of this.

Put a bit in here.

And then I'm just pounding this down? Just pounding it down.

The copper and tin ore are ground down to a powder with an antler.

The powder is put into a container and heated up to over 1,000 degrees.

That's 10 times hotter than boiling water.

All right, this is it.

Oh wow.

It then melts into a red hot liquid and it's into an axe mould.

That's amazing.

The axe head is then plunged into cold water to harden it.

Oh wow! My first Bronze Age tool.

Who would've thought that you could've turned rocks into beautiful metal objects like this.

I'm sure that's what the people of the Bronze Age thought.

They were magicians.

The axe head has been fastened to a wooden handle, ready to use.

Let's see how it compares to the flint axe people previously used before mental was invented.

I'm going to try the flint axe first.

It's very different from using a modern axe.

Yes, it's different technique.

You don't put all your energy into it in case you break the tool.

It's a case of just taking your time with it.

Right, now I think I'm going to use the bronze one.

Okay, so similar sort of thing but you can feel already that it's much heavier.

It is a lot different.

So you use that weight now behind the blows.

How much, how different it is.

Oh wow, look at that! So much easier.

Wow, look at that come away.

The bronze axe is far sharper.

But more importantly, bronze was a lot tougher, so much better for making tools and weapons.

I can really see why these caught on because this is so much easier than the flint tool.

Yeah, so you can cut down trees a lot quicker so you can cut down more of them, clearing the land so that you can actually farm and have the crops growing in your fields.

The introduction of bronze really helped to transform farming in Britain, with huge areas of forest cleared to create the first proper fields.

This axe head in Swansea museum was actually made in the Bronze Age.

And the first swords were made 4,000 years ago thanks to the invention of metal.

Turning rocks into metal to create new, stronger, sharper tools and weapons.

It was truly groundbreaking and it changed the way people lived in Britain forever.

So we can see there why the discovery of bronze and making those bronze tools was such a huge game changer in Britain.

I've got a question for you now to see if you were paying close attention.

And the question is why was bronze a better material than flint? Now, there are some keywords that I'd love for you to use in your answer.

You might like to use this new vocabulary.

You've learnt smelting, mixing together.

Alloy, a mixture of metals.

Durable, strong, sharp, break, weight, efficient, and energy.

See if you can include those in your answer.

So pause the video and write your answer to that now.

Let's see how you did, I'm going to show you my answer now.

And you can tick yours if you put similar ideas and compare your answer to mine.

So I wrote bronze is made by smelting copper and tin.

This creates an alloy which is both very strong, but can also be made very sharp.

Bronze tools, therefore, were more durable and didn't break as easily as flint tools.

They were also more efficient to use, and would chop down trees with less energy needed because of their weight, sharpness, and strength.

So if you need to, you can pause the video again and just improve your answer with borrowing some of my ideas.

It wasn't just tools that were made using this new metal bronze though.

Early humans, prehistoric humans also started to use bronze to make weapons, because now humans were staying in the same place.

They were building up these big settlements.

And that meant that if you knew where somebody else, where another settlement was and you had some weapons, you could go over to that settlement with your weapons and take all of those things, raid the settlement and take all of those resources.

Like their tools and their food and the different things that you'd want to take from them.

So this is how this video is going to show how to make a bronze sword.

So we can see there that the discovery of bronze helped humans to make better tools, but it also allowed us to make weapons.

So although we got better at cultivating the land, clearing the trees away, it also began this sort of conflict and warfare and battles between tribes of humans with much deadlier weapons.

So let's see if we can write an answer to this question.

How did the discovery of bronze impact how humans interacted with each other? So what would your answer to this question be? And I've got a few gaps here to help you.

The discovery of bronze meant that people could make much better.

This resulted in more conflicts between.

Using bronze weapons, one tribe could another village and take their things.

And there's some key words that you can use to fill in the gaps.

So pause the video and write out those sentences with the correct words now.

Let's see how you did, well done for sticking with it.

We're almost finished so well done.

The discovery of bronze meant that people could make much better weapons.

This resulted in more conflict between tribes.

Using bronze weapons, one tribe could raid another village and take their things.

Tick them if you got them correct, great job.

So we're finished with our lesson for today.

And it was a long lesson, but there was so much to talk about because it's such a pivotal moment.

It's marked such a big change in human history, this discovery of metal.

It really did change everything for people as they learnt how to make metal and turn it into tools and weapons.

Well done for sticking with a long lesson.

Well done for learning so many new things about this important period of history.

And I'm going to see you in our next lesson.

So thanks for joining and I'll see you there.