In China’s Metal Age, which began around 2000 BCE, leaded bronze was widely used. The additional lead distinguishes early Chinese bronze objects from unleaded objects used by most other Metal Age communities in Eurasia. This book focuses on the lead question in early China.

By combining the geology and material properties with case studies of early metal-using communities, the research challenges the current hypothesis that craftspeople added lead for technological reasons. Instead, it argues that the widespread usage of leaded bronze objects was mainly due to socio-economic factors and interregional interaction.

Its broad scope and discussion on research methods make the book of interest to researchers concerned with archaeometallurgy, early China, and prehistoric archaeology.

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