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The Bronze Age marked the first time humans started to work with metal. Bronze tools and weapons soon replaced earlier stone versions. Ancient Sumerians in the Middle East may have been the first people to enter the Bronze Age. Humans made many technological advances during the Bronze Age, including the first writing systems and the invention of the wheel. In the Middle East and parts of Asia, the Bronze Age lasted from roughly 3300 to 1200 B.C., ending abruptly with the near-simultaneous collapse of several prominent Bronze Age civilizations.
Cuneiform, system of writing used in the ancient Middle East. The name, a coinage from Latin and Middle French roots meaning “wedge-shaped,” has been the modern designation from the early 18th century onward. Cuneiform was the most widespread and historically significant writing system in the ancient Middle East. Its active history comprised the last three millennia BCE, its long development and geographic expansion involved numerous successive cultures and languages, and its overall significance as an international graphic medium of civilization is second only to that of the Phoenician-Greek-Latin alphabet.
Vedic religion, also called Vedism, the religion of the ancient Indo-European-speaking peoples who entered India about 1500 BCE from the region of present-day Iran. It takes its name from the collections of sacred texts known as the Vedas. Vedism is the oldest stratum of religious activity in India for which there exist written materials. It was one of the major traditions that shaped Hinduism.