Back to Special Collections

Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums


Introduction

For more than 5,000 years, bronze and other copper alloys have been essential materials, used to create everything from life-size sculpture to objects of daily life, such as weapons, jewelry, and tableware. Mixing copper with small amounts of other metals creates alloys that are stronger and more malleable than copper alone; the most common alloys are bronze (copper and tin) and brass (copper and zinc). Copper alloy objects were especially prestigious due to the intrinsic value of the metal, which has also been used for coinage for thousands of years. However, as illustrated by the numerous statues and figurines that are still extant or merely survive as descriptions in ancient texts, bronze was also valued for the beauty of the material itself.

Continue Reading

Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums

Advanced Search
Close
Top