Between 3500 and 3000 BC, with the invention of writing, Mesopotamia and Egypt were the first civilizations to leave prehistoric times to enter history and thus mark the beginnings of Antiquity.
The life of the communities is organized in city-states (cities). These are led by high figures: warlords, priests, aristocrats. Art is a way to show the power of this elite.At this time, progress in metallurgy (metalworking) was significant. This technique will allow the human societies which master it to take center stage.
After copper and gold, men manage to create alloys (mixtures of metals), like bronze (period of the Bronze Age) then to extract the iron ore and to forge it (period of Age iron). With these new materials, artisans produce many objects: weapons, jewelry, dishes, sculptures and solid and more sophisticated tools.
These innovations appeared in the Near East and a little later in Europe and the Far East (China). In the second millennium BC, under the Shang dynasty, Chinese bronzers invented and used the technique of lost wax casting. They make the massive ritual vases that archaeologists have discovered in the tombs.
In the 1st millennium BC, in Europe, the Celts were the champions of metallurgy. The decor of their object becomes sophisticated, built according to the mathematical rules of the Pythagorean school.