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Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Being softer, and having a lower melting point, it is easier to work and shape than iron. Unfortunately, bronze weapons and armour are largely ineffective against iron equivalents.

Viking Age bronze also contained zinc making is similar to brass.

In the medieval period, bronze was used more for tools, utensils and decorative items, rather than weapons or armour.

Frequently archeologists use bronze as a shorthand way of referring to any copper alloy. Medieval bronzes do not have the same composition as most modern bronzes having a a variety of inclusions apart from the base copper and tin.