Copper ores are comparatively common in the world and were used in the production of the earliest metal objects. Tin, however, the other essential component of Standard bronze, occurs in only a few localities. The sophisticated Bronze Age of the Near East developed in a region where copper was available locally, but there are no known significant tin deposits. It is therefore thought that the development of a bronze technology, at about 3000 BC, must have coincided with the ability of Near Eastern civilisations to trade over considerable distances (Tylecote 1976,8). By contrast, in China, Ho (1975,183-185) has tabulated eight known tin deposits and twenty-one copper deposits within a 300km radius of the Yen-shih, Cheng-chou and Anyang, Shang Period sites. Southern China is even richer in deposits and today Yunan is the main source of China’s tin and copper Industries (Charoengwongsa 1977, 40). The availability of mineral resources would have encouraged and facilitated the establishment of an early bronze industry in China, which might have influenced neighbouring South-East Asia. However, South-East Asia itself, is one of the few regions in the world where copper and tin occur together in relatively close proximity, and it is thus theoretically possible that bronze metallurgy developed independently in this area.