During the third and fourth millenia BC, food was procured mainly from farming and animal rearing.
Among the plants that were cultivated were naked wheat, einkorn, emmer wheat, barley, poppy, flax and peas. The domesticated animals – cattle, pigs, sheep and goats – were mainly used as sources of meat but also provided leather, sinews, milk and possibly wool.
The livestock, especially sheep and goats, were driven to high grazing land in the summer. This form of agriculture is known as transhumance.
Analyses of pollen deposited in mountain lakes shows that the areas above the tree line have been used as grazing land since the fourth century.
Hunting and gathering as well as fishing were also important activities in the Copper Age.
Copper opened up new industries for mining, smelting and working the precious metal. This resulted in vigorous trade. Copper – whether in its native form or in the form of jewellery, weapons or utensils – was widely used throughout Europe.