How far could the technology of a copper age society get; Could they work up to the level of late antiquity?
Im working on a si-fi/fantasy world were people have been transplanted onto a series of small continents (a few hundred thousand square miles), with differeing levels of acess to metals, as a long term experiment in the development of culture with different acess to tech. (There are still enough metals in trace amounts in things like sand and bacteria to support an ecosystem, but no ores)
By the time of the story setting,the people on each continent no longer remember being placed there, or that other continents exist, (so no trade).
How far could technology advance on the continent with only copper? They can use as much pure copper as needed, without having to worry about expense. They do not have any alloys, however, as arsnical bronze has not been discovered, and there is no tin on the continent.They do have beasts of burden, such as horses and cows, and a temprate rain forrest climate, with lots of rich farmland.
They may smelt a small amount of Iron from sand, but at the time of the story setting it is expensive and difficult enough to produce that it functions as more of a luxury item for the rich, and a precious metal for currency(maby Iron coins in place of gold) but is not used on anywere near an industrial level, and so it should'nt factor into wide spread technology.
I am aware of this question: Could a society attain 1800s technology if limited to using copper and bronze?
However, this is seems to be reliant of different types of bronze, and presumably a copper only society would plataue much farther back in history.