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Corporate Strategy as an Art (IV): The Bronze Age-Introduction.

Autumnleaves edited

“Autumn Bronze Leaves”. An Aquarelle exercise by Eleonora Escalante.

Today we are splashing into our 4th publication about this leitmotif. Archeologists have a further accurate classification of the chronology of these civilizations, but I will stick to the Stone-Bronze-Iron ages sorting. Why? It is simple to understand.  Let´s splatter into the Bronze Age general introduction today.

The Bronze Age will capture our time for at least between 5 to 6 next blog posts. I wish to dedicate enough time to the main different and relevant human settlements per region. My aim is to sail with you and cover each civilization separately:

  1. Europe Region
  2. Mesopotamian and Arab Region
  3. South Asia Region: India
  4. North Asia Region: China
  5. North Africa: Egyptian region
  6. The Americas

The Bronze Age is a time period characterized by the use of metals, starting with copper, then bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. It is during the bronze age that archaeologists came across with the first vestiges of “writing”. Moreover, “Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia (cuneiform) and Egypt (hieroglyphs) developed the earliest viable writing systems”.

prehistoric-man-bronze-age-smelting-science-source (1)
Prehistoric Man, Bronze Age Smelting by Science Source. Fine Art America Website.

What do we mean with the bronze age and its relation with the usage of metals?. The term “Bronze Age” denotes the first epoch in which humans discovered the use of metallurgy. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, but in some parts of the world, the Copper Age served as a transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Remains of copper used for small and precious objects have been found in Anatolia, dated from 6,600 BCE. By the middle of the 4,000 BCE, the copper metallurgy was spread out in Mesopotamia (cast tools and weapons have been unearthed there). And later, the use of copper was well known in the Middle East, extensively into the west, keen on the Mediterranean. For the purposes of this blog, I have considered the copper phase as part of the Early Bronze Age. The bottom line of the bronze age is a shift from stones as primary raw material for toolmaking to copper and bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin.

large brooch

Large Brooch Date: 1100–1000 BCE. European Bronze Age- Source The MET

Let´s reflect a little bit about what happened at the Bronze age: Humans not just discovered metals, they invented an amalgam of metals. They used fire to melt metals. They also extracted metals from their land. They also learned that metals were better materials to cut, to kill animals, to do incisions, to slice and to graze. With the usage of metals, they learned to tie and associate several pieces into one object for a specific purpose. Humans also found out when there were limitations of copper (scarcity), they could be efficient by mixing it with other metal, and the quality of their metal tools was equivalent. The concept of extracting natural resources from the earth started here. The concept of “substitution of products and services” started here. Another new concept rose during the Bronze Age: the trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere.

Each civilization had a different beginning of their own Bronze era. Some started first (6,000 BCE) meanwhile the others were still in the Neolithic period.  Others started their Bronze era by 1,900 BCE or later.

table clay old assyrian

Cuneiform tablet case impressed with two cylinder seals- A record of a lawsuit
Period: Middle Bronze Age–Old Assyrian Trading Colony
Date: ca. 20th–19th century B.C.
Geography: Anatolia, probably from Kültepe (Karum Kanesh). Source. The MET

The reason why I would like to remain into the Bronze age for some weeks is your homework to solve. You will be able to discover how was the corporate strategy done by our predecessors during this development interlude by watching or observing their artistic creations (at each region). Amazingly, you will also be exposed to their corporate strategy innovation paradigms. I suggest closing your eyes and travel over time to 4,000 BCE to 3,000 BCE. Try to leave your modern conceptions of life and technology for some months. There is a fine line for you to learn and discern in relation to our Bronze Age precursors art and their inventions or innovations. Our predecessors’ inventions are literally shown through art. This fine line links the corporate strategy of the bronze age with their economic production capabilities. This fine line will give us an idea of the extent of their labor markets, social policies, military forces of expansion, religious, dominance and family structures.

During the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the stone age, the main resources of economic production were related to stones and were pivotal to hunting and farming. With the influx of the Bronze Age, the metals disrupted everything.  Take into consideration that it was during the Bronze age that men invented the wheel, the ox-drawn plow and many artifacts which helped them to leave all the art we see about them nowadays. Through art and all the remnants that archaeologists have found, we are re-discovering the corporate strategy utilized in the bronze era by the different relevant human settlements per region.

Before closing this publication, let´s remind ourselves what is a corporate strategy, please. I don´t want you to be lost in our journey. Remember I have the compass on my hands.  Corporate Strategy defines the scope of one entity (firm, project, government, etc.) in terms of the industries and markets in which it competes. Corporate strategy decisions include investments in diversification, vertical integration, mergers and acquisitions, new ventures, divestments and the allocation of resources between the different businesses of the firm”.  What is the link between this concept and art during the Bronze Age?

Stay tuned, next week we will continue with the first bronze age breakdown. We will start with the European region. Thank you.


Sources  of reference used to write this article:

Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.


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