Corporate Strategy as an Art (V): The Bronze Age-European Region.
Wishing you a beautiful week.
Today we will continue with our journey throughout the Bronze Age. I have segmented it by land territories, and today we are starting with the European Region. I will show you the most interesting artistic pieces collected by archaeologists in different European provinces, which “on average” have been filed with an age between the 3,500 BCE up to approximately 1,000 BCE.
Please, be aware there are some metals remnants in Europe which still are being discovered, and others will have to be discovered. There are those newly ascertained from the Bronze Age manufactured from previous to the 3,500 B.C.E. For example, in what it is now Serbia (Balkans region), there is one archaeological site called Plocnik. This place has offered us oeuvres d´art showing the daily activities of the inhabitants. These creations show that women wore jewelry. This settlement existed here from 5,500 BCE until it was destroyed by fire in 4,700 BCE.
The Aegean Bronze Age began around 3,200 BCE. It was comprised by south European societies: the Minoan civilization (based in Knossos on the Island of Crete) and later by the Mycenaeans. These settlements established an economic production and trade arrangement system: they imported tin and charcoal from Cyprus, where copper was excavated. Later it was combined with the tin to produce bronze. There is evidence that Aegean bronze objects were exported from the Minoan villages. The following pieces of art data from the Minoan Crete and the emerging of Mycenaean Greece after the volcanic eruption of Santorini (all the Aegean photos are from the website of Doctor Christopher Witcombe http://arthistoryresources.net).
What happened historically during the Bronze Age that affected the civilization of these Aegean provinces?
The Aegean Bronze Age was reshaped in Europe by a natural disaster event of considerable proportions. According to Sturt Manning, a Cornell Archaeologist, the volcanic eruption of the Island of Thera, now known as Santorini, set off tsunamis and spread ash and pumice throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean region. “The catastrophe is thought to have hastened the decline of the Minoan civilization on Crete, 70 miles away, and perhaps set the posterior stage for the emergence of Mycenaean Greece as a wealthy power in the Aegean”. In addition, the Aegean Collapse has been attributed to the exhaustion of the Cypriot forests causing the end of the bronze trade.
The Mycenaean Greeks introduced several innovations in the fields of engineering, architecture and military infrastructure, while trade over vast areas of the Mediterranean was essential for the Mycenaean economy. They Mycenaen developed a syllabic script, the Linear B and the first written records of the Greek language. Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace states that developed rigid hierarchical, political, social and economic systems.
In Central Europe, the early Bronze Age Unetice Culture (1,800 -1,600 BCE) vestiges are very fragmented and scattered all over. It includes settlements at the Straubing, Adlerberg, and Hatvan Cultures. There are remnants from graves crafted from gold. The Tumulus culture followed the Unetice one, and it is characterized by inhumation burials in tumuli or barrows. The late bronze age in Central Europe includes the Lusatian tribes in eastern Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Poland.
In the Central European region, we can find triangular daggers, flat axes, stone wrist-guards, flint arrowheads, daggers with a metal hilt, flanged axes, halberds, pins with perforated spherical heads, solid bracelets.
In Northern Europe, the Bronze Age was both a mix of Neolithic aspects of life with some imported Metals. Numerous artifacts of bronze and gold have been found there. No written language existed in the Nordic countries during the Bronze Age. “The rock carvings have been dated through comparison with depicted artifacts. Rock carvings depict sea ships, and large stone burial monuments suggest that shipping, fishing, trade played an important role”.
The Western Europe region includes the Atlantic bronze age villages located in Portugal, Andalusia, Galicia, and the British Isles. It is marked by economic and cultural exchange The Atlantic Bronze Age was defined by a number of distinct regional centers of metal production, unified by regular maritime exchange of some of their products.
Ireland Celtic metalwork underpinned much of the artworks in Ireland during this period. Copper was mined in the southwest of the country (c.2500-1800 BCE), in County Kerry and Cork, then alloyed with tin brought over from Cornwall in England. Many bronze items were exported to the Continent from Ireland during this period.
“As well as bronze artifacts, implements, and other decorative items, Irish craftsmen also developed a range of artworks in gold. Ireland was a relatively rich source of gold ore which stimulated an active cottage industry in this precious metal. This is evidenced not only by the considerable number of gold ornaments and artifacts which were functional in the form of decorative features added to weapons, cooking utensils, horse-tack, and drinking vessels”. Also, the Irish gold-work comprised mainly simple shapes (like crescents) as well as disks of gold sheet. Later, Irish goldsmiths introduced the more intricate torque (torc) – a collar, with a bar or ribbon of metal, looped and twisted into a screw-shaped. Bronze Age workers in Ireland produced a range of earrings and other gold jewelry. Examples include the great Lunala relics, bracelets, ear ornaments and clasps, balls and Torcs.
In Great Britain, the Bronze Age is considered from 2,100 to 750 BCE. An example archaeological site is Must Farm, near Whittlesey, which has recently been host to the most complete Bronze Age wheel ever to be found. During this stage, the population settled in easily defended sites up the hills and into the fertile valleys. There were different settlements in the UK: The Beaker culture, the rich Wessex Culture, and the Deverel Rimbury Culture. The rich Wessex culture developed in southern Britain at this time. Social groups appear to have been tribal but with growing complexity and hierarchies becoming apparent. Early Bronze Age people buried their dead in individual barrows (also commonly known as tumuli).
“The greatest quantities of bronze objects in England were discovered in East Cambridgeshire, where the most important finds were recovered in Isleham (more than 6500 pieces)”.
We will finish with one of the countries which can´t be left out of the South European region, Italy. The Apennine culture (also called Italian Bronze Age) was a complex of central and southern Italy spanning the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age proper. Located in Sardinia and Corsica, the Nuraghic civilization lasted from the early Bronze Age (18th century BC) to the 2nd century AD, when the islands were already Romanized. They take their name from the characteristic nuragic towers, which evolved from the pre-existing megalithic culture, which built dolmens and menhirs. The nuraghe towers are unanimously considered the best preserved and largest megalithic remains in Europe. Their effective use is still debated: some scholars considered them as monumental tombs, others as Houses of the Giants, other as fortresses, ovens for metal fusion, prisons or, finally, temples for a solar cult.
Other civilizations in Italy were: the Terramare culture, the Castellieri culture, the Canegrate culture, and the Golasecca culture.
A corporate strategy reflection about these art pieces will be done at the end of the Bronze Age publications. After I finish with the rest of the world regions. Next publication is about the Bronze Age Artistic Vestiges from the Mesopotamian and Arab Region. Stay tuned. Thank you.
Source References utilized 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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