The History of Art- The Bronze age

Part -1

Human Civilization walked into a new age of art in 3300 BCE which lasted around 1200 BCE. This specific time frame is referred to as“The bronze age”. The name was first coined by the Danish antiquarian Christian Jurgensen Thompsen (1788-1865). The bronze age linked the Stone age with the Iron Age giving us a clear representation that is indicative of the lifestyle and artistic development during the time period. The bronze age marked the beginning of the usage of metals like copper and bronze. Copper and bronze were used for various purposes, for example, Warfare equipment, hunting, ornaments, etc. During this age, the artistic activities were upgraded as the usage of stone reduced. Since, metallic elements were more flexible, as a result, sculptures and other artifacts were more elegantly and proper details were included. We can also find direct written accounts from the bronze age as humans began to record details of trade and livelihood by engraving symbols and numbers in metallic blocks or plates. It is evident that many technological advances took place during this age.

The bronze age can be associated more with a particular culture or Civilization rather than a specific time period because it began and ended at different times in different places. Ancient Sumerians of the Middle East is supposed to be the first people to enter the bronze age. The earliest bronze age Civilization includes Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, etc. Bronze age entered China much later i.e. (1600-1046 BCE) during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. In Ancient Egypt, the bronze age began in 3150 BCE. Again, western Europe witnessed the development of the Bronze age through the period 1300-700 BCE approximately. Thus, we study the bronze age in correlation with different cultures that emerged during that age.

The river valleys of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Levant(Eastern Mediterranean coast of modern-day Turkey)have together been known as the Fertile Crescent as well as the ‘cradle of civilization’ because of the technologies which rapidly developed in the region. Mesopotamia existed around the Mediterranean in the Near East (present-day Iraq) and it upholds one of the best examples of the Bronze age. This site witnessed a number of art and cultural advances. The writing was first developed by Mesopotamians. As the nation prospered, people contributed to developing the writing, religion, art, and culture of the region. During this period, pottery, sculpture, metalwork, etc. began and developed to a great extent. Mesopotamian art and sculptures (3000-500BCE) include a huge number of ceramic arts, reliefs, and stone sculptures carved into statues, mosaics, seals, monumental architecture, etc. These are crucial pieces of evidence that help us in recreating the life and culture that flourished at that time.

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