Bronze Age: at the beginnings of the first states
The beginning of the metal era
The Bronze Age, which replaced the Aeneolithic at the turn of the fourth and third millennia BC, gave a powerful impetus to the further development of human civilization. It became the first stage of the metal era, when stone means of production and tools of labor began to be squeezed out by metal. The Bronze Age came after the discovery of the properties of copper alloys in different parts of the planet. Several major milestones in the development of human society are associated with this historical epoch. First of all, the spread of producing economic activity, among which agriculture and cattle breeding are beginning to stand out. This process was particularly pronounced in various territories of the steppe Eurasia, which was caused by the new technical achievements of the primitive society - the invention of the wheeled cart, and also at a later stage using horses as a means of transport.
The end of the primitive way of life
The Bronze Age is characterized not only by the acquaintance of man with copper alloys, but also by the first primitive metalworking technologies, which sharply increased labor productivity. Thus, the development of metallurgy accelerated the improvement of society and created the necessary prerequisites for the formation of the first ancient cities and even states that had already appeared in Mesopotamia and southwestern Iran in the fourth millennium BC, and a little later in the Nile Delta. This was the end of the primitive way of life, which nevertheless continued to exist on most of the land inhabited by people.
Uneven evolution of human society
The Bronze Age was marked by the spontaneous emergence of an orderly community of people - the most ancient states - in different regions and in different time periods. In many territories, they were not until relatively recently. For example, before the arrival of the European colonizers of state structure did not exist in Australia, on a large part of the African continent, in many parts of America.The primitive organization of society with its relatively simple way of life has long been preserved there where, for some reason, the influence of more advanced civilizations did not penetrate, where specific climatic and environmental conditions did not allow developing more complex forms of social structure. The peoples of Oceania, America, and partly Siberia and tropical Africa continued to live in the Bronze Age almost until the sixteenth century.
Features of the cultural development of the Bronze Age
The systematic occupation of agricultural and cattle-breeding activities, especially in favorable climatic and natural conditions with a sufficient amount of water resources and fertile soils, provided people with ample opportunities for food production more than the necessary minimum, resulting in accumulated certain surpluses, there was free time that could be devoted to craft . This is how the culture of the Bronze Age appeared. Stone and metal products, utensils, fabrics, various household items and household utensils, which today archeologists find in large quantities, began to be created.This was the beginning of the emergence of barter, which gave an additional impetus to the improvement of human society. Gradually, social life became more complicated, there was a need to perform complex and labor-intensive public works for the future. For example, in the valleys of large rivers, various irrigation facilities began to be built in the fourth century BC. In other regions, deforestation was required. All this led to the unification of small tribal communities in large social formations, from which the first states were then formed.
The art of the Bronze Age has a number of individual characteristics. It already differs in a big variety in comparison with the previous eras, and also receives greater geographical distribution. Petroglyphs (petroglyphs), paintings on stone slabs are becoming a universal phenomenon; an artistic direction of a geometrically complex ornament is being formed. The emergence of sculptures and small plastics is also becoming an important feature of the art of the Bronze Age.During this period, it is already possible to trace certain artistic subjects that are directly related to the mythological representations of the most ancient peoples. The first traditions of ornamentation of pottery appear. And art itself acquires the features of a peculiar pictorial language, a sign system facing the kindred groups of fellow tribesmen.