Αγώνας
The Bronze Cartel: Trade flourishing in the Mediterranean
Germany, 2008, 42'
  by AGON - Friday, 8 January 2016

Since antiquity, the precious-metal trade was a sector with efficient extraction and fusion techniques and well-organized distribution systems. Around 1800 BC, a well-designed network of product distribution was flourishing in the biggest ports of the eastern Mediterranean. Valuable materials such as ivory, amber, gold, spices, and even salt were in great demand. The most popular commercial goods of the known world were tin and copper, and from their mixture came bronze — an alloy that led to a unique economic growth. Its triumphant course began in Egypt, where there was a need for large quantities of the new metal to make tools for the big construction works of the entire country. The legendary pharaoh Ramses II established the first bronze construction unit in history, where roughly nine tons of copper and tin were processed daily. The flourish of trade with Europe led to progress and prosperity, but was also the source of attacks and wars. Economic growth had its dark side and led humanity into chaos. The battle for dominance among the most important commercial cities figures among the darkest pages of the period’s history and marks the beginning of the end of the Bronze Age.


Director: Franz Leopold Schmelzer, Gerhard Rekel
Producer: Ilona Grundmann Production (for ZDF)
Award for Best Script, AGON 2010