Washington, April 7 : The discovery of a likely ancient local administrative center near the Old City of Jerusalem has fuelled speculations among archaeologists that Assyrian rulers may have been the first to devise corporate strategies.
The finding was made at Ramat Rachel, an archaeological dig two miles from the Old City of Jerusalem.
Until now, archaeologists believed the site was a palace of an ancient Judean king, probably King Hezekiah, who built it around 700 BCE.
But, according to Dr. Oded Lipschits, from Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology, the evidence points to foreign rule.
Dr. Lipschits believes that the site was likely an ancient local administrative center - a branch office - of Assyrian rulers.
"They were wise rulers, using a good strategy for keeping control, stability and order in the region," he said.
As is noticed in today's corporations, the strategy was all about location. "Between 700 BCE to about 70 CE, Jerusalem was home to various Judean cults and at times a center for religious fanaticism. The Assyrians understood that they could gain better control of their vassal kingdom - and continue collecting taxes - by maintaining a safe distance," said Lipschits.
As to where did the Assyrians set up their branch offices, Lipschits suggests that they built their economic hub for the region two miles south of Jerusalem at Ramat Rachel.
They created elaborate gardens, stocked their cellars with the wine and olive oil they collected in taxes, and quietly but carefully monitored Jerusalem.
"You can see Jerusalem from Ramat Rachel, but when you're inside Jerusalem's City of David, you can't see Ramat Rachel at all," said Lipschits. "The Assyrians kept a watchful eye, but didn't let the locals feel a dominant foreign presence," he added.
According to Lipschits, "It was smart for the Assyrian managers to take a few steps back, and not appear to be interfering with the city's religious center and local culture. Businesses today could be advised to adopt similar strategies with their branch offices in foreign locations."