Luristan bronze comes from the province of Lorestan, a region situated in the Zagros Mountains. In ancient times a number of nomadic populations, such as the Medes and the Kassites, settled in the area. Due to the nomadic nature of the tribes, none of the Luristan bronzes were of great size, since it was required for them to be light and portable. This includes many weapons, tools, ornaments and finials along with small amulets and fittings. The decorative technique is predominately openwork with Scythian art influences. Most of the Luristan bronze items have been recovered in funerary contexts, suggesting they had a ceremonial function.
Openwork bell-shaped ornamentations, such as this example, were made to fit anywhere on a horse-harness, not just to feature as pendants from a neck-band as in the case for larger bells. Mostly displaying openwork techniques, pendants of this type have been recovered in various shapes and sizes, sometimes featuring zoomorphic decorations. Though it is difficult to establish a date of origin, bell-shaped ornamentations were manufactured during the Iron Age I and II and widely distributed in both the Luristan and Gilan provinces.
To discover more about the Luristan Empire, please visit our relevant blog post: The Luristan Empire: Beauty of Bronze.