Luristan Bronze Whetstone Socket


A bronze whetstone socket, one end of which is cast as the forepart of an ibex with long horns. The other end is socketed to accomodate the stone. Mounted on a purpose-made stand.

Date: Circa 900 - 700 B.C.
Period: Late Bronze Age
Condition: The tip of one of the horns foreshortened; otherwise good metalwork; light surface deposits.

In stock

SKU: AS-3683 Category: Tags: , ,

The whetstone was used in order to sharpen edged weapons and tools. In Luristan, bronze whetstone sockets provided the opportunity for elaborate cast decoration, unlike anywhere else in the ancient Near East. Usually, whetstones were tools of the utmost simplicity, but the emergence of decorated sockets for ceremonial whetstones is documented from the late second millennium onwards.

Given the connection of whetstones with weapons used for battle and hunting, it can be assumed that zoomorphic handles bore, in addition to their decorative value, an apotropaic or magical value. This would have been considered to rub off, literally, onto the honed weapon.

To discover more about the Luristan Empire, please visit our relevant blog post: The Luristan Empire: Beauty of Bronze.

Weight 321 g
Dimensions L 15.5 cm



Reference: cf items 31-33; Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Adam Collection; PRS Moorey. Also item 298; Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the metropolitan Museum of Art; Oscar White Muscarella; 1998

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