Luristan Bronze Decorated Pickaxe


A bronze pickaxe with a long and horizontal blade, and a socket cutting away and slanting sharply. The tool features a decorative eye, which reveals a form of a head from sideways view.

Date: Circa 2300 - 1500 BC
Period: Bronze Age
Condition: Complete and intact, with patination and accretions.


SKU: AS-3423 Category: Tag:

Ancient Persian craftsmen developed great skill in bronze working, producing some of the finest tools and weaponry then available. These include a great number of ornaments, tools, weapons, horse-fittings, as well as a smaller number of vessels. They have been uncovered in recorded excavations, and have generally come from burials. The ethnicity of the people who created them remains unclear, though they may well have been Persian, and possibly related to the modern Lur people (who have given their name to the area).

A number of important metalwork examples have been found in excavations in Luristan and Gilan. This kind of pick-axe was used both in Syria and Mesopotamia in the late third millennium, but also appeared in Luristan, where it was widespread and decorated with incised eyes. The application of an eye in relief at the blade’s base was a custom borrowed from Elam. They featured on a wide variety of tools, such as pickaxes, chisels, and fighting axes.

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


Weight 308 g
Dimensions L 18.5 x H 7.2 cm



Reference: For similar item, see item 513; Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oscar White Muscarella. 

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