Luristan Bronze Macehead


A fine tubular-shaped bronze Luristan macehead, featuring a dome at the top and four symmetrical protruding knobs. The body is enriched with four vertical ridges and two raised horizontal bands embellish the lower section. The bottom of the macehead features an unflared rim.

Date: Circa 1200-800 BC
Provenance: Ex major S.M collection, London, 1970-2010
Condition: Fine condition, earthly encrustations and patination on the surface. This macehead has been cleaned.

In stock

SKU: HB-58 Category: Tag:

Bronze weapons represent the most common examples of Luristan metalwork and some of the finest weaponry then available. Among these, shaft-hole axes, adzes and pick-axes have been reported in great number and variety of forms, and have been vital to understanding the chronology and development of bronze metallurgy in the Lorestan region. Specifically, axe-heads such as this fine example reflect the influence of Elamite and Mesopotamian metalwork in the area. Mostly recovered in funerary contexts, Luristan weapons were likely to have been used not only in everyday life, but also hold ceremonial purposes.

A macehead may have been mounted on a shaft as a symbol of rank, perhaps a derivative from a weapon of similar form. Throughout the ancient world, maceheads varied significantly, and we know of a great number with different styles and decorations. Several important examples were shaped by the local metalworkers in Luristan and Gilan from the third millennium BC. These mace heads may not only have served a purpose in warfare, but also in religious contexts – perhaps being associated with piety in Luristan. Indeed, maceheads played an important role as votive offerings in shrines across Mesopotamia.

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

Weight 375.6 g
Dimensions L 17.8 x W 2.5 cm



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