Luristan Ceremonial Bronze Macehead


A Luristan ceremonial bronze macehead of tubular shape. The upper half features three panels of ridges, arranged in a low relief herringbone pattern, and separated by vertical grooves.

Date: Circa 9th - 8th century BC.
Provenance: From a collection of arms and armour, Cologne, Germany 1990-2005
Condition: Very fine, complete and intact with good stable bronze, a few light areas of accretion. Supplied with a wood stand (height with stand 27 cms).


SKU: AS-3725 Category: Tags: , ,

Luristan, the central area on Persia’s western frontier, developed sophisticated and prolific metal-working technology from the third millennium BC. With manufacture not suffering decline until the seventh century BC, over this extensive period metalworkers were essential for supplying and arming both local wealthy patrons and the warring factions of the day.

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 706 g
Dimensions L 23.6 cm



Reference: cf. item 95; Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmoleon Museum by P.R.S. Moorey; Oxford University Press 1971

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