Luristan Decorated Bronze Ceremonial Macehead


A finely decorated Luristan ceremonial cast bronze macehead, featuring a tubular shape, with the upper half decorated with three panels of symmetrical leaf-like patterns. Each panel is separated by three vertical grooves. The bottom half of the shaft is smooth, with a final detail of two engraved bands around the base. The very end of the macehead features a slightly flared rim.

Date: Circa 1200-800 BC
Provenance: Ex. London Collection, formed between 1990 – present.
Condition: Fine, some earth encrustation within the carved grooves.

In stock

SKU: FP-301 Category: Tag:

Luristan bronze comes from the province of Lorestan, a region situated in the south-western area of 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. Their artwork mainly comprises ornaments, vessels and weapons. 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 541.2 g
Dimensions L 24.1 x W 3 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Met Museum, item 56.102.1

You may also like…