Luristan Ceremonial Bronze 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 two 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 flared rim, which flattens at the bottom.

Date: Circa 1200-800 BC
Condition: Fine condition, a small hole to the side of the shaft.

In stock

SKU: MG-04 Category: Tags: ,

Luristan bronze comes from the province of Lorestan, a region situated in the south-western area of the Zagros Mountains. The region developed sophisticated and prolific metal-working technology from the 3rd millennium BC, with manufacture not suffering decline until the 7th century BC. Over this extensive period, metalworkers were essential for supplying and arming both local wealthy patrons and the warring factions of the day. 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,  a great number have 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.

Weight 475.8 g
Dimensions L 19 cm



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

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