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.
Near Eastern Alabaster Mace Head
A Near Eastern alabaster mace head featuring a globular body and a central tubular hole for attachment to a wooden shaft. The piece is enriched with six protruding phalanges, evenly spaced and arranged horizontally around the centre of the body.
Condition: Fine condition, some earthy encrustations remain on the surface. A small chip to one of the knobs.