Superior Luristan Bronze Ceremonial Macehead


An Luristan ceremonial bronze macehead of unusual type. It is tubular in shape, and the upper half is ornately decorated with three panels, separated by borders which are decorated with cross-hatch patterned notches. Each panel contains X-shaped patterns in relief. A band of lightly etched chevron patterning is visible below the panels. The macehead is supplied with a wooden stand (height with stand 29.3 cms).

Date: Circa 9th - 8th century BC
Provenance: From an old German Collection (Cologne).
Condition: Very Fine condition; complete and intact. Good metal work with an attractive light green patination.


SKU: AS-3689 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 735 g
Dimensions L 20 cm



Reference: cf. item 95-100 for type; Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmoleon Museum by P.R.S. Moorey; Oxford University Press 1971

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