Luristan bronze comes from the province of Lorestan, a region situated in the Zagros Mountains. In ancient times a number of nomadic populations, such as the Medes, the Kassites and eventually the Persians, 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. Most of the Luristan bronze items have been recovered in funerary contexts, suggesting they had a ceremonial function.
Idols’ supports would have been modelled in the shape of tubular bottles, with the idols placed to the top. The most popular Luristan idols would have been the Master of Animals type, however zoomorphic figurines of local fauna would have been present too. The intricate openwork on the support’s body, creating a sort of cage-like shape, echoes Luristan rattle bells of the same period.
To discover more about the Luristan Empire, please visit our relevant blog post: The Luristan Empire: Beauty of Bronze.