Luristan Bronze Spike-Butted Axehead - LO.932
Origin: Iran
Circa: 1000 BC to 650 BC

Collection: Central Asia
Style: Luristan
Medium: Bronze

The Luristan bronzes are probably the best known products of the craftsmen of ancient Persia. Their distinctive style features animals as the dominant motif, either real or fantastic. The majority of the objects are either horse-bits or ceremonial weapons. Among them, the spike-butted axes, in which the spikes terminate in animal's heads. In our case the spikes feature what seems to be four boars, while the actual axe springs out of the mouth of a lion.

The area from which the bronzes are believed to come is centred on the modern provinces of Luristan in the western part of Iran. This region is mountainous, intersected by many ranges running in a north-west/south-east direction; between them, are well-watered plains, ideal for breeding horses. In antiquity access to the region was difficult; such remotedness must have encouraged its cultural isolation and idiosynchratic artistic production.From the archaeological exacavations undertaken in the area, the prevalence of horse-related objects such as trappings and horse-bits would strongly indicate a society based on horsemanship, and possibly semi-sedentary in nature: a characteristic still present among the Lurs of today. - (LO.932)