luristan bronze


Rare Luristan Master of Animals Bronze Bracelet, 10th-8th Century BC

The “master of animals,” usually found on tubular standards, is a subhuman figure standing above the heads and necks of equally stylized, somewhat leonine creatures. The figure’s arms encircle the animals in what some have seen as an image of control, but really, we have no understanding of the true meaning of this symbol - all we know is that it is a common one from Luristan. Suggestions for their interpretation tend to take in the religious - depictions of deities, idols, talismans, etc. The bracelet is very large - perhaps made for a large man.

Luristan Horse Bit Cheek Plate, 8th-7th Century BC

In the form of a winged genius with horns.

By the second half of the second millennium BC, the horse had been domesticated for about 500 years and was not only used as a draft animal but also was ridden. New harnessing techniques developed, especially bits, to whose cheek plates were fastened the ends of the reins and the head straps. These cheek plates were true works of art in Luristan (western Iran) at the end of the Iron Age, in the eighth and seventh centuries BC.

The plate seen here is the survivor of a pair and was originally attached to the other plate by a rigid crossbar (finishing in scrolling), which is also missing and which ran through the hole in the centre of the creature’s body. The remaining plate depicts an imaginary creature seen in profile, with the head turned in full face view. It is an androcephalous winged bull with two horns on its head, indicating its divine nature. Its wing finishes in an aggressive wild beast’s head that seems poised to attack. The genius is affirming its dominant power by trampling a small animal, doubtless a kid, that also forms the line of the ground. The various straps ran through the two rings at the edge of the wing. The plates were probably backed with leather or cloth to soften the contact between the metal and the sensitive edge of the horse’s mouth. Images of real animals such as tigers, leopards, mouflons, bulls, and horses gradually replaced the earlier imaginary creatures.


Luristan Bronze And Stone Sword With ‘Blood Grooves’, 1st Millennium BC

This impressive bronze weapon is a stabbing/thrusting sword from ancient Persia, It is a highly attractive and well-formed piece, with a stone pommel and a decorated handle, However, it is also a practical and technological item, with a slender, straight and tapering blade which is strongly constructed with a central strengthening spine that produces the so-called ‘blood groove’ which facilitates easier stabbing and wrenching the blade from one’s opponent’s body in a battle context.

Luristan, a mountainous region of ancient Iran, famous for its bronze-smiths, encouraged a voracious appetite for luxury items, particularly weaponry. 

Luristan Bronze Helmet, 1st ML BC

Luristan was famous for its bronze-smiths who produced a lot of luxury items, particularly weaponry.

In the 3rd and 4th millennium BC, migrant tribes settled down in the mountainous area of the Zagros Mountains of Iran known in ancient times as Luristan. The Kassites, an ancient people who spoke neither an Indo-European nor a Semitic language, originated in there. Eventually, Luristan was invaded and settled by the Iranian Medes in the 2nd millennium BC. They absorbed the indigenous inhabitants of the region, primarily the Elamites and Kassites, by the time the area was conquered by the Persians in the 1st millennium BC. Luristan was then successfully integrated into the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanian empires.