Ancient Near East, Luristan, ca. 1000 BCE. One of the finest examples we have seen, a well-formed cast bronze dagger with a long, raised ridge and handle with large, angled pommel. It may once have had leather wrapping around the handle. This is particular sword was made from lost wax casting, and this was a cast-on hilt style - the blade was cast first and then the handle was cast onto the blade. The region of Luristan, which encompasses the rugged Zagros Mountain chain, is famous for its bronze work that was above and beyond the skill level of contemporary groups. The affluent group in Luristan society that patronized the metalworking industry and purchased fine items like this sword were nomadic horsemen. They would travel into towns and purchase swords and other bronze and iron objects from craftsmen there. Although these horsemen were pre-literate, we know from the records of the Elamites and other southern neighbors that these tribesmen functioned as mercenaries in the constant warfare between the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Elamites. When they died, they were buried in rock-covered tombs with their swords. Size: 13.8" L x 2.4" W (35.1 cm x 6.1 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Southern California collection
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