Shield bosses were placed at the centre of round shields and were originally intended to deflect the blows to the shield. They become more elaborate over time and eventually become more of a decorative feature.
Throughout the Ancient World, from Greece to Persia, battles raged. The skilled Ancient Persian craftsmen, particularly in the Luristan area, developed great skill in bronze working, producing some of the finest weaponry then available. Luristan bronze comes from the province of Lorestan, a region situated in the area of modern South-Western Iran. 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 Luristan weapons have been recovered in funerary contexts, suggesting that such weapons would have been used not only in everyday life but also with ceremonial purposes.
To learn more about the metalwork of ancient Luristan, visit our relevant blog post: Ancient Luristan and the Luristan Bronzes.