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 bronze items have been recovered in funerary contexts. Cast spike-butted axes, such as this beautiful example, are hallmarks of Luristan bronze weaponry during the Early Iron Age, between 1200 and 1000 BC. Shaft-hole axe heads of this type were commonly used in the Akkadian and Ur III periods across Elam and Mesopotamia, regions which have been reached by Luristan nomadic tribes from the end of the 2nd millennium BC.
To learn more about the metalwork of ancient Luristan, visit our relevant blog post: Ancient Luristan and the Luristan Bronzes.