Near Eastern Breccia Ceremonial Macehead

£ 400.00

An impressive Near Eastern ceremonial macehead carved from an attractive multi-colour breccia. The macehead has a flattened ellipsoid shape, with a uniform shaft channel running through the shortest length for mounting. The breccia contains a variety of hues including reddish browns, pale pink, white, black, and grey. It shows an intricate natural pattern with veining and dappled inclusions. Due to the natural properties of the material and the age of the piece the surface is slightly textured, with small fissures around the seams in the stone.

Date: Circa 3rd - 1st Millenium BC
Condition: Very fine condition. Some small chips to the piece, especially around the shaft channel openings. A small amount of earthly residue has collected within the fine seams and chips, as well as along the interior of the channel.
Product Code: NES-177
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A macehead may have been mounted on a shaft as a symbol of rank, perhaps a derivative from a weapon of similar form. Throughout the ancient world, maceheads varied significantly, and we know of a great number with different styles and decorations. Maceheads may not only have served a purpose in warfare, but also in religious contexts. Indeed, maceheads played an important role as votive offerings in shrines and temples across ancient Mesopotamia.

Breccia is a rock composite formed of broken fragments of minerals or rocks cemented together in a fine-grained matrix.

To discover more about the Mesopotamian peoples and cultures, please visit our relevant post: Civilisations of the Ancient Near East.

Weight 410.4 g
Dimensions L 7.0 x W 4.7 cm

Near East (Western Asiatic)



Reference: For a similar item, Bonhams, 7th December 2023, London, lot 145.

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