Bronze dagger, 1000 to 700 BC,
provenance: Private collection Ventura County, CA
Ancient Near East, Luristan, ca. 1000 BCE.
This is a large bronze short sword blade. The blade is wide at its hilt, with a sturdy tang, and tapers into a long triangular shape with a low ridge down its length. 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 weapons. Comes with custom stand. Size: 1.5″ W x 16.1″ H (3.8 cm x 40.9 cm)