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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Antiquities  |  Other Metal Antiquities (Moderator: otlichnik)  |  Topic: New Gallery: Bronze Weaponry of Western Asia 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: New Gallery: Bronze Weaponry of Western Asia  (Read 3874 times)
Robert L3
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2020, 10:13:01 am »

Thanks, Joe.
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Robert L3
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« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2021, 09:52:35 pm »

Here’s another update:

Recently picked up a decent sized lot of ancient Iranian arrowheads, which I documented and uploaded to the gallery. I’m not providing direct links to those here, but they represent AE Arrowhead #’s 19 – 27.

I do, however, want to provide links to two pickups that I find particularly interesting.

The first is what appears, at first glance, to be a Luristani dagger hilt with double-eared pommel. However, with about half the blade remaining, it measures only 2 ¾”. I would imagine that, with blade fully intact, it would have measured about 3 1/4".

It was, then, an imitation of a Luristani dagger, but in a reduced scale. Such miniature “daggers” are very rare. I've only seen two for sale since I started collecting the weaponry a couple years back. (This being one of the two)

My specimen is listed as “AE Hilt #3” in my gallery:
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-167295
Enlargement:
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/albums/userpics/16274/Hilt_3.jpg

Such small imitative daggers are described by Houshang Mahboubian as surgical instruments. Whether or not that is a reasonable speculation, I don't know. Mahboubian, who possesses what has been described as "one of the most magnificent collections of early Iranian bronzes in the world," illustrates a number of them in his book Art of Ancient Iran: Copper and Bronze. I am providing the relevant illustration from his book below.

However, such tiny weapons are described elsewhere (in the listing of one on the market a while back) as having had a probable “votive or ceremonial function.” And, I suppose the votive interpretation probably makes more sense to me than the surgical instrument theory. As you can see, in the upper part of my image from Mahboubian’s book, the ancient Iranians had a number of surgical instruments which, it seems, were designed exclusively based on their function. One might rightly wonder, then, why some surgical instruments looked the part – like instruments of surgery – while others would replicate daggers.

The other item I want to provide a link to is a socketed spearhead that I uploaded this evening. Described in the seller’s listing as being from Luristan, it is a reasonable match for one illustrated in Ezat O. Negahban’s Weapons from Marlik – specifically, Plate X, figure 130. (As mentioned in my initial essay at the top of this thread, “Luristan” is used pretty liberally for Late Bronze/Early Iron Age weaponry from Iran and nearby southern Caspian Sea locations) I provide a pic from Negahban’s book below, as well.

AE Spearhead #20:
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-167482
Enlargement:
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/albums/userpics/16274/AE_Spearhead_20.jpg







* Mah surgical.jpg (276.56 KB, 935x1620 - viewed 7 times.)

* Plate X_130 Weapons from Marlik.jpg (286.43 KB, 705x1080 - viewed 7 times.)
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Virgil H
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2021, 12:04:38 am »

This is an incredible collection. A few of those in the lower photo look like Zulu assegai spear heads of much more recent make. Just a comment on what you said about surgical instruments. The top photo certainly shows multiple instruments that have to have specialized uses. Certainly, surgery or medical would be within the realm of possibility. Some of those certainly don't look like weapons. Even the daggers could be surgical. Even though the Persians were extremely advanced, medical knowledge was lacking and pretty crude, as it was everywhere. Even up to modern times, saws were and are a part of medical surgical kits, especially in the military. My comment probably isn't helpful, but that collection of yours rocks. Thanks for sharing it.
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Robert L3
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2021, 07:04:20 am »

Thanks for the comments, Virgil. Much appreciated.
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Virgil H
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2021, 08:52:29 pm »

Just realized I may have implied your spear points weren't real. I didn't mean that at all. Sorry for that confusion. I have three Zulu assegais, two of which are authentic and one is probably a tourist type device, although I still wouldn't want to be stabbed with it. And mine aren't really antiques, the two are less than 100 years old. I just meant the points look similar.
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otlichnik
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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2021, 03:44:14 pm »

Nice stuff Robert.  I entirely share your views in the small object.  It really seems that votive use is more likely than medical instrument based on form.  I have not googled "Luristan votive" but I assume it is a thing....

Though Mahboubian's is a great collection, that doesn't mean that the descriptions are up to date and accurate.

There was a great fad for "medical implements", in collection reports and catalogues, and in fact still is. 

So many Roman objects labelled "medical instruments" are items that may have had that use, but also had many other uses - many more common uses like cosmetics, kitchen, etc.  Logic tells us that for every Roman doctor there were literally thousands of Roman ladies - and thus thousands of cosmetic scoops for every medical probe.

SC

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SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)
Robert L3
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2021, 08:49:40 am »

Virgil, no worries. I understood the point you were making.

Shawn, great insights as usual. Thanks for the comments.
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Antiquities  |  Other Metal Antiquities (Moderator: otlichnik)  |  Topic: New Gallery: Bronze Weaponry of Western Asia « previous next »
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