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New Gallery Of Ancient Bronze Weaponry From Western Asia

 
 
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Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 08/07/2019  12:45 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
An admission: I haven't collected a single coin thus far this year. My focus - as well as my very finite available resources for collecting - have been deflected from the coins to much, much older game: bronze weaponry from the late 2nd to early 1st millennium BC. Although I have one or two additional pieces en route to me, I decided not to delay the start of an online gallery. I just finished uploading the initial round of acquisitions a few minutes ago.

For anyone who may be interested in this stuff, links are provided below.

The first leads to an essay that provides some information about the types of weapons in the gallery. As you will see there, this new collecting focus was begun with the intent of providing some tangible context for my coins, all of which originate from ancient Iran. (For that reason, the connection to my coin collecting, I ask that the mods leave this post here in the Ancients/Medieval section)

The second link is to the gallery, which will hopefully grow over time. After clicking on a thumbnail image to get to an entry, be sure to then click on the entry's image to see the full size version.

I will for sure get back to coin collecting in due time...the weaponry represents a temporary diversion...I think.

Essay:
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/bo...36#msg724936

Gallery:
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/ga...p?album=7069

Perhaps to serve as an enticement to check out the gallery, here's a sneak preview - one of my daggers.




AE Dagger #4
Northwestern Iran, probably Luristan
1200-800 BC
32cm (12.6")

Cf. Khorasani (Bronze and Iron Weapons from Luristan), Fig. 2 (page 212)
Cf. Moorey (Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmolean Museum), Pl. 6, #50; (also illustrated on page 70)
Cf. Overleat (The Early Iron Age in the Pusht-I Kuh, Luristan), Fig. 184, #KT.A6-19 (page 216)

From an old British collection, acquired in the 1970s

Description:
Flanged hilt with no wood or ivory remaining, single rivet hole in wedge-shaped pommel, low broad midrib, blade and hilt cast in one piece
Edited by Bob L
08/07/2019 08:54 am
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 Posted 08/07/2019  06:14 am  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow Bob! a fantastic collection, I've been following your progress but wasn't aware that you have gotten so many piece in such a short time. I have been interested in ancient weapons but I only go as far back as the 1300's AD with my Japanese swords. Until you showed me these I wasn't aware that weapons this old were out there to collect. Putting these into Biblical time periods these were old even before King David and Solomon were alive.

The article was also very interesting and informative, I wish I had the space to acquire some of these.
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 Posted 08/07/2019  06:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bob, despite mourning the loss of you from the numismatic fold, I am excited that you have found a new area of collecting to keep you interested in the history of Western Asia. One thing resonated particularly with me in your first essay. Specifically, the practice of burying soldiers and mercenaries with their weapons.


Quote:
When they died their weapons were buried with them. As Moorey states, ".even the poorest male graves appear to have contained a few simple weapons; the richest were amply stocked with them." Accordingly, many of the ancient Iranian daggers, lance blades, and so forth that one spots in museums and on the market, are from graves.


I can't remember for sure, but it seems to me that I read something similar in Japan earlier this year. The killing prowess of the blade existed only in the bond between the original owner and the sword and therefore the sword was bent and then put into the owner's grave. Maybe this philosophy was widespread or even universal at one time? Or perhaps, the "Luristani" weapons were placed in the grave for use in or on the way to the afterworld? Or something else altogether? I don't know, but it is still fascinating to ponder.

Well done on your forvm articles!
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 08/07/2019  08:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yep super collecion Bob! Very impressive! I just didn't realise there were so many different shaped heads...Really informative write up too...I can understand why you've found this slot in historical artefacts so interesting!
Just out of curiosity which is your favourite and why?
Congratulations and thanks for sharing...Paul
Edited by Palouche
08/07/2019 08:09 am
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 Posted 08/07/2019  08:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the comments, guys, and for taking the time to read the essay (a longish one spread over two parts). I appreciate it.


Quote:
Japan...the sword was bent and then put into the owner's grave.


Dave, your comments are interesting. I don't know the significance of the burying of weapons with their warrior owners - whether as a show of respect or for religious purposes - or both. I haven't come across anything regarding this in my research thus far. Probably one of many tidbits that is lost with time.

One thing I have noted while perusing auction sales, both past and present: Occasionally one encounters blades with tips broken off. I have two with busted tips in the gallery, but have spotted more online. Whether the breaking of the tips was by accident (the tip is, after all, the most vulnerable part of a blade's body) or by intent (for some ritualistic purpose) is not always clear.

The sword I have in my gallery seems to have been intentionally mutilated. The gallery pic is here:
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/ga.../Sword_1.jpg

What you don't see in that gallery picture is this, the side view...this is one of the dealer's pics, and is cropped at the bottom:



He, the dealer, speculated that it was an intentional act - and I agree with him. The condition and shape don't look like something that would have occurred during battle or as a result of burial. I would imagine the bending occurred during an intentional breaking off of the tip. But why?

Edit: Oh, forgot to add, Dave: regarding the "loss of (me) from the numismatic fold" - In fact I did get in a few bids on coins this year - losing bids all. And I will return more actively at some point to the coins. I'm just trying for now to get a respectable weapons gallery going and only have so much $$$ to spend. When I feel that the gallery is in cruising mode, I'll start divvying up my resources between the arms and coins. And, in the meantime, my coin research continues. I believe, for example, that in the next issue of KOINON, editor Nick Molinari will be including an unlisted Elymaean variety that I wrote a blurb for.
Edited by Bob L
08/07/2019 09:06 am
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 Posted 08/07/2019  09:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Putting these into Biblical time periods these were old even before King David and Solomon were alive.


Consider this small dagger blade from the Shlomo Zeitsov Collection, Ron:

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/ga...Dagger_1.jpg

A Canaanite blade (unlike my others, which are mostly from Iran), this is the oldest specimen in my collection. It dates to the early to mid 2nd millennium BC. Short of getting into fossils (not my thing) I can't imagine I'll ever own anything older.

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 Posted 08/07/2019  10:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes the purposeful bending of blades when the owner dies is a fascinating topic. With the level of effort and time required to make each one, I would be surprised if there wasn't some deep-seated (religious?) meaning behind this act.

Congrats on your manuscript in the upcoming Koinon. I expect that mine will be in there too. We should talk about collaborating for a future volume if we can find a mutually-interesting research topic.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 08/07/2019  10:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Congrats on your manuscript in the upcoming Koinon.


No, no - not a manuscript. Just a short blurb to accompany an unpublished coin. KOINON devotes a section to unpublished varieties. I had a unique Elymaean tet in that section in the 1st edition, and am contributing a drachm (not mine, but being submitted with the permission of Parviz Ahghari of Pars Coins) this time around.

Nick says that if he can't fit it into this coming (2nd) edition, it'll bounce to the 3rd. But, again, it's just a paragraph or two. My big effort was for the 1st edition - the article and chart on Parthian fractions.


Quote:
I expect that mine will be in there too.


Wonderful! Looking forward to it. Congrats.
Edited by Bob L
08/07/2019 10:49 am
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 Posted 08/07/2019  1:33 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Many cultures buried weapons and other day to day objects with their dead to aide them in the afterlife. During the Jomon era in Japan 14500- 300 BC, refined to 1000 BC bronze weapons have been found in the burial mounds (tumulus)some were bent others left in tact.

This leaves a question in my mind. Where the bent weapons from enemies that were defeated?
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 Posted 08/11/2019  1:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bob, as I said before lovely collection!

Thought I might just add one Roman arrow head to my coin collection. I know Roman is not your collecting area but could you guide me to a reputable dealer?...Also looking for a Fibula and maybe some Roman weights?...I was thinking of setting up a small exposition in my local museum and thought these artefacts might give it a bit of depth rather than just coins...Paul
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 Posted 08/11/2019  1:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice idea, Paul. I do have some recommendations to make. I'll do it through an email to you shortly.

Bob
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 Posted 08/11/2019  4:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orfew to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great writeup Bob and an excellent collection! You should consider uploading your article to Numiswiki on Forum.
"Cave ab homine unius libri"
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 Posted 08/11/2019  7:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Andrew. Joe has moved one or two things I posted over to Numiswiki through the years. I'll leave it up to him if he wants to add this one too.

I appreciate the nice comments, both here and at Forum.
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 Posted 08/11/2019  7:37 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A Roman arrow head would be nice to have. I've wanted a Gladius for years but to find and original would probably cost a small fortune.
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