In the Bronze age, we all know of large ancient cities, monuments, temples and tombs but how were they built? Where are the tools? Even most prestigious national museums lack these rare objects in their collection. This offering presents the rarest Near Eastern Bronze Age tool we could offer - a cast bronze SHOVEL ENTRENCHING HOE. Since bronze was so precious in this time and the average person would not have been building their personal pyramids or temples, one can see just how scarce this object would have been. It is probable that only royal construction teams would have had access to such a tool as the task necessitating such a tool would have been of monumental proportions. Foundations and underground chambers of royal tombs and temples would have required the ability to dig deeply and tools used to complete such important projects, would themselves, have been considered special and highly regarded. It is even possible this tool was strictly the property of royalty dedicated for such construction projects. This is one of those types of tools that could only have completed such major technological undertakings of the day. In consultation with one of the world's most respected published authorities on ancient Near Eastern Bronze age weapons and tools, he informed us that he has only seen one smaller example in one national museum. This would make an important cornerstone in the finest collections of Bronze Age tools used to build monuments. It is one of only a few ever seen or known about.
This heavy cast shovel hoe was made using the open sand cast method. A model of the finished design would have first been made. A damp fine sand bed was then used to press the model into and once removed, it left a perfect open cavity for the molten bronze to be poured into. Once cooled, the finished cast object was removed, identical to the model on the underside where it filled the mold of the original model. The top side unshaped and rough from the cooling molten bronze.
A large shaft hole shows this digging tool was functional and used on a heavy wooden shaft. The chopping end shows extreme use wear with ancient re-sharpening to create a point for digging. The underside shows two linear raised decorations radiating from the rear of the shaft hole. This amazing ancient bronze artifact shows superb preservation with no disease or corrosion.
This artifact has been professionally cleaned and conserved in our lab, being treated with a special sealer developed and formulated by us specifically for ancient metal preservation. The patina shows beautiful traits only found in authentic ancient weapons. It is a patina like this that the finest ancient bronzes are prized for and it is a patina like this that brings a premium in price and value of the specimen. There is no active bronze disease. Bronze disease can develop on ancient bronze that is not properly cleaned and conserved. It produces a corrosive powder that will literally eat away an artifact over time and destroy it.
WARNING: There is a STAGGERING number of fake and altered "ancient" bronze weapons on the market. Many being sold as "authentic" were never meant to deceive and were made as far back as 100 years ago as exact reproductions for museums to sell in their gift shops. Other examples are modern fabrications specifically intended to fool unwitting buyers. As fine quality intact, original specimens become more scarce, the techniques to fake these objects have become highly advanced. We have personally handled numerous well-done fakes with extremely convincing patinas. The degree to which the fakers have been able to replicate patina to disguise their work requires an expert examination by highly experienced individuals. It is common to find very reasonably priced weapons that are made up of part original and part modern components or wholly modern pieces displaying elaborate artificial patinas. All purchases should include a written guarantee of authenticity from the seller, with unconditional and lifetime return policies regarding such guarantee, such as we provide.
With origins dating back to prehistory, the empire of ancient Iran was one of the world's first superpower civilizations by the time it had taken form in the second millennium B.C.. The various cultures that can be included in the former ancient Iranian Empire stretched across an enormous geographical region extending beyond what is called the Iranian Plateau. To gain insight as to just how large this area was, the Iranian Plateau alone, includes Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan and comprises approximately nearly 4 million square kilometers (almost 1.5 million square miles). The area of ancient Iran included not only the massive Iranian plateau made up of the tribes of the Medes, Persians, Bactrians and Parthians, but also included groups as far west as the Scythians (an eastern Scythian tribe existed in parallel in Central Asia), Sarmartians, Cimmerians and Alans populating the steppes north of the Black Sea. To the eastern boundary of the empire, the Saka tribes dominated, spreading as far as Xinjiang, China. From a very early period, the ancient Iranian peoples have been historically documented to exist in two separate continuums - a western civilization (Persia) and an eastern civilization (Scythia).
The beginnings of ancient Iran trace back to an influx into the Iranian cultural region of bands of horse-mounted steppe nomads from Central Asia, speaking Indo-European languages. Some settled in eastern Iran but other groups migrated deeper to the west settling in the Zagros Mountains. These first people descended from the proto-Iranians, originating from the Central Asian Bronze age culture of what is called the Bactria-Margiana Complex (aka Oxus Civilization), dated 2200-1700 B.C..
This historical achievements and the breadth of diverse cultures included of this once great empire are too vast to adequately credit in this brief synopsis. The Islamic conquest of Persia in the middle of the 7th century A.D. and the collapse of the Sassanid Empire marked the end of once geographically expansive and culturally diverse ancient superpower.
The term LURISTAN references artifacts made by a society of semi-nomadic people that once lived in the mountainous region of Northwest Iran. Little is known of this ancient culture but the most impressive traces are that of the bronze artifacts they left behind that can be found in parts of present-day Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. These include highly decorative equipment for their horses, ceremonial containers and numerous weapons ranging from simple utilitarian pieces on up to elaborate masterpieces of warfare.
It is theorized that the Luristan bronzes were crafted by the earliest existence of the Median empire but this has never been proven as written records of the Medes have not survived. The Medes were Indo-Iranian people originally from central Asia who settled in Northwest Iran in the 9th century BC and later defeated the Assyrian empire in 614 BC. Their success is short-lived and their empire which once stretched from central Iran to the Persian Gulf and Anatolia was overrun in 550 BC by the Persians.