Country & History

Persian Literature

Contact Us

Art Arena

Arts & Crafts

Site Map

Visitor's Book


The Arrival of
the Iranians

Previous Page



Next Page

The art of Luristan in the west of Iran mainly covers the period from the 12th to the 8th centuries BC and has become famous for its engraved bronze artifacts and castings of horse trappings, weapons, and standards.

The most common of the Luristan bronzes are probably the horse trappings and harness ornaments. The cheek pieces are often very elaborate, sometimes in the shape of ordinary animals such as horses or goats but also in the form of imaginary beasts like winged human-faced bulls.

Bronze horse-bit of Luristan type

Bronze horse-bit of Luristan type,
with cheek-pieces showing a composite monster
with an animal's body, wings, and a horned human head.
10th - 7th century BC.

A lion's head apparently became the most desired decoration on axes. To have the blade issue from the open jaws of a lion was to endow the weapon with the strength of the most powerful of beasts.

Bronze axe-head of Luristan type

Bronze axe-head of Luristan type.
It's socket is shaped in the form of a stylized lion's head,
with it's mane ending in further animal heads.
10th - 7th century BC.

Many of the standards show the so-called "master of animals", a Janus-headed human-like figure, in the centre fighting with two beasts. The role of these standards is unknown; however, they may have been used as household shrines.

Luristan art neither shows the glorification of heroism nor the brutality of man, but delights in imaginary stylised monsters in which the call of this ancient Asiatic civilization is to be felt.

Bronze standard

Bronze standard in the form of a master
of animals struggling with two rampant beasts.
10th - 7th century BC.

It is believed that the Luristan bronzes were crafted by the Medes, an Indo-European people who, in close association with the Persians, began to infiltrate into Persia at about this period. However, this has never been proved, and others believe that they are connected with the Kassite civilization, or the Cimmerians or the Hurrians.


Persian Art Through The Centuries

Return to top

Persian History

Persian Art
Through The Centuries

Top of page

Persian History
Iran before the Iranians

Copyright© 1999 K. Kianush, Art Arena