- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Other Titles
- Former Title: Disc Fragment
- Ritual Implements
- Work Type
- 9th-8th century BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Luristan (Iran)
- Iron Age II-III
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- 10 cm (3 15/16 in.)
- Technical Details
Chemical Composition: Main
XRF data from Tracer
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron
XRF data from Artax 1
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron, arsenic
K. Eremin, January 2014
Chemical Composition: SEM-WDS data from sample, Bronze:
Cu, 94.7; Sn, 5.0; Pb, nd; Zn, nd; Fe, 0.08; Ni, nd; Ag, nd; Sb, nd; As, 0.17; Co, nd
Comments: Highly corroded; only small islands of metal remain.
R. Newman, June 2015
Technical Observations: The disc was shaped from sheet metal, which was hammered and then raised by repoussé to form the decorative elements in the center and along some of the edges. Much of the disc is missing, probably as a result of mineralization, which must have weakened the metal in select areas. The two sets of paired holes along the remaining edge were made by punching through the metal; their edges are raised on both the front and back. The original surface of the object would have been smooth and finished. Much of the surface now appears to have a fine, even darker layer that delaminates easily in some areas, exposing a smooth reddish-brown metallic surface. The back of the delaminating layer is slightly greener. Much of the surface is also distorted by large green malachite formations.
Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)
- Harry J. Denberg, New York, NY (by 1969), gift; to the Fogg Art Museum, 1969.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Harry J. Denberg
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
Bounding to the left, a stylized animal, perhaps a hippocamp, in repoussé graces the obverse of this fragmentary sheet-metal roundel. The creature’s preserved form comprises a long neck, two forelegs, and a looped tail. Attenuated horns are visible behind the neck, as if the missing head were tilted back. A motif in the form of an elongated C-shape open at the top embellishes the lower field, and the perimeter is enhanced with delicate raised dots, inside of which runs a finely incised double line.
Two sets of perforations, one near the tail and one below the oval motif, interrupt the repoussé dots. Additional perforations may have been situated at equal distances around the original edge. Stitching (or possibly pins) through the double perforations could have attached the roundel to a larger object or garment.
Luristan, Parthian, and Italic origins have been suggested for an array of decorated bronze discs; no objects of this type derive from Near Eastern archaeological contexts (1). Iron Age Iranian sheet metal pendants, pin heads, and cymbals with repoussé decoration provide the closest excavated parallels (2).
1. See C. Boisgirard, Archéologie: Collection de Monsieur R. B. à Genève, Bronzes du Luristan et de la Caspienne (Paris, 1997) 19, no. 109; P. Calmeyer, “Drei Metall-Tondi unbekannter Herkunft,” in Das Tier in der Kunst Irans, ed. F. Kußmaul, exh. cat., Linden-Museum (Stuttgart, 1972) nos. 73-75; E. de Waele, Bronzes du Luristan et d’Amlash, Publications d’historie de l’art et d’archeologie de l’Université Catholique de Louvain 34 (Louvain-La-Neuve, 1982) 210, no. 349 (dated to the Selucid or Parthian periods); D. G. Mitten and S. F. Doeringer, Master Bronzes from the Classical World (Mainz, 1967) 160-61; P. R. S. Moorey et al., Ancient Bronzes, Ceramics, and Seals (Los Angeles, 1981) 76-81, nos. 368-99; and O. W. Muscarella, Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1988) 271, no. 364.
2. See P. R. S. Moorey, Catalogue of the Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, 1971) 207-15 and 246-48, nos. 354-63 and 467-75; and Muscarella 1988 (supra 1) 124-25, no. 194.
- Subjects and Contexts
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