Over the last 20 years we have been selling online, this is only THE SECOND time we have had the extraordinarily rare opportunity to offer a WHITE BRONZE weapon of the Ancient Near East! To label it "RARE" is an understatement! Attributed to the ancient eastern Iranian tribes of the Bronze Age, this is a very rare dagger tanged knife blade cast in WHITE BRONZE. White bronze in the Ancient Near East, was reserved for special PRESTIGE objects and extremely rare in ancient times as much as it is today! In addition to being cast in white bronze, the preservation and quality of manufacture are superb. The surface of the metal has become scattered with encrustation of a light malachite patina in various areas. The neck of the blade features decorative raised ribbing and the blade features a luxurious design of a raised reinforcing midrib and an additional midrib central to that raised portion. The blade flares to an unusually thin edge profile which would have meant this knife was originally razor sharp. Traces of ancient cloth can be seen still affixed to one surface.
No doubt, this was most certainly a prestige weapon reserved for highest-class warriors as this metal and design is never found on ordinary, common weapons of the age. This dagger would have been affixed to a handle of horn, bone or ivory and been a personal side-arm weapon, worn at the belt of an ancient warrior, and used as a "last resort" defense weapon when combat got extremely close and personal.
This white bronze ancient weapon would surely be a valuable enhancement to a collection of the finest, rare examples of ancient Bronze Age militaria!
This artifact has been professionally cleaned and conserved in our lab, being treated with a special sealer developed 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 reflecting the 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 green corrosive powder that will literally eat away an artifact over time.
WARNING: There is an increasing number of fake Near Eastern (Luristan) bronze weapons on the market. As fine quality intact, original specimens become more scarce and techniques have become more sophisticated to fake these weapons. We have personally handled numerous extremely 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 from the dealer a written guarantee of authenticity with unconditional and lifetime return policies regarding such guarantee.
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.