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Bronze sword

  • Underside of sword

    Underside of sword


Length: 16.250 inches
Width: 1.870 inches

ME 123060

Room 55: Mesopotamia

    Bronze sword

    Kassite dynasty, about 1400-1100 BC
    Possibly from Kirmanshah, western Iran

    This bronze sword was allegedly found in western Iran which came within the sphere of influence, mainly along the line of the River Diyala, of the Kassite rulers of Babylonia. The cuneiform inscription reads 'Belonging to Shamash-killanni, eunuch of the king'. The sword may have been offered in a local sanctuary or presented to a local man who had served the Kassite ruler.

    The Kassites were immigrants to Babylonia. They may have come from the mountains of western Iran, but their exact origin is uncertain. Many Kassites were employed as agricultural workers but there are also references in documents to Kassite armies and their leaders. With the collapse of strong centralized control of southern Mesopotamia around 1500 BC, a line of Kassite kings established themselves in the city of Babylon. This sword may date to their reign, or to that of their successors when political power shifted to a dynasty originating in the city of Isin.

    J.E. Curtis, Later Mesopotamia and Iran (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)

    Brinkman, 'Sources for a history of Babylonia, 1160-722 BC', Journal of Cuneiform Studies-2, 16 (1962)