Width: 2.000 inches
Excavated by Hormuzd Rassam
Room 56: Mesopotamia
Stone mace head
Akkadian, around 2200
From Sippar, southern Iraq
Dedicated in a temple by one of the earliest Mesopotamian emperors
A mace head, fixed to a wooden or metal staff,
was an early weapon. However, by the time that this mace head was
made, they had become symbols of authority, and the axe had become
the main weapon of war. Maces were commonly dedicated to the gods,
who are often shown wielding one in depictions on cylinder seals
and sculptures. Many hundreds of mace heads been excavated in
temples where they were left to demonstrate the piety of the donor.
This one has a
Shar-kali-sharri was a member of a dynasty centred in the city of Agade (Akkad). The line of kings was founded by Sargon (2334-2279 BC), who conquered most of Mesopotamia. The extent of Akkadian domination is often described as the world's first empire. According to ancient tradition the empire fell apart under Shar-kali-sharri's predecessor Naram-Sin (2254-2218 BC). However, it is clear that Shar-kali-sharri retained control throughout his twenty-year reign, although there are hints of problems, and he may have had to repel attacks on his frontiers. It also appears that his reign was followed by a period of anarchy, as the power of the Akkadian dynasty disintegrated.