- Museum number
Cast axe-head; tin bronze inlaid with silver; shows a boar attacking a tiger which is attacking an ibex.
- Production date
Height: 11 centimetres
Length: 17 centimetres
Weight: 675.50 grammes
Depth: 3.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- See RL file 6616 (29/6/1995); also Research Lab file 4992 of 12/09/1983 where XRF analysis of surface indicates composition as tin bronze with approx 10% tin and traces of arsenic, nickel, silver and lead.
Dalton's inclusion in the 'Catalogue of the Oxus Treasure' among a small group of comparative items has unfortunately led to recurrent confusion over the date and provenance of this piece. It was first believed to be Achaemenid in date (Dalton, 'Catalogue of the Oxus Treasure', p. 48), labelled as such in 1975 in the former Iranian Room and thus suggested to be an Achaemenid scabbard chape (P R S Moorey CORRES 1975, based on an example said to have been excavated by P. Bernard at Ai Khanoum or seen by him in Kabul Bazaar, cf. P. Bernard CORRES 1976). It has also been assigned a 4th-5th century AD Sasanian date (P. Amiet, 1967, in 'Revue du Louvre' 17, pp. 281-82). However, its considerably earlier - late 3rd mill. BC Bronze Age - date has now been clearly demonstrated following the discovery of large numbers of objects of related form in south-east Iran and Bactria, and it has since been recognised and/or cited as such, for instance by H. Pittmann (hence archaeometallurgical analysis in 1983; R. Maxwell-Hyslop, 1988a, "British Museum axe no. 123628: a Bactrian bronze", 'Bulletin of the Asia Institute' 1 (NS), pp. 17-26; F. Hiebert & C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky 1992a, "Central Asia and the Indo-Iranian Borderlands",' Iran' 30, p. 5; B. Brentjes, 1991a, "Ein tierkampfszene in bronze", 'Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran' 24 (NS), p. 1, taf. 1).
- On display (G52/dc1)
- Exhibition history
2018, 6 May- 30 June, National Museum, New Delhi, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
2017-2018, 10 Nov 2017 - 18 Feb 2018, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, India, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
2007- BM, G52/IRAN/1
2006 13 Apr-Dec, BM, G2/77
1995-2005 17 Nov-5 Dec, BM, G52/IRAN/2/14
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN
1975-ca 1990 Jul-Dec, BM, Iranian Room [IR] case 11/42.
1960s BM, Persian Landing [PL] at top of West Stairs, case 1
BM, Iranian Room [IR], case 2
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Treasure/PAS number: OT.193 (Not part of the Oxus Treasure)