- Museum number
Copper alloy fitting in the form of a seated female figure; has braided hair and wears necklace and flounced skirt with girdle; hands held upward on knees; bracelets on wrists and arms; fish-tail horizontally behind; two rivet holes through.
- Production date
- 14thC BC-13thC BC (?)
Height: 11.80 centimetres
Length: 12.50 centimetres
Weight: 630 grammes
Width: 4.50 centimetres (across the shoulders)
- Curator's comments
- This object has been attributed a Middle Elamite date on the basis of comparison of its hairstyle with Middle Elamite figurines from Susa, and its function has been interpreted as possibly having been "originally fitted on to the armrest of a throne" (J E Curtis, "Ancient Persia", London, 1990, p. 16). The alleged provenance of Tang-i Sarvak in Susiana (rather than Susa as stated in the register) is plausible given the existence of a substantial ancient settlement-mound here next to a flourishing local market-town. An identical or very similar piece was discovered by chance at the beginning of May 2007 during construction work by the Khuzestan Water and Waste Water Company in the city of Ramhormoz in Khuzestan province, where it was found in a coffin with other objects, including some armlets very similar to those from a previous tomb discovered at Arjan. http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2007/May2007/07-05.htm
The full press report of this find, dated 8 May 2007, is copied below:
LONDON, (CAIS) -- Iranian archaeologists are searching for a king who possessed five rings of power. The rings were discovered by chance by the Khuzestan Water and Waste Water Company during a grading operation in the city of Rāmhormoz, Khuzestan Province last week. The rings have been discovered in two U-shaped coffins, which, unfortunately, have been seriously damaged by bulldozers. They are similar to a ring that belonged to the Elamite king Kidin-Khutran (1235-1210 BCE), whose coffin was discovered in 1982 in the ruins of the Elamite city of Arjan, which is located 10 kilometres north of the city of Behbahān in Khuzestan Province. One of the gold rings has a cuneiform inscription, which is believed to be written in neo-Elamite. Gold rings of this type were a symbol of power and Elamite kings were buried wearing them. Altogether, about 500 invaluable artifacts have been discovered near the coffins. “More precise archaeological techniques are required to date these items of treasure,” Abdorreza Peymani, an archaeologist of the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department, told the Persian service of CHN on Saturday. “However, it seems that some of the artifacts date back to the neo-Elamite, Parthian, and Achaemenid dynastic periods, and the empires that once ruled in Mesopotamia,” he added. “The discovery has raised much speculation,” Peymani said. “To whom did these items belong? Did the rings belong to a single person, and if so, why did he have five?” This extraordinary discovery of artifacts includes a golden armlet with herb motifs, two golden bracelets bearing dear-head patterns at each end, some ornamental stones also decorated with herb motifs, several bracelets, one of which bearing a cuneiform inscription, and a short golden cane. Some 155 golden buttons of various sizes were also found, which will help archaeologists in the study of ancient costumes. Several statuettes of goddesses, which originally must have come from Mesopotamia , have also been unearthed. In addition, a golden necklace, golden plaques with herb motifs, 99 golden necklace beads, 23 golden necklace pendants of various sizes, three marble stone dishes, earthenware and bronze dishes, several bronze bracelets, metal tripods which were probably used as candlesticks, and a fish-shaped goddess ornament, which dates back to the second millennium BCE., have been discovered at the site. The fish goddess is in the form of a woman with a pleated skirt, her hands outstretched as if to indicate something. The fish-shaped part of the goddess is part of a decorative armrest of a throne.
- On display (G30/dc25)
- Exhibition history
2018-2019 8 Nov-24 Feb, London, BM, I am Ashurbanipal, king of the world, king of Assyria
1995-2005 17 Nov-6 Dec BM, G52/IRAN/5, from official opening
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec BM, G49/IRAN/5
1975-ca 1990 Jul- BM, Iranian Room [IR] case ?, no. 6
Persian Landing [PL], wall-case [WC] 1, second shelf.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Deposited 20/2/52 as item 609; entered as loan number 30; subsequently purchased and registered where it was stated in error to be from Susa. It was reported to the Trustees in 1957 as having been given to Mr Jeacock "by a Chief of the Bakhtiyari tribe, of S.W, Persia" (Reports to Trustees 12/12/57).
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Other BM number: Loan 30 (Old number)