Whetstone with bronze handle

Luristan culture, about 1000-700 BC This is a whetstone, used to sharpen weapons and tools of bronze and iron. It dates to the early first millennium BC. Although by this time the use of iron had become widespread, bronze remained one of the most commonly used metals. Normally they were very simple tools: just a stone perforated at the top and fitted with a metal ring, for suspension from a belt. This example, however, comes from Luristan in western Iran where, as nowhere else in the Near East, whetstones had richly decorated bronze handles. The combination of animals in the decoration is known earlier in Elam in south west Iran and this may have been a source of inspiration for the Luristan metal workers.

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