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DISC-HEADED PIN

Iran: Surkh Dum-i-Luri, Sanctuary, Level 2B
Early Iron Age III, ca. 750-700 B.C.
Copper
26.7 cm H, 10.5 cm W
Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1938
OIM A25293

Large numbers of decorated disc-headed pins were found in the sanctuary at Surkh Dum-i-Luri. They may have been votive offerings to a fertility goddess or, on analogy with a modern ethnographic parallel, deposits verifying wedding contracts among nomadic peoples moving through the area. The decoration of this example, with an eight-petaled central rosette and surrounding borders of smaller rosettes and punctate patterns, is typical. The tiny incised lion's (?) head faces away from the shaft because the pins were worn with the head hanging down and the shaft pointing up.


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Revised: November 12, 1997
Copyright 2006 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://oi.uchicago.edu