Mesopotamian bronze dagger with a ram head handle, 1200 B.C.

This bronze dagger has a curved blade and the end of the handle takes the shape of a ram's head. Originally, it would have had a handle of bone, stone or metal that would have been attached to the dagger and would have been used to carry it. The creation of the animal-shaped finish shows the importance of animals in the Mesopotamian mentality, since for them the reason for life was based on nature, and as such it was subordinated to or represented by animals. On the other hand, the animal representation could be associated with some protective animal deity, linked to the divine protection in the field of combat. This decoration also shows the owner's intention to preserve this piece, which is why many of these weapons were used as the owner's funeral trousseau. On the other hand, the introduction of a characteristic auction allows us to prove that there was an intention to produce artistic pieces which, in turn, did not exclude their functional work. As for the use of bronze, the use of this material, which is not very common in Mesopotamian culture, stands out as it is eclipsed by other more frequent materials such as stone and terracotta. To make bronze objects, the Mesopotamian civilization needed to import copper from territories such as Elam, Armenia and Asia Minor from the fourth millennium B.C., to which they later added tin to obtain bronze.


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