Sun-disk pectoral

Near Eastern, Iranian
Iron Age
10th–9th century B.C.

Object Place: Iran, Caspian coastal region


Overall: 9.3 cm (3 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)


Asia, Jewelry, The Ancient World



Sun-disk pectoral. Two outer rims of hatched dashes; eleven-pointed star with 4 bosses between each point; in center large boss whose center was depressed, apparently to take inlay. Hasp for attaching to necklace. This type of ornament, which was widely imitated and used in Iran, originated in Mesopotamia, where it was called the “shamshatu,” or “sun-disk.” Evoking the sun god Shamash, who was also the god of justice, it seems to have been worn as a symbol of earthly authority and of the great god’s patronage.


By 1960: with Dariush Broumand, New York, New York; 1960: purchased by the MFA from Dariush Broumand.
(Accession Date: September 21, 1960)

Credit Line

Mary L. Smith Fund