Sun-disk pectoral

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


Object Place: Iran, Caspian coastal region

Dimensions

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

Accession Number

60.959

Medium or Technique

Gold

On View

Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)

Collections

Asia, Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Pendants

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.

Provenance

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