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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > Western Asiatic Early Mesopotamian or Proto-Elamite War Chariot

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LOT 0243

Estimate
GBP (£) 30,000 - 40,000
EUR (€) 33,040 - 44,050
USD ($) 38,910 - 51,890

Opening Bid
£27,000 (EUR 29,736; USD 35,023) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Western Asiatic Early Mesopotamian or Proto-Elamite War Chariot

2nd millennium BC

A bronze model of a proto-war chariot, formed as a squared box, the axle attached underneath with a gauge extending to full disk wheels with visible nave and hoops, the draught pole formed of two parallel pole braces attached to a yoke holding two onagers; the chariot box with openwork sides with vertical slits; on the front a squared shield protection for the driver, furnished with two sight holes and wide edge, behind which the standing driver is in fighting position, the left hand holding on to the chariot panel, the right one raised to throw a weapon, probably a spear. 2.1 kg, 32.5cm (12 3/4"). Very fine condition.

Provenance
Previously with the Aaron Brothers, Tehran, Iran, acquired from Mr Masaru Kawachi, of Hashigaoka Gallery Co., Nagoya, Japan on 25 May 1965; accompanied by an archaeological report by military specialist Dr. Raffaele D’Amato; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10153-167441.
Literature
See Crouwel, J.H., Chariots and other means of land transport in Bronze Age Greece, Amsterdam, 1981; Stillmann, N. & Tallis N., Armies of the Ancient Near East, 3000 BC to 539 BC, Worthing, 1984; Kuz’mina, E., The origin of the Indo-Iranians, Leiden-Boston, 2007; Anthony, D.W., The horse, the wheel and language, how bronze age riders from the Eurasian steppes shaped the Modern World, Princeton, 2007; Matthiae, P., Marchetti, N., Ebla and its landscape, early state formation in the ancient Near East, Walnut Creek, 2013.
Footnotes
One of the oldest representations of chariots in a military context date back to the 26th century BC, on the infamous ornate wooden panel from Ur, from Southern Mesopotamia (c.2500 BC). In the so-called 'Standard of Ur' are depicted five chariots, or more correctly carts or wagons (Gish-Gigir), pulled by oxen or a hybrid of a donkey and female onagers (Kunga), usually bred in the city of Nagar. The Sumerians possessed light chariots pulled by four onagers but equipped with solid wooden wheels, as the spoked wheel did not appear in Mesopotamia until the second millennium BC. These kind of chariots were used by the Eblaite, Early Sumerian, Akkadian and Ur III armies. Although used as vehicles of battle sometimes carrying spear men with the charioteer, such heavy wagons, borne on solid wooden wheels and covered with skins, may have been part of the baggage train too (e.g. during royal funeral processions).