Pin in the form of a lion

Period: Iron Age II

Date: ca. 9th century B.C.

Geography: Iran, Hasanlu

Culture: Iran

Medium: Bronze, iron

Dimensions: 2.28 x 5 in. (5.79 x 12.7 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Ornaments

Credit Line: Purchase, Mrs. Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff Gift, 1961

Accession Number: 61.100.10


One of the most characteristic objects from Hasanlu is the so-called lion pin. Over sixty have been excavated at the site, most in Burned Building II, where they are associated—in groups of one, two, or three—with the many skeletons of individuals killed within the building at the time of its destruction. The pin, presumably used to fasten a garment, is a solid bronze reclining lion with the front paws extended and joined at the rear to an iron pin. A bronze chain attached to a loop created by a curve in the tail held the pin securely to the garment. The lion pins found at Hasanlu vary in size and weight as well as in decorative details. This example has a long mane running the length of its back. An upward curling tongue protrudes from its wide gaping mouth, and globular eyes are set on either side of its flattened head.