Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ancient curb bit from MET

Salvete omnes,
let us canter to the ancient, classical  Balkans for the fabulous MET has a very interesting early curb-bit. They claim is it  from the I c BC / I c AD . It is not on display in the exhibition halls but the museum displays it on their website.

The bit is of mixed metal, copper alloy and iron alloy, we could infer that this was a sweet [to the horse] bit? It weights 680.4 g
The shanks are 16.2cm(6 3/8inch)  long, while the mouthpiece is 11.1 cm (4 3/8 in.) wide, however as we can see the bit has a port, quite substantial.
The shanks are  curved forward and had a heavy bar. There is no shank above the mouthpiece. There appears to have been rollers? on the cannons on both sides of the port, but only one remains.

The bit looks similar to the bits found in ancient Iran (eg Susa), but they are dated much later, to the Sassanid era (III c AD-VII c AD)

The image is in public domain, comes from MET website.

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