Skip Navigation

A Persian Guard

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The Achaemenid rulers of Persia (modern Iran) established an empire that lasted from 559 b.c. until it was conquered by Alexander the Great in 330 b.c. By that time, the Persian Empire controlled an area extending from Egypt through present-day Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey into India. The Achaemenid kings built huge palace complexes at Persepolis and Pasargadae in southern Iran and hired craftsmen from throughout the world to decorate them with sculpture and reliefs.

This fragment shows the upper body of a palace guard holding a round shield in one hand; in his other hand, now lost, he held a spear. His hair and beard are elaborately curled, and he wears a tall, fluted hat. Behind him is the hand of another guard with a shield and spear.

MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Persepolis, Iran
  • DATES 5th–4th century B.C.E.
    PERIOD Persian Achaemenid Period
    DIMENSIONS 10 1/2 x 9 x 1 7/8 in. (26.6 x 22.8 x 4.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Kevorkian Foundation in memory of Hagop Kevorkian
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Ancient Near Eastern. A Persian Guard, 5th–4th century B.C.E. Limestone, 10 1/2 x 9 x 1 7/8 in. (26.6 x 22.8 x 4.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Kevorkian Foundation in memory of Hagop Kevorkian, 65.195. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 65.195_view1_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 65.195_view1_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.