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Relief of Persian Guard

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Ancient Middle Eastern Art, The Hagop Kevorkian Gallery, 3rd Floor
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 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
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Relief of 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
    IMAGE overall, 65.195_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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