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FRIEZE OF STRIDING LIONS

Iran: Persepolis
Achaemenid Period
Reign of Darius I/Xerxes, ca. 522-465 B.C.
Limestone
73.0 cm H, 171.0 cm W
Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1932-4
OIM A24068

An Achaemenid artisan carved this piece of stone to represent part of a cloth canopy that was decorated with woven or appliquéd figures of rosettes and striding lions. Remnants of crenellations on the top of the block indicate that it belonged to the uppermost row of stones. The fringe along the lower edge, representing knotted cords ending in tassels, was partly chipped away in ancient times, perhaps before the stone was reused in the balustrade of a small stairway east of Darius' residential palace.

A pair of diamonds joined as a figure-eight can be seen in three places on the face of this stone. They are the marks of the sculptor or team of sculptors who carved this and numerous other Persepolis reliefs on which the same marks appear.


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Revised: January 7, 2002
Copyright 2006 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://oi.uchicago.edu