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PERSIAN ROUNDEL

Iran: Ecbatana (?)
Achaemenid Period
Reign of Artaxerxes II, ca. 404-359 B.C.
Gold
11.5 cm H
Purchased in New York, 1948
OIM A28582

This snarling winged lion worked in gold repoussé attests to the exceptional skill of Achaemenid goldsmiths. The back of the horned feline's body and the slender twisted cord that surrounds it bear sixteen tiny loops for attachment to a garment or textile. Greek writers often speak of the tremendous wealth of the Persians, and Herodotus writes that King Xerxes' troops "were adorned with the greatest magnificence...they glittered all over with gold, vast quantitites of which they wore about their persons" (vii.83).


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Revised: November 12, 1997
Copyright 2006 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
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