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Museum purchase, gift of Lisa Sardegna, Albert P. Wagner Bequest Fund, William A. Stimson, Friends of Ian White Endowment Income Fund, Unrestricted Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, Volunteer Council Acquisition Fund, Ancient Art Trust Fund and Auction Proceeds, Mrs. John N. Rosekrans, Jr., Sande Schlumberger, Endowment Fund in Honor of Francesca and Thomas Carr Howe, Walter H. and Phyllis J. Shorenstein Foundation Fund, Tish and James Brown and various Tribute Funds
The fabled city of Persepolis is today a complex of ruins, dating back 2,500 years to Iran’s Achaemenid Period. This exquisitely carved Persian relief sculpture is from the fabled city, located in modern Iran, shows the head and shoulders of a bearded Persian offering bearer in profile. He wears the typical pleated bashlyk, one piece of cloth wrapped around the head, chin, and neck. Curls of his beard, mustache, and hair peek from under the headdress.
The relief dates to one of the great periods of Iranian civilization when the kings of the Achaemenid dynasty established an empire that brought stability, prosperity, and a flourishing civilization to the Near East. This monarchy prospered for over 200 years (550–330 BC) until its downfall at the hands of Alexander the Great. The architecture of the magnificent Achaemenid palaces was distinguished by sculpted stonework relief decoration such as this example.