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IRANIAN ART: ACHAEMENID DYNASTY

The International Achaemenid Style


 

By: A. Souren Melekian-Chirvani

 

Iran Under the Achaemenid Dynasty

 

 

Achaemenid art is one of those categories that are taken for granted, with little attention being paid to the finer nuances. This was understandable as long as the amount of known material was minimal and the information available regarding its provenance could not be held to have much significance.

 

The situation has changed in recent decades. Even if the wares now on record overwhelmingly originate from the clandestine digs that devastate the heritage of the past from the western shores of Anatolia to the easternmost areas of Afghanistan, there is growing evidence that objects qualifying as Achaemenid on the simple basis of comparison with material from Achaemenid Iran were widely disseminated within the borders of the Achaemenid Empire. In particular, so much has tumbled on to the market that came out of Lydia in western Anatolia and Armenia in the northeastern quarter that the stated provenance can no longer be dismissed out of hand as "not securely verified."

 

The possibility, indeed, the probability, of local production must be considered as a working hypothesis in a number of cases. It is plausible to assume that some precious vessels would have been taken out of Iran by imperial officials to the distant outposts where they were stationed, or that, in other situations, imperial vessels would have been sent out from Iran to highly important officials of non-Iranian extraction. It is equally plausible to posit that there would have been local ateliers here and there striving to produce straight imitations and that these gradually gave rise to regional styles with increasingly distinctive characteristics.

 

Difficulties begin the minute one tries to classify the available material according to these hypothetical categories. However, caution is no excuse for continuing to ignore altogether what amounts to a major problem of cultural history.

 

The identification of a silver incense burner closely matched in the rendition of metal models by the sculptors of the Persepolis bas-reliefs and carrying the name of an Iranian owner, added in Lydia after completion, provides a starting point for an investigation that will have to be carried out for decades to come. It is in all probability the first identifiable case of an object exported from Iran to Lydia.

 

A quick glance at several vessels which came out of Anatolia gives an idea of the range of other objects that justify speculation on their origin, probably Iranian in some cases, probably local in others, and demonstrably so regarding one or two. Irritating as the uncertainty may be concerning individual cases, the overall picture that emerges is that of an International Achaemenid style with regional nuances. At this stage, investigation of the subject is bound to take the form of questions rather than answers.

 

 

1. An Achaemenid Incense Burner

The incense burner in fig. 1 was on view at the Metropolitan Museum from 1980 until 1993, when it was returned to Turkey. From the beginning, it was called "Greek."[1] A closer look at the facts shows that there is little justification for the label.

 

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Fig. 1. Silver incense burner of the Persepolitan type (left) and detail of the Persepolitan basrelief shown in fig. 2 (right). Iran, early 5th century BCE Photos: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

When Dietrich von Bothmer, the eminent curator now retired from the Department of Greek and Roman Art, published it in 1980 as part of a supposedly "Greek and Roman Treasury," he briefly mentioned its resemblance to two incense burners represented at Persepolis, adding in the same breath that "the same model much closer to the silver specimens [sic] is painted on a Clazomenian sherd preserved in Athens.”[2] Regrettably, the art historian neither illustrates the sherd,nor does he make any reference to its whereabouts. As it is, the silver incense burner in fig. 1 could hardly be "closer" to the models represented four times in variants of the same scene at Persepolis, the king enthroned giving audience (fig. 2; fig. I, right).[3] The similarity is so obvious that it might inspire doubts concerning the authenticity of the silver piece, were it not for the appearance of the metal. The surface displays entirely convincing areas of oxidisation as well as the kind of minute scratches to be observed on properly excavated material when examined under a magnifying glass. No questions appear to have been raised by any of the scholars or collectors who have seen and handled the object.

 

What first springs to the eye is the structural similarity. A tall stand with tapering incurving walls, that calls to mind the image of a trumpet resting on its mouth, supports a bowl-shaped receptacle topped by a stepped conical cover. Close to the top, below the receptacle, a compressed knop is partly concealed in the bas-relief specimens by a small parasol-like element. There is no such piece on the silver object. Whether this parasol-like fixture is now missing because it was lost, or whether none 

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Fig. 2. Detail from a bas-relief formerly in the Treasury Room, Persepolis, now in the Muze-ye Iran Bastan, Tehran, ca. 487-480 BCE (Click to enlarge)

was ever supplied is uncertain.

 

A smaller detail bears out the general similarity in construction. In the bas-relief models, an oval lug below the knop, shaped as a duck head pointed downwards, holds a chain that links it to the top part of the cover. On the silver incense burner, precisely the same type of lug is seen. It holds the remains of a broken chain[4] which, when intact, no doubt linked the stand to the top of the cover. This parallel bears out in passing the fact that the cock perched on the floral chalice did not originally belong with the object. The projecting chalice would have clumsily caught the hanging chain.

 

By contrast with the close similarity that the silver incense burner bears to the Persepolis representation, a glance at a recent typological study of a large number of incense burners on stands by Bernard Goldman is enough to show that the Persepolis models and the silver incense burner stand apart, in a class of their own, with marked differences from all the other types recorded so far.[5] They are variants of one and the same type that may be characterized as the imperial Achaemenid model.

 

The similarity in construction is matched by the similarity in decoration. Precisely the same kind of horizontal grooving may be seen on the trumpet-shaped stand in the silver object and in its carved rendition. This device occurs repeatedly in imperial precious metal vessels of the Achaemenid period. It may be seen on a series of objects represented at Persepolis. They include wine beakers, wine bowls and buckets.[6] Some of the most famous vessels long recognized as Iranian display this type of grooving. They include, among others, the large silver drinking horn with a goat head from the Seven Brothers' Barrow and a gold bowl with lion-shaped handles from Siberia, both in the Hermitage, as well as a gold jug from the so-called Oxus Treasure in the British Museum.[7]

 

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Fig. 3. Detail of the silver incense burner stand showing the Lydian inscription incised on the splayed foot, datable to around the first half of the 6th century BCE (Click to enlarge)

A second ornamental feature is never found in Greek metalwork. It consists of staggered rows of arrow-shaped openings, which are quintessentially Iranian.[8] Their arrangement is the same in the silver object and on the models carved in the Persepolis relief. In both cases, none appear on the lowest and broadest step. This follows functional logic. As the silver incense burner shows, the lowest step is vertical in order to fit the vertical rim of the bowlshaped receptacle. No openings are required because the rim itself is not pierced.

 

I have left aside the finial designed as a cock perched on a floral blossom. At first glance, it would seem to have been welded to the top part of the cover as a result of the corrosive process, indicating that it was fitted to it prior to burial. However, it does not sit well on the stepped cover. The chalice projects well beyond the flattened top and would have been a slight hindrance when fixing the chain. In short, it has every appearance of being a later addition which might have been made when an inscription was summarily incised on the foot in archaic "Greek" capitals.

 

This inscription, written in the Lydian language, was the object of an extensive epigraphical and philological commentary from Roberto Gusmani.[9] It reads artymalim, "(I) am of Artimas." The distinguished linguist notes that the letters include "the rare sign Ì, which we know as a variant for I (i)" and adds: "the dating put forward for the object (around the second half of the sixth century BCE) would appear to be borne out from the standpoint of the development of Lydian writing." Such a conclusion is broadly consistent with the Persepolis parallel-the Treasury and the Palace of Xerxes, which points to a date some time in the late sixth or early fifth century BCE[10]

 

Neither Gusmani nor von Bothmer find time to specify that the inscription is an addition. It is incised, rather clumsily, on the splayed foot in an area where no inscription was ever intended (fig. 3).

 

Who was Artimas? Ferdinand Justi entered the name in his Dictionary of Iranian Names (Iranisches Namenbuch) as early as 1895, quoting the interpolation found in the Anabasis by Xenophon which names one Artimas among the apxovieq of Cyrus the Younger, i.e., the satraps or satraps-in-charge in Anatolia. This would have been around 401-400 BCE[11]

 

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Fig. 4, 5. Deatails of the bronze incense burner in the Achaemenid style. Probably Iran, late 6th-early 5th century BCE Photos: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

A. D. H. Bivar has convincingly argued that a seal in the Imperial Achaemenid style inscribed to the name of one "Artym," the Aramaic form of Greek Artimas, was executed for the man named Artimas in the Anabasis interpolation.[12] The seal (now known only from an electrotype of an original that has been lost sight of since the nineteenth century) bears out the nature of his office. Under the typical symbol of imperial Achaemenid authority which is cut on the stone, the inscription is in Aramaic, the chancery language of the Empire. Aramaic was not used locally either in Lydia or in neighboring Lycia. The symbol of authority held by Artimas must therefore have been granted from the central seat of Achaemenid power, leaving little doubt that he held the high office of the king's deputy, whether as a satrap or a satrap in-charge, in 401-400 BCE

 

His name is Iranian. Linguists who held diverging views on the subject no longer doubt this.[13] The earlier Artimas who had his name incised on the silver incense burner, some time in the second half of the sixth century BCE, held equally high office. That is established by the very occurrence of his name on the incense burner, a utensil used in imperial rites, in the emperor's presence only, if we are to judge from the visual evidence of the Persepolis bas-reliefs. In all likelihood, the owner of the incense burner was the ancestor of the Anabasis Artimas (and, probably, imperial seal holder) and thus the first in a dynastic succession of satraps of which Harpagos of Xanthos provides a parallel instance.[14]

 

Whatever the case may be concerning the family line of Artimas, the inscription of an Iranian name in Lydian on an incense burner of pure Persepolitan type some time around 500 BCE makes an import from Iran highly probable. The satrap could have taken it with him to Lydia, or it could have been dispatched from Iran as an imperial token-we will never know. The inscription in Lydian was, by definition, intended to identify the owner to Lydian speakers, suggesting that the silver piece may have been in the care of court ceremony attendants. If reserved for the satrap's exclusive use, just as the Persepolis incense burners seem to have been for royal use only, such an inscription would have answered a practical necessity.

 

The importance of the silver incense burner is enhanced by the discovery of a bronze incense burner which came to the Metropolitan Museum as part of "one of the different East Greek treasures acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1966 and 1976" (figs. 4, 5).[15] Nothing remotely connects the object with Greece. The bronze incense burner displays, again, typically Iranian features, all consistent with an attribution to Achaemenid Iran. Together, the two incense burners illustrate the use of fundamental modules by Achaemenid metalwork designers to produce very different-looking objects merely by varying the secondary features.

 

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Fig. 6. Silver phiale in the Achaemenid style. Iran or Lydia (probably the latter?). Sketch: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

Here, two fundamental modules are part of the overall construction. They are the squat bowl-shaped receptacle, an age-old type, and the cover shaped as a stepped circular pyramid truncated at the top to make way for a finial. The receptacle is riveted and welded to a short horizontal handle shaped like a pike. The extremity linking it with the bowl is chamfered, as is the bud finial on top of the cover. Into this handle fits a very long shaft with ring-like ribbing. The shaft is terminated at the other end with a calf's head.

 

For further strengthening, the horizontal handle is attached through hot soldering to the rounded sides of the bowl by two short rods ending with duck heads curving back in opposite directions. Finally, the figure of a leaping calf, turning its head back, joins the horizontal handle and the stepped cover. Its hind legs fit on either side of a hinging plate rising from the handle and its front legs are riveted into the second step of the cover.

 

The handling of the animal heads is typical of Achaemenid art. The small calf protome at the end of the shaft has well-rounded eyeballs delineated by a raised fillet, a standard feature in Achaemenid animal sculpture.[16] So, too, is the thick rounded molding over the eye.[17] Not least, the leaping calf is typically Iranian. This applies to the very idea of using the figure of an animal raised on its hind legs and turning its head away from the object to link two sections of it, as is also the case with Achaemenid vase-like rhyta.[18] And, as with the protome, the stylization of the calf's head is purely Iranian, with its eyeballs tending towards a triangular shape delineated by a fillet. The curving S-like attachments ending with duck heads find their closest parallels in a gray stone tray from a group of stone objects found in the Persepolis Treasury.[19]

 

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Figs. 7, 8. Bronze phiale. Achaemenid style and period. Iran, 6th-5th century BCE Paris art market (1979/, coming from Iran. Note the dealer's mark, now removed by cleaning. Private collection, London. Unpublished. Photos: Melikian-Chirvani.(Click to enlarge)

All these secondary features independently point to the same conclusion as the use of an identical primary module for the receptacle. The bronze incense burner is an Achaemenid-style artefact of Iranian or, possibly, Lydian make. Until proven otherwise, the first assumption may be retained as the most likely.

 

This, too, is a piece of utmost importance. It is an early forerunner of the metal incense burner attached to a horizontal handle which was later to enjoy considerable fortune in Iran .[20]

 

One of the two fundamental modules used for the silver and the bronze incense burner, i.e., the stepped conical cover cut off at the top, reproduces an age-old architectural form which goes back to the Elamite ziggurats of southern Iran.[21] It survived in vernacular architecture as a standard form of icehouse.[22]

 

 

2. The Achaemenid Style in Western Anatolian Silver

Other objects in the "Greek and Roman Treasury" require a similar reconsideration. They can be recognized to be Achaemenid in design at a glance.

 

This applies to a series of small shallow bowls with diameters ranging between 16 and 17.5 centimeters. Four standard types are all matched by near-identical specimens which turned up by the dozen on the Tehran art market throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

 

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Fig. 9. Bronze phiale. Achaemenid style and period. Iran, 6th-5th century BCE Note the ancient repair near the rim. Unpublished. Photo: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

A highly distinctive type is decorated with lotus petals in high relief, numbering from six to eleven, pointed towards the center (fig. 6). In the intervals, slender narrow lotus leaves are pointed towards the outside and topped by lotus blossoms. A central boss, which Hellenists like to call an omphalos, is salient inside. In the publication A Greek and Roman Treasury, four bowls of that type are referred to as "the socalled Achaemenian type.”[23] A typical Iranian example which virtually matches a piece in the Metropolitan Museum presented by Walter Hauser in 1937, after returning from Iran, is the unpublished bowl illustrated here in figs. 7, 8.[24] Endless variants concerning the proportions of the lotus blossoms, buds and leaves are in existence. An exhaustive typological classification of this vast body of material has yet to see the light of day. There is no way at present of determining for sure whether the four silver pieces were imported from Iran or made in 

Anatolian ateliers in the Achaemenid fashion. But there is no doubt as to the time when they were disseminated throughout the Middle East under Achaemenid political control. As noted by several writers, the general type appears on Achaemenid levels as far afield as Iraq, Syria and Palestine.[25] A revealing case is 

that of the cemetery for Iranian soldiers at Deve-Hoyuk on the Turkish-Syria border where small phialae were the most common object found in the graves of Iranian soldiers.[26] There could be no better Iranian signature to the fashion for objects of this type, nor a clearer indication as to the way in which they first spread-through Iranians stationed throughout the Empire.

 

A second type represented by two variants among the shallow silver bowls in the "Greek and Roman Treasury" is decorated with narrow radiating grooves lightly impressed, their rounded extremities emphasized by incised arcs which form a continuous scalloped line.[27] Inside, the usual small boss/omphalos in low relief is generally to be seen. Both variants have appeared, mostly in repousse bronze /copper?/ sheet, in such large numbers on the Iranian market that to question the Iranian provenance of those would be absurd.[28]

 

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Fig. 10. Silver phiale with gilt molding. Probably Lydia, ca. 5th century BCE Private collection. Photo: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

 

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Fig. 11. Underside of silver phiale. (Click to enlarge)

A third basic type has a different profile designed with a continuous curve starting from the central boss. The low sides rise gently upwards on the outside and are cut off short by a flat rim. In the central area there is a raised boss larger in diameter and definitely more salient, framed by a molding from which it is separated by a narrow undecorated strip. Engraved around the molding are narrow short grooves with rounded extremities. As with all the others, there are variants to the type concerning the size of the boss and the decoration, or the lack of it, around it and on it. The type, represented in the "Greek and Roman Treasury" by a silver specimen, is described as "the pure Greek shape" by von Bothmer.[29] It actually surfaced a number of times in the Tehran market with a "Luristan" label attached to it. An unpublished example (fig. 9) gives an idea of one of the common variants.[30]

 

There is some reason for assuming that a fourth type of shallow wine bowl represented here by a hitherto unrecorded piece (figs. 10, 11) has the same Anatolian provenance as the previous types.[31] According to its present owner, it was acquired in the London trade at the time when pieces from the "Greek and Roman Treasury" were being negotiated, and it has very much the same feel in the hand. While neither fact can be accepted as evidence, this seems too much of a coincidence to be ignored. A single rib which is gilt isolates the evened lip from the well. There is no decoration on the sides other than the horizontal fluting. On the underside, a nine-lobed rosette is engraved (fig. 11).

 

A fifth type, often with a small diameter of opening varying from 8 to 12 centimeters, has a deep, rounded well curving over the bottom and topped by a broad, short, outcurving neck. It is represented in the "Greek and Roman Treasury" by a silver specimen found in Sardis, the Lydian capital, by the American archaeological expedition.[32] An object of virtually identical profile can be seen on the northern stairway of the Apadana at Persepolis.[33] The type is known in light red pottery found in Samarkand, in the northeastern corner of Achaemenid Iran, and among the bronze vessels that surfaced on the Tehran market in the 1960s.[34] It is, yet again, an object in the International Achaemenid styleGreek is definitely not the word.

 

A second class of objects in the so-called "Greek and Roman Treasury" is Achaemenid in appearance. It includes two small vase-like beakers with fluted bodies topped by tall everted necks.[35] Body and neck are marked off by a single molding, ribbed in one case, plain in the other with clusters of parallel incisions. One of the two has a curving bottom and therefore needed a stand to rest on, as do some Achaemenid vase-rhyta of similar design excepting the handles and openings which their function requires.[36] The other, with a narrow flat base, calls for comparison with two vase-rhyta represented in the Persepolis reliefs (fig. 12)[37] They have little in common with Greece and owe all their more obvious characteristics to the art of Achaemenid Iran-the profile, the vertical grooving, even the types of moldings separating the ovoid body from the tall everted neck.[38] The four single incisions on one molding (which could be an addition in any case) are too insignificant to give the vase-shaped beaker a flavor of its own.

 

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Fig. 12. Silver beaker. Achaemenid style and period, late 6th-5th century BCE Sketch: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

Fig. 13. Fragmentary beaker, burnished earthenware. Found in the Masjed-a Jame' at Qazvin. Unpublished. Photo: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

Not least, it should be added that the idea of small vase-shaped beakers ties in with a long tradition in Iran known from the hundreds of north and northwestern Iranian pottery types that await publication. Many distinctly point to metallic prototypes. In order to illustrate the general point, I reproduce in fig. 13 an unpublished vase-shaped beaker missing almost half its body broken off vertically. It came to light in the course of digging in a corner of the Masjed-e Jame` in Qazvin, where I photographed it by gracious permission of the mosque authorities. Too little is known about northwestern burnished gray ware to allow more than a guess regarding its precise date. Without elaborating, I venture to suggest a dating not later than the seventh to sixth century BCE at the outside.

 

It is from such a background that the silver vase-shaped beakers are descended. In short, they certainly belong to Achaemenid art. But is it Achaemenid art from Iran or Achaemenid art from Lydia?

 

 

3. The Case for a Lydian School of Achaemenid Silver

Such a question raises a broader issue: Was there a Lydian atelier working in the Achaemenid style where part or even all the vessels discussed so far might have been produced? The conditions for creating gold and silver vessels were gathered in Lydia. Massive installations for separating gold from silver have been excavated on the east bank of the Pactolus[39] Moreover, we know that Lydians from the capital Sardis were engaged in working stone and wood at Susa in Iran, to build the palace of Darius the Great in pure Achaemenid style.[40] Other Lydians may just as well have been engaged in producing Achaemenid- style silver wares in the capital. It is equally conceivable that the Median craftsmen who travelled to Susa should have been called in to work at Sardis. This being the case, what criteria can be found to justify the attribution of some pieces to a Lydian atelier rather than one located within Iran?

 

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Fig. 14. Bronze wine bowl. Achaemenid style and period. Iran. Unpublished.Photo: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

The short answer is that, for the time being, too little is known about Achaemenid silver from Iran to allow the definition of general criteria. Each case should be judged on its own merits, and only an educated guess can be submitted.

 

As has been noted, the addition of a Lydian inscription to an object thoroughly Persepolitan in appearance, the silver incense burner, strongly speaks for an import. Until proof to the contrary comes to light, it should be given an Iranian label. Whether the four bowls (see fig. G) with nine lotus buds on the underside were similarly imported, or executed in Anatolia, is harder to determine. The combined shape and decoration are both idiosyncratic and indistinguishable in design from the many Iranian bronze models (figs. 7, 8). Judgment must be suspended until, perhaps, spectral analysis and other technical tests bring new evidence, to say nothing of excavations. The small silver vase-shaped beakers with rounded bottom and flat bottom (fig. 12) fall into much the same category.[41] They have an unmitigated Achaemenid look.

 

This, however, does not per se preclude local production, whether in the case of the bowls or of the vase-shaped beakers. Pottery in the Achaemenid style was produced in Sardis for household use prior to 213 BCE An earthenware bowl found in the course of the Sardis excavations is a potter's version of the unpublished Achaemenid bronze bowl which I photographed in Tehran in 1971 (fig. 14).[42] Such pieces were probably turned out, in the early stages at least, for Persian residents whose presence in the Lydian capital is abundantly attested.[43] One would expect silver ware in the Achaemenid style to have been likewise executed for the Persian aristocracy, conceivably in mixed workshops with Iranians (Medians?) and Lydians working together.

 

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Fig. 15. Silver jug. Achaemenid style and period. Probably Lydia, ca. 5th century BCE Sketch: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

The next step would have been the development of an Achaemenid style with some distinctive variations, however slight-the Lydian Achaemenid style as distinct from the International Achaemenid style. There is some evidence of such a development. In A Greek and Roman Treasury, von Bothmer illustrates two small silver wine jugs with typical Achaemenid shapes. One, with a flat circular base and rounded sides, is topped by a broad neck curving out slightly.[44] The cyma-shaped handle, which is chamfered, ends with a lion's head that bites the rim. The attachment plate soldered to the body is carved in the form of a bearded man's face with a pug nose and ears like handles, derived from the Egyptian Bes mask. Conceding that "the shape of this jug is more Eastern than Greek," von Bothmer thinks that "the sculptural adjuncts of the handle-a lion's head above and a head of the Egyptian divinity below-are typically Greek.[45]

 

"Typically Iranian" would be a better way to describe it. The gold jug with pouring lip, only 12.7 centimeters high, which forms part of the so-called Oxus Treasure acquired in present-day Afghanistan, i.e. in the Eastern Iranian world, is a closely comparable piece with the same horizontal grooving. There, too, the handle has a lion mask biting the rim.[46] As for the Bes mask, it serves as the attachment plate for the famous pair of winged ibexes which were once attached to a now-missing Achaemenid vase-rhyton. One handle is now in Berlin, the other in the Louvre, in Paris.[47]

 

In short, the lion's head and the Bes mask, far from contradicting an attribution to the "East," would, on the contrary, bear out what the shape irresistibly suggests, an Iranian provenance.

 

The one reason for considering the possibility of an alternative attribution, albeit not to Greece, lies in the aesthetic handling of the lion's head and the Bes figure. Iconography is one thing, style is another. There is nothing quite like the cartoon-like interpretation of the lion's head whether in the Achaemenid repertoire from Iran, or in Greek art for that matter. The substitution of dotted lines executed with a drill to the ribbing normally found on a snarling lion's head in Achaemenid style has no published parallel. It may either be accounted for by a gap in time or by a difference in regional provenance. At this stage, we have no inkling as to the variations which may or may not have existed in Achaemenid art produced within Iranian lands. Nor do we know much about stylistic evolution in metal vessels in the two centuries that followed the downfall of the Achaemenid Empire. The possibility of an attribution to a non-Iranian area within the boundaries of the Empire such as Lydia may therefore be considered as one of several plausible explanations for the handling of the lion's head and the mask of Bes. A more definite statement would be too adventurous for now.

 

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Fig. 16. Bronze incense burner. Probably Achaemenid period. Anatolia (Lydia?), 6th-5th century s.c. The Menil Collection. Unpublished. Photo: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

 

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Fig. 17. Detail of fig. 16. Bronze incense burner probably of the Achaemenid period. Anatolia~Lydia?/, 6th-5th century BCE. Photo: Melikian.  (Click to enlarge)

A similar set of arguments applies to the silver jug with pouring lip published by von Bothmer, but speaks more strongly in favour of the Lydian hypothesis (fig. 15).[48] Surprisingly, the learned scholar mentioned the Oxus Treasure gold jug once when discussing the Metropolitan jug-in another publication-but disregarded the inferences to be drawn from the parallel.[49] The silver jug with pouring lip is remarkably close in profile to the Oxus gold jug and is of roughly the same size. Both share the same horizontal grooving and almost the same type of arched handle. On the silver handle, simple chamfering gives way to longitudinal grooving (in other words, the vertical facets on the handle are concave, not flat/. The three narrow moldings at the base and top are not sufficiently characteristic to suggest anything. What is highly distinctive is the head of a bird (?) reduced to quasi-abstraction which terminates the upper section of the handle and bites the lip of the rim. Nothing comparable has been recorded in Iranian metalwork. Von Bothmer observes that "similar stylized animal heads appear on Lydian bronzes" and, yet again, stops short of making the inference.[50] Taking his word for it, such an observation strengthens the case for the attribution of the jug with pouring lip to a Lydian atelier producing vessels in the imperial Achaemenid taste with very slight variations.

 

The atelier, obviously working for the entourage of the Achaemenid satrap in the capital Sardis, would have been the source of pieces such as the silver bowl found in Sardis mentioned above.

 

An incense burner on stand with a stepped circular conical cover which was excavated at Ikiztepe in Gure on the Hermus, not far from Usak, provides a different case altogether. Machteld J. Mellink first published it through the courtesy of the Turkish archaeologist Burhan Tezcan, who excavated the site after tomb looters had started quarrying it.[51] She calls it "Persian." William E. Mierse, drawing up a list of Iraniantype objects excavated in Lydia, mentions the Ikiztepe piece as one of several "silver incense burners similar to those shown carried by figures in the procession reliefs at Persepolis.”[52] The Ikiztepe incense burner is related to the Persepolitan models and to the "Greek and Roman Treasury" piece in conception only. The stand has a splayed base, incurving and tapering as it goes up to support the bowl-shaped receptacle. The cover resembles, up to a point, the Persepolitan model with which it shares exactly the same number of receding platforms and a finial in the form of a blossom.

 

But there are considerable differences. The proportions are modified. The stand is lower and squatter and a molding (with vertical ribbing) appears halfway up, not just under the receptacle. The decoration is even further removed. The horizontal grooving, so prominent-on the Persepolis models and the incense burner once owned by Artimas, gives way to a plain ground with just two bands of zigzag lines below the molding, and one band above. Dots executed with a drill serve to mat the ground between the triangles pointed downwards (which stand for sun rays, as I have indicated elsewhere and plan to show in greater detail). On the cover, arrowopenings appear in one tier out of two in the tiers other than the one coming over the raised rim of the bowl. These arrows have a very narrow shaft, unlike the Persepolitan ones. In short, the Ikiztepe incense burner either belongs to quite another Iranian school of metalwork than the "Greek and Roman Treasury" piece or, much more likely, illustrates an aspect of the Lydian workshop production that drew upon Iranian design without in the least attempting to copy it. It suggests a different workshop from those that might have created the pieces discussed so far. One might speculate that while these reflect the main satrapal production within the mainstream of the International Achaemenid style following designs by Iranian artists or sent from Iran, the latter represents an original production only loosely linked with the Iranian model.

 

An unpublished incense burner in the Menil Collection, in Houston, probably belongs in the same category (figs. 16, 17). There is no exact equivalent to the bronze vessel with its tripod shaft supporting a low bowl-shaped receptacle topped by a stepped conical cover.[53] In conception, the construction of the latter matches that of the receptacle of the bronze incense burner (figs. 4, 5) found in Western Anatolia. What is entirely original is the idea of the small stylized birds perched on the "thighs" of the tripod and, above all, of the three felines with averted heads supporting the bowl. Their stylization points to a well-established independent school of metalwork design. The finial on the flat top, which is a cock, instantly calls to mind the cock added to the silver incense burner. This suggests a possible Lydian provenance for the Menil piece. In any case, it illustrates a regional school of metalwork drawing upon the International Achaemenid style.

 

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Fig 18. Detail of fig. 1. Silver incense burner of the Persepolitan type. Iran, early 5th century BCE Photo: Melikian. (Click to enlarge)

From Lydia, the taste for Achaemenid-style silver may have spread westward. Artists in this westernmost part of Anatolia were looking at Iranian metalwork and very broadly drawing their inspiration from it. Such is the implication of the incense burner on stand of "Persepolitan type" according to von Bothmer which is illustrated on a Clazomenian pottery sherd preserved in Athens. The Ionian city of Clazomenae (Klazomenai), which lies seventy-five miles in a beeline west of Sardis, could be reached within a day by horse. We have Xenophon's word for it. When the Achaemenid satrap Tissaphernes had Alcibiades arrested and jailed in Sardis, the Greek commander soon made his escape. He "managed to find horses and got away by night to Clazomenae," as Xenophon soberly reports in his Hellenica.[54] The Clazomenian sherd suggests that the artists of the Sardis area had seen incense burners of the Persepolitan type. They represented incense burners incorporating Persepolitan features with Hellenic elements such as the cover. And sketching is the initial stage in the creative process of metalworking. The exchange process seems to have worked in both directions. "A Greek and Roman Treasury" contains a number of pieces that are not really "Greek" but incorporate Greek elements in their shape or in their decoration, pointing to the existence of a Lydian Greek silver style, just as there was a Lydian Achaemenid style. Indeed, some give the impression of having come out of the same hands as the "Lydian Achaemenid style" pieces.[55] Specialists of Greek metalwork and Greek ornament will be in a better position to assess the degree to which the Lydian goldsmiths innovated. Such versatility may explain how Lydian culture disappeared. Borrowed clothes suited them so well that eventually the Lydians lost their own.

 

 

4. Achaemenid- Style Silver in Armenia

The Lydian school of Achaemenid metalwork was only one of several cases in the broader Anatolian context. To the northeast, Phrygia, with its capital Gordion, has yielded an impressive range of objects from bronzes to pottery that parallel a similar range in Iran, although the two are aesthetically vastly different in style and, indeed, in technique.[56] The parallel is striking concerning rhyta which were used, as mentioned earlier, in Iranian rites predating Zoroastrianism. The connection appears to have been established early on, before the advent of the Achaemenid Empire. Knowing more about the extent and the nature of the cultural and religious connections, probably inherited from a distant Indo-European past to which such parallels point, might help understand the background to later artistic developments.

 

Much further east, historical Armenia has been the source of a very substantial amount of the metalwork so far recorded in Western literature as "Achaemenid" without further investigation. Like Lydia, it is likely both to have imported and to have produced metalwork in the Persian taste. Xenophon tells us in the Anabasis that when the Greek soldiers plundered the tent of the Achaemenid satrap governor (hyparchos) of western Armenia called Tiribazos, they carried off among other things "beds with silver legs" (klinai argyro podes) and "bowls" (ekpomata).[57] Such legs are actually known, if not from Armenia, at least from neighboring Georgia.[58] The problem concerning the Armenian finds is the same as with the objects from Lydia. Must these be assumed to have been imports from Iran, or were they commissioned locally? We may never be able to answer that question for sure. But the huge production of silver and bronze wares in the previous Urartian period and, in later times, to which the Turkish scholar Oktay Belli has recently drawn attention, makes continued production a quasi -certainty.[59]

 

Several of the British Museum "Achaemenid" silver vessels, all published by O. M. Dalton, came to light in Armenia. A large silver phiale with a lotus chalice radiating from the center up to stylized lotus blossoms was found "near Erzingan" (Erzincan on Turkish maps), and a similar dish also from Armenia has been in the Louvre since 1902.[60] A silver rhyton with the foreparts of a mythical animal associating the head of an eagle and the horns of a goat was found "at Erzingan."[61] Three silver bowls, with a deep curving well and outcurving everted sides, were dug up in Armenia, from an unspecified site (fig. 19).[62] They reproduce a standard Iranian profile. An unpublished bowl worked in repousse from a bronze (copper?) sheet photographed in Tehran in 1973 is reproduced in fig. 20 for comparison[63].

 

Other finds were made in Armenia in recent times. Most important are the objects recovered from Arin-Berd on the outskirts of Erevan, the capital of present-day Armenia.[64] One rhyton of the drinking horn type is quite remarkable. A human figure wearing a cap superficially resembling the Persian headdress is seen riding the foreparts of a horse which forms the protome.[65] The costume is Persian, but the handling of the figure is very different from Achaemenid sculpture as we know it from Persepolis. The man sits stiffly and looks stockier.

 

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Fig. 19. Silver wine bowl. Achaemenid style and period. Armenia. The British Museum. Sketch: Melikian-Chirvani.(Click to enlarge)

 

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Fig. 20. Bronze wine bowl. Achaemenid style and period. Iran, 6th-early 5th century BCE Private collection, Tehran (1971). Unpublished. Photo: Melikian-Chirvani. (Click to enlarge)

In the absence of any other indications, it is reasonable to recognise in it the creation of a regional atelier belonging to what may be termed the Armenian Achaemenid school. That such a school actually existed has been established by the spectral analysis of a gold pectoral showing the ore to have been mined at Zod on the east bank of Lake Sevan.[66] Miss S. Der Nersessian recounts the fact without quite taking the next step, which is to infer the existence of an Armenian school producing vessels in the Achaemenid fashion. She assumes that the Arin-Berd drinking horn was imported.

 

Georgia, which had a thousand-year-old tradition of working gold and silver, is also likely to have had its school of Achaemenid metalwork. A large number of silver vessels have now come to light in Georgian sites, ranging from types that can be matched by Achaemenid objects from Iranian finds to others that only look superficially Achaemenid. On closer inspection, some of these display features to which no parallel can be found in metalwork so far originating from the Tehran market. Examples respectively illustrating the Iranian Achaemenid style and a style with sui-generis features were found long ago in the Akhal-Gori area.[67] A detailed study that Georgian scholars are best equipped to undertake, with easy access to their material, much of which remains unpublished, should yield interesting insights into developments that must have been very complex in nature.

 

The reasons that lead to the multiplicity of Achaemenid schools will appear more clearly as archaeological excavation work progresses.

 

Judging from Lydia, by far the best-studied area not only in Anatolia but in the whole Achaemenid Empire, thanks to the admirable work conducted by the late Hanfmann and his colleague Mierse, the presence of significant colonies of Persian residents may well have been the prevalent factor. This presence is revealed among other things by a religious edict promulgated in 367 BCE by an Iranian satrap called Droaphernes.[68] It dedicates a statue of the god Zeus Baradates, an aspect of Ahura Mazda, while simultaneously revealing the accelerating Hellenization process. The inscription is in Greek, even though dated to the thirty-ninth regnal year of Artaxerxes II (405-359 BCE), and the very idea of erecting a statue sharply contrasts with Zoroastrian tradition. The proportion of Iranian names, about one-fifth, is substantial. No less remarkable is the fact that the Greek stela should have survived in the form of a copy of the Roman period, made in the second century A.D. Precisely in that century Pausanias observed priests celebrating rites, in a language he could not understand, for "the Lydians who call themselves Persians."[69] These would be the descendants of Persians established prior to the conquest of Alexander, implying remarkable continuity in the sense of identity of the Persians in Lydia.

 

Religion and, more broadly, rituals guaranteed their continued use of silver objects-the incense burners, the vessels relating to wine libations, which were part of a ritual as far as the Iranians were concerned.[70] The role of Zoroastrianism in the preservation of symbols is confirmed by the frequent occurrence of Ahura Mazda on what Mierse refers to as "the Perso-Lydian seals and gold plaques." An admirable pendant reproducing the symbol of Ahura Mazda, i.e. the winged disc in gold, with cloisonné enamel and a large circular onyx inset serving as the disc, was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum with the silver vessels.[71] These are purely Iranian in concept and design. They might have been executed by Iranian goldsmiths-Medians?-called in for the purpose. As long as there were Iranians observing their rites and abiding by their ancestral customs, the silver vessels that went with these were bound to follow the same path.

 

 

A Note of Thanks

I wish to convey my deep gratitude to Carol Bromberg and Paul Bernard for supplying me with invaluable bibliographical references, and in some cases xerox copies of articles to which I had no access while immobilized in London. I also wish to thank Oscar Muscarella, who most kindly gave me the reference I needed on the Gordion rhyton. I am immensely indebted to Dr. Tehrani Moghaddam, director of the Muzeye Meli-e Iran for giving me permission to photograph the bas-relief from Persepolis at considerable inconvenience to the museum staff, who stood by while the area was closed off to the public.

   

 

Notes:


[1] Silver hammered. Significant traces of corrosion. Overall height: 28.2 cm. Diameter of base: 10.7-10.8 cm. Diameter of bowl body: 7.15-7.3 cm. D. von Bothmer, "Les tresors de la Grece orientale au Metropolitan Museum de New York," CRAI ( 1981), pp. 194207. See pp. 199-201 and fig. 5, p. 200. Henceforth cited as: Von Bothmer, CRAI (1981). This is hardly toned down by stating once, p. 210, that "the duckheads and the cock . . . bear out the hypothesis of a workshop in a city in Eastern Greece in contact with Lydia and the Persian empire." The last two words make little sense if the incense burner is considered to date from the second half of the sixth century B.C., or even early fifth century. The westernmost parts of Anatolia had been incorporated with the Persian empire. The most up-to-date discussion of the political situation at that time will be found in T. Petit, "L'integration des cites ioniennes dans 1'empire achemenide (VIe siecle)," REA 87 (1985.1-2), pp. 4352. The conquest of Asia Minor, after the fall of Sardis (Persian Sparda, Lydian Sfardak), is completed by 544 and until 479 "Ionia was part of the Persian empire" (p. 44). What is "Eastern Greece" if not Ionia? Published a second time by von Bothmer in A Greek and Roman Treasury (repr. from the BMMA [summer, 1984]). Henceforth cited as: Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury. D. G. Mitten, "Lydia in the Achaemenian Period," in "Tenth Achaemenid History Workshop" (papers presented April 6-8, 1990, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), pp. 78-81, expresses the conviction that "the richly varied group of silver vessels, utensils and jewelry acquired by the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and exhibited for several years" comes from a tomb at Ikiztepe. Mitten ignores entirely von Bothmer's articles on the subject. I am greatly indebted for this reference to Carol Bromberg.

[2] Von Bothmer, CRAI (1981), p. 200. The scholar apparently had in mind the fragment in the National Museum in Athens, which was illustrated by J. Charbonneaux, R. Martin and F. Villard, Archaic Greek Art /New York, 1971), fig. 102. The profile is too different to justify a point-by-point refutation (the trumpet-shaped stand has a very different curvature; there are two thick knops, not one at the top; there is no stepped cover, no lug and chain, etc.).

[3] E. F. Schmidt, Persepolis, 3 vols. (Chicago, 19531970/, vol. 1, pl. 97-A and B (Throne Hall; eastern doorway in northern hall/, with close-ups in pls. 98 and 99; pl. 121 (Treasury, southern relief, now in Tehran; pls. 122, 123 (eastern relief). In each case the incense burners are seen flanking the throne slightly ahead of us. Henceforth cited as: Schmidt, Persepolis. For easily accessible reproductions, R. Ghirshman, Perse: ProtoIraniens, Medes, Achemenides (Paris, 1963) fig. 254, p.204, and fig. 255, pp. 205-6 (= Schmidt, vol. 1, pl. 121). Ghirshman refers to the incense burners as two fire altars ("deux autels du feu") (p. 205). Henceforth cited as: Ghirshman (1963).

[4] Judging from published photographs, the models depicted at Persepolis reveal two types of chains. The southern relief from the Treasury now in Tehran (Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 1, p. 121; [here, figs. 1 and 2, p. 112] has twisted rings suggestive of the digit "8"). The eastern doorway in the northern wall of the Throne Hall (general view pl. 97-A and B; close-ups pls. 98 and 99) distinctly show oval ("O"-shaped) rings linking with each other at a right angle: this is the type of chain that remains on the silver incense burner.

[5] B. Goldman, "Persian Domed Turibula," Stlr 20.2 (1991), pp. 179-88. Goldman makes no reference to the silver incense burner.

[6] Two beakers: Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 1, pl. 416, showing a man carrying a beaker in each of his raised hands (detail in vol. 3, pl. 70-B). Behind him, another man carries two wine bowls, one with horizontal grooving on the lower body (detail vol. 3, pl. 70-C). The cylindrical incense (?) pail with slightly tapering walls carried by the attendants represented in the Treasury scene where the incense burners appear (Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 1, pl. 121) is similarly grooved, as are other pails carried by attendants in the palace of Xerxes (pls. 183-A and D, 184-A and B). Vaserhyta with vertical grooving are seen on the eastern stairway of the Apadana (pl. 32-B).

[7] Drinking horn: F. Sarre, Die Kunst des alten persien (Berlin, 1921), pl. 48. Gold jug: SPA, pl. 117-D; O. M. Dalton, The Treasure of the Oxus (London, 19643), no. 17, pl. VII. Henceforth cited as: Dalton. Gold bowl: SPA, pl. 117-C.8.

[8] These openings are found in pre-Achaemenid art. They continue through Parthian times, as in the Parthian palace uncovered at Ashur: SPA, pl. 128-C.

[9] R. Gusmani, "Ein Weihraucher mit lydischer Inschrift im Metropolitan Museum," Kadmos 22 (1983) pp. 56-61. The inscription is given on p. 56.

[10] Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 1, following Ernst Herzfeld (see pp. 116-17), recognizes in this scene the king Darius I and the crown prince Xerxes (p. 168), which places it between 491 and 486 as the broadest time span, probably within the period 487-November 486 (when Darius I died). The Throne Hall's construc tion began then under Xerxes and must have been designed then (ibid., p. 42).

[11] F. Justi, Iranisches Namenbuch (Marburg, 1895; Hildesheim offset repr. 1963/, p. 39. See now Xenophon, Anabasis, cr. ed. and trans. P. Marqueray (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 19675/, p. 174. Marqueray writes that the passage was culled "from some other Anabasis, perhaps the one written by Sophenaites."

[12] A. D. H. Bivar, "A 'Satrap' of Cyrus the Younger," NC (London), 7th ser., 1 (1961), pp. 119-27.

[13] M. Mayrhofer and R. Schmitt, Iranisches Personennamenbuch 5.4 (Vienna, 1982), p. 30, no. 4, under Iranische Namen im Lydischen, pp. 29-33. See P. Bernard, "Une piece d'armure perse sur un monument lycien," Syria 41 (1964), pp. 196-212. See p. 209, citing the case of Harpagos, the Iranian commander-in-chief who stormed Sardis in 547 B.C., and of another Harpagos who erected the famous inscribed pillar at Xanthos in the late fifth century B.C. I am indebted to my colleague Paul Bernard for drawing my attention to his article (in connection with the name Artimas).

[14] See P. Bernard, "Une piece d'armure perse sur un monument lycien," Syria 41 (1964), pp. 196-212. See p. 209, citing the case of Harpagos, the Iranian commander-in-chief who stormed Sardis in 547 B.C., and of another Harpagos who erected the famous inscribed pillar at Xanthos in the late fifth century B.C. I am indebted to my colleague Paul Bernard for drawing my attention to his article (in connection with the name Artimas).

[15] Bronze, cast. Mirror black patina over extensive areas of the incense burner. Overall length: 62.5 cm. Height: 10.9 cm. D. von Bothmer, "An Etruscan Bronze in New York," Monuments Piot 61 (1977), pp. 44-53; see pp. 51-53. See Greek Treasury, no. 69, p. 44, where it is called "Greek, sixth century B.C."

[16] Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 1, pls. 40-B (humped bull), 41-B (camel), 42 (horse, where the design of the eye is particularly close to that of the calf's head at the end of the bronze shaft, the change in medium [stone to bronze] and size notwithstanding). This handling goes back to pre-Achaemenid times. See, for example, the figural style on the Luristan beakers ("situlae") of the tenth-ninth centuries B.C., SPA, pls. 69-72.

[17] SPA, pls. 77 (Susa bas-reliefs), 108-B (bronze bull); Ghirshman (1963), pl. 269, p. 220 (lapis lazuli lion in Tehran).

[18] Ghirshman (1963 ), fig. 220, p. 174 (= Schmidt, vol. 1, pl. 32-B and vol. 3, pl. 70-D), fig. 222, p. 176 (= Schmidt, vol. 3, pl. 70-F) for the vase-rhyta represented at Persepolis. Dozens of examples can be provided.

[19] E. Schmidt, The Treasury of Persepolis (Chicago, 1939), fig. 52, p. 73. For the group see Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 3, pl. 53-1 (footed dish with twelve duck-headed handles), pl. 53-2 (rectangular gray stone tray) pl. 53-5 (tray of related type with one duckheaded handle).

[20] Notably in Eastern Iran where the early Islamic incense burners reproduce domed architectural forms, viz. the shape and proportions of the domes and drums of stupas still to be seen in Kabolestan: A. S. MelikianChirvani, "Recherches sur 1'architecture de 1'Iran bouddhique I: Essai sur les orgines et le symbolisme du stupa iranien," in Le monde iranien et 1'Islam, vol. 3 (Paris: Societe d'Histoire de 1'Orient, 1975/, pp. 1-61. See pp. 55-58, pls. XII-a and XII-b. The latter with its arrow-shaped openings in the rounded domes continues, a millennium and a half later, the Achaemenid tradition. The tradition spread to India where bronze incense burners with square-stepped pyramidal covers have come to light. They float on the art market and none, as far as I am aware, has yet been published.

[21] A. Godard, "Voutes iraniennes," Athdr-a 1rdn 4.2 (1949), fig. 196, p. 229.

[22] A. Parrot, Sumer (Paris, 1960), pl. 42 (ziggurat at Chogha Zanbil).

[23] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, p. 26, under no. 21. The remark also applies to no. 20, both being reproduced on p. 26, and to nos. 28 and 29.

[24] Unpublished piece: surfaced in the Paris art market in 1979 with white paint marks used by a Tehran supplier of objects. Apparently cast. Diameter of opening: 16.2-16.3 cm. For the Metropolitan Museum piece, see O. W. Muscarella, Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1988), fig. 326, p. 218. Diameter, as measured by Muscarella, 15.2 cm. It "may have been cast."

[25] Most recently by A. C. Gunter, in A. C. Gunter and P. Jett, Ancient Iranian Metalwork in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art (Washington, 1992), p. 66, in connection with a wine cup (phiale) that differs in its detail: reproduced p. 67. A careful study of the various types with greater attention paid to details in the design and to proportion should be undertaken.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, no. 23 and no. 24 respectively, both illustrated p. 26.

[28] A few examples are given here: P. R. S. Moorey, Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Adam Collection (London, 1974), nos. 129 and 130, p. 147 (with references to other closely resembling vessels which "have been reported from Luristan"). P. H. G. Howes Smith, "A Study of 9th-7th Century Metal Bowls from Western Asia," IA 21 (1986), pl. IV-4 identified p. 87 as a "bronze bowl in private collection (allegedly Luristan)." The photograph by the unnamed owner is taken from above the bowl showing the inside. The marguerite rosette engraved inside around a dotted disc closely resembles the Persepolitan rosette. L. Vanden Berghe, "Les pratiques funeraires a Page du Fer III au Pusht-i Kuh, Luristan: Les necropoles a 'Genre War Kabud,' IA 22 (1987), fig. 14, no. 19, p. 260 drawing identified p. 245: "item 4 from tomb 4 at Lingah Gaurah" (all transliterated place names quoted in this note as spelt by Vanden Berghe). Generally speaking, not enough attention is given to all the characteristics of such bowls in the various attempts at systematic classification. They must take into account the metallurgical handling which includes the type of bronze (copper?) sheet employed (thin and light in several of the pieces surfacing on the Tehran art market) as well as the proportion, the style of execution of secondary details such as the incised fillets (apparently done with dividers?), remarkably fine and precise on the Iranian pieces, etc. Photographs fail to convey all this and in principle a classification should be done only after handling all/most of the pieces.

[29] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, no. 27, p. 27 (illustrated), and see caption relating to no. 29.

[30] Raised bronze sheet. Diameter of opening 18.35-18.45 cm.

[31] Apparently cast. The rib mercury(?)-gilt. Diameter of opening: 13.7-13.75 cm. Height 6 cm.

[32] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, no. 14. The caption notes "Found in Sardis. Greek. Sixth century B.C." in self-contradictory terms. In the sixth century B.C., Sardis speaks Lydian and is part of the Achaemenid Empire.

[33] Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 1, pl. 38-A, center of the procession. The bearers are tentatively identified as Ionian Greeks but it must be stressed that no stylistic difference is made between the objects brought by bearers from different nations.

[34] R. Suleimanov, M. Iskhakov and Sh. Tashkhodzhaev, Drevnii Samarkand (Tashkent, 1980), color plate facing p. 48, bottom right.

[35] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, no. 50 and no. 51, both illustrated p. 38.

[36] Ghirshman (1963), pl. 333, p. 271. This vaserhyton which belonged to Elie Borowski was said to have come out of Iran, a fact I have been unable to ascertain. Its proportions are close to those of the first vase-shaped beaker I have just discussed.

[37] Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 1, pl. 32-B.

[38] Schmidt, Persepolis, vol. 3. Compare von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, no. 50, with Persepolis, pl. 70-D (the grooved vase-rhyta at Persepolis, also with vertical ribbing on the molding separating body and neck) and Greek Treasury, no. 51, with Persepolis, vol. 3, pl. 70-F.

[39] A. Ramage, S. M. Goldstein and W. Mierse, "Lydian Excavation Sectors," in G. M. A. Hanfmann assisted by W. E. Mierse, Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times (Cambridge, Mass., 1983), pp. 26-52. See pp. 34-36.

[40] F. Vallat, "Deux nouvelles chartes de fondation," Syria 48.1-2 (1971), pp. 53-59. See pp. 57-58.

[41] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, nos. 50 and 51, illustrated p. 38.

[42] Mierse, "Graves and Cemeteries," p. 126: "discovered in the ruined houses of P[actolus] N[orth] below the 213 B.C. destruction layer." Reproduced fig. 194, height 5 cm.

[43] N. V. Sekunda, "Achaemenid Colonization in Lydia," REA 87.1-2 (1985), pp. 7-30. On the Persian presence in Sardis, see p. 17.

[44] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, no. 37, color plates p. 32.

[45] Ibid., p. 33, under no. 37.

[46] Dalton, no. 17, pl. VII; SPA, pl. 117-D. Identical shapes exist in Iranian pottery, of which I do not have photographs at hand.

[47] SPA, pl. 112.

[48] Von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, nos. 50, 51; cf. 38.

[49] Von Bothmer, CRAI (1981 ), p. 201.

[50] Ibid., p. 33 under no. 38.

[51] M. J. Mellink, "Archaeology in Asia Minor," AJA 71.2 (April, 1967/, figs. 20 and 21, pl. 59-writes p. 172: "A Persian incense burner is of the type known from reliefs at Persepolis." This assertion, which is inaccurate in view of the substantial differences, has been echoed without further examination all too often. See latterly N. Sekunda, "Achaemenid Settlement in Caria, Lycia and Greater Phrygia," in H. Sancisi-Weerdenburg and A. Kuhrt, eds., Achaemenid History VI: Asia Minor and Egypt (Leiden, 1991 ), p. 129 referring to AJA 71.

[52] Mierse, "The Satrapal Court," in Sardis, p. 105. No incense burners are "carried" at Persepolis. The archaeologist surely means the incense burners represented standing on either side of the king in the scenes in the Throne Hall and in the Treasury.

[53] Acc. no. 73-15 DJ. Bought from Mathias Komor, New York; his label E218. Bronze, the shaft cast and hot forged. The hinging cover cast and cut through. The bowl-shaped receptacle presumably cast. The shaft ends in a spike riveted into the base of the bowl. The cast cock is similarly riveted into the top part. Overall height: 28.8 cm. Opening diameter of bowl-shaped receptacle: 8.03-8.15 cm.

[54] Xenophon, Hellenica (Helleniques/, ed. and trans. J. Hatzfeld, 2 vols. (Paris, 1973), 1.1.9 (vol. 1, pp. 30-31).

[55] Compare von Bothmer, Greek Treasury, no. 41, a small silver pitcher, and no. 38 (the Oxus Treasuretype wine jug). Utterly different in shape, they betray their kinship in the similarity of the highly idiosyncratic grip terminating the handle where it links up with the mouth.

[56] I hope to deal with the Iranian-Phrygian connection elsewhere. One example may be cited. This concerns the bronze rhyton with a ram's head protome excavated at Gordion.

[57] Anabasis 4.4.21, Marqueray ed., vol. 2, p. 25.

[58] A. M. Apakidze, Mtzkheta, vol. 1 (Tbilissi, 1958[, p. 277. See pl. LXXVII-2.

[59] R. Merhav, ed., Urartu: A Metalworking Center in the first Millennium B.C.E. (Jerusalem, 1991/, pp. 20-21. The objects found in 714 B.c. by the Assyrian invaders in the Urartian palace at Haldi, between Urartu and Assyria near Rowanduz in Iraqi Kurdistan, include vessels, utensils, furniture, maces, shields. Note silver incense burners "from the land of Tabal" which has yet to be identified by scholars. In the temple "393 silver bowls, heavy and light [= i.e. cast and raised?] products of Assyria, Urartu and Habhu [unidentified]" were plundered.

[60] Dalton, no. 180, pl. XXIII; caption p. 44 where Dalton calls it "Persian fifth century." The Louvre dish is reproduced in Les Arts (January, 1902/, p. 18.

[61] Dalton, no. 178, pl. XXII. Caption pp. 42-43.

[62] Ibid., no. 184, p. 45 (woodcut illustration on p. 45, fig. 72, wrongly captioned as "82"), no. 183, no. 184, p. 45.

[63] Raised bronze sheet. Diameter of opening 13.113.1 cm.

[64] S. Der Nersessian, L'art armenien (Paris, 1977), p. 15.

[65] Ibid., color plate 1, p. 10. It is not, in fact, the Persian headdress. It displays a distinct edge to it, in contrast to the rounded volume of the Persian cap and is different in shape.

[66] Der Nersessian, p. 15.

[67] SPA, pl. 119-A and B (the latter of a model so far unmatched from finds in Iran).

[68] Mierse, "The Satrapal Court," p. 104 and fig. 166. Further comments by G. M. A. Hanfmann, "The Sacrilege Inscription: The Ethnic, Linguistic, Social and Religious Situation at Sardis at the End of the Persian Era," BAI 1 (1987), pp. 1-8.

[69] Sardis, p. 104, referring to Pausanias 5.27.5, where he mentions the city of Hypaipa near Sardis and Hierokaiseria in this context.

[70] A. S. Melikian-Chirvani, "The Wine-Bull and the Magian Master," in Recurrent Patterns in Iranian Religions: From Mazdaism to Sufism, StIr cahier 11 (Paris, 1992[, pp. 101-34.

[71] Sardis, p. 104, and von Bothmer, CRAI (1981 /, fig. 10, p. 204. Mentioned p. 205, where the Greek specialist assures that the artist "has eliminated any reference to a divinity Egyptian or Persian."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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