Panel from the Frieze of Archers

Near Eastern (Achaemenid Persian)

replica: from the Louvre, Paris 

gift of: the Nasser Family

date of the original: c. 510 BC

provenance of the original: Tell of the Apadana, Palace of Darius I, Susa, Iran; now in the Louvre, Paris

description: Depicts a standing archer. Resin panel; replica of part of the original frieze of polychrome glazed siliceous brick. Height 100 cm, width 35 cm, depth 6 cm.

One panel from a frieze at the Palace of Darius the Great (548-486 BC). The frieze displays two symmetrical lines of soldier-archers.

Each archer holds a spear with both hands, with his bow and quiver over his shoulder. The archers are bearded and wear laced ankle boots, long Persian robes, and diadems.

The frieze was inspired by the Processional Way in Babylon, constructed by Nebuchadnezar II (604-562 BC). However, the technique involved is different. The Babylonians used clay for their bricks, but this Persian frieze has bricks of a siliceous clay. They are decorated in low relief and with glazes of green, brown, blue, white and yellow.

The original location of the frieze of archers in the Palace of Darius is unknown, as the bricks and fragments were found scattered throughout the palace.