Illustrated introduction to Ancient Persia, £8.99
Bronze figurine of a horse and rider
Achaemenid, 5th - 4th century BC
Possibly from Egypt
This is a rare representation of a Persian horseman. He wears the short Iranian sword known as an akinakes. This implies an Achaemenid date, since such swords are depicted in Achaemenid art - notably on palace reliefs at Persepolis - and are also known from actual examples in the British Museum made of bone, ivory and bronze.
However, the date of the type of dress worn by the horseman is less easy to date. Some authors have regarded the user of trousers as indicative of 'Median dress' or even a later, Parthian (that is, second century BC - third century AD) date, but these suggestions fail to explain the exclusively fifth-fourth century BC dates of the scabbard type and the practicality of trousers which made them the preferred legwear of horseriders from this period onwards.
J. Curtis, Ancient Persia-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)
R. Ghirshman, The art of ancient Iran: from (New York, Golden Press, 1964)
D. Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)