Cast silver statuette of a bearded man, from the Oxus treasure

Achaemenid Persian, 5th-4th century BC
From the region of Takht-i Kuwad, Tadjikistan

This statuette is part of the Oxus treasure, the most important collection of gold and silver to have survived from the Achaemenid period. The treasure, probably from a temple on the banks of the river Oxus, dates mainly from the fifth and fourth centuries BC.

This cast silver statuette is partially gilded and may represent a king. He is shown in Persian dress and holds either a flower or a bundle of sacred rods known as a barsom. These were originally grasses that were distributed during religious ceremonies. Similar figures with tiered robes are shown on stone reliefs at the Persian centre of Persepolis.

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More information


J. Curtis, Ancient Persia-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)


Height: 14.800 cm

Museum number

ME 123901


Bequeathed by Sir A.W. Franks


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