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Ceramic relief plaque of a mounted male archer; figure wearing trousers beneath a belted tunic, supported by a horned saddle; drawing a composite bow, wearing a four-lobed sword on his right thigh; pair of phalerae indicated by small relief blobs on the right shoulder and haunch of the horse; the plaque is hollow with a plain back and circular hole in the back; yellowish clay, relatively low fired; made in a two-part mould to form the back and front separately, with visible traces of vertical seam along the edges; complete, but bottom left corner chipped off and missing.
- Found/Acquired: Syria (said to be from)
- (Asia,Middle East,Levant,Syria)
- Height: 17 centimetres
- Width: 15.6 centimetres
- Thickness: 4 centimetres
- Diameter: 2.1 centimetres (hole in the back)
- Weight: 348 grammes
No traces of pigment are visible with the naked eye on this piece.
Parthian horse archers were much feared by the Roman armies and totally destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. This archer is shown wearing trousers, tunic and plain belt and supported by a horned saddle. The profile of the bow indicates that it is a powerful type known as a composite bow. This is a Central Asian type probably introduced to the Middle East by the Parthians.
On display: G52/dc6
2012 24 May-30 Sep, London, BM, 'The horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot'
1995-2005 17 Nov-12 Dec, BM, G52/IRAN/13/22
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN, case 13
1975-ca 1990 Jul-Dec, BM, Iranian Room [IR]
Complete, but bottom left corner chipped off and missing
Ceramic relief plaque of a mounted archer; figure wearing trousers, tunic and plain belt, seated on a horned saddle; holding a composite bow with a dagger on his right thigh; phalerae indicated by small relief blobs on the chest and haunch of the horse; the plaque is hollow with a plain back.
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Object reference number: WCO25670
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