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plaque

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    135684

  • Description

    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.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1stC-3rdC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 17 centimetres
    • Width: 15.6 centimetres
    • Thickness: 4 centimetres
    • Diameter: 2.1 centimetres (hole in the back)
    • Weight: 348 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    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.

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  • Bibliography

    • Sarkhosh Curtis 2001b pl. IVc bibliographic details
    • Herrmann G 1989a pp. 766, 794, pl. Vb bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G52/dc6

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    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]

  • Condition

    Complete, but bottom left corner chipped off and missing

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1972

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    135684

  • Registration number

    1972,0229.1

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.

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.

Image description

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Object reference number: WCO25670

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