- Museum number
Cylinder seal of streaked red and pale brown siliceous limestone; horseman facing right and animal. The horseman does not appear to be bearded and his hair is either bound by a fillet or he may be wearing a cap; he wears knee-length, double-belted, bordered breeches, the rest of the leg is possibly covered by leggings, his boots or shoes are not obvious, and his torso appears to be bare; he is seemingly riding bareback and holds the horse on a tight rein while throwing a barbed spear with a slightly curved 'T'-shaped butt at a rampant, regardant, leaping stag. The horse has a curving, slender body with an elongated neck, a forelock, pointed ears set well forward and the mane shown by oblique strokes, with the tail - a curved right angle - tied at the upper end with a tasselled cord; tassels hang also beneath the belly of the animal, indicating perhaps some form of horse covering (but see above); the animal gallops with the forelegs raised but angled slightly downwards. The stag is shown with a long antler curving up and back, large around eye, curved ear, elongated curved body and stubby tail; the legs, positioned diagonally forwards and back, make a straight line with the body. The rumps of both animals are large and rounded; chipped at back of the horseman's head.
- Production date
Diameter: 0.40 centimetres (perforation)
Diameter: 0.80 centimetres
Length: 2.20 centimetres
Length: 0.88 inches
Width: 0.38 inches
- Curator's comments
- According to catalogue "an interesting cylinder seal impression from Persepolis that appears to be one of the earlier Treasury impressions, close to the Fortifcation group, shows a figure on a horse with a a flowing tail similar to this object. An almost indentical seal made of porphyry could be by the same hand; it is from an Iron Age hoard dug into the Bronze Age mound of Chigha Sabz, Luristan, and has been dated to between 625-550 BC on the basis of comparable seal impressions from Susa on tablets from both the Acropolis and Apadana, with a similar date range and linked to the three tablets found in the Achaemenid village. Van Loon, referring to de Miroschedji, speculates that this type of Neo-Elamite hunting seal could have started as early as 700 BC. On a calcite cylinder from Babylon, the rider is very similar, note the tail and the pom-poms beneath the horse".
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2006 7 Mar-11 Jun, Barcelona, Fundacion La Caixa, 'L'imperi Oblidat'
2005-2006 Sept-Jan, London, BM, 'Forgotten Empire'
G52/IRAN/5, from official opening 17/11/95-Sep 2005.
- Fair; chipped.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Previously stated in error on exhibition label to have been presented by Col. A. Bailward.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 30347X (SR number)