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Intro Video here. IRAN. IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM BC. LURISTAN. PLAINS OF IRAN Undecorated tools from c. 3000 bc By first millennium bronze works cast in c ire perdu

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intro video here

Intro Video here




  • Undecorated tools from c. 3000 bc
  • By first millennium bronze works cast in cire perdu
  • (French for "lost wax") process of casting metal in which the original model is sculpted in wax. The wax is entombed in clay, and the wax is then melted out, producing a hollow mold. The mold is then filled with molten metal. The clay is broken off and the cast metal remains.
luristan bronzes 9 7c bc
  • Lost wax (cire perdue) process
  • Nomad’s gear by sedentary artists from plains of Luristan
  • Mesopotamian style less prominent
  • Finials, standards
  • Purposes?
    • Heraldic
    • Apotropaic
luristan bronzes
Luristan bronzes
  • Combine human and animal form
  • Affinities with hybrids images of Shang China
    • Metamorphic
    • Animistic
  • Influential in later Celtic and Germanic arts
  • Top usually
    • Strong vertical trunk
    • Upward curving arms
achmaenid persia
Achmaenid Persia
  • Cyrus the Great (d. 530 bc)
  • Named after his successor Achaemenes
  • Largest empire yet
    • Danube to Oxus & Indus rivers, beyond Nile


332 BC


Zoroastrian gods worshipped at fire altars in open air, as in earlier times

Zoroaster: monotheistic creed became official in Iran after Achaeminids

Zoroaster Peak,

Grand Canyon

Imposes peace

Respected the religious and other traditions of conquered

Multilingual inscriptions

Tribes of Judah repatriated from Babylonian captivity

Art reflects diversity of empire



Zoroastrian gods worshipped at fire altars in open air, as in earlier times

Zoroaster: monotheistic creed became official in Iran after Achaeminids


Tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae

I´m Cyrus the, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters. Son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anshan. Grandson of Cyrus, great king, king of Anshan. Descendant of Teispes, great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingshipe they desire for their hearts pleasures.When I, well disposed, entered Babylon, I established the seat of goverment in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk the great God, caused the big hearted inhabitants of Babylon to me.

declaration of cyrus the great
I sought daily to worship him. My numerous troops moved about undisturbed in the midst of Babylon.I did not allow any to terrorize the land of Sumer and Akkad. I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well being. The citizens of Babylon... I lifted their unbecoming yoke. Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end  their misfortunes.At my deeds Marduk, the great Lord, rejoiced, and to me, Cyrus, the king who worshipped  and to Cambyses, my son, the offspring of my loins and to all my troops, he graciously gave his blessing and in good spirit is before him we glorified exceedingly his high divinity.

All the kings who sat in the throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in... all the kings of the West Country who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. From... to the cities of Ashur and Susa, Agade, Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der, as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the Gods whose abode is in the midst of them. I returned to the places and housed them in lasting abodes. I gathered together all their inhabitants and restored to them their dwellings. The Gods of Sumer and Akkad, whom Nabonidus had, to the anger of the Lord of the Gods, brought into Babylon, I at the bidding of Marduk, the great Lord made to dwell in peace in their habitations, delightful abodes.May all the Gods whom I haved placed within their sanctuaries address a daily prayer in my favor before Bel and Nabu, thadt my days may long, and may they say to Marduk my Lord, "May Cyrus the King who reveres thee, and Cambyses his son...

Declaration of Cyrus the Great
Pasargadae in Fars: Cyrus’ capital
  • Persepolis at Susa

(former Elamite city):

Darius’ capital

completed by Xerxes and Artaxerves

persepolis 518 438 bc darius i
Persepolis 518 - 438 bc. DARIUS I
  • Imported material, works and artists from all over empire.
  • Even ordered work to be done in Egypt and sent to Parsa
  • NEW STYLE combining many cultural traditions.
  • Platform 40’ high
  • 1,500 x 900’
  • accessible only by a single ramp with wide shallow steps that allowed equestrians to mount.
  • Construction took over 60 years.
  • Apadana had open porches on three sides and a square hall large enough to hold several thousand people.
  • Traces of pigment show structures originally painted in red, green, yellow and blue.
  • concerned with displays of allegiance and economic prosperity rather than heroic exploits.
Wide angle viewcentral part of Persepolisfrom tomb of Artaxerxes IIcarved into mountainside above city
  • Xerxes' gateway is at the very right
  • At the front are stables and encampments for troops
  • behind which lie the ruins of the Palace of 100 Columns (only the bases of which remain).
  • The columns of the Central Hall of Apadana Palace, to the left of which lie Darius' Palace, with Artaxerxes' palace at the very left of the frame.
  • Little remains of Xerxes' Palace, which lies in front of Artaxerxes' from this vantage point.
  • The tree-shaded area to the left is the Persepolis Museum in front of which is what's left (nothing) of Darius' large treasury.
  • The original city extends well to either side of this view.

Apadana, Reconstruction drawing [with stone-faced base in place or more likely mudbrick walls surrounding stone elements], from G.Perrot and C. Chipiez, Histoire de l'Art dans l'Antiquité vol. 5 (Paris: 1890) plate 5.


Flash Assignment

Harem of Xerxes

  • Terrace Sculpture of Darius’ 1,000 immortals