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Nohemi asks

I was in a flea market next to Paris and I found a little carving in stone. I would like to know if it's old or if it's just a molding from a gift-shop somewhere (if it is a souvenir it's kind of strange because its terrible quality and its weight - about 1 kilo). Dimensions 20 cm X 10 cm X 5 cm. I really think it's a weird object and will strongly appreciate your advice.


  • This is a very famous image. Your representation is very attractively done!

  • It is  a scaled down reproduction, probably from a Museum shop somewhere,  of the  bas-relief of Cyrus the Great (  at Gate R  at Pasargadae, the capital of his empire and where his tomb was found.

  • The drawing is from "The Ernst Herzfeld Papers", 1879-1948

  • This stone slab depicts a guardian figure thought most likely to be meant to be Cyrus himself, with four wings shown in an Assyrian style, dressed in traditional Elamite clothing, assuming a pose and figure of an Egyptian god, and wearing the tri-partite hem-hem a crown. This is the sole survivor of four which once stood on opposite sides of two doorways in the hypostyle building known as Portal or Gate R at Pasargadae. It originally had an upper stone slab which in three different languages, (Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian) declared, "I, (am) Cyrus the king, an Achaemenid." This additional writing was in place when Sir Robert Ker Poter first described the piece in 1818 but, at some point was damaged/lost/stolen later.
  • The inscription itself makes a simple statement: "I (am) Cyrus the king an Achaemenian", an authentic and contemporary record of the style used by the early forerunners of the dynasty, before the reign of Darius, when titles became pompous and elaborate.

  • The one on the right is a  similar inscription still there

  • Compare your scaled down version: see how  well it is done:

  • There was no actual palace at Pasargadae. King Cyrus the Great had ordered the construction of several buildings in a park: an entrance hall which is now called  "Gate R", an Audience Hall ("Palace S"), two pavilions (A and B), and a Residential Palace ("Palace P").

  • Especially good info here: LINK

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