Achaemenid Glazed Brick Relief Panel
Glazed brick relief panel - Achaemenid Persian, late 6th century BC
From Susa, south-west Iran. From the palace of Darius I, ruler of the largest empire in antiquity. This panel is made of polychrome glazed bricks which were found by French excavators scattered in a courtyard of the palace built by the Persian king Darius I (522-486 BC). At least 18 figures have been restored and this example is on permanent loan to The British Museum from the MusÃ©e du Louvre, Paris. It was part of a larger frieze depicting rows of guards, perhaps the 'immortals' who made up the king's personal bodyguard. The arrangement of the figures may have been similar to the rows of sculptured guards carved in relief at Persepolis. According to a foundation inscription at Susa, the craftsmen who made the brick panels came from Babylonia where there had been a tradition of this sort of architectural decoration.