Silver bowl with applied gold figures

Achaemenid Persian, about 5th-4th century BC. This silver bowl is decorated with applied gold sheet cutouts. It dates to a period when vessels of precious metal became widespread. While a variety of styles and forms are found throughout the Achaemenid empire, because of its great size, there is also a recognizably Achaemenid style, perhaps promoted outside Iran by satraps (provincial governors) and other representatives of the Persian court. Large silver dishes and pourers (rhyta) are the best-known types yet others included hemispherical drinking cups such as this; a plain gold cup of the same shape forms part of the Oxus treasure.