Persian Encounters
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Categories: Ancient, Modern

Persian Encounters

Blocky stone sculpture of the head of a bull on a pedistal
Replica of an Achaemenid bull column-capital from a Bierkeller in Ingolstadt, by Bildhauerei Setayesh

On a recent trip, I stumbled over a bar with some Achaemenid sculpture in front. Most of the pillars at Persepolis were crowned with a pair of bull’s heads back-to-back; they supported one set of timbers on their heads, and cross-timbers in the space between their backs. Art historians call these bull protomes. Traces of paint were found on the originals, but like many reconstructions this one is plain stone.

Of course I am biased, but I will take this over a plaster Venus di Milo every day.

See Also: Bull capital from the Hall of One Hundred Columns, relief of a similar capital from the tomb of Artaxerxes III, and a reconstruction of a bull capital in its original context.

Edit 2022-05-11: fixed formatting broken when WordPress introduced the block editor

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