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Ancient Mesopotamia
Assyria Nineveh
Arslan Tash Til Barsip
Iran Palace of Darius
Phoenicia Arabia Palmyra
Syrian coast
Ougarit Byblos

Frieze of Archers
AOD 487-8, Sb 3321
Sully room 12b
This frieze of archers,
in polychrome glazed brick,
would have decorated the facades
of the royal palace of Darius I in Susa.

 Frieze of Archers

How strange to think that Nehemiah very probably saw the frescoes on display here. The setting most definitely takes its inspiration from the Processional Way of Babylon.

 Of the royal palace of Darius I in Susa

The technique used is however different;
Babylonian craftsmen used bricks made
of non-siliceous clay paste,
as is the case here.
In the foundation charter of the palace
of Darius 1, we read:
“The men who wrought the baked brick, those were Babylonians.
At Susa a very excellent work was ordered, a very excellent work was brought to completion”. A239


Frieze of Archers


Frieze of Archers

Persian archers, who shot with their bows at cheek height, were the most skilful in the world. According to Herodotus, the Persians ‘taught their children, from the age of five to the age of twenty, just three things: how to ride a horse, shoot an arrow and tell the truth.’ A240
Horsemen knew how to shoot backwards. Persian strategy rested heavily on the mobility and freedom of movement of their archers who thus let arrows rain down on the enemy.
Frieze of Archers Louvre
Louvre salle des archers


Carte Chronologie Palais de Darius Contrat en babylonien et chronologie bibliqueAntiquités EgyptiennesAntiquités Romaines Haut de page