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Relief of the Sassanian King Shappur I the Great
Iran
Probably a 19th-century CE Qajar imitation of a 3rd–4th century CE Sassanian depiction
Limestone
H: 80; W: 53 cm
Accession number: 2003.56.38

This fragmentary relief portrays Shappur the Great (the Talmudic King Shabur) dressed in the Sassanian royal tradition. The king is shown holding a spear, suggesting that he is on a hunt. The wall-shaped base of his globular crown probably derived from Achaemenid prototypes, which were highly esteemed by Sassanian kings. The crescent on the crown, which later became the main symbol of Islam, was the symbol of the Zoroastrian moon god Mah.


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