Sassanian Carvings Beneath the Tombs 

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Sassanian Carvings Beneath the Tombs

Below the four royal tombs of the Achaemenian period are several bas-reliefs of the Sassanian Age (third and fourth centuries AD) and an Elamite relief of a priest datable to about I ,500 BC. From left to right, the first Sassanian relief depicts the investiture of Art axerxes I who receives the crown of sovereignty from Ahura Mazda. Both are on horseback and are seen trampling down their adversaries -Artaban V, the last Parthian King; and Ahriman, symbol of the forces of darkness. The second and third reliefs show Bahram II successively with his queen and princes (over an Elamite religious scene), and on horseback fighting. The fourth relief, hardly decipherable, represents Shapur II (conqueror of Julian the Apostate), while the fifth, below the fourth, shows an equestrian victory of Hormuzd II. The sixth portrays the victory of Shapur I, son of Artaxerxes I, over the Roman Emperor Valerian, who capitulated at Edessa in 260 AD. The seventh relief consists of two more equestrian scenes from a duel het. ween Rahram II and a rival whose identity has been lost. The eighth carving represents the investiture of the later king Nersi by Anahita, at first Goddess of Water, then of fertility, and finally the Persian mother-goddess figure who with the sun god Mithras was to challenge the Achaemenian monotheistic worship of Ahura Mazda.

 

 

 

 

 
 
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