Stone Lion (Hamadan)


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Stone Lion
The Stone Lion or Sang-Shir, as the Hamadanis call it, is a tremendous stone statue of a lion in the square of the same name in south-east Hamadan. It is 2.5 m long, 1.50 m wide and 1.20 m high. Today, the area surrounding this square is a city park. Formerly attributed to Parthian, Achaemenian, and Parthian periods, it is in fact the handiwork of Alexander's craftsmen, built probably in commemoration of one of the Macedonia's fallen generals, Hephaestion. It now rests upon a stone base that was provided for it in I949 AD. During the Parthian period the statue was placed near one of the entrance gates to the town, which was thus called Bab ol-Asad or the Gate of the Lion.
Some Hamadanis believe that their city has been spellbound by the presence of this statue. In 931 AD when Mard Avij ot liar captured the city, he had the statue's hands broken. After that incident not much attention was paid to the monument until 1959 when the Archaeological Department arranged a suitable granite pedestal from Mount Alvand for the statue in its new location. To the northeast of the statue is the Musalla Hill, where the ramparts of a Parthian fortress have been found.

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