Elamite Vessel with Inscription - FZ.376
Origin: Persia
Circa: 900 BC to 500 BC
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high
Catalogue: V29
Collection: Near Eastern
Style: Elamite
Medium: Silver


Elam was an ancient kingdom of Asia, situated north of the Persian Gulf and east of the Tigris River, and corresponding approximately to the present-day province of Khuzistan in Iran. The capital of Elam and its most fabled city was Sûsa, today the city of Shûsh. This powerful empire has been overshadowed in history by the rival kingdoms of Babylon and Assyria. However, their extraordinary metalwork survives to this day, a testament to the expertise of their craftsman. This silver vessel demonstrates the absolute mastery of the Elamite artisans. A convex bump marks the bottom of the interior of the bowl. From here radiate eleven gadroons interspersed with plant shoots, all delicately hammered out of the silver by hand. On the exterior, the plant shoots have been embellished with stylized details of leaves, buds, and stalks. Perhaps the most fascinating, and important, feature of this beautiful vessel is the inscription in Neo-Elamite cuneifrom script. Found on the inside of the flaring lip, the text reads, “Ampinish, King of Samatir, son of Dabala.” This vessel, once the prized possession of a king, is even more valuable today because of the inscription. Much of our knowledge of certain Elamite rulers and kingdoms is derived from inscriptions on such vessels. While King Ampinish once ruled over a vast empire, no doubt amassing countless treasures, today his memory is preserved through the remnants of his wealth. This vessel is not just a gorgeous work of art, but also the only lasting tribute to a life, a ruler, and an empire. - (FZ.376)



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