Persian soldier, from Susa
(Elamitic, Babylonian: Šušim; Greek τὰ Σοῦσα):
capital of Elam, favorite residence of the Persian king Darius
I the Great.
The palaces of the Achaemenid
kings were often decorated with representations of long lines of
soldiers, dressed for a festive occasion: although they carry arms,
they have no shields or helmets. They are often called "Immortals" or
"Apple Bearers", although "Companions" appears to have been their real
name (more...). In Persepolis, they are carefully sculpted out of stone. In Susa,
the soldiers were made from glazed brick, which gives us an idea of the
colors. Other reliefs show lions (comparable to those from Babylon) and mythological creatures like sphinxes and winged lions. They are also very common.
When Susa was excavated at the end of the nineteenth century, the
French archaeologists had a deal that every object made of gold
and silver, was to remain in Iran (or Persia, as it was called in those
days). As a consequence, the colorful reliefs are now in the
Louvre in Paris, where they are illuminated by yellowish light, making
it difficult to make good photos.