This droll sculpture of an ibex is characterised by the high level of stylisation - especially in the eyebrows and beard - typical of Achaemenian art of the 5th century.

It is also fitted with two slots at the base perhaps for attachment to a piece of furniture. From 559 BC to 330 BC, the Achaemenid Persians ruled much of the Near East. A warrior aristocracy, they held sovereignty over the largely agricultural inhabitants of upland Iran and controlled a large area extending as far to the east as north western India until the empire was conquered by Alexander the Great.

British Museum

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