This fragment from a stair balustrade depicts a file of Persian spearmen wearing the characteristic fluted felt or feathered headdress. Only the head of one warrior survives with a portion of his spear and that of the soldier behind him. Although unfinished (the beard's curls are not defined), the smooth contours of the suave profile and the richly curled hair demonstrate the elegance of Achaemenid court art.
Artist Persian
  • Spearman
  • Achaemenid Persian Spearman (former title)
Date 486 - 465 BCE
Medium Limestone
Dimensions Overall: 10 3/8 × 11 5/8 inches (26.4 × 29.5 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund
Accession Number 78.47
Department Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View Ancient Middle East Gallery, Level 1 (see map)
(Charles Dikran Kelekian);
1978-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
100 Masterworks from the Detroit Institute of Arts. DIA. New York, 1985, p. 28, 29 (ill.).

Henshaw, Julia P., ed. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 98 (ill.).

Peck, Elsie Holmes. “Achaemenid Relief Fragments from Persepolis,” Bulletin of the DIA 79, no. 1/2 (2005): 27, (fig. 8).