Roundel with head of a "hero" surrounded by caprids

Period: Middle Elamite

Date: ca. 14th–13th century B.C.

Geography: Southwestern Iran

Culture: Elamite

Medium: Bitumen, gold and silver foil

Dimensions: Diam. 9.2 cm

Classification: Metalwork-Ornaments

Credit Line: Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989

Accession Number: 1989.281.24


This roundel, carved out of bitumen, was originally overlaid with silver and gold foil. Finely incised in the center is the head of a hero figure with long hair parted down the middle, ending in three curls on each side. The figure is separated from a row of seven recumbent rams by a double rope pattern band. The outer border is the same rope-pattern. The roundel would have been attached to another object as a decorative element. Several similar roundels were excavated at the Middle Elamite sites of Haft Tepe (ancient Kabnak) and Susa. The style of the hero's face and delineation of his features are seen in Elamite art as well.