Armor scales


Not on view

These three rows of overlapping iron scales, now badly corroded, are attached to a poorly preserved leather backing. They were once part of a piece of armor, most likely a breastplate. According to the Greek historian Herodotus (7.61.1), the Persian soldier’s in King Xerxes’ army in 480 B.C. wore armor ‘looking like the scales of a fish.’ They were excavated at the Tall-i Takht at Pasargadae, about 55 miles northeast of Shiraz, Iran. Pasargadae was founded by Cyrus the Great (reigned ca. 550-530 B.C.) as the first capital of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The Tall-i Takht is an elevated platform that was presumably intended as the site of Cyrus’ palace. In later years it served as a fortified citadel, and these scales probably date to this period of later use.

Armor scales, Iron, leather, Achaemenid

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