An Egyptian Statue of Darius the Great

Darius belt

Darius' belt

In 1972, archaeologists excavating the Great Gate at Susa, discovered an unusual statue: it represented king Darius I the Great (r. 522-486), and was made in Egyptian style (i.e., free standing) from Egyptian greywacke, and inscribed with hieroglyphic signs. It is not entirely clear why it was moved from the ancient country along the Nile to the capital of Elam, but a probable explanation is that this happened after 486, when the Egyptians revolted against Darius’ son and successor Xerxes. He reconquered the country and it is possible that he carried off the statue of his father from Heliopolis to Susa.

The statue is not just a representation of the king as pharaoh, complete with the traditional symbolism of the god Hapi “binding together” the Two Lands: on the pedestal are small representations of twenty-four nations that were subject to Darius. This interesting statue can be seen here.

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