Gold rhyton (Takuk in Persian), found in the Qaflankuh highlands near Ziwiyeh, late 7th to early 8th century BCE.
The extensive collection of precious artefacts from the first millennium BCE, known as the Ziwiyeh Treasure has been controversial since the early appearance of its first pieces allegedly found by some villagers around Saqqiz in western Iran and published by the French archaeologist, André Godard, in 1948. Despite numerous seasons of excavations in the site of Ziwiyeh citadel by various groups of international and Iranian archaeologists from 1950 to the early 2000s, the exact number and originality of the objects now scattered in a vast range of private and museum collections is still a matter of debate. That said, the unearthed parts of the castle at Ziwiyeh, consisting of mudbrick structures, column bases, an entry staircase, and a thick defensive wall, have given us a variety of terracotta vessels, ornamental pieces, and metalworks from the Assyrian, Scythian, Urartian, and even Egyptian civilizations. Consequently, although the rhyton, a historical type of luxury drinking vessel, is often associated with the Achaemenid Persia, it most likely had come down from the earlier cultures of the region such as the Urartian, Scythian, and Median.
Reza Abbasi Museum, Tehran.