Achaemenid Silver and Gold Horn Cup

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Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 06 April 2016

This object combines both Syrian and Persian styles. While the shape of the cup echoes a classical Persian wine-pourer (rhyton), it actually functioned as a drinking cup. Large animal-headed cups were popular in Syria in earlier periods. The silver portion was hammered from thick silver sheet but the protome at the front was made from much thinner gold sheet and is in the shape of a crouching bull. The style of the bull is closely related to earlier Syrian representations. The drinking cup holds the equivalent of over 2 bottles of wine. According to the 5th century BCE Greek historian Herodotus, the Persians were very fond of wine. It was found in Aleppo, Syrian but said to come from Kahramanmaras (Turkey). Achaemenid Period, 6th-4th centuries BCE. (The British Museum, London)

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About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2016, April 06). Achaemenid Silver and Gold Horn Cup. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Achaemenid Silver and Gold Horn Cup." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 06, 2016.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Achaemenid Silver and Gold Horn Cup." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 06 Apr 2016. Web. 21 Mar 2023.