Mark B. Garrison, The “Late Neo-Elamite” Glyptic Style: A Perspective from Fars

Drawing of PFS 25* from the Persepolis Fortification Archive with an Elamite inscription “Belonging to (the) Unsak.”

In an influential article published in 1973, Pierre Amiet used the glyptic preserved in two archives of administrative documents from Susa, conventionally called the Acropole tablets and the Apadana tablets, along with actual cylinder seals (both provenanced and unprovenanced), to establish a corpus of visual imagery which he called “la glyptic de la fin de l’Élam.” Dated to the period of the late 7th to the middle of the 6th century B.C., this late Neo-Elamite glyptic has figured prominently in discussions of Elam in the period after the sack of Assurbanipal (ca. 646 B.C.) and before the arrival of Cyrus the Great (ca. 559-530 B.C.). New evidence from the hundreds of seals preserved as impressions on a large archive of administrative tablets from Persepolis, known as the Persepolis Fortification tablets and dated to the years 509/508-498 B.C. in the reign of Darius the Great, adds  considerably to the discussion of “la glyptique de la fin de l’Élam” and suggests strongly that its origin lay in Fars (Anshan-Persepolis) rather than in Khuzistan (Susa).


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