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Parthian Terracotta Figurine from the Temple of Nabu, Nineveh, Iraq.
British Museum 1929,1012.356



Terracotta "Parthian" Foot Soldier (Fig. 82)
    This figurine is unlike any other example recovered from Nineveh, and is distinct from other typical Parthian figurines. Significantly, the figurine was not associated with a horse. The figure carries a large shield and wears a light cloth garments with a hood. There is no trace of armour or weapons, and no trace of metallic personal ornament.
    The interaction between Roman and Parthian military technology - if not military personnel - is well illustrated by this figurine. The majority of male Parthian figurines are executed in the horse and rider style. It is easily appreciated that it is similar to a legionary from Rome, as such shields were standard equipment during the Republican period Bishop and Coulston, 1989 [Roman Military Equipment], p. 19); other examples of similar shields can also be found on mounted warriors from "Hellenistic" levels from a number of Near Eastern sites (Sekunda, 1994 [The Seleucid Army], pls. 21, 46). While the accoutrements of the figurine may not demonstrate the presence of Roman/Parthian auxiliaries at Nineveh, it illustrates the close interaction between Romans and Parthians in military matters.197 It is also clear that such interaction did not merely affect Parthian military technology.198
Source: Parthian Nineveh (DPhil Thesis 1995) by Murray L Eiland



Object Type: figurine
Museum number: 1929,1012.356
Description: Fired clay figurine; press-moulded with plain flat reverse; represents a standing male figure wearing a loose knee-length tunic and long loose hood and cloak, the folds of which are drawn across his right breast, and carrying an oval decorated shield, with his right arm on his hip.
Cultures/periods: Parthian
Excavated by: Reginald Campbell Thompson & R W Hutchinson
Excavated/Findspot: Temple of Nabu (Nineveh), Iraq
Materials: fired clay
Technique: mould-made
Dimensions: Height: Height: 11.50 centimetres. Thickness: Thickness: 1.90 centimetres. Width: Width: 6.10 centimetres.
Curator's comments: Cast from a similar mould as 55430 but minor differences in the drapery of the cloak and the rim of the shield imply two rather than one identical mould.
Source: British Museum



See also Parthian stucco relief of soldier at Zahhak castle, Hashtrud, Eastern Azerbaijan, Iran.
Other Parthian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers