Panel with cavalry combat, Ghaznavid, c.1100
David Collection, Copenhagen

A larger image of this panel with cavalry combat, Ghaznavid, c.1100. David Collection Museum, Copenhagen.

Fragment of a marble panel carved on both sides
Afghanistan, Ghazna; c. 1100
Height: 46; Width: 85; Depth: 8 cm

The panel probably comes from a parapet that demarcated an outside area in a palace, perhaps a kind of balcony. Other pieces of the same parapet were found in the Ghaznavids’ old capital of Ghazna. All show related motifs: hunting scenes, dancing women, battle scenes or tournaments, and processions of exotic animals. This range of motifs was exceedingly popular in the early and medieval Islamic world – especially in a princely context – but rarely has survived on such a monumental scale as on these panels.

The faces were presumably mutilated by strictly religious Muslims.

Inv. no. 23/1989
Source: David Collection, Copenhagen

Animals on the rump of a horse are common on Bowls from Nishapur, Kurasan, Iran, 9th-10th centuries, Saffarid-Samanid period
See also Wall paintings from one of the Ghaznavid palaces at Laškarī Bāzār in central Afghanistan
Silver Bowl, from Iran or Afghanistan, Ghaznavid?, 11th century, Hermitage, St. Petersburg, S-499
Other 11th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers