Try Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial


Main Relief on the Tomb of Persian King Artaxerxes III Ochos at Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid), Iran, c.338 BC


Picture Source
Main relief on the Tomb of Persian King Artaxerxes III Ochos (r.359-338 BC) at the ancient ruins of Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid) near the Iranian city of Shiraz.



There are six finished Achaemenid royal tombs. Four of them have been discovered at Naq-e Rustam and two at Persepolis. The four at Naq-e Rustam belong to Darius I the Great, Xerxes, Artaxerxes I Makrocheir, and Darius II Nothus. The Persepolis tombs, which appear to be younger, must belong to the next two kings, Artaxerxes II Mnemon (r.404-358) and Artaxerxes III Ochus (r.358-338).

The tomb is usually attributed to Artaxerxes III, although it may in fact be that of king Artaxerxes II Mnemon. If the sarcophagus indeed belonged to the third Artaxerxes, the burial room may also have served as last resting place of Artaxerxes IV Arses and Darius III Codomannus, because they never received a proper burial.

As is customary, the relief on the upper part of the tomb (#27 on the Vandenberghe List) shows the king sacrificing to the eternal, sacred fire and the supreme god Ahuramazda. The ruler is standing on a platform that is carried by people that represent the subject nations. It is a copy of the upper tier of the tomb of Darius the Great at Naq-e Rustam, but it is less accurate than the copy that graces the tomb of Artaxerxes II Mnemon, in which the inscription has also been copied.

The lower part (not shown) contains the entrance to the tomb itself - there is a sarcophagus - and some minor figures, which resemble those on the tomb of Artaxerxes II Mnemon.
Source: Livius



See also Saka Warriors Giving Tribute on a Relief on the Northern Staircase of Artaxerxes III Ochos (r.359-338 BC) at Persepolis

Ancient Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers