An Achaemenid silver finger ring composed of a thick round-section hoop attached to an oval bezel. Incised on the bezel is an animal, possibly a scorpion, from a birds-eye view with its legs spread out and its tail curving behind itself. The creature is in a border of incised geometric lines. Closest UK ring size O.
Date: Circa 6th-4th Century BC Provenance: From the private collection of Mr S.M, London, 1970-1999. Condition: Fine condition, suitable for modern wear.
The Achaemenid Empire rose from a strong military and political background which differed to the traditional Mesopotamian kingdoms. Instead of destroying all the astonishing achievements in art created by Mesopotamian ancestors, the Achaemenid Empire preserved and inherited the traditional practices of Mesopotamian glyptic arts. They also adapted multiple Babylonian religious motifs to their own aesthetic tastes.
The scorpion held various symbolic meanings to NearEastern cultures but was most known for its venomous sting and was associated with negative characteristics. The mythological creature Manticore was a fearsome beast that had the tail of a scorpion, it was known to be invincible due to its thick, venomous tail that would be used on its prey. These creatures were feared to create such a menace that Persian kings would often order scorpion hunts and would award bounties to the highest killers.
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