Relief of a Persian guard

Near Eastern, Iranian, Persian
Achaemenid, reign of Xerxes
486–464 B.C.

Place of Origin: Iran, Persepolis, Palace of Xerxes


Height x width: 53 x 46.5 cm (20 7/8 x 18 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)


The Ancient World



This figure is one of the Achaemenid king’s elite guard, who were called the Ten Thousand Immortals because if one soldier fell in battle, another would immediately step forward to take his place. The fragment was part of a long frieze depicting a single file of the Immortals. The relief was most likely once brightly painted with hues of yellow, blue, and purple.


From Persepolis. By 1940: with Dikran Kelekian, NY; 1940: purchased by the MFA from Dikran Kelekian for $12,500. (Accession date: April 11, 1940)

Credit Line

Archibald Cary Coolidge Fund