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Phiale with inscription
499-400 B.C.E.

Achaemenid period
Reign of Artaxerxes I


Purchase F1974.30

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On the rim of this bowl is an inscription in Old Persian cuneiform, which names the Achaemenid Persian king Artaxerxes I (reigned 465-425 B.C.E.). The inscription has been translated as: "Artaxerxes the Great King, King of Kings, King of Countries, son of Xerxes the King, of Xerxes [who was] son of Darius the king; in whose royal house this silver saucer was made." Shallow bowls of this form, used for drinking wine, were made from various materials, including metal, glass, and ceramic. Royal vessels made of precious metal, like this one, were versatile forms of wealth; they could serve as royal tableware, be stored in the treasury, or be given away as gifts.

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