Taq-e Bostan

Manifestation of Top Rock Carving Art

This site is a series of massive bass reliefs from the Sassanid era. At first Sassanid kings used the area around Persepolis for carving their reliefs but gradually other cities specially those near crowded roads like Khorasan Road (mistakenly known as Silk Road) were chosen. the relief of Royal Hunting Ground shows Chosroes II riding his horse (Shabdiz), the angle of the relief gives the idea that it was made from a painting. Image of a series of women playing the harp and some sort of wind instrument; and the Image of hog hunting are other reliefs of the big vault.

The most important relief of the bigger vault, however, is the investiture of Chosroes II; he is receiving the diadem from Ahura Mazda and the barsom from Mithra. The smaller vault shows the investiture of Shapur II and Shapur III. And at last, the investiture of Ardeshir II (Artaxerxes II), that is the first relief on the right next to the smaller vault. It shows the god Ahura Mazda on the right, and a rare portrayal of Mithra standing on a lotus, with sun’s rays forming a halo, on the left. Ardeshir is accepting the ribboned diadem from Ahura Mazda, while Mithra holds a ceremonial bundle of sacred twigs, known as the barsom; Julianus the defeated emperor of Rome is under Ardeshir’s feet, showing the perfection of Sassanid art.