“Non-Persian Artists in the Art of the Achaemenid Empire, and the role of Egyptian craftsmen” is the title of the lecture by Dr. Z. Zehbari. This is the first HEKA lecture organized by the students association ‘Pleyte’ of Leiden University’s Ancient Near Eastern Studies program.
Non-Persian Artists in the Art of the Achaemenid Empire: abstract
The Persian Empire (550-330 B.C.) broadened from northern India and Central Asia crossing Anatolia and western Asia to Egypt. It is documented in a wide array of sources that the Achaemenid kings employed craftsmen from distant corners of the empire.
Until the 1940s, research into Achaemenid artists was focused on the foundation charters of Susa (DSf/DSz) and several archaeological evidence. But the Persepolis administrative tablets led to a new perspective on artists who worked within the Achaemenid Empire. At first, several Elamite terms deal with artistic specializations in the Achaemenid period, let to investigate more on details. In addition to the textual attestations, archaeological evidence provides details. Finally, the ancient artists had to follow prepared designs; consequently, they mostly could not manufacture their creativity.
The Achaemenid artists and artisans were dispatched and worked in the various parts of the empire. However, there were plenty of non-Persian artists in the heartland of the empire, our comprehension about their arrival and departure to Persia are rare and scattered. Some archaeological evidence such as models, exercise samples, memento, and doodle examples helps to investigate more on Achaemenid artists and sometimes their ethnicity.
Research on the non-Persian artists in the heartland of the empire indicates that Egyptian craftsmen played a key role in the Achaemenid Royal Culture.
How to join
About HEKA lectures
HEKA aims to bring young, aspiring students of Ancient Near Eastern Studies further into contact with the academic world, which has become a difficult task for the individual student in the current global situation. The HEKA team tries to help them accomplish that goal by organizing lectures for students of Ancient Near Eastern Studies by up-and-coming researchers who can passionately tell about their research and the road leading to such a position. The team hopes this will encourage the students to be interested in and engage with the academic world, as most lectures in our field, are largely difficult to access for them.
The lectures are thus particularly aimed at students, but accessible for anyone.