Greco-Persian gems: Persian subjects - the hunt

The range of quarries is that to be expected in Anatolia rather than Greece, including lions, foxes, goats, bears, antelopes and stags. They are hunted on foot, horseback and from chariots, in the time-honoured manner of Mesopotamian art. Throughout the empire there were hunting gardens (paradeisoi) stocked with animals for the hunt.

Gem image

A Persian bowman has caught a bird.

Oxford 1892.1482, from the Peloponnese. Chalcedony scaraboid. 26mm. GGFR pl. 853.

Gem image

A Persian horseman chases a stag and a fox.

London, WA 120332. Pink chalcedony scaraboid. 20mm. GGFR pl. 888.

Gem image

A Persian horseman and a Persian with a dead fox which has been hunted with a trident spear.

Berlin F 183, from Ithome. Chalcedony scaraboid. 25mm. GGFR pl. 890.

Gem image

Persian horsemen confront a lion and a boar.

Cambridge. Chalcedony scaraboid. 29mm. GGFR pl. 924.

Gem image

A dog attacks a deer.

Berlin F 307, from Athens. Blue chalcedony scaraboid. 25mm. GGFR pl. 895.