Kul-e Farah relief I, detail of Musicians

Javier Álvarez-Mon & Yasmina Wicks7th-6th century BC

Macquarie University

Macquarie University
Sydney, Australia

Occupying the top right corner of the relief is a trio of similarly coiffed and dressed musicians playing a vertical-harp, a horizontal-harp and a drum. Although they have been defaced, some remarkable workmanship can still be observed in the treatment of the instruments and volume of the figures. In particular, the face of the first musician has preserved the outline of the chin, the cheek, the eye and the mouth. The gender of the musicians, who are beardless and appear to wear their hair gathered into a bun at the back, is open to interpretation, although the epigraphs over their long garments indicate they are male. All wear long ceremonial robes and a double-banded belt. Elamite orchestras involve from three to twenty-six musicians and give precedence to string instruments, especially harps. Their music is variously supplemented by drums, pipes, singing and clapping.


  • Title: Kul-e Farah relief I, detail of Musicians
  • Creator: Javier Álvarez-Mon & Yasmina Wicks
  • Date Created: 7th-6th century BC
  • Location Created: Kul-e Farah, Izeh Valley, ca. 7 km Northeast of Izeh
  • Type: cliff face
  • Rights: Image Copyright J. Álvarez-Mon
  • Medium: rock-carved relief

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