A servant of the royal Achaemenid court at Persepolis (in present-day Iran) is shown carrying a covered vessel to the New Year's festival banquet. His clothing distinguishes him as a Mede. The Medes had dominated the Persian region until overthrown by the Achaemenids in 550 BC. The Achaemenids became the ruling dynasty of Persia until 330 BC, when they were defeated by Alexander the Great. This piece was probably part of a sculptural procession decorating the inner wall of the western staircase of the palace of King Darius I (reigned 521-486 BC). The figure gives the impression of mounting the stairs beside the visitor (the figure's right foot was raised to the level of the tread of the actual stair).