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Document Details :
Title: 'Give to Drink, o Cup-Bearer!'
Subtitle: The Arjan Beaker in the Context of Lion-Headed Drinking Vessels in the Ancient Near East
Author(s): ALVAREZ-MON, Javier
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 43 Date: 2008
This article introduces the reader to an outstanding object found in 1982 inside a burial known as the Arjan tomb, in eastern Khuzestan (Iran). The bronze beaker from Arjan is characterized by an engraved upper register bearing the representation of six identical running ostriches and a lower bulbous convex section worked at repoussé into the shape of four overlapping lion heads converging on a central rosette. In addition to a description and complementary discussion of the beaker’s formal properties, this article includes an examination and hypothetical reconstruction of the likely cultural setting associated with these exceptional artifacts. Most determinant for this interpretation is the evidence provided by the presence of lion-headed beakers associated with banquet ceremonies exhibited in stone reliefs at the palace of palace of Sargon II (722-705) at Dûr-Sharrukîn (Khorsabad), which include gatherings of members of the Assyrian ruling elite raising lion-headed beakers to face level.