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Photographer's Note

On the walls of the main grotto of Taq-e Bostan are two reliefs showing royal hunt scenes; this is a detail of the boar hunt (the other is a deer hunt).

The site of Taq-e Bostan was choosen by the sassanid kings around the 4th or 5th century for its location next to a spring. With the water from this spring was created a huge royal garden in front of the mountain, a paradeisos, which was used as a hunting ground by the king and his court. This aerial photo from the Oriental Institute of Chicago shows the extent of the garden; nowadays the city of Kermanshah has spread all the way to the mountain, but the walls of the garden can still be seen in some places. The royal hunt is the subject of the two low-reliefs on the side walls.

This relief seem to show that the garden included a swamp or a lake. A royal hunt was a huge event, involving the whole court, musicians (in the small boat at the top), lots of elephants, horses and camels, and dozens of boars... It took place in a closed space (the pillars and branches at the top and on the left), pretty much like the assyrian reliefs showing the lion hunts. The king is the guy in the bottom-right corner (he doesn't wear his ceremonial crown, but he is much taller than anybody else), standing on a boat and pointing, but I prefered to show the multitude of boars and the elephants, because elephants are cool!

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Additional Photos by Philippe Chavin (thinduke) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 22 W: 0 N: 35] (145)
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