Taq-e Bostan is a series of large rock relief from the era of Sassanid Empire of Persia, the Iranian dynasty which ruled western Asia from 226 to 650 AD. This example of Sassanid art is located 5 km from the city center of Kermanshah in western Iran. It is located in the heart of the Zagros mountains, where it has endured almost 1,700 years of wind and rain.
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A closer look at the rock relief shows how meticulously Sassanid artists created this scene. The figure standing to the right wears a jagged crown. He has turned to the middle figure and holds out a ribbon-decked royal ring. The middle figure wears a helmet. Both figures have robes that cover their bodies to the knees, though the robes differ in detail with the middle figure’s robe showing a rounded hem. The middle figure’s helmet is also round and allows his curly hair to fall from beneath. This differs again from the crown worn by the figure on the right. Behind the middle figure, another figure stands in a halo of light around his head. This figure represents Izad Bahram, who, in all the extraordinary adventures of Ardashir, performs the role of guardian and guiding angel.