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Harir Relief • نحت هرير

In the mountains overlooking Harir is a relief dated to the Parthian era, BCE - CE by its style, associated with King Izatt III of Hidyab, the country for which Erbil was the capital. It is thought to commemorate his victories in the territory. The relief is adjacent to a painted Kurdish flag. Coming from Shaqlawa, you will need to pass the first and larger Kurdish flag painting, then at the second just drive up and walk past a chainlink fence.

The relief shows a standing man with a conical hat and a long trouser-like garment. He holds a long spear with his left hand and has his right hand stretched out towards the front (as he is hailing). It is corroded relief and almost unnoticeable from the road; even its rectangular outline is hard to see.

The Batas-Herir relief is located near the modern village of Batas in the Herir (Harir) district, some 74 km northwest of Erbil. The relief is carved on a rock cliff: it represents a single male figure standing right in profile. Mathiesen describes the figure in the following way: "The man raises his right arm, while his left hand, grasping a scepter, is at his left hip ... The figure, with close-cropped hair, beard and mustache, is wearing ear-rings and a headpiece bound with a diadem--presumably a tiara with earflaps which are turned up. He is dressed in a belted tunic reaching to his knees and hoisted in front between his legs by means of a ribbon issuing from his belt. A mantle fastened in front of his chest covers his back. Furthermore, he wears trousers and shoes or boots with laces. The mantle has vertical, regular folds. The folds of the lower part of the unit are straight and run from the ribbon hoisting up the middle of the tunic to the sides of the legs."


Given the relief's geographical location (Arbelitis) and extant literary evidence (Ant. 20.66-67: Izates of Adiabene was allowed to wear this kind of royal tiara by Artabanos II, king of Parthia), Boehmer and Gall identified the figure as that of Izates II< king of Adiebene, and suggested that it must have been erected in commemoration of his victory over Vologases I, king of Parthia, around 52-54 CE (Ant. 20.80-91).


Grabowski rejected the identification of the headdress as the upright tiara, arguing that its peak is elongated much more to the back than vertically and the Batas-Herir tiara (being an example of tiara pages, also known as "satrap tiara") finds the best parallel in the headdress depicted on the coins of Abdissar, king of Adiabene; as a result, Grabowski suggests that the Batas-Herir tiara depicts Abdissar, the first king of Adiabene (around 164 BC).

Marciak 2017, p 337