Destinations Magazine

Topi and the Relief at Persepolis

By Ninstravelog @ninstravelog

The relief above is a relic from Persepolis – a heritage from the old Achaemenid Empire in the old Iran/Persia. The relief actually tells about how big is the empire so that each of the representatives of its territory has a ‘duty’ to the the great King Darius or maybe the later kings. The artists at that time document the story as a relief on the wall of the audience hall of Apadana. Each detail of the carved relief records who makes the homage to see the king with their gifts; each section telling a different story, people and fragments, just like today’s slide show.

However if you look at it in more detail, you will see how the details of the relief you will see that the visiting people are African, shown with their curly hair. The gift for the King was the animal behind them (shown chipped but the general idea of the animal can still be identified): Topi found only in sub Saharan Africa.

Adult Topi with horn, but the feature still the same: pronounce 'slope' and higher in the forequarters that the rear body.

Adult Topi with horns, but the feature is still the same: pronounced ‘slope’ and higher in the forequarters that the rear.


I am not talking about how big is the empire, not only throughout the Mesopotamian area, but also reaching Africa as well; I am talking about the animal.  Topi, is one of the antelope species that was found for the very first time - this is according to the Western knowledge of Animal Kingdom – between 1836 and 1892 in the Belgian Congo. But this old Persian kingdom such as the Achaemenid Empire has recorded it since around 550 BC, long before the Western Civilization acknowledge it.

Topi as I capture it on my visit to Kenya in 2013

Topi as I captured it on my visit to Kenya in 2013

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