HIP/Scala/Art Resource, NY

The sixth-century B.C.E. Cyrus Cylinder is inscribed with Babylonian Akkadian text documenting Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Babylon and the capture of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king, in 539 B.C. In this 10-inch-long clay barrel found at Babylon, Cyrus refers to himself as “king of Anshan” but not as “king of Persia,” and certainly not as an Achaemenid.