In this image Ardeshir is shown on the right side with the royal crown which seems to have been installed overhead and the grand mubid is standing on the left side and is stretching the royal ring to Ardeshir. A fire brazier is set between the king and the grand mubid. Behind Ardeshir the representative of his dynasty is standing with a fan which holds over the king's head. Shapour is wearing the mark of crown prince and two elders wearing octagonal caps without any insignia are standing beside Shapour.
The image is related to the reign of Ardeshir from 225 to 243 A.D. and from the outstanding images and faces one can recognize that only Ardeshir and the grand mubid resemble each other.
Scene of Battle (Height: 4.5 meters, Length 23 meters),
In this image which is the largest icon surviving from the Sassanid period three scenes are portrayed:
a. Ardeshir is wearing a heavy metal armor, all in one piece, with a spear in his hand and Ardavan bears the same marks which is shown on his cap in Naqsh-e Rostam.
b. This image has been obliterated and it is difficult to fix its date. Here the king is wearing his fighting helmet. The helmet resembles a small crown surrounded by a dense hair. Part of the pieces of the image and the form of lace and method of dressing and especially the laces worn on the beard resemble the Naqsh-e Rostam image. This scene which depicts the king's battle is much similar to Naqsh-e Rostam from symbolic point of view. Here Ardeshir's victory over Ardalan has been portrayed. Meanwhile the marks worn by Ardavan is the same as in Naqsh-e Rostam. All these marks prove that the scene of battle was engraved at the end of Ardeshir's reign
c. The military commander is wearing a heavy metal armor and helmet. It is difficult to determine the date of this image because the king has not been portrayed with his official crown but with a helmet. This cap resembles those which are printed on coins (a small crown with a lot of hair around it). From the point of view of shape of the lace, method of dressing and especially the lace of the beard, this face resembles the engraving in Naqsh-e Rostam.
The appearance of this image which portrays a scene of battle resembles the engraving in Naqsh-e Rostam. In this scene also the victory of Ardeshir over Ardavan has been depicted. Meanwhile Ardavan's royal marks are shown in both images. From all these factors once can conclude the scene of battle belongs to the end of Ardeshir's reign.
All art experts agree that the image was engraved at the beginning of Sassanian era. One can resort to the History of Tabari to describe the details of the image. In that book it is said that in a person to person battle between Ardeshir and Ardavan the 5th near Hormozdgan the latter was slain and the image has been apparently engraved to show that scene of battle.
The Coronation Scene
Ardeshir, sitting on horseback, is standing on the left side under the crown which seems to have been installed overhead and the grand Mubid, also sitting on the horseback, is standing on the right side and is extending the royal ring to Ardeshir. Ardeshir's beard is adorned with a lace and under the feet of his horse Ardavan the 5th is lying prostrate on the ground. An elliptic cap adorned with pearls at the margin is lying under the horse's leg. The hair of Satan (Ahriman) resembles a curling snake and the bridle of Ardeshir's horse is adorned by pieces which portray a lion. On the breast of the king's horse there are Parthian, Grecian and Middle Persian inscriptions. The Middle Persian says:
"This is the grand mubid, Ardeshir, the king of kings of Iran, whose face resembles that of God and is the son of Papak Shah."
Another inscription in Middle Persian, Parthian and Grecian on the breast of the horse of the grand mubid says "This is grand mubid (which is called Boroy in Grecian language)". The image is 4.20 meters high and 6.65 meters long.
The dress of the grand mubid and the king is according to religious traditions (all the garments and royal marks in Sassanian images are repeated). Since the fourth century A.D. the marks of coronation in the official image of the king has changed.
In those times the symbols and royal insignias were important parts of a king's image and the dress of the grand mubid did not change until the end of Sassanian Dynasty. From the time of Naqsh-e Rostam under the reign of Nersi almost in every coronation scene important personalities are mounted on the horse. Thus Naqsh-e Rostam is in fact an example of coronation of Sassanian kings at the beginning of that dynasty.
In this scene the crown of Ardeshir I is the same which had been printed on coins which appeared after the engraving in Naqsh-e Rostam at the end of fourth century or the beginning of fifth century A.D. One important and official feature of the king's face is the lace enveloping the beard. Such laces are seen in all images from Shapour I onward and they were portrayed for the first time in Naqsh-e Rostam.
The Scene of Victory
Shapour I has engraved the detail of his victory over Valerianus.
A giant image in Naqsh-e Rostam from Shapour I shows that the king has forgiven the conquered Roman emperor. The king arrives at the scene mounted on a horse and the horse has lifted his right leg. The corrugated royal crown and the woven disc on it is so high that it is portrayed in a semi-circular form in the margin of the stone. The end of the king's curling and dense beard is compressed in a circle. His dense curling hair is shown at his back. Behind it the laces which form the royal dress with parallel pleats are visible. The king is wearing a tight jacket and his trousers is pleated on his leg.
A rock relief at Naqsh-e Rostam, depicting the triumph of Shapur I over the Roman Emperor Valerian, and Philip the Arabian
The king is wearing a necklace and is seated on an ornamented saddle and is holding his sword by his left hand and extends the token of forgiveness to Valerianus who has kneeled before him. The emperor is still wearing his laureled crown and his Roman cloak which shows that he has hastened to the king to beg his forgiveness. He has bent his right leg humbly. This is the best image surviving from Sassanian period. From the point of beauty and attractiveness figures in this scene look as if they are alive.
An Iranian is seen behind the king's horse lifting his hand as a token of respect. Under that man an inscription is made in Pahlavi language which has been destroyed in the course of time. This face seems to have been engraved on the stone at a later date. The same image with slight changes can be seen in the vicinity of Shapour west of Istakhr.
The victory of Iranian king over the Roman emperor has been engraved in Shapour Mountain as well.
Nersi has engraved his coronation ceremony in Naqsh-e Rostam in the ancient form. This is a standard and ancient method of coronation. In other words the king is receiving the laced ring which is the royal insignia from the grand mubid. Here the grand mubid is a woman and according to Zareh is Anahita. The king is wearing an ordinary ticket jacket. The crown worn by Nersi in some coins shows a short cap with vertical lines with a big woven disc over it while the dense curling hairs of the king spread over his shoulders.
His pointed beard which is tied with a ring at the edge, the laces dancing behind the head, and the pearl necklace are the standard royal marks from ancient times.
The grand mubid is wearing a wide corrugated crown on his head and a bunch of dense curling hear is exposed outside the crown. This is the special crown worn by the Sassanian royalty. The woven hair falls on the neck and shoulder and his cloak is tied to his chest by ornamental fastenings under the pearl necklace and he wears a belt over his clock.
The King and his Courtiers
Bahram II is portrayed here in full length. On the left side the bust of the king's wife (with a hat bearing a horse's front part) and the crown prince with a cap bearing the front part of a bird are seen surrounded by elders. The date of inscription is 283 A.D. because in this image one can see Bahram Jr., son of Bahram II, who was appointed as crown prince.
The Scene of Battle
Hormozd, wearing a crown and royal dress, has hurled down by spear a military commander (Qaren) from his horse. The commander is wearing coat of mail and a Roman helmet and the cap of the officer bears an insignia. Behind the king one can see a warrior wearing coat of mail and helmet and hoisting a flag (two poles placed vertically one each other like a cross and tassels hanging on both sides).
The image shows the history of reign of King Hormozd (years 302-309 A.D.).