The Colossal Statue of Shapur I, a statue of Shapur I (AD 240–272), the second king of the Sassanid Empire, stands in the so-called Shapur Cave
, a huge limestone cave located about 6 km from the ancient city of Bishapur in the south of Iran. The statue is about 35 m from the cave entrance, on the fourth of five terraces, lying approximately 3.4 m below the level of the cave entrance. Its height of about 6.7 m and breadth across the shoulders of more than 2 m make it one of the most impressive sculptures from the Sassanian period.
The anonymous sculptor of the colossal statue of Shapur I must be considered one of the greatest sculptors in the ancient Near East. It is certain that he succeeded in finishing the colossal statue. According to post-Sassanian reports, the sculpture, which weighed several tonnes, stood on its own feet at least until the 14th century AD. An adept sculptor was not the only master for creating this sculpture – a skilled metalsmith was also involved in this work. The metalsmith was responsible for making the korymbos of metal and had to fix it firmly onto the crown of the colossal statue. The addition of a metal korymbos was indeed an innovation and is not known from any other statue in the ancient Near East. In the Sassanian era, no other statues with similar dimensions have been discovered. Thus, the colossal statue of Shapur I must be considered as an absolute exception in the history of Sassanian sculptural art.