The body of the vase is black except for two figures, a single one on each side. On side A, wearing greaves, cuirass and a pushed-back Corinthian helmet, a hoplite lunges to the right. His hoplite shield has a shield apron, a swath of fabric or leather that defended against stray arrows. On side B, his opponent flees, wielding a huge sword (machaira). A red band (presumably the strap for his battlement-patterned quiver) encircles his waist, and his soft cap (mitra) has a red stripe. He is characterized as non-Greek by his long bushy beard, patterned costume with sleeves and trousers, the soft cap, and pointed shoes. Together, these details identify him as Persian. On seeing the juxtaposition of a pursuing hoplite and an archer on the run, ancient Athenians would recall the Greek triumphs over the Persians, such as the famous victory at Marathon in 490 B.C. There is a graffito under the foot in Attic script: ON, possibly a price inscription.