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Elam (;
Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second princip ...
: ''hatamti'';
Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...
Elamite Elamite, also known as Hatamtite, is an extinct language that was spoken by the ancient Elamites. It was used in present-day southwestern Iran from 2600 BC to 330 BC. Elamite works disappear from the archeological record after Alexander the Great ...
: ;
Sumerian
Sumerian
: ;
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
: ; he, עֵילָם ''ʿēlām''; peo, 𐎢𐎺𐎩 ''hūja'') was an ancient civilization centered in the far west and southwest of modern-day
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
, stretching from the lowlands of what is now
Khuzestan Khuzestan Province (also spelled Xuzestan; fa, استان خوزستان ''Ostān-e Khūzestān'') is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it cover ...

Khuzestan
and
Ilam Province Ilam Province ( fa, استان ایلام, ku, Parêzgeha Îlamê ,پارێزگای ئیلام) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran Iran is subdivided into thirty-one province, provinces ( fa, استان ''Ostān''), each governed from a lo ...
as well as a small part of southern
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
. The modern name ''Elam'' stems from the
Sumerian
Sumerian
transliteration ''elam(a)'', along with the later
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
''elamtu'', and the
Elamite Elamite, also known as Hatamtite, is an extinct language that was spoken by the ancient Elamites. It was used in present-day southwestern Iran from 2600 BC to 330 BC. Elamite works disappear from the archeological record after Alexander the Great ...
''haltamti.'' Elamite states were among the leading political forces of the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
. In
classical literature Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity, and in the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a c ...
, Elam was also known as Susiana ( ; grc, Σουσιανή ''Sousiānḗ''), a name derived from its capital
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
. Elam was part of the early urbanization of the Near East during the
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

Chalcolithic
period (Copper Age). The emergence of written records from around 3000 BC also parallels
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian history, where slightly earlier records have been found. In the Old Elamite period (
Middle Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
), Elam consisted of kingdoms on the
Iranian plateau
Iranian plateau
, centered in
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a crucial role during the
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
Achaemenid dynasty The Achaemenid dynasty ( peo, 𐏃𐎧𐎠𐎶𐎴𐎡𐏁𐎡𐎹, translit=Haxāmanišyaʰ; fa, دودمان هخامنشی; grc, Ᾰ̓χαιμενῐ́δαι, translit=Akhaimenídai) was an ancient Persian royal house. They were the ruling d ...
that succeeded Elam, when the
Elamite language Elamite, also known as Hatamtite, is an extinct language Extinction Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of ...
remained among those in official use. Elamite is generally considered a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. Korean language, Korean and Basque language, Basque are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. ...
unrelated to any other languages. In accordance with geographical and archaeological matches, some historians argue that the Elamites comprise a large portion of the ancestors of the modern day
Lurs Lurs () are an Iranian people The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe t ...
whose language, Lurish, split from
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
.


Etymology

The Elamite language
endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
of Elam as a country appears to have been ''Haltamti'', or ''Haltami''.
Exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
s included the
Sumerian
Sumerian
names ''NIM.MAki''𒉏𒈠𒆠 and ''ELAM'', the
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
''Elamû'' (masculine/neuter) and ''Elamītu'' (feminine) meant "resident of Susiana, Elamite". In prehistory, Elam was centered primarily in modern Khuzestān and Ilam. The name Khuzestān is derived ultimately from peo, 𐎢𐎺𐎩 (''hūja'') meaning Susa/Elam. This became pal, 𐭧𐭥𐭰 (''hūz'') "Susiana", and in modern fa, خوز (''xuz''), compounded with the toponymic suffix '' -stån'' "place".


Geography

In geographical terms, Susiana basically represents the Iranian province of
Khuzestan Khuzestan Province (also spelled Xuzestan; fa, استان خوزستان ''Ostān-e Khūzestān'') is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it cover ...

Khuzestan
around the river
Karun The Karun ( fa, کارون, ) is Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest ...

Karun
. In ancient times, several names were used to describe this area. The ancient geographer
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
was the earliest to call the area ''Susiana'', referring to the country around Susa. Another ancient geographer,
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
, viewed Elam and Susiana as two different geographic regions. He referred to Elam ("land of the Elymaei") as primarily the highland area of Khuzestan.D. T. Potts
''The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State.''
Cambridge World Archaeology. Cambridge University Press, 2015 p11
Disagreements over the location also exist in the Jewish historical sources says Daniel T. Potts. Some ancient sources draw a distinction between Elam as the highland area of Khuzestan, and Susiana as the lowland area. Yet in other ancient sources 'Elam' and 'Susiana' seem equivalent. The uncertainty in this area extends also to modern scholarship. Since the discovery of ancient
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
, and the realization of its great importance in Elamite history, the definitions were changed again. Some modern scholars argued that the centre of Elam lay at Anshan and in the highlands around it, and not at Susa in lowland Khuzistan. Potts disagrees suggesting that the term 'Elam' was primarily constructed by the Mesopotamians to describe the area in general terms, without referring specifically either to the lowlanders or the highlanders,
"Elam is not an Iranian term and has no relationship to the conception which the peoples of highland Iran had of themselves. They were Anshanites, Marhashians, Shimashkians, Zabshalians, Sherihumians, Awanites, etc. That Anshan played a leading role in the political affairs of the various highland groups inhabiting southwestern Iran is clear. But to argue that Anshan is coterminous with Elam is to misunderstand the artificiality and indeed the alienness of Elam as a construct imposed from without on the peoples of the southwestern highlands of the Zagros mountain range, the coast of Fars and the alluvial plain drained by the Karun-Karkheh river system.


History

Prehistorically the area was well settled during the
Ubaid period The Ubaid period (c. 6500–3800 BC) is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by a ...
and shared many aspects of Ubaid cultures. Knowledge of Elamite history remains largely fragmentary, reconstruction being based on mainly
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
n (
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian,
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n and
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
n) sources. The history of Elam is conventionally divided into three periods, spanning more than two millennia. The period before the first Elamite period is known as the proto-Elamite period: *
Proto-Elamite The Proto-Elamite period, also known as Susa III, is the time from ca. 3100 BC to 2700 BC in the area of Elam. In archaeological terms this corresponds to the late Banesh period, and it is recognized as the oldest civilization in Iran. The Prot ...
: c. 3200 – c. 2700 BC (Proto-Elamite script in Susa) *Old Elamite period: c. 2700 – c. 1500 BC (earliest documents until the
Sukkalmah Dynasty The Sukkalmah Dynasty (c. 1900-1500 BCE), also Epartid Dynasty after the founder Eparti/Ebarat, was an early dynasty of West Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most popu ...
) *Middle Elamite period: c. 1500 – c. 1100 BC (Anzanite dynasty until the Babylonian invasion of Susa) *Neo-Elamite period: c. 1100 – 540 BC (characterized Assyrian and Median influence. 539 BC marks the beginning of the Achaemenid period.)


Proto-Elamite (c. 3500 – c. 2700 BC)

Proto-Elamite civilization grew up east of the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
and
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
alluvial plains; it was a combination of the lowlands and the immediate highland areas to the north and east. At least three proto-Elamite states merged to form Elam:
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
(modern
Fars Province Fars Province (; fa, استان فارس, , ), also known as Pars (Sasanian province), Pars (, ) as well as Persis and Persia, is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. With an area of 122,400 km², it is located in Iran's southwest, in R ...
), Awan (modern
Lorestan Province Lorestan Province (also written Luristan, Lurestan, or Loristan, fa, استان لرستان) is a province of western Iran in the Zagros Mountains. The population of Lorestan was 1,760,649 people in 2016, according to the last conducted census. ...
) and Shimashki (modern
Kerman Province Kerman Province ( fa, استان کرمان, ''Ostān-e Kermān'') is the largest province of the 31 provinces of Iran. Kerman is in the southeast of Iran with its administrative center in the city of Kerman. In 2014 it was placed in Regions of I ...
). References to Awan are generally older than those to Anshan, and some scholars suggest that both states encompassed the same territory, in different eras (see Hanson, Encyclopædia Iranica). To this core (modern
Khuzestan Khuzestan Province (also spelled Xuzestan; fa, استان خوزستان ''Ostān-e Khūzestān'') is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahvaz and it cover ...

Khuzestan
) was periodically annexed and broken off. In addition, some Proto-Elamite sites are found well outside this area, spread out on the ; such as Warakshe,
Sialk Tepe Sialk ( fa, تپه سیلک) is a large ancient archeological site (a ''tepe'', "hill, tell") in a suburb of the city of Kashan (19th century). Persian architects used these structures to naturally decrease temperatures, regulate sunlight, ...

Sialk
(now a suburb of the modern city of
Kashan Kashan ( fa, ; Qashan; Cassan; also romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ...

Kashan
) and
Jiroft Jiroft ( fa, جيرفت, also Romanize Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying an ...
in
Kerman Province Kerman Province ( fa, استان کرمان, ''Ostān-e Kermān'') is the largest province of the 31 provinces of Iran. Kerman is in the southeast of Iran with its administrative center in the city of Kerman. In 2014 it was placed in Regions of I ...
. The state of Elam was formed from these lesser states as a response to invasion from Sumer during the Old Elamite period. Elamite strength was based on an ability to hold these various areas together under a coordinated government that permitted the maximum interchange of the natural resources unique to each region. Traditionally, this was done through a governmental structure. The Proto-Elamite city of Susa was founded around 4000 BC in the watershed of the river
Karun The Karun ( fa, کارون, ) is Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest ...

Karun
. It is considered to be the site of Proto-Elamite cultural formation. During its early history, it fluctuated between submission to
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
n and Elamite power. The earliest levels (22—17 in the excavations conducted by Le Brun, 1978) exhibit pottery that has no equivalent in Mesopotamia, but for the succeeding period, the excavated material allows identification with the culture of Sumer of the
Uruk period The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BC; also known as Protoliterate period) existed from the protohistoric Protohistory is a period between prehistory and history during which a culture or civilization has not yet developed writing, but other cult ...
.
Proto-Elamite The Proto-Elamite period, also known as Susa III, is the time from ca. 3100 BC to 2700 BC in the area of Elam. In archaeological terms this corresponds to the late Banesh period, and it is recognized as the oldest civilization in Iran. The Prot ...
influence from Mesopotamia in Susa becomes visible from about 3200 BC, and texts in the still undeciphered Proto-Elamite writing system continue to be present until about 2700 BC. The Proto-Elamite period ends with the establishment of the
Awan dynasty The Awan Dynasty (Sumerian language, Sumerian: ''lugal-e-ne a-wa-anki'', "Kings of Awan (ancient city), Awan") was the first dynasty of Elam of which very little of anything is known today, appearing at the dawn of historical record. The Dynasty co ...
. The earliest known historical figure connected with Elam is the king
Enmebaragesi Enmebaragesi (Sumerian:𒂗𒈨𒁈𒄄𒋛) originally Mebarasi (Sumerian:𒈨𒁈𒋛) was the penultimate king of the first dynasty of Kish and is recorded as having reigned 900 years in the ''Sumerian King List''. Like his son and successor ...
of Kish (c. 2650 BC?), who subdued it, according to the
Sumerian king list#Redirect Sumerian King List {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{Redirect from other capitalisation {{Redirect from move ...
. Elamite history can only be traced from records dating to beginning of the
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
(2335–2154 BC) onwards. The Proto-Elamite states in
Jiroft Jiroft ( fa, جيرفت, also Romanize Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying an ...
and
Zabol Zabol ( fa, , also transliterated as Zâbol or Zābul) is a city and capital of Zabol County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran. Zabol is near the Afghanistan–Iran border, border with Afghanistan. Referred to as Sistan until the late 1920s, ...
(not universally accepted), present a special case because of their great antiquity. In ancient
Luristan Lorestan Province (also written Luristan, Lurestan, or Loristan, fa, استان لرستان) is a province of western Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in ...
, bronze-making tradition goes back to the mid-3rd millennium BC, and has many Elamite connections. Bronze objects from several cemeteries in the region date to the
Early Dynastic Period (Mesopotamia) The Early Dynastic period (abbreviated ED period or ED) is an archaeological culture in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) that is generally dated to c. 2900–2350 BC and was preceded by the Uruk period, Uruk and Jemdet Nasr period, Jemdet Nasr periods ...
I, and to
Ur-III The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century Common Era, BC (middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians c ...
period c. 2900–2000 BC. These excavations include Kalleh Nisar, Bani Surmah, Chigha Sabz, Kamtarlan, Sardant, and Gulal-i Galbi.


Old Elamite period (c. 2700 – c. 1500 BC)

The Old Elamite period began around 2700 BC. Historical records mention the conquest of Elam by
Enmebaragesi Enmebaragesi (Sumerian:𒂗𒈨𒁈𒄄𒋛) originally Mebarasi (Sumerian:𒈨𒁈𒋛) was the penultimate king of the first dynasty of Kish and is recorded as having reigned 900 years in the ''Sumerian King List''. Like his son and successor ...
, the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian king of Kish in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
. Three dynasties ruled during this period. Twelve kings of each of the first two dynasties, those of Awan (or ''Avan''; c. 2400 – c. 2100 BC) and Simashki (c. 2100 – c. 1970 BC), are known from a list from Susa dating to the
Old Babylonian period Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire Old (previously Wold and befor ...
. Two Elamite dynasties said to have exercised brief control over parts of Sumer in very early times include Awan and
Hamazi Hamazi or Khamazi (Sumerian language, Sumerian: , ''ha-ma-zi''ki, or ''Ḫa-ma-zi2''ki) was an ancient kingdom or city-state of some importance that reached its peak c. 2500–2400 BC. Its exact location is unknown, but is thought to have be ...
; and likewise, several of the stronger
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian rulers, such as
Eannatum Eannatum ( sux, ) was a Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The Penns ...
of
Lagash Lagash (cuneiform: LAGAŠKI; Sumerian language, Sumerian: ''Lagaš''), or Shirpurla, was an ancient city state located northwest of the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and east of Uruk, about east of the modern town of Ash Shatrah, ...

Lagash
and
Lugal-anne-mundu #REDIRECT Lugal-Anne-Mundu Lugal-Anne-Mundu ( sux, , , ca. 24th century BC) was the most important king of the city-state of Adab in Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of ...
of Adab, are recorded as temporarily dominating Elam.


Awan dynasty

The Awan dynasty (2350–2150 BC) was partly contemporary with that of the Mesopotamian emperor
Sargon of Akkad Sargon of Akkad (; akk, 𒊬𒊒𒄀 ''Šar-ru-gi''), also known as Sargon the Great, was the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer ...

Sargon of Akkad
, who not only defeated the Awan king
Luh-ishan Luh-ishan, also Luhhiššan, Luh-ishshan, Luh-uh-ish-shan ( ''lu-uh-ish-an'', also ''lu-uh-hi ish-sha-an'') was a king of Elam and the 8th king of the Awan Dynasty, around 2300 BCE. He was the son of Hiship-rashini. Lu-ishan is known from Elamit ...
and subjected
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
, but attempted to make the
East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. ...
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
the official language there. From this time, Mesopotamian sources concerning Elam become more frequent, since the Mesopotamians had developed an interest in resources (such as wood, stone, and metal) from the Iranian plateau, and military expeditions to the area became more common. With the collapse of Akkad under Sargon's great great-grandson,
Shar-kali-sharri Shar-Kali-Sharri (𒀭𒊬𒂵𒉌 𒈗𒌷, '' DShar-ka-li-Sharri''; reigned c. 2217–2193 BC middle chronology, c. 2153–2129 BC short chronology The short chronology is one of the chronologies of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, ...
, Elam declared independence under the last Awan king,
Kutik-Inshushinak Puzur-Inshushinak ( Linear Elamite: 90px ''Pu-zu-r Šu-ši-na-k'', Akkadian: , ''puzur3- dinšušinak'', also , ''puzur₄- dinšušinak'' "Calling Inshushinak Inshushinak ( Linear Elamite: ''i-n-shu-sh-na-k'', Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Lo ...
(c. 2240 – c. 2220 BC), and threw off the Akkadian language, promoting in its place the brief
Linear Elamite Linear Elamite is a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second princip ...
script. Kutik-Inshushinnak conquered Susa and Anshan, and seems to have achieved some sort of political unity. Following his reign, the Awan dynasty collapsed as Elam was temporarily overrun by the
Guti José María Gutiérrez Hernández (born 31 October 1976), known as Guti, is a Spanish retired Association football, footballer who played as an Midfielder#Attacking midfielder, attacking midfielder, and is a Manager (association football), man ...
, another pre-Iranic people from what is now north west Iran who also spoke a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. Korean language, Korean and Basque language, Basque are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. ...
.


Shimashki dynasty

About a century later, the Sumerian king
Shulgi Shulgi ( Dingir, dŠulgi, formerly read as Dungi) of Ur was the second king of the Third Dynasty of Ur. He reigned for 48 years, from c. 2094 – c. 2046 BC (Middle Chronology) or possibly c. 2030 – 1982 BC (Short Chronology). His accompli ...
of the Neo-Sumerian Empire retook the city of Susa and the surrounding region. During the first part of the rule of the Simashki dynasty, Elam was under intermittent attack from the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ians of
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
and also
Gutians The Guti () or Quti, also known by the derived exonyms Gutians or Guteans, were a nomadic people of West Asia, around the Zagros Mountains (Modern Iran) during ancient times. Their homeland was known as Gutium (Sumerian language, Sumerian: ,''Gu-tu ...
from northwestern Iran, alternating with periods of peace and diplomatic approaches. The Elamite state of Simashki at this time also extended into northern Iran, and possibly even as far as the Caspian Sea.
Shu-Sin Shu-Sin, also Šu-Suen ( akk, 𒀭𒋗𒀭𒂗𒍪: ''dingir, DŠudingir, DSin (mythology), Sîn'', after the Moon God Suen, Sîn", the ":Wikt:𒀭, 𒀭" being a silent honorific for "Divine", formerly read Gimil-Sin) was king of Sumer and Akkadian ...
of Ur gave one of his daughters in marriage to a prince of
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
. But the power of the Sumerians was waning;
Ibbi-Sin Ibbi-Sin ( sux, , ), son of Shu-Sin Shu-Sin, also Šu-Suen ( akk, 𒀭𒋗𒀭𒂗𒍪: ''dingir, DŠudingir, DSin (mythology), Sîn'', after the Moon God Suen, Sîn", the ":Wikt:𒀭, 𒀭" being a silent honorific for "Divine", formerly read Gim ...
in the 21st century did not manage to penetrate far into Elam, and in 2004 BC, the Elamites, allied with the people of Susa and led by king
Kindattu Kindattu (, ''ki-in-da-tu'', also Kindadu, reigned ca. 2000 BC, middle Chronology) 6th king of Shimashki Dynasty The Shimashki or Simashki dynasty (, ''lugal-ene si-mash-giki'' "Kings of the country of Simashgi"), was an early dynasty of the anc ...
, the sixth king of Simashki, managed to sack and lead
Ibbi-Sin Ibbi-Sin ( sux, , ), son of Shu-Sin Shu-Sin, also Šu-Suen ( akk, 𒀭𒋗𒀭𒂗𒍪: ''dingir, DŠudingir, DSin (mythology), Sîn'', after the Moon God Suen, Sîn", the ":Wikt:𒀭, 𒀭" being a silent honorific for "Divine", formerly read Gim ...
into captivity, ending the
third dynasty of Ur The Third Dynasty of Ur, also called the Neo-Sumerian Empire, refers to a 22nd to 21st century BC ( middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to h ...
. The
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
kings of
Isin Isin (, modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countrie ...
,
successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Successor'' (film), a 1996 film including Laura Girling * ''The Successor'' (TV program), a 2007 Israeli television program Mu ...
to Ur, managed to drive the Elamites out of Ur, rebuild the city, and to return the statue of Nanna that the Elamites had plundered.


Sukkalmah dynasty

The succeeding dynasty, often called the
Sukkalmah dynasty The Sukkalmah Dynasty (c. 1900-1500 BCE), also Epartid Dynasty after the founder Eparti/Ebarat, was an early dynasty of West Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most popu ...
(c. 1970 – c. 1770 BC) after "Great regents", the title borne by its members, also called the Epartid dynasty after the name of its founder Ebarat/ Eparti, was roughly contemporary with the
Old Assyrian Empire The Old Assyrian Empire was the second stage of Assyrian history, covering the history of the city of Assur Aššur (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: AN.ŠAR2KI, Assyrian cuneiform: ''Aš-šurKI'', "City of God Ashur (god), Aššur"; syr, ܐܫ ...
, and Old
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
n period in Mesopotamia, being younger by approximately sixty years than the Akkadian speaking
Old Assyrian Empire The Old Assyrian Empire was the second stage of Assyrian history, covering the history of the city of Assur Aššur (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: AN.ŠAR2KI, Assyrian cuneiform: ''Aš-šurKI'', "City of God Ashur (god), Aššur"; syr, ܐܫ ...
in
Upper Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the uplands and great outwash plain In geography, a plain is a flat expanse of land that generally does not change much in elevation. Plains occur as lowlands along valleys or on the doorsteps of mountai ...
, and almost seventy-five years older than the Old
Babylonian Empire Babylonia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past events From c. 3500 BC until the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BCE, Mesopotamia had been dominated by largely Sumerian cities and city states, su ...
. This period is confusing and difficult to reconstruct. It was apparently founded by Eparti I. During this time, Susa was under Elamite control, but Akkadian speaking Mesopotamian states such as
Larsa Larsa (Sumerian logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures ...
and
Isin Isin (, modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countrie ...
continually tried to retake the city. Around 1850 BC
Kudur-Mabuk Kudur-Mabuk was a ruler in the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form ...
, apparently king of another
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
state to the north of Larsa, managed to install his son,
Warad-Sin Warad-Sin (, ARAD-dingir, Dsuen) ruled the ancient Near East city-state of Larsa from 1770 BC to 1758 BC (short chronology). There are indications that his father Kudur-Mabuk was co-regent or at very least the power behind the throne. His sister En ...
, on the throne of Larsa, and Warad-Sin's brother, Rim-Sin, succeeded him and conquered much of southern Mesopotamia for
Larsa Larsa (Sumerian logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures ...
. Notable Eparti dynasty rulers in Elam during this time include Sirukdukh (c. 1850 BC), who entered various military coalitions to contain the power of the south Mesopotamian states; Siwe-Palar-Khuppak, who for some time was the most powerful person in the area, respectfully addressed as "Father" by Mesopotamian kings such as Zimrilim of Mari, Syria, Mari, Shamshi-Adad I of
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
, and even Hammurabi of Babylon; and Kudur-Nahhunte, who plundered the temples of southern Mesopotamia, the north being under the control of the
Old Assyrian Empire The Old Assyrian Empire was the second stage of Assyrian history, covering the history of the city of Assur Aššur (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: AN.ŠAR2KI, Assyrian cuneiform: ''Aš-šurKI'', "City of God Ashur (god), Aššur"; syr, ܐܫ ...
. But Elamite influence in southern Mesopotamia did not last. Around 1760 BC, Hammurabi drove out the Elamites, overthrew Rim-Sin of Larsa, and established a short lived
Babylonian Empire Babylonia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past events From c. 3500 BC until the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BCE, Mesopotamia had been dominated by largely Sumerian cities and city states, su ...
in Mesopotamia. Little is known about the latter part of this dynasty, since sources again become sparse with the Kassites, Kassite rule of Babylon (from c. 1595 BC).


Trade with the Indus Valley civilization

Many archaeological finds suggest that maritime trade along the shores of Africa and Asia started several millennia ago. Trade between the Indus Valley Civilization and the cities of Mesopotamia and Elam, can be inferred from numerous find of Indus artifacts, particularly in the excavation at
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
. Various objects made with shell species that are characteristic of the Indus coast, particularly ''Trubinella Pyrum'' and ''Fasciolaria Trapezium'', have been found in the archaeological sites of Mesopotamia and Susa dating from around 2500–2000 BC. Carnelian beads from the Indus were found in Susa in the excavation of the tell of the citadel. In particular, carnelian beads with an etched design in white were probably imported from the Indus Valley, and made according to a technique of acid-etching developed by the Harappans. Exchanges seem to have waned after 1900 BC, together with the disappearance of the Indus valley civilization. File:Indus round seal with impression Elongated buffalo with Harappan scrpit imported to Susa in 2600-1700 BCE LOUVRE Sb5614.jpg, Indus round seal with impression. Elongated buffalo with Harappan symbol imported to Susa in 2600–1700 BC. Found in the tell of the Susa acropolis. Louvre Museum, reference Sb 5614 File:Indus carnelian beads with white design imported to Susa in 2600-1700 BCE LOUVRE Sb 13099.jpg, Indian carnelian beads with white design, etched in white with an acid, imported to Susa in 2600–1700 BC. Found in the tell of the Susa acropolis. Louvre Museum, reference Sb 17751. These beads are identical with beads found in the Indus Civilization site of Dholavira. File:Indus bracelet made of Fasciolaria Trapezium or Xandus Pyrum imported to Susa in 2600-1700 BCE LOUVRE Sb14473.jpg, Indus bracelet made of ''Fasciolaria Trapezium'' or ''Turbinella pyrum'' imported to Susa in 2600–1700 BC. Found in the tell of the Susa acropolis. Louvre Museum, reference Sb 14473. This type of bracelet was manufactured in Mohenjo-daro, Lothal and Balakot. It is engraved with a chevron design which is characteristic of all shell bangles of the Indus Valley, visibl
here
File:Indus Valley Civilization weight excavated in Susa. Louvre Museum Sb 17774.jpg, Indus Valley Civilization weight in veined jasper, excavated in Susa in a 12th-century BC princely tomb. Louvre Museum Sb 17774.


Middle Elamite period (c. 1500 – c. 1100 BC)


Anshan and Susa

The Middle Elamite period began with the rise of the Anshanite dynasties around 1500 BC. Their rule was characterized by an "Elamisation" of Susa, and the kings took the title "king of Anshan and Susa". While the first of these dynasties, the Kidinuids continued to use the Akkadian language frequently in their inscriptions, the succeeding Igihalkids and Shutrukids used Elamite with increasing regularity. Likewise, Elamite language and culture grew in importance in Susiana. The Kidinuids (c. 1500 – 1400 BC) are a group of five rulers of uncertain affiliation. They are identified by their use of the older title, "king of Susa and of Anshan", and by calling themselves "servant of Kirwashir", an Elamite deity, thereby introducing the pantheon of the highlands to Susiana. The city of Susa itself is one of the oldest in the world dating back to around 4200 BC. Since its founding Susa was known as a central power location for the Elamites and for later Persian dynasties. Susa's power would peak during the Middle Elamite period, when it would be the region's capital.


Kassite invasions

Of the Igehalkids (c. 1400 – 1210 BC), ten rulers are known, though their number was possibly larger. Some of them married kassites, Kassite princesses. The Kassites were also a Language Isolate speaking people from the Zagros Mountains who had taken
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
shortly after its sacking by the Hittite Empire in 1595 BC. The Kassite king of Babylon Kurigalzu II who had been installed on the throne by Ashur-uballit I of the Middle Assyrian Empire (1366–1020 BC), temporarily occupied Elam around 1320 BC, and later (c. 1230 BC) another Kassite king, Kaštiliaš IV, Kashtiliash IV, fought Elam unsuccessfully. Kassite-Babylonian power waned, as they became dominated by the northern Mesopotamian Middle Assyrian Empire. Kiddin-Khutran of Elam repulsed the Kassites by defeating Enlil-nadin-shumi in 1224 BC and Adad-shuma-iddina around 1222–1217 BC. Under the Igehalkids,
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
inscriptions were rare, and Elamite highland gods became firmly established in Susa.


Elamite Empire

Under the Shutrukids (c. 1210 – 1100 BC), the Elamite empire reached the height of its power. Shutruk-Nahhunte, Shutruk-Nakhkhunte and his three sons, Kutir-Nakhkhunte II, Shilhak-In-Shushinak, and Khutelutush-In-Shushinak were capable of frequent military campaigns into Kassite Babylonia (which was also being ravaged by the empire of
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
during this period), and at the same time were exhibiting vigorous construction activity—building and restoring luxurious temples in Susa and across their Empire. Shutruk-Nakhkhunte raided Babylonia, carrying home to Susa trophies like the statues of Marduk and Manishtushu, the Manishtushu Obelisk, the code of Hammurabi, Stele of Hammurabi and the stele of Naram-Sin of Akkad, Naram-Sin. In 1158 BC, after much of Babylonia had been annexed by Ashur-Dan I of Assyria and Shutruk-Nakhkhunte, the Elamites defeated the Kassites permanently, killing the Kassite king of Babylon, Zababa-shuma-iddin, and replacing him with his eldest son, Kutir-Nakhkhunte, who held it no more than three years before being ejected by the native Akkadian speaking Babylonians. The Elamites then briefly came into conflict with
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
, managing to take the Assyrian city of Arrapha (modern Kirkuk) before being ultimately defeated and having a treaty forced upon them by Ashur-Dan I. Kutir-Nakhkhunte's son Khutelutush-In-Shushinak was probably of an incestuous relation of Kutir-Nakhkhunte's with his own daughter, Nakhkhunte-utu. He was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar I of Babylon, who sacked Susa and returned the statue of Marduk, but who was then himself defeated by the Assyrian king Ashur-resh-ishi I. He fled to Anshan, but later returned to Susa, and his brother Shilhana-Hamru-Lagamar may have succeeded him as last king of the Shutrukid dynasty. Following Khutelutush-In-Shushinak, the power of the Elamite empire began to wane seriously, for after the death of this ruler, Elam disappears into obscurity for more than three centuries.


Neo-Elamite period (c. 1100 – 540 BC)


Neo-Elamite I (c. 1100 – c. 770 BC)

Very little is known of this period. Anshan was still at least partially Elamite. There appear to have been unsuccessful alliances of Elamites, Babylonians, Chaldeans and other peoples against the powerful Neo Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC); the Babylonian king Mar-biti-apla-ushur (984–979 BC) was of Elamite origin, and Elamites are recorded to have fought unsuccessfully with the Babylonian king Marduk-balassu-iqbi against the
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n forces under Shamshi-Adad V (823–811 BC).


Neo-Elamite II (c. 770 – 646 BC)

The later Neo-Elamite period is characterized by a significant migration of Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking Iranian peoples, Iranians to the Iranian plateau. Assyrian sources beginning around 800 BC distinguish the "powerful Medes", i.e. the actual Medes, Persian people, Persians, Parthian Empire, Parthians, Sagartians, Margiana, Margians, Bactrians, Sogdians etc.. Among these pressuring tribes were the ''Persian people, Parsu'', first recorded in 844 BC as living on the southeastern shore of Lake Urmiah, but who by the end of this period would cause the Elamites' original home, the Iranian Plateau, to be renamed Persia proper. These newly arrived Iranian peoples were also conquered by Assyria, and largely regarded as vassals of the Neo-Assyrian Empire until the late 7th century. More details are known from the late 8th century BC, when the Elamites were allied with the Chaldean chieftain Marduk-apla-iddina II, Merodach-baladan to defend the cause of Babylonian independence from Assyria. Khumbanigash (743–717 BC) supported Merodach-baladan against Sargon II, apparently without success; while his successor, Shutruk-Nakhkhunte II (716–699 BC), was routed by Sargon's troops during an expedition in 710, and another Elamite defeat by Sargon's troops is recorded for 708. The Assyrian dominion over Babylon was underlined by Sargon's son Sennacherib, who defeated the Elamites, Chaldeans and Babylonians and dethroned Merodach-baladan for a second time, installing his own son Ashur-nadin-shumi on the Babylonian throne in 700. Shutruk-Nakhkhunte II, the last Elamite to claim the old title "king of Anshan and Susa", was murdered by his brother Khallushu, who managed to briefly capture the Assyrian governor of Babylonia Ashur-nadin-shumi and the city of Babylon in 694 BC. Sennacherib soon responded by invading and ravaging Elam. Khallushu was in turn assassinated by Kutir-Nakhkhunte, who succeeded him but soon abdicated in favor of Khumma-Menanu III (692–689 BC). Khumma-Menanu recruited a new army to help the Babylonians and Chaldeans against the Assyrians at the battle of Halule in 691. Both sides claimed the victory in their annals, but Babylon was destroyed by Sennacherib only two years later, and its Elamite allies defeated in the process. The reigns of Khumma-Khaldash I (688–681 BC) and Khumma-Khaldash II (680–675 BC) saw a deterioration of Elamite-Babylonian relations, and both of them raided Sippar. At the beginning of Esarhaddon's reign in
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
(681–669 BC), Nabu-zer-kitti-lišir, an ethnically Elamite governor in the south of Babylonia, revolted and besieged , but was routed by the Assyrian people, Assyrians and fled to Elam where the king of Elam, fearing Assyrian repercussions, took him prisoner and put him to the sword. Urtaku (674–664 BC) for some time wisely maintained good relations with the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (668–627 BC), who sent wheat to Susiana during a famine. But these friendly relations were only temporary, and Urtaku was killed in battle during a failed Elamite attack on Assyria. His successor Tempti-Khumma-In-Shushinak (664–653 BC) attacked Assyria, but was defeated and killed by Ashurbanipal following the battle of the Ulaï in 653 BC; and
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
itself was sacked and occupied by the Assyrians. In this same year the Assyrian vassal Median state to the north fell to the invading Scythians and Cimmerians under Madyes, and displacing another Assyrian vassal people, the ''Parsu'' (Persian people, Persians) to
Anshan Anshan () is an inland prefecture-level city Image:Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg, A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply "Huangshi" (). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located ''alread ...
which their king Teispes captured that same year, turning it for the first time into an Indo-Iranians, Indo-Iranian kingdom under
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n dominance that would a century later become the nucleus of the
Achaemenid dynasty The Achaemenid dynasty ( peo, 𐏃𐎧𐎠𐎶𐎴𐎡𐏁𐎡𐎹, translit=Haxāmanišyaʰ; fa, دودمان هخامنشی; grc, Ᾰ̓χαιμενῐ́δαι, translit=Akhaimenídai) was an ancient Persian royal house. They were the ruling d ...
. The Assyrian people, Assyrians successfully subjugated and drove the Scythians and Cimmerians from their
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
ian colonies, and the Persian people, Persians, Medes and Parthian Empire, Parthians remained vassals of Assyria. During a brief respite provided by the civil war between Ashurbanipal and his own brother Shamash-shum-ukin whom their father Esarhaddon had installed as the vassal king of Babylon, the Elamites both gave support to Shamash-shum-ukin, and indulged in fighting among themselves, so weakening the Elamite kingdom that in 646 BC Ashurbanipal devastated Susiana with ease, and sacked Susa. A succession of brief reigns continued in Elam from 651 to 640, each of them ended either due to usurpation, or because of capture of their king by the Assyrians. In this manner, the last Elamite king, Khumma-Khaldash III, was captured in 640 BC by Ashurbanipal, who annexed and destroyed the country. In a tablet unearthed in 1854 by Austen Henry Layard, Henry Austin Layard, Ashurbanipal boasts of the destruction he had wrought:


Neo-Elamite III (646–539 BC)

The devastation was a little less complete than Ashurbanipal boasted, and a weak and fragmented Elamite rule was resurrected soon after with Shuttir-Nakhkhunte, son of Humban-umena III (not to be confused with Shuttir-Nakhkhunte, son of Indada, a petty king in the first half of the 6th century). Elamite royalty in the final century preceding the Achaemenids was fragmented among different small kingdoms, the united Elamite nation having been destroyed and colonised by the Assyrians. The three kings at the close of the 7th century (Shuttir-Nakhkhunte, Khallutush-In-Shushinak and Atta-Khumma-In-Shushinak) still called themselves "king of Anzan and of Susa" or "enlarger of the kingdom of Anzan and of Susa", at a time when the Achaemenid Persians were already ruling Anshan under Assyrian dominance. The various Assyrian Empires, which had been the dominant force in the Near East, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, North Africa, Arabian peninsula and East Mediterranean for much of the period from the first half of the 14th century BC, began to unravel after the death of Ashurbanipal in 627 BC, descending into a series of bitter internal civil wars which also spread to Babylonia. The Iranian peoples, Iranian Medes, Parthian Empire, Parthians, Achaemenid Empire, Persians and Sagartians, who had been largely subject to Assyria since their arrival in the region around 1000 BC, quietly took full advantage of the anarchy in Assyria, and in 616 BC freed themselves from Assyrian rule. The Medians took control of Elam during this period. Cyaxares the king of the Medes, Achaemenid Empire, Persians, Parthian Empire, Parthians and Sagartians entered into an alliance with a coalition of fellow former vassals of Assyria, including Nabopolassar of Babylon and Chaldea, and also the Scythians and Cimmerians, against Sin-shar-ishkun of Assyria, who was faced with unremitting civil war in Assyria itself. This alliance then attacked a disunited and war weakened Assyria, and between 616 BC and 599 BC at the very latest, had conquered its vast empire which stretched from the Caucasus Mountains to Egypt, Libya and the Arabian Peninsula, and from Cyprus and Ephesus to Persia and the Caspian Sea. The major cities in Assyria itself were gradually taken; Arrapha (modern Kirkuk) and Kalhu (modern Nimrud) in 616 BC, Assur, Ashur, Dur-Sharrukin and Erbil, Arbela (modern Erbil) in 613, Nineveh falling in 612, Harran in 608 BC, Carchemish in 605 BC, and finally Dur-Katlimmu by 599 BC. Elam, already largely destroyed and subjugated by Assyria, thus became easy prey for the Medes, Median dominated Iranian peoples, and was incorporated into the Median Empire (612–546 BC) and then the succeeding Achaemenid Empire (546–332 BC), with Assyria suffering the same fate. (see Achaemenid Assyria, Athura). The prophet Ezekiel describes the status of their power in the 12th year of the Hebrew Babylonian Captivity in 587 BC: Their successors Khumma-Menanu and Shilhak-In-Shushinak II bore the simple title "king", and the final king Tempti-Khumma-In-Shushinak used no honorific at all. In 540 BC, Achaemenid rule began in Susa.


Elymais (187 BC - 224 AD)

Elymais, Elymaïs was the location of the death of Antiochus III the Great who was killed while pillaging a temple of Bel (mythology), Bel in 187 BC. Following the rise and fall of the Achaemenid Empire and the Seleucid Empire, a new dynasty of Elamite rulers established Elymais from 147 BC to 224 AD, usually under the suzerainty of the Parthian Empire, until the advent of the unified Sasanian Empire in 224 AD.


Art


Statuettes

Dated to approximately the 12th century BC, gold and silver figurines of Elamite worshippers are shown carrying a sacrificial goat. These divine and royal statues were meant to assure the king of the enduring protection of the deity, well-being and a long life. Works which showed a ruler and his performance of a ritual action were intended to eternalize the effectiveness of such deeds. Found near the Temple of Inshushinak in
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
, these statuettes would have been considered charged with beneficial power. While archaeologists cannot be certain that the location where these figures were found indicates a date before or in the time of the Elamite king Shilhak-Inshushinak, stylistic features can help ground the figures in a specific time period. The hairstyle and costume of the figures which are strewn with dots and hemmed with short fringe at the bottom, and the precious metals point to a date in the latter part of the second millennium BC rather than to the first millennium. In general, any gold or silver statuettes which represent the king making a sacrifice not only served a religious function, but was also a display of wealth.


Seals

Elamite seals reached their peak of complexity in the 4th millennium BC when their shape became cylindrical rather than stamp-like. Seals were primarily used as a form of identification and were often made out of precious stones. Because seals for different time periods had different designs and themes, seals and seal impressions can be used to track the various phases of the Elamite Empire and can teach a lot about the empire in ways which other forms of documentation cannot.“Cylinder Seal and Modern Impression: Worshiper before a Seated Ruler or Deity; Seated Female under a Grape Arbor , Work of Art , Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History , The Metropolitan Museum of Art.” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1987.343/. The seal pictured shows two seated figures holding cups with a man in front of them wearing a long robe next to a table. A man is sitting on a throne, presumably the king, and is in a wrapped robe. The second figure, perhaps his queen, is draped in a wide, flounced garment and is elevated on a platform beneath an overhanging vine. A crescent is shown in the field.


Statue of Queen Napir-Asu

This life-size votive offering of Queen Napir-Asu was commissioned around 1300 BC in Susa, Iran. It is made of copper using the lost-wax casting method and rests on a solid bronze frame that weighs 1750 kg (3760 lb). This statue is different from many other Elamite statues of women because it resembles male statues due to the wide belt on the dress and the patterns which closely resemble those on male statues. The inscription on the side of the statue curses anyone, specifically men, who attempts to destroy the statue: "I, Napir-Asu, wife of Untash-Napirisha. He who would seize my statue, who would smash it, who would destroy its inscription, who would erase my name, may he be smitten by the curse of Napirisha, of Kiririsha, and of Inshushinka, that his name shall become extinct, that his offspring be barren, that the forces of Beltiya, the great goddess, shall sweep down on him. This is Napir-Asu's offering."


Stele of Untash Napirisha

The stele of the Elamite king, Untash-Napirisha was believed to have been commissioned in the 12th century BC. It was moved from the original religious capital of Chogha Zanbil to the city of Susa by the successor king, Shutruk-Nahnante. Four registers of the stele are left. The remains depict the god Inshushinak validating the legitimacy of who is thought to be Shutruk-Nahnante. In the periphery are two priestesses, deity hybrids of fish and women holding streams of water, and two half-man half-mouflon guardians of the sacred tree. The names of the two priestesses are carved on their arms.Borne interactive du département des Antiquités orientales. Malbran-Labat Florence, Les Inscriptions de Suse : briques de l'époque paléo-élamite à l'empire néo-élamite, Paris, Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 1995, p.168–169. Miroschedji Pierre de, "Le Dieu élamite au serpent", in : Iranica antiqua, Vol.16, 1981, Gand, Ministère de l'Éducation et de la Culture, 1989, p.13–14, pl.8. King Untash Napirisha dedicated the stele to the god Ishushinak. Like other forms of art in the ancient Near East, this one portrays a king ceremonially recognizing a deity. This stele is unique in that the acknowledgement between king and god is reciprocal.


Religion

The Elamites practised polytheism. Due to scarcity of sources, past scholars assumed that Elamite religion must have been characterized by the "ill-defined character of the individual gods and goddesses. ...Most of them were not only ineffable beings whose real name was either not uttered or was unknown, but also sublime ideas, not to be exactly defined by the human race." Worship also varied between localities. However, more recent scholarship shows that Elamite deities most likely weren't any less defined than these of their Sumerian mythology, Sumerian, Akkadian mythology, Akkadian and Hurrian religion, Hurrian neighbors. Inscriptions of many Elamie kings indicate that a concept of a supreme triad consisting of Inshushinak (originally the civic protector god of Susa, eventually the leader of the triad and guarantor of the monarchy), Kiririsha (an earth/mother goddess in southern Elam), and Napirisha existed. In the Neo-Elamite period Humban, previously a deity of limited relevance in known sources, emerged as a divine source of royal power. Another significant deity was Pinikir (an astral goddess of love, similar to Ishtar. Some researchers, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, saw her as a mother goddess, and possibly originally chief deity, in northern Elam, later supplanted by or identified with Kiririsha, but this view is no longer supported by scholars. There were also imported deities, such as Beltiya, Nergal or Nanaya; some native Elamite deities had
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
or names as well (ex. Manzat (goddess), Manzat, Inshushinak and his attendants), indicating a long history of interchange. Some Elamite deities were also venerated outside Elam: Pinikir was known to the Hurrians and Hittites, Simut (god), Simut appeared in Babylonian personal names, and an Assyrian text mentions Khumban, Napirisha and Yabru (Jabru) as protectors of the king.


List of Elamite gods


Language

Elamite is traditionally thought to be a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. Korean language, Korean and Basque language, Basque are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. ...
, and completely unrelated to the neighbouring Semitic languages, and Kassite language, Kassite, Hurrian language, Hurrian (also isolates), and the later arriving Indo-European languages, Indo-European Iranian languages that came to dominate the region of Elam from the 6th century BC. It was written in a cuneiform adapted from the Semitic
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...
script of
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
and
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
, although the very earliest documents were written in the quite different Linear Elamite script, "Linear Elamite" script. In 2006, two even older inscriptions in a similar script were discovered at
Jiroft Jiroft ( fa, جيرفت, also Romanize Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying an ...
to the east of Elam, leading archaeologists to speculate that Linear Elamite had originally spread from further east to
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
. It seems to have developed from an even earlier writing known as "proto-Elamite", but scholars are not unanimous on whether or not this script was used to write Elamite or another language, as it has not yet been deciphered. Several stages of the language are attested; the earliest date back to the third millennium BC, the latest to the Achaemenid Empire. The Elamite language may have survived as late as the early History of Islam, Islamic period (roughly contemporary with the Early Middle Ages, early medieval period in Europe). Among other Islamic Origin of the name Khuzestan#Supporting documentation, medieval historians, Ibn al-Nadim, for instance, wrote that "The Iranian languages are Fahlavi (Middle Persian, Pahlavi), Zoroastrian Dari language, Dari (not to be confused with Dari language, Dari Persian in modern Afghanistan), Khuzi, Persian language, Persian and Syriac language, Suryani (Aramaic language, Assyrian)", and Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa, Ibn Moqaffa noted that ''Khuzi'' was the unofficial language of the royalty of Persia, "Khuz" being the corrupted name for Elam.


Suggested relations to other language families

While Elamite is viewed as a
language isolate Language isolates are languages that cannot be classified into larger language families with any other languages. Korean language, Korean and Basque language, Basque are two of the most commonly cited language isolates, but there are many others. ...
by the vast majority of linguists, a minority of scholars have proposed that the Elamite language could be related to the Dravidian languages. David McAlpine believes Elamite may be related to the living Dravidian languages. This hypothesis (which has been subject to serious criticism by linguists) is considered under the rubric of Elamo-Dravidian languages.


Legacy

The Assyrians had utterly destroyed the Elamite nation, but new polities emerged in the area after Assyrian power faded. Among the nations that benefited from the decline of the Assyrians were the Iranian tribes, whose presence around Lake Urmia to the north of Elam is attested from the 9th century BC in Assyrian texts. Some time after that region fell to Madius the Scythian (653 BC), Teispes, son of Achaemenes, conquered Elamite Anshan in the mid 7th century BC, forming a nucleus that would expand into the Persian Empire. They were largely regarded as vassals of the Assyrians, and the Medes, Mannaeans, and Persians paid tribute to Assyria from the 10th century BC until the death of Ashurbanipal in 627 BC. After his death, the Medes played a major role in the destruction of the weakened Assyrian Empire in 612 BC. The rise of the Achaemenids in the 6th century BC brought an end to the existence of Elam as an independent political power "but not as a cultural entity" (''Encyclopædia Iranica'', Columbia University). Indigenous Elamite traditions, such as the use of the title "king of Anshan" by Cyrus the Great; the "Elamite robe" worn by Cambyses I of Anshan and seen on the famous winged genii (mythology), genii at Pasargadae; some glyptic styles; the use of Elamite as the first of three official languages of the empire used in thousands of administrative texts found at Darius’ city of Persepolis; the continued worship of Elamite deities; and the persistence of Elamite religious personnel and cults supported by the crown, formed an essential part of the newly emerging Achaemenid culture in Persian Iran. The Elamites thus became the conduit by which achievements of the Mesopotamian civilizations were introduced to the tribes of the Iranian plateau. Conversely, remnants of Elamite had "absorbed Iranian influences in both structure and vocabulary" by 500 BC, suggesting a form of cultural continuity or fusion connecting the Elamite and the Persian periods. The name of "Elam" survived into the Hellenistic period and beyond. In its Greek form, ''Elymais'', it emerges as designating a semi-independent state under Parthian suzerainty during the 2nd century BC to the early 3rd century AD. In Acts of the Apostles, Acts 2:8–9 in the New Testament, the language of the ''Elamitēs'' is one of the languages heard at the Pentecost. From 410 onwards Beth Huzaye (East Syrian Ecclesiastical Province), Elam (Beth Huzaye) was the senior metropolitan province of the Church of the East, surviving into the 14th century. Indian Carmelite historian John Marshal has proposed that the root of Carmelite history in the Indian subcontinent could be traced to the promise of restoration of Elam (Jeremiah 49:39). File:Kaftar elam.jpg, A 4.5 inch long lapis lazuli dove is studded with gold pegs. Dated 1200 BC from
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
, a city later on shared with the Achaemenids. File:Eshkaft-e Salman II.jpg, Elamite reliefs at Eshkaft-e Salman. The picture of a woman with dignity shows the importance of women in the Elamite era.
In modern Iran,
Ilam Province Ilam Province ( fa, استان ایلام, ku, Parêzgeha Îlamê ,پارێزگای ئیلام) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran Iran is subdivided into thirty-one province, provinces ( fa, استان ''Ostān''), each governed from a lo ...
and Khuzestan Province are named after Elam civilization. Khuzestan means land of the Khuzis and Khuzi itself is a
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
name for Elamites.See ''Encyclopædia Iranica'', Columbia University, Vol 1, p687-689.


See also

* List of rulers of Elam *Jiroft culture *Jam Arjan


References


Sources

*Quintana Cifuentes, E., "Historia de Elam el vecino mesopotámico", Murcia, 1997. ''Estudios Orientales''. IPOA-Murcia. *Quintana Cifuentes, E., "Textos y Fuentes para el estudio del Elam", Murcia, 2000.'' Estudios Orientales''. IPOA-Murcia. * Quintana Cifuentes, E.,'' La Lengua Elamita (Irán pre-persa)'', Madrid, 2010. Gram Ediciones. *Khačikjan, Margaret: ''The Elamite Language'', Documenta Asiana IV, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Istituto per gli Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici, 1998 *''Persians: Masters of Empire'', Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia (1995) * *D. T. Potts, "Elamites and Kassites in the Persian Gulf",''Journal of Near Eastern Studies'', vol. 65, no. 2, pp. 111–119, (April 2006) *Potts, Daniel T.: ''The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State'', Cambridge University Press (1999) and *McAlpin, David W., ''Proto Elamo Dravidian: The Evidence and Its Implications'', American Philosophy Society (1981) *Vallat, François. 2010. "The History of Elam". The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) *


External links


Lengua e historia elamita
by Enrique Quintana
History of the Elamite EmpireElamite ArtStele of King Untash NapirishaStatue of Queen Napir AsuElamite SealsAll Empires – The Elamite EmpirePersepolis Fortification Archive ProjectIran Before IraniansEncyclopædia Iranica: ElamModelling population dispersal and language origins during the last 120,000 years
* Hamid-Reza Hosseini, ''Shush at the foot of Louvre'' (''Shush dar dāman-e Louvre''), in Persian, Jadid Online, 10 March 2009


Audio slideshow

(6 min 31 sec) * https://web.archive.org/web/20160222154459/http://www.elamit.net/ {{Coord, 29, 54, N, 52, 24, E, display=title, source:fiwiki Elam, States and territories established in the 3rd millennium BC States and territories disestablished in the 6th century BC Civilizations Ancient history of Iran Chalcolithic states in Asia Bronze Age countries in Asia Iron Age countries in Asia 27th-century BC establishments Historical regions