The Elamite Empire reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
(provided by Fixed Reference: snapshots of Wikipedia from

Elamite Empire

Videos show Africa through the eyes of children
The ancient Elamite Empire lay to the east of Sumer and Akkad, in what is now southwestern Iran. The Elamites called their country haltamtu or hallatamti, which was translated as Elam by the neighboring Akkadians. The high country of Elam was later more and more identified by its low-lying later capital, Susa and called Susiana by geographers after Ptolemy. The Elamite language is unrelated to the neighboring Semitic languages, Sumerian language, and Iranian languages, and the Elamites themselves were an Alpine people who had migrated to the Iranian plateau in prehistoric times. Some scholars believe it is related to the living Dravidian languages of India (see Elamo-Dravidian languages).

Table of contents
1 History
2 Chronology of rulers
3 External Links
4 Reference


Elamite history is conventionally divided into three periods.

The Old Elamite period begins with the oldest attested Elamite kings, approximately 2700 BCE. Elam, designated NIM by Sumerian scribes, with the meaning simply of "highlands," had not previously been unified in any way, neither ethnically nor culturally. Elam fell under the political control of Akkad in the 22nd century BCE. The Avan dynasty reasserted Elam's independence. Shulgi of Ur (c. 2094-c. 2047 BC) conquered Elam for a time. About the middle of the 19th century BCE, power in Elam passed to the Eparti dynasty. Hammurabi of Babylon attacked Elam in 1764 BCE. King Kutir-Nahhunte I of Elam counter-attacked, and dealt a serious defeat to Hammurabi's son Samsu-ilana.

The Middle Elamite Period begins about 1350 BCE, after a 200 year hiatus about which little is known. Around 1160, under King Shutruk-Nahhunte, Elam defeats the Kassites to establish the first Elamite empire, which proved to be short lived; King Nebuchadnezzar I of Babylon conquered Elam around 1120, bringing the empire to an end.

Around 750 BCE, Elam reasserts its independence, bringing about the neo-Elamite cultural revival of the Late Elamite Period. Elam was conquered by the Assyrians in 645 BCE, which marks the end of Elam as an independent state. The Medes conquered Elam from the Assyrians, and the Achaemenid dynasty, an Iranian dynasty who ruled the former Elamite land of Anshan, took Susa and conquered the Median Empire, to establish the first Persian Empire.

Traditional histories have ended Elamite history with its submergence in the Achaemenids, but Greek and Latin references to "Elymeans" attest to cultural survival, according to Daniel Potts (see Refs.).

Elamite served as one of the official languages of the Persian Empire in ancient times, and Susa served as one of the four capitals of the empire. Susa also served as a capital of the Sassanid dynasty from 224 to 651 CE. The last use of Elamite script is the fourth century CE, and Elam is today known as the modern province of Khuzestan, where Iran's immense oil industry is based.

Chronology of rulers

Avan Dynasty (precise dates unknown)

Simash Dynasty (precise dates unknown)

Eparti Dynasty (precise dates unknown)

Babylonian Dynasty (c. 1770 - c. 1500 BCE)

Igehalkid Dynasty (c. 1350 - c. 1200 BCE)

Shutrukid Dynasty (c. 1205 - c. 1100 BCE)

Late Elam Dynasty (743 - 644 BCE)

External Links


Daniel T. Potts, The archaeology of Elam: formation and transformation of an ancient Iranian state, Cambridge U., 1999 ISBN: 0521564964 0521563585