During the time of the Kings of Elam, the country was one of the most powerful in the region. It had a powerful military, and its language, known as Elamite, was used by its kings to communicate with each other. Elam was also involved in a major conflict with Assyria. It was a kingdom that was ruled by one family.
Compared to other languages, the Elamite language is relatively simple in structure. It features four vowels, a few modifiers, and a very similar writing system. However, it has some problems in terms of translation. Some scholars argue that the language is unrelated to previous scripts, while others claim that it was developed at the same time as the later scripts.
The Elamite language is an agglutinative language. It has a number of grammatical features that are known to scholars. These include a third person pronoun, noun class distinction, and personal pronouns.
The third person pronoun distinguishes between inanimate and animate referents in the accusative case. Adjectives and genitive modifier endings are added to the animate noun to form the possessive determiner.
There are three morphological cases in modern Elamite: subject-object-verb (SVO), verbal stems that are inflected as infinitives, and verbal stems that are inflected to form verbs. However, the subject of a sentence is often not apparent until the end of the finite verb.
The Elamite language has two distinct grammatical genders. The first, called “nominal”, consists of the distinction between animate and inanimate. Personal pronouns are also found in Elamite. In the accusative case, animate referents are marked with a particle in and inanimate referents with a particle na.
The Elamite language is also characterized by a pro-drop feature. Unlike Sumerian, Elamite has only a few morphemes per word. This makes translation of individual texts difficult.
The writing system of Linear Elamite is considered to be the oldest pure phonetic writing system. It was used in southern Iran from about 2,300 to 1,800 B.C., but fell out of use when urban centers collapsed. It is also considered to be the first phonetic script that is purely based on syllables. In the early 2000s, the scientific community learned about a new corpus of Linear Elamite texts. The researchers worked on deciphering the writing system, and the first presentation took place in 2020. The scientific community is now trying to find out more about the Linear Elamite writing system.
There are 300 signs in the Linear Elamite writing system. These signs represent different vocal sounds, such as /b/, /t/, and /p/.
Elamite kings were members of one family
During the Elamite kingdom’s reign from the 8th century to the 6th century BCE, the kingdom’s power grew to the point that it had a substantial influence over its surroundings. The kingdom became a part of the Mesopotamian region in the early eighth century BCE, when it was allied with Babylon to combat growing Assyrian power.
The Elamite empire became an important part of the Mesopotamian region, but its power was diminished by the arrival of Iranian tribes. Iranians appeared in Elamite texts only after the onset of the Neo-Elamite period. During this period, Iranian tribes were reduced to a small part of the Elamite territory.
A number of documents attributed to Puzur-Insusinak, a ruler of Elam, were left at Susa. These documents are in a linear Elamite script. He is credited with having subdued the Simaski dynasty. However, his reign was short and he died before he could hold Susa within the Elamite sphere.
The Assyrians attacked Elam in 653 BCE. The Elamites were able to defend themselves against the Assyrians. But the Assyrians eventually defeated the Elamites and divided the empire into two. Elam and Simaski continued to function as separate kingdoms for a while. The Elamite king, meanwhile, took refuge at Anshan. Assyrians then captured Susa. It was subsequently abandoned. Several Mesopotamian states attempted to retake Susa from the Elamites, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
Elam’s last king is credited with leading a campaign in the Zagros. He carried a stele with Hammurabi’s law code. Elam’s power and wealth continued to spread beyond its borders. The Elamite kingdom was the most powerful force in the region for a generation.
The Elamite kings’ names became more Mesopotamian over time. They began to call themselves kings of Susa and Anshan. Their royal titles included “patesi of Susa, shakkannak of Elam”. These titles implied allegiance to Babylon. They also indicated that the Elamites were independent of foreign rule.
King Igi-halki claimed that he was the king of Elam. But he married a Kassite princess and had a child with her. In the end, this child had to cede his claim to the throne to his younger brother, who had been born into the union of king and sister.
Elam’s conflict with Assyria
During the early seventh century BC, Elam and Assyria fought for control over the region. The Assyrians took control of the Elamite territory in the east. The Elamites resisted the Assyrian invasion, but it ended with the Assyrians winning the war. The Assyrians conquered Elam in the Battle of Ulai. The Assyrian king took large booty and sacred statues from the Elamites.
The Assyrians controlled all strategic trade routes. They also controlled Egypt. The kings of the Assyrian empire built their empire on a feudal system. The Assyrians became the dominant power in the Fertile Crescent. The Assyrians were able to maintain social tensions through strong kings. The Assyrian government was divided into many provinces. Often, the governor of an Assyrian province gained independence.
Assyria was able to dominate Elam by capturing the capital, Susa. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal invaded the Elamite city of Susa in 648 BC. Ashurbanipal razed the Elamite capital. He also scattered salt in the Elamite farmlands. The Elamite population was deported.
The kings of Elam were generally brothers of the Assyrians. When the Assyrian king demanded that the Elamite king surrender, the Elamite king refused. The king was replaced by his son. However, the Elamite king’s reign did not last long. In 561 BC, Evil-Merodach became the ruler of Elam. He was a contemporary of Nabonassar of Babylon. He ruled for 34 years.
In 612 BC, Elam joined a coalition with the Medes to attack the Assyrian cities. The Assyrians defeated the Elamites in the Battle of Ulai. The Elamites did not return the image of the goddess Nana to the Assyrians. They also refused to give the image to the Assyrian king.
Elam’s history is documented in the Bible. In Ge 10:22, Elam is called the son of Shem. In Jer 49:35-39, it was prophesied that the king of Elam would be destroyed. During the reign of Sargon II (725-705 BC), the Elam and Assyria conflict began. The Assyrian king Sennacherib attacked the Elamites. The Elamite king, Tammaritu, fled to the sea. He promised to regard Assur-bani-apli as his lord. However, the Assyrians defeated the Elamite king.
Elam’s military power
During the late Proto-Elamite period, Elam was a relatively powerful kingdom that was situated on the western edge of ancient Persia. Its area included the Zagros Mountains, north and east of the Tigris River. Its capital was Susa. It was involved in a number of alliances, especially with the Neo-Assyrian empire. It was also close to the Babylonian empire and Sumer. It had mountainous districts on the eastern and northern edge of the plateau, as well as broad plains near the coast.
The Elamite kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians in the late 2nd millennium B.C.. The Assyrians destroyed the Elamite temple of Inshushinak. They also desecrated the temples of Zetu and Ina, and they cut off Elamite communications.
The Assyrians eventually conquered the Elamites in 641 B.C.. They also sacked Susa in 646. It is possible that some Elamites escaped to Samaria.
The Assyrian army also cut off communications between Elam and the rest of Persia. Eventually, the Elamite power in the region diminished, and the Elamite kingdom was absorbed into the larger kingdom of Media. In the next century, Elam’s power waned to a point where it was forced to give up some of its territory to Indo-Iranian populations.
In the early Middle Elamite period, the kings of Elam included the Shutruk-Nakhkunte, the Humban-tahra II, the Ummanadalash, and the Assurbanipal. These kings were part of a faction that wished to wage war with the Assyrians. They may have also participated in an attack on Jerusalem. The Elamite kings often had diplomatic success, but they could not overcome the Assyrians.
Eventually, Elam joined a coalition that was trying to overthrow the Neo-Assyrian Empire. This alliance, however, was short-lived. It was later replaced by the Median empire. The Elamite kingdom’s power declined rapidly after this time.
The Elamite kingdom was an important part of the Persian empire for a long time. It also provided a source of raw materials for the empire. Its artisans were highly skilled. They produced remarkable works of art. It is possible that some of the artists were influenced by Sumerian techniques.