II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > B. Kingdoms of Western Asia and Africa, to 323 B.C.E. > 9. Iran, c. 2700–330 B.C.E. > b. Economy, Technology, Society, and Culture
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · SUBJECT INDEX · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
b. Economy, Technology, Society, and Culture
 
In the southwest urban life based around the temple and the royal palace flourished from an early period, but groups in the highlands usually remained tribal in organization. A hieroglyphic script (Proto-Elamite) was used as early as 2900 B.C.E., but around 2230 the Elamites adopted the cuneiform script, which was used as late as the Persian period. Though a large number of tablets have been found, Elamite still cannot be translated. The Persians also used cuneiform to write their language in monumental inscriptions.  1
The religion of Elam, like Mesopotamia, had an organized priesthood and ziggurat temples. The main gods of the Elamites were Humban, the sun god Nahhunte, and Inshushinak, the god of Susa, but Sumerian deities such as Inanna and Nanna were also worshipped. The original religion of the Medes and Persians was similar to that of the Vedic Indians, with many gods, including Mithra and Varuna, in common. The Median religious reformer Zoroaster (Zarathustra, c. 630–550) introduced monotheism. Zoroastrianism banned the sacrifice of animals and the use of intoxicants and introduced the idea of individual salvation through the free choice of God (Ahura Mazda) over the Spirit of Evil (Angro-mainyu or Ahriman). The priests of the religion were known as Magi, originally a Median tribe.  2
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

CONTENTS · SUBJECT INDEX · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUS NEXT