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. > c. The Elamites
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c. The Elamites
c. 2700–2230
c. 2700–2550
THE FIRST DYNASTY OF AWAN was contemporary to the Mesopotamian Early Dynastic Period, though none of the kings are known. The first mention of Elam is in the Sumerian King List: Enmebaragesi (c. 2700) “carried off the arms of the land of Elam as booty.” Eannatum of Lagash also raided Elam, and temple records from Lagash (c. 2300) speak of an Elamite raid on Sumer. A state of more or less constant warfare existed between Sumer and Elam throughout the 3rd millennium (See 2113–2004).  2
c. 2550–2230
THE SECOND DYNASTY OF AWAN was founded by Peli and ruled from Susa. The king ruled through a viceroy, often the king's brother, and the monarchy appears to have been elective. The provincial governors had considerable independence. Sargon of Akkad (2371–2316) defeated Hishap-Resher and sacked Susa. Under Naram-Sin (2291–2255) a treaty (the earliest known) was made with the king of Elam who was made a vassal. The last king of the dynasty Kutik-inshushinak (c. 2240–2230) threw off the yoke of Akkad and took the title “King of the Four Quarters.” He did a great deal of building in the sacred acropolis at Susa. The Dynasty of Awan, like that of Akkad, fell victim to Gutian incursions (See 2371–2190).  3
2230–c. 1400
2230–c. 1925
THE DYNASTY OF SIMASHKI. Shulgi of Ur (2095–2048) conquered Susa, where he did considerable building, including a temple to Inshushinak. The Sumerians set up a frontier force made up of mercenary Elamites, commanded by a sukkal-mah, or Great Regent. Independent kings ruled in Simashki to the north of Susa. In 2021, the fifth king of Simashki, Enpi-luhhan attacked Elam and took Susa. Ibbi-Sin of Ur counterattacked and captured the Elamite king, but despite another invasion in 2017, the Sumerians were unable to maintain control of Elam. Soon afterwards, in alliance with tribes from the Zagros, the new king of Elam, probably Hutran-tempti, attacked and destroyed Ur itself. Royal succession in the Simashki dynasty was through the king's sister (and wife), who was called the “reverend mother” (amma hashtuk). In 1993, Ishbi-Erra (2017–1985) drove the Elamites from Ur, but the kings of Simashki continued to rule Elam. The end of the dynasty is obscure; its last certain king was Indattu II (c. 1925).  5
c. 1925–1400
THE DYNASTY OF EPARTI began around the same time the Awan dynasty ended. Its kings styled themselves “Great Regent,” after the military title of the Ur III period, as well as “King of Anshan and Susa.” The dynasty reached its height under Kutur-Nahhunte I (c. 1752) who conquered southern Babylonia. Texts from Elam indicate large Akkadian and Amorite minorities in the country. Kurigalzu I, the Kassite king of Babylonia, conquered Elam around 1400 (See 1595–1150).  6
c. 1350–1110
c. 1350–c. 1200
THE DYNASTY OF IGI-HALKI. Elam regained its independence in the 14th century under Igi-Halki, who took the title “King of Elam.” Untash-napir-risha (c. 1250) founded a new capital Dur-Untash (Tchogha-Zambil), with a large ziggurat temple. The last king of this dynasty was Kiten-Hutran.  8
c. 1200–1110
THE DYNASTY OF HULLUTUSH-INSHUSHINAK. Around 1200, Hullutush-Inshushinak I founded a new dynasty. Around 1160, Shutruk-nahhunte invaded Mesopotamia and took Babylon. He brought back spoils, including the Code of Hammurapi, to Susa and placed his son, Kutir-Nahhunte III, on the throne of Babylon. On his father's death, Kutir-Nahhunte III (1155–1150) became king of Elam but lost Babylon. Shilak-Inshushinak I (c. 1150–1120), one of the greatest kings of Elam, conquered large areas in the highlands and parts of Mesopotamia, but Hutelush-Inshushinak (c. 1120–1110) lost Anshan to Nebuchadnezzar I of Babylon (See 1156–1025). After his reign, records cease and the end of the kingdom is obscure.  9
c. 820–640
THE NEO-ELAMITE KINGDOM. Early in the 9th century, Humban-Tahrah founded a new dynasty, with its capital at Susa. Humban-nikash (743–717) joined forces with Merodoch-Baladan II and defeated Sargon II at the Battle of Der (721). The next king, Shutruk-Nahhunte II (717–699), conquered a considerable area to the northwest. Hallushu-Inshushinak (699–693) deposed his brother, raided Mesopotamia, and carried off Sennacherib's son, who was reigning as king of Babylon. Humban-numena (692–687), allied with the Arameans and Persians, defeated Sennacherib at the Battle of Halule (691). There was further fighting between Elam and Assyria over the next 40 years. Ashurbanipal defeated and killed Tempt-Humban-Inshushinak (Tuemman, 663–653) and made Elam an Assyrian vassal. The Assyrians invaded again in 647 and sacked Susa (See 668–627). Humban-haltash II (648–644) fled but was turned over to Ashurbanipal and executed. Elam regained its independence but was absorbed into the Persian Empire in 538.  10
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.