Home Region:  Iran (Southwest Asia)

Elam III

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  ir_neo_elam_3 / IrNElm3

Preceding:
911 BCE 612 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire (iq_neo_assyrian_emp)    [None]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

Our Neo-Elamite III period begins in 647 BCE, the date of the invasion of Elam and sack of the ancient city of Susa by the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, [1] and ends in 539 BCE. This date marks the capture of Babylon by the first king of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, Cyrus the Great, who must have been ruling in Susa by 540 BCE. [2] By this time, the Elamite civilization had occupied the highlands of the south-western Iranian plateau and the fertile lowlands of the Susiana plain for over two millennia.
Population and political organization
The traditional interpretation of this period has been that Elam effectively ceased to exist as an independent state after Ashurbanipal’s invasion, becoming a province of Neo-Assyria until Assyria’s own fortunes declined several decades later. [3] However, some scholars believe that Ashurbanipal’s destruction of Elam may not have been as complete as he claimed. [4] The archaeologist Pierre de Miroschedji has argued that by 625 BCE, Elam’s government was restored and that the royal chancellery was active at Susa. [5] The extent of Babylonian and Persian influence on Elamite politics in the century before c. 540 BCE is also a matter of ongoing debate. [6] [7]
Secure population estimates for the area under Elamite control in this period are lacking.

[1]: (Álvarez-Mon, Garrison and Stronach 2011, 10) Álvarez-Mon, Javier, Mark B. Garrison, and David Stronach. 2011. "Introduction." In Elam and Persia, edited by Javier Álvarez-Mon and Mark B. Garrison, 1-32. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/WF4UWMWH.

[2]: (Potts 2004, 307) Potts, D. T. 2004. The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/WDUEEBGQ.

[3]: (Potts 2004, 288) Potts, D. T. 2004. The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/WDUEEBGQ.

[4]: Wouter Henkelman 2016, personal communication.

[5]: (de Miroschedji 1982, 62 in Potts 2004, 301) Potts, D. T. 2004. The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/WDUEEBGQ.

[6]: (Potts 2012, 46) Potts, Daniel T. 2012. "The Elamites." In The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, edited by Touraj Daryaee, 37-56. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/BEAERFCW.

[7]: (Amiet, Chevalier and Carter 1992, 13) Amiet, Pierre, Nicole Chevalier, and Elizabeth Carter. 1992. "Susa in the Ancient Near East." In The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures in the Louvre, edited by Prudence O. Harper, Joan Aruz, and Françoise Tallon, 1-24. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/9KQATXPQ.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
39 S  
Original Name:
Elam  
Alternative Name:
Elam - Neo-Elamite III  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[612 BCE ➜ 539 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Achaemenid Empire  
Preceding Entity:
Preceding:   Neo-Assyrian Empire (iq_neo_assyrian_emp)    [None]  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
confederated state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
isolate  
Language:
Elamite  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Hierarchical Complexity
Professions
Professional Priesthood:
inferred present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred present  
Law
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
unknown  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Bridge:
inferred present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
inferred present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
inferred present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Practical Literature:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
inferred present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
inferred present  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
unknown  
  Bronze:
unknown  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
inferred present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
inferred present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
inferred present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
unknown  
  Donkey:
inferred present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
unknown  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
unknown  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
inferred absent  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred present  
  Laminar Armor:
inferred absent  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
inferred present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Elam III (ir_neo_elam_3) was in:
 (612 BCE 540 BCE)   Susiana
Home NGA: Susiana

General Variables
Identity and Location


Alternative Name:
Elam - Neo-Elamite III

Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[612 BCE ➜ 539 BCE]

{646 BCE; 612 BCE}-539 BCE. Neo-Elamite phase c.1000 to conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE. Neo-Elamite II ends 646 BCE. [1] The uncertainty in the dates here is due to disagreement about the status of Elam between the Assyrian sack of Susa in 647/6 and before the destruction of the Assyrian city of Nineveh in 612. The traditional interpretation has been that Elam ’became an Assyrian province until the fall of the Assyrian empire and the destruction of Nineveh in 612 BC’. [2] However, Pierre Amiet, Pierre de Miroschedji, M.-J. Steve and Francois Vallat ’suggest that a Neo-Elamite renaissance - a state of independence rather than subjection to any rival, whether Babylonia or Media - occurred in the wake of Assurbanipal’s destruction of Susa’. [3] Potts commented in 2012 that ’Evidence that Elam became an Assyrian province soon after Assurbanipal’s destruction of Susa is equivocal at best. Nor is it clear what role Elam played vis-a-vis the growing power of Babylonia or that of Media’. [4] It seems that despite the ’ferocity’ of Assyrian attempts to eradicate ’Elam as a political and cultural entity’, [5] the polity continued to exist in diminished and fragmented form after 646 BCE. Carter and Stolper also note that ’contrary to earlier assumptions, the destruction of Susa in 646 B.C. had little effect on the evolution of ceramic or other artifact styles’. [6]

[1]: (Potts 2016, 249) Potts, D T. 2016. The Archaeology of Elam Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Potts 1999, 288) Daniel T. Potts. 1999. The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Potts 1999, 295) Daniel T. Potts. 1999. The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[4]: (Potts 2012, 46) Daniel T. Potts. 2012. ’The Elamites’, in The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, edited by Touraj Daryaee, 37-56.

[5]: (Carter and Stolper 1984, 53) Elizabeth Carter and Matthew W. Stolper. 1984. Elam: Surveys of Political History and Archaeology. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

[6]: (Carter and Stolper 1984, 182) Elizabeth Carter and Matthew W. Stolper. 1984. Elam: Surveys of Political History and Archaeology. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.


Political and Cultural Relations
Succeeding Entity:
Achaemenid Empire

Preceding Entity:
Neo-Assyrian Empire [iq_neo_assyrian_emp] ---> Elam III [ir_neo_elam_3]

Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

JR: I’ve coded for scholarly disagreement here. Wouter Henkelman is ’personally convinced’ that Elam remained a centralized state after the Assyrian invasions, and that ’it prospered on account of the disappearance of Assyrian pressure (military but especially economic) after the fall of Nineveh. Not everyone subscribes to this view: Daniel Potts still believes in a fragmented state after the 640s. I personally do not see any convincing argument for this’. [1]
After the Assyrian sack of Susa in 646 BCE, ’It looked as if Elam as a state were completely destroyed, but several kinglets still held out in the mountain strongholds, then descended into the lowlands as soon as the Assyrians went away; and at last the Assyrians went for good’. [2] Some time after about 625 BCE, ’one of the Elamite pretenders seems to have achieved the unification of the devastated kingdom. Later, under the next Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II, war broke out between Babylonia and Elam (596/5), leading to the capture of Susa by the Babylonians; but, as can be gleaned from Jeremiah 49, the attention of the Babylonian king was riveted on other more important political matters elsewhere, and it seems that Elam again regained its independence (Jeremiah 49.39)’. [2] However, writing more recently, Waters gives us a more fragmented picture: ’It has become the norm to envisage contemporaneous, Neo-Elamite kings ruling independent principalities throughout southwestern Iran - not only in Susiana - in the roughly 100 years between the sack of Susa and Cyrus the Great’s conquest of the Medes’. [3]

[1]: Henkelman 2016, personal communication.

[2]: (Diakonoff 1985, 23) I. M. Diakonoff. ’Elam’, in The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 2., edited by I. Gershevitch, 1-24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Waters 2013, 486) Matthew W. Waters. 2013. ’Elam, Assyria, and Babylonia in the Early First Millennium BC’, in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, edited by Daniel T. Potts, 478-92. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

JR: I’ve coded for scholarly disagreement here. Wouter Henkelman is ’personally convinced’ that Elam remained a centralized state after the Assyrian invasions, and that ’it prospered on account of the disappearance of Assyrian pressure (military but especially economic) after the fall of Nineveh. Not everyone subscribes to this view: Daniel Potts still believes in a fragmented state after the 640s. I personally do not see any convincing argument for this’. [1]
After the Assyrian sack of Susa in 646 BCE, ’It looked as if Elam as a state were completely destroyed, but several kinglets still held out in the mountain strongholds, then descended into the lowlands as soon as the Assyrians went away; and at last the Assyrians went for good’. [2] Some time after about 625 BCE, ’one of the Elamite pretenders seems to have achieved the unification of the devastated kingdom. Later, under the next Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II, war broke out between Babylonia and Elam (596/5), leading to the capture of Susa by the Babylonians; but, as can be gleaned from Jeremiah 49, the attention of the Babylonian king was riveted on other more important political matters elsewhere, and it seems that Elam again regained its independence (Jeremiah 49.39)’. [2] However, writing more recently, Waters gives us a more fragmented picture: ’It has become the norm to envisage contemporaneous, Neo-Elamite kings ruling independent principalities throughout southwestern Iran - not only in Susiana - in the roughly 100 years between the sack of Susa and Cyrus the Great’s conquest of the Medes’. [3]

[1]: Henkelman 2016, personal communication.

[2]: (Diakonoff 1985, 23) I. M. Diakonoff. ’Elam’, in The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 2., edited by I. Gershevitch, 1-24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Waters 2013, 486) Matthew W. Waters. 2013. ’Elam, Assyria, and Babylonia in the Early First Millennium BC’, in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, edited by Daniel T. Potts, 478-92. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Language

Language:
Elamite

"The Elamite written language was used as the official language in the bureaucracy for a long time, rivaling the Sumerian and Akkadian languages even over a thousand years later, during the Old Persian Empire of the Achaemenids." [1]

[1]: (Farazmand 2009, 22) Farazmand, Ali. 2009. Bureaucracy and Administration. CRC Press. Boca Raton.


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Hierarchical Complexity
Professions
Professional Priesthood:
present

"Religion strongly flourished in ancient Elam, where the female Great Goddess was considered to be very powerful and equivalent to the male God. In addition, certain kings of Elam were also elevated to the level of ’Messenger of God,’ ’regent,’ and ruler on earth. It also appears that Elamites had some conceptions of an ’after-life, in which various burial gifts would be of use.’ Administration of Elam was developed and reflected both secular and religious aspects of law, politics and government." [1] -- period not specified. could be general reference to whole period.

[1]: (Farazmand 2009, 22) Farazmand, Ali. 2009. Bureaucracy and Administration. CRC Press. Boca Raton.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

"The main instrument of public administration and governance under the long history of the federal state of Elam was the bureaucracy, which also played a powerful role under the Median and the Persian empires." [1]

[1]: (Farazmand 2009, 21) Farazmand, Ali. 2009. Bureaucracy and Administration. CRC Press. Boca Raton.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

"Elamite was still the language of administration in Fars in as late as the 5th century BC." [1] This hints at the importance of administration in the Elamite period.

[1]: (Diakonoff 1985, 24)


Law
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

"Other major administrative achievements of the Elamites included ... the construction and maintenance of numerous public works and enterprises, such as roads, bridges, cities and towns, communication centers, and economic and commercial centers" [1]

[1]: (Farazmand 2009, 22) Farazmand, Ali. 2009. Bureaucracy and Administration. CRC Press. Boca Raton.



Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown

Transport Infrastructure

"Other major administrative achievements of the Elamites included ... the construction and maintenance of numerous public works and enterprises, such as roads, bridges, cities and towns, communication centers, and economic and commercial centers" [1]

[1]: (Farazmand 2009, 22) Farazmand, Ali. 2009. Bureaucracy and Administration. CRC Press. Boca Raton.


Bridge:
present

"Other major administrative achievements of the Elamites included ... the construction and maintenance of numerous public works and enterprises, such as roads, bridges, cities and towns, communication centers, and economic and commercial centers" [1]

[1]: (Farazmand 2009, 22) Farazmand, Ali. 2009. Bureaucracy and Administration. CRC Press. Boca Raton.


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

At the time of the Achaemenids: "The stone used to make columns (Pl. 9.4) was quarried at an Elamite village called Abiradu (Elamite Hapiradush; Vallat 1993a: 78; for Achaemenid stone quarrying sites, see Huff 1994). The Elamite contribution of raw materials, in this case stone for the columns used in the palace, is echoed in two further texts." [1]

[1]: (Potts 1999, 328)


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

"All the more curious is the fact that the Elamite cuneiform script seems to have had no influence at all on the so-called ’Old Persian’ cuneiform writing." [1] "In the late seventh century B.C., when Susa once again became an administrative headquarters, an unidentified prince governed a population consisting of not only Elamites but also Persians, who were new Indo-European immigrants. The individual character of this mixed, literate society was expressed in a new and original art that combined Bablyonian and Assyrian elements with indigenous traditions." [2]

[1]: Diakonoff 1985, 24)

[2]: (Amiet, Chevalier and Carter 1992, 13) Amiet, Pierre. Chevalier, Nicole. Carter, Elizabeth. in Harper, Prudence O. Aruz, Joan. Tallon, Francoise. eds.1992. The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures in the Louvre. Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Script:
present

Elamites developed their own script [1] "the proto-Elamite script - the designation applied to the earliest pictographic stage in contrast with the later Elamite linear script." [1]

[1]: (Farazmand 2009, 22) Farazmand, Ali. 2009. Bureaucracy and Administration. CRC Press. Boca Raton.


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Nonwritten Record:
present

"All the more curious is the fact that the Elamite cuneiform script seems to have had no influence at all on the so-called ’Old Persian’ cuneiform writing." [1] "In the late seventh century B.C., when Susa once again became an administrative headquarters, an unidentified prince governed a population consisting of not only Elamites but also Persians, who were new Indo-European immigrants. The individual character of this mixed, literate society was expressed in a new and original art that combined Bablyonian and Assyrian elements with indigenous traditions." [2]

[1]: Diakonoff 1985, 24)

[2]: (Amiet, Chevalier and Carter 1992, 13) Amiet, Pierre. Chevalier, Nicole. Carter, Elizabeth. in Harper, Prudence O. Aruz, Joan. Tallon, Francoise. eds.1992. The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures in the Louvre. Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

Mnemonic Device:
present

In neighbouring Mesopotamia c2200 BCE: "The Akkadians invented the abacus as a tool for counting" [1]

[1]: J J O’Connor, J J. Robertson, E F. December 2000. http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Babylonian_mathematics.html


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Practical Literature:
present

"Studies of sealed administrative texts written in Neo-Elamite found in the Acropole and beneath the palace of Darius on the Apadana have led to the description of a post-Assyrian conquest phase (or late Neo-Elamite phase) of glyptic art (c. 625-525 BC)." [1]

[1]: (Carter and Stopler 1984, 185-186)


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

"Apart from this ’Chronicle’, there exists some Neo-Elamite inscriptions of the late 8th and the 7th centuries BC, a few documents in Elamite from the same period (mostly concerning loans and not very informative) and an archive of the shops of the royal craftsmen, dating from the very end of the existence of independent Elam, viz. the 6th century BC." [1]

[1]: (Diakonoff 1985, 19)


Information / Money


Indigenous Coin:
absent

"Coins turn up in the eastern Mediterranean in early sixth-century archaeological context and gradually begin circulating widely but are not archaeologically attested in Mesopotamia until well over two centuries later, at the end of the Achaemenid period." [1]

[1]: (Powell 1996, 225-226)


Foreign Coin:
absent

"Coins turn up in the eastern Mediterranean in early sixth-century archaeological context and gradually begin circulating widely but are not archaeologically attested in Mesopotamia until well over two centuries later, at the end of the Achaemenid period." [1]

[1]: (Powell 1996, 225-226)


Article:
present

inferred continuity with earlier and later periods


Information / Postal System
Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
unknown

Late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE Sumerian text: "My master: the Asag has constructed a wall of stakes on an earthen rampart". [1]

[1]: Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Elam in the Iron Age: stone wall technology used for burial chambers. [1] Late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE Sumerian text (perhaps for the region of Mesopotamia rather than Elamite Susiana): "Its walls were built from stone." [2]

[1]: Javier Alvarez-Mon, ‘Elam in the Iron Age’, In Daniel T. Potts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, 2013, p. 468

[2]: The death of Gilgameš: c.1.8.1.3. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.


Stone Walls Mortared:
present

Elam in the Iron Age: stone wall technology used for burial chambers. [1] Late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE Sumerian text (perhaps for the region of Mesopotamia rather than Elamite Susiana): "Its walls were built from stone." [2] Mortar existed at the time of Sumer because they also built with brick which would have required mortar. Late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE Sumerian text: "Now Aratta’s battlements are of green lapis lazuli, its walls and its towering brickwork are bright red, their brick clay is made of tinstone dug out in the mountains where the cypress grows." [3] During the Shutrukid Period new construction activity replaced mudbrick with glazed and baked brick (but no specific mention is made of defensive structures). [4] "Like the Assyrian walls on which they are modeled, Persian walls were built of air-dried brick". [5]

[1]: Javier Alvarez-Mon, ‘Elam in the Iron Age’, In Daniel T. Potts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, 2013, p. 468

[2]: The death of Gilgameš: c.1.8.1.3. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.

[3]: Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.

[4]: (Bryce 2009, 676). Trevor Bryce. The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia: The Near East from the Early Bronze Age to the Fall of the Persian Empire. Routledge. Abingdon.

[5]: (Semper 2004, 754-755) Gottfried Semper. 2004. Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts; Or, Practical Aesthetics. Getty Publications. Los Angeles.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Late Bronze, Early Iron Age: ‘Large fortresses occupied mountain spurs at strategic points, and smaller forts were built along important lines of communication’. [1] Late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE Sumerian text: "the fortress is too high and cannot be reached". [2] If forts were positioned on hills were a feature of the fortified architectural landscape in c2000 BCE and in Elam in c1000 BCE it is likely they also were used between times, and possibly after.

[1]: Michael D. Danti, ‘The Late Bronze and Early Iron Age in Northwestern Iran’, In Daniel T. Potts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, 2013, p. 368

[2]: Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.



The ancient city of Madaktu in Elam was moated at the time of Assurbanipal (668-631 BCE) of Assyria. [1]

[1]: (Russell 2017, 490) John M Russell. Assyrian Art. Eckart Frahm. ed. 2017. A Companion to Assuria. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Hoboken.


Fortified Camp:
unknown

No reference.


Earth Rampart:
present

Ur III (c2000 BCE) inscription mentions the construction of a moat and rampart in the region of Elam. [1] Late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE Sumerian text: "My master: the Asag has constructed a wall of stakes on an earthen rampart". [2] The unfinished city of Chogha Zanbil began by Elamite king Untash-napirisha (1275-1240 BCE) had a section "designated as the royal city, covers an area of c. 85 ha, lying to the east of the temenos, and protected by a rampart." [3] Later, after c500 BCE?, the Achaemenids built a long rammed mud defensive wall (the Kam Pirak). [4] Earth ramparts are a known defensive fortification c2000 BCE and c500 BCE and there is also a reference to them being used during the Elamite period. They seem to be a consistent feature of the architectural landscape over the period.

[1]: (? 2018) Author?. Title?. Javier Alvarez-Mon. Gian Pietro Basello. Yasmina Wicks. ed. 2018. The Elamite World. Routledge. Abingdon.

[2]: Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.

[3]: (Bryce 2009, 160-163). Trevor Bryce. The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia: The Near East from the Early Bronze Age to the Fall of the Persian Empire. Routledge. Abingdon.

[4]: (Ball 2001, 315) Warwick Ball. 2001. Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire. Routledge. London.


Irrigation ditches referred to frequently in late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE Sumerian texts but I cannot find any in the context of a fortification. [1]

[1]: Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.


Complex Fortification:
unknown

In the north-west of Persia by c800 BCE: "Double and triple stone walls, with a thickness of 3.6 m and a height of 12 m, surrounded some cities" [1] - present for that region at that time; however this is not a direct reference to the Elamite region.

[1]: (Hejazi and Saradj 2015, 6) Mehrdad Hejazi. Fatemeh Mehdizadeh Saradj. 2015. Persian Architectural Heritage: Architecture, Structure and Conservation. WITPress. Southampton.



Military use of Metals

Iron’s use had become widespread throughout the region by now [1]

[1]: Michael D. Danti, ‘The Late Bronze and Early Iron Age in Northwestern Iran’, In Daniel T. Potts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, 2013, p. 331




Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

In Anatolia siege warfare was mentioned in Old Hittite records. [1] Presumably at this time the catapult was not used? In India, according to Jain texts, Ajatashatru, a 5th century BCE king of Magadha in North India, used a catapult "capable of hurling huge pieces of stone". [2] Marsden (1969) said archaeological records exist before the 4th century BCE. [3] The Achaemenids (c400 BCE?) are assumed to have had the catapult because the Macedonians did. [4] Pollard and Berry (2012) say torsion catapults first came into widespread use in the Hellenistic period 4th - 1st centuries BCE. [5] The Syracuse Greek Dionysios I invented a form of crossbow called the gastraphetes in 399 BCE which encouraged the development of large tension-powered weapons. [6] There is no direct evidence for catapults for this time/location. The aforementioned evidence we currently have covering the wider ancient world suggests they were probably not used at this time, perhaps because effective machines had not been invented yet.

[1]: Siegelova I. and H. Tsumoto (2011) Metals and Metallurgy in Hittite Anatolia, pp. 278 [In:] H. Genz and D. P. Mielke (ed.) Insights Into Hittite History And Archaeology, Colloquia Antiqua 2, Leuven, Paris, Walpole MA: PEETERS, pp. 275-300

[2]: (Singh 2008, 272) Upinder Singh. 2008. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Longman. Delhi.

[3]: (Marsden 1969, 5, 16, 66.) Marsden, E. W. 1969. Greek and Roman Artillery: The Historical Development. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

[4]: (Dandamaev 1989, 314) Dandamaev, M A. 1989. A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire. Brill.

[5]: (Pollard and Berry 2012, 45) Pollard, N, Berry, J (2012) The Complete Roman Legions, Thames and Hudson, London Rives, J (2006) Religion in the Roman Empire, Wiley

[6]: (Keyser and Irby-Massie 2006, 260) Paul T Keyser. Georgia Irby-Massie. Science, Medicine, And Technology. Glenn R Bugh. ed. 2006. The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic World. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

The counter-weight trebuchet was first used by the Byzantines in 1165 CE.


Before the Archaemenid king Cyrus (c600 BCE), Persian light infantry carried only the bow and sling. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 162-1643 Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


"Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE. The Scythian bow was different from the Mesopotamian one primarily in its overall dimensions - it was smaller so that it could be used from the horseback. At the same time, self bows were also in use, but because of their large size they were not suitable for use by horse riders." [1] In his discussion of weapons used by the Achaemenid army Gabriel (2002) mentions the "noncomposite" simple bow directly for light cavalry and chariots and the ’bow’ for light infantry and heavy infantry and notably does not mention use of the composite bow by Persian forces. [2] Earlier Gabriel mentions the composite bow was used from the late third millennium BCE but that it was difficult to manufacture and it was "very susceptible to moisture, which rendered it useless." [3] This suggests the simple bow was most likely the standard weapon. Hypothesis: nomads who were full-time warriors were able maintain their composite bows every day. Agricultural polities who did not wanted to store the weapons. This may have meant they probably relied most on their stocks of easy to preserve simple bows, even though arrows shot from them carried less range.

[1]: Sergey A Nefedov, RAN Institute of History and Archaeology, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Personal Communication to Peter Turchin. January 2018.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 162-164) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[3]: (Gabriel 2002, 28) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


"Unlike other areas of the world where the spear developed into a thrown weapon, in the Middle East it remained primarily a stabbing weapon." [1] The last reference for the military use of the javelin in this region was Ur. The lament for Sumer and Ur mentions javelins in the battle for Ur c2000 BCE. [2] There now is also an Iron Age reference for the use of the javelin by horse riders: ‘the iconographic emergence of a distinctive equestrian art characterized by a rider on a leaping horse in the act of firing an arrow or throwing a spear at a rearing animal or human.’ [3]

[1]: (Gabriel and Metz 1991, 59) Richard A Gabriel. Karen S Metz. 1991. The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies. Greenwood Press. Westport.

[2]: Hamblin, W. J. 2006. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. New York: Routledge.

[3]: Javier Alvarez-Mon, ‘Elam in the Iron Age’, In Daniel T. Potts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, 2013, p. 465


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Not invented at this time.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Not invented at this time.


Not present at this time: "the hand-held crossbow was invented by the Chinese, in the fifth century BC, and probably came into the Roman world in the first century AD, where it was used for hunting." [1] The crossbow also developed after the Syracuse Greek Dionysios I invented a form of crossbow called the gastraphetes in 399 BCE. [2]

[1]: (Nicholson 2004, 99) Helen Nicholson. 2004. Medieval Warfare: Theory and Practice of War in Europe, 300-1500. PalgraveMacmillan. Basingstoke.

[2]: (Keyser and Irby-Massie 2006, 260) Paul T Keyser. Georgia Irby-Massie. Science, Medicine, And Technology. Glenn R Bugh. ed. 2006. The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic World. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Composite Bow:
present

"The effective range of the simple bow varied from 50 to 100 yards. And the arrow shot by a simple bow was unable to penetrate leather or bronze armour. The effective range of the composite bows varied between 250 and 300 yards." [1] However, the composite bow itself could not penetrate armour more than 2mm thick [all designs or just the early designs?] and was susceptible to rotting in high-moisture environments. [2] "The composite bow was a recurve bow made of wood, horn and tendons from oxen, carefully laminated together. These bows were probably invented by the nomads of the Eurasian steppe and brought into Sumer by the mercenary nomads." [1] "Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE. The Scythian bow was different from the Mesopotamian one primarily in its overall dimensions - it was smaller so that it could be used from the horseback. At the same time, self bows were also in use, but because of their large size they were not suitable for use by horse riders." [3] Elam: ‘the iconographic emergence of a distinctive equestrian art characterized by a rider on a leaping horse in the act of firing an arrow or throwing a spear at a rearing animal or human.’ [4] In his discussion of weapons used by the Achaemenid army Gabriel (2002) mentions the "noncomposite" simple bow directly for light cavalry and chariots and the ’bow’ for light infantry and heavy infantry and notably does not mention use of the composite bow by Persian forces. [5] Earlier Gabriel mentions the composite bow was used from the late third millennium BCE but that it was difficult to manufacture and it was "very susceptible to moisture, which rendered it useless." [2] This suggests the simple bow was most likely the standard weapon. Hypothesis: nomads who were full-time warriors were able maintain their composite bows every day. Agricultural polities who did not wanted to store the weapons. This may have meant they probably relied most on their stocks of easy to preserve simple bows, even though arrows shot from them carried less range.

[1]: (Roy 2015, 20) Kaushik Roy. 2015. Warfare in Pre-British India - 1500 BCE to 1740 CE. Routledge. London.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 28) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[3]: Sergey A Nefedov, RAN Institute of History and Archaeology, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Personal Communication to Peter Turchin. January 2018.

[4]: Javier Alvarez-Mon, ‘Elam in the Iron Age’, In Daniel T. Potts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, 2013, p. 465

[5]: (Gabriel 2002, 162-164) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


New World weapon.


Handheld weapons

Gabriel says the mace was the dominant weapon of war from 4000 BCE but had disappeared from Sumerian illustrations before 2500 BCE, a time when the helmet appears. [1] Almost certainly the technology was still present but the weapon may have been used less frequently. Coded present for Ur III, Akkad and Middle Elam and could possibly be ’inferred present’ at this time.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 24) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


In Sumer the first swords appeared about c3000 BCE but until c2000 BCE their use were restricted because the blade often became detached from the handle. [1] "All armies after the seventeenth century B.C.E. carried the sword, but in none was it a major weapon of close combat; rather, it was used when the soldier’s primary weapons, the spear and axe, were lost or broken." [2]

[1]: (Gabriel and Metz 1991, 63) Richard A Gabriel. Karen S Metz. 1991. The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies. Greenwood Press. Westport.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 26-27) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Spear-using phalanx first used in Sumer 2500 BCE. The phalanx was in use until the 1st century BCE. [1] "Unlike other areas of the world where the spear developed into a thrown weapon, in the Middle East it remained primarily a stabbing weapon." [2]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 25) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[2]: (Gabriel and Metz 1991, 59) Richard A Gabriel. Karen S Metz. 1991. The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Battle Axe:
present

The war axe evolved after the development of body and head armour. Invented by the Sumerians, the socketed penetrating axe was "one of the most devastating close-combat weapons of the Bronze and Iron ages." [1]

[1]: (Gabriel and Metz 1991, 61) Richard A Gabriel. Karen S Metz. 1991. The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Animals used in warfare

Cavalry: ‘the iconographic emergence of a distinctive equestrian art characterized by a rider on a leaping horse in the act of firing an arrow or throwing a spear at a rearing animal or human.’ [1]

[1]: Javier Alvarez-Mon, ‘Elam in the Iron Age’, In Daniel T. Potts (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, 2013, p. 465



The donkey was probably domesticated from the African wild ass ’in more than one place’ but for the Nubian subspecies 5500-4500 BCE in the Sudan. [1] Donkey herder was a profession in Akkadian (c2200 BCE) period Mesopotamia. [2] "During the Bronze Age the standard mechanism of transport was the donkey (Egypt) or the solid-wheeled cart drawn by the onager (Sumer)." [3] The Achaemenids used donkeys (e.g. Darius III) and camels (e.g. Cyrus I) in their baggage train. [4] Likely to have been used as donkeys appear to have been raised in the wider region at least since Akkadian times. It is possible they were not used frequently, however, as there were other options.

[1]: (Mitchell 2018, 39) Peter Mitchell 2018. The Donkey in Human History: An Archaeological Perspective. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Foster 2016, 73-74) Foster, Benjamin R. 2016. The Age of Agade. Inventing Empire In Ancient Mesopotamia. Routledge. London

[3]: (Gabriel 2002, 7) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[4]: (Mayor 2014, 289-290) Adrienne Mayor. Animals in Warfare. Gordon Lindsay Campbell. ed. 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life. Oxford University Press. Oxford.



The Achaemenids used donkeys (e.g. Darius III) and camels (e.g. Cyrus I) in their baggage train. [1]

[1]: (Mayor 2014, 289-290) Adrienne Mayor. Animals in Warfare. Gordon Lindsay Campbell. ed. 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Almost certainly could be coded present if there is evidence the polity used the shield. At this time it is unlikely the warriors went into battle completely unarmoured. The Archaemenids used cane: "From ancient times the peoples of Persia favoured a light, tough shield made of withies or cane. As remarked on at the beginning of this chapter, Herodotus describes the soldiers of Xerxes who carry targes of wicker. Large and deeply convex shields built up of concentric rings of cane or withies are carried by the Sacae (Scythian) guards in the reliefs from the great staircase of the Achaemenid, from the Palace of Persepolis, now in the Berlin Museum. All but the caps of these guards are in the Persian fashion. The large shields are not those of nomadic horsemen, but are a foot soldier’s defence." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Last reference to shields present is during Ur III c2000 BCE. [1] Next reference for shields is the Archaemenids: "From ancient times the peoples of Persia favoured a light, tough shield made of withies or cane. As remarked on at the beginning of this chapter, Herodotus describes the soldiers of Xerxes who carry targes of wicker. Large and deeply convex shields built up of concentric rings of cane or withies are carried by the Sacae (Scythian) guards in the reliefs from the great staircase of the Achaemenid, from the Palace of Persepolis, now in the Berlin Museum. All but the caps of these guards are in the Persian fashion. The large shields are not those of nomadic horsemen, but are a foot soldier’s defence." [2] Likely to be inferred present but will leave this one for an expert to confirm.

[1]: (Rutkowski 2007 24)Rutkowski, Ł. 2007. Problematyka militarna w Państwie Ur III. In: D. Szeląg (ed.), Historia i kultura państwa III dynastii z Ur. Warszawa: Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 17-28.

[2]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Scaled Armor:
unknown

"Of the Medes and Persians as a whole, only a few wore armour. Some had body armour of iron scales and wicker targes and only some of the cavalry wore helmets of bronze or iron. As both Greek mercenaries and Assyrians were amongst the best armed in this great force, one may assume that any armour worn by Persians was inspired by one or the other of these militant peoples." [1] Higher ranks in the Assyrian army (9th century CE?) wore scale armour. [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Chadwick 2005, 77) Chadwick, R (2005) First Civilizations: Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, 2nd Edition, Equinox, London.


Plate Armor:
absent

No mention of plate armour until the Archaemenids who used iron breastplates. [1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2007, 76) Farrokh, K. 2007. Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Osprey Publishing.


Limb Protection:
unknown

Reference for Greece c1600 BCE: "Early Mycenaean and Minoan charioteers wore an arrangement of bronze armor that almost fully enclosed the soldier, the famous Dendra panoply." [1] Reference for Mesopotamia (the Assyrians) c800 BCE?: iron plates used for shin protection. [2] Reference for ’Etruscan Rome’ (400 BCE?): "bronze greaves to protect the shins and forearms of the soldier were standard items of military equipment." [2]

[1]: (Gabriel 2007, 78) Richard A Gabriel. 2007. Soldiers’ Lives Through History: The Ancient World. Greenwood Press. Westport.

[2]: (Gabriel and Metz 1991, 51) Richard A Gabriel. Karen S Metz. 1991. The Military Capabilities of Ancient Armies. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Leather Cloth:
present

Almost certainly could be coded present if there is evidence the polity used the shield. At this time it is unlikely the warriors went into battle completely unarmoured.


Laminar Armor:
absent

"Of the Medes and Persians as a whole, only a few wore armour. Some had body armour of iron scales and wicker targes and only some of the cavalry wore helmets of bronze or iron. As both Greek mercenaries and Assyrians were amongst the best armed in this great force, one may assume that any armour worn by Persians was inspired by one or the other of these militant peoples." [1] No mentioned of laminar armour up to the Medes (715-550 BCE).

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Earliest known helmet dates to 2500 BCE in Sumer. After this time use of helmets became widespread. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 22) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Iron chain mail not introduced until the third century BCE, probably by Celtic peoples. [1]

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Breastplate:
unknown

Late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BCE text: "May Ninurta, Enlil’s son, set the helmet Lion of Battle on your head, may the breastplate (?) that in the great mountains does not permit retreat be laid on your breast!" [1] In India, cuirasses or breastplates of copper, iron, silver and gold are referenced in the Vedic epic literature. [2] Breastplates are known to have been worn by early Romans [3] and the advanced Greek Cairan armour c600 BCE included the breastplate. [4] In Persia, the Archaemenids (c5th century CE?) are known to have used iron breastplates [5] - did the cavalry of the Medes (715-550 BCE), who preceded them, wear breastplates? Physical evidence for the breastplate does not appear to be common in the ancient world though there appears to be some text references. We also code present on the basis of fabric/textile breastplates which are least likely to survive in archaeological contexts. For that reason a code of suspected unknown may be best at least back to the late bronze age.

[1]: Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL). etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk.

[2]: Singh, Sarva Daman. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1989. p. 116

[3]: (Cornell 1995, 179) Cornell, T.J. 1995. The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000-264 BC). London: Routledge.

[4]: (J G Manning 2015, Personal Communication to Seshat Databanak)

[5]: (Farrokh 2007, 76) Farrokh, K. 2007. Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Osprey Publishing.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown

At the time of Ur III c2000 BCE Gu’abba was a seaport on the Persian Gulf that built ships and had a textile manufacturing sector. A trade route from Guabba ran east to the Karun River and beyond (the region of Susiana). The route was also used for the transport of troops. [1] The Achaemenids (from c500 BCE?) possessed possibly the first large-scale militarised naval force [2] (one imagines largely based in the Mediterranean but presumably also some craft in the Persian Gulf) - the fleet consisted of over 600 tiremes that had 170 oarsmen and 30 fighters. [3] Have not found any earlier reference to naval operations occurring on the Persian Gulf that would require fighting ships. Did the Achaemenid fleet come out of nowhere or did it have some smaller-scale precedents in the Neo-Elamite civilization or Sumerian before that? Perhaps most unlikely before the Neo-Elamite Period.

[1]: (? 2018) Author?. Title?. Javier Alvarez-Mon. Gian Pietro Basello. Yasmina Wicks. ed. 2018. The Elamite World. Routledge. Abingdon.

[2]: (Gabriel 2002, 8) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[3]: (Shahbazi 2012, 129) Shahbazi, A Shapour. The Archaemenid Persian Empire (550-330 BCE) Daryaee, Touraj. ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History. Oxford University Press.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

At the time of Ur III c2000 BCE Gu’abba was a seaport on the Persian Gulf that built ships and had a textile manufacturing sector. A trade route from Guabba ran east to the Karun River and beyond (the region of Susiana). The route was also used for the transport of troops. [1] The Karun River runs inland into Khuzestan which was the Elamite heartland. It would be logical for there to have been boats that sailed down this river to the Persian Gulf in all periods. The boats on the Karun could also have ferried troops.

[1]: (? 2018) Author?. Title?. Javier Alvarez-Mon. Gian Pietro Basello. Yasmina Wicks. ed. 2018. The Elamite World. Routledge. Abingdon.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown

At the time of Ur III c2000 BCE Gu’abba was a seaport on the Persian Gulf that built ships and had a textile manufacturing sector. A trade route from Guabba ran east to the Karun River and beyond (the region of Susiana). The route was also used for the transport of troops. [1] The Karun River runs inland into Khuzestan which was the Elamite heartland. It would be logical for there to have been boats that sailed down this river to the Persian Gulf. The boats on the Karun could also have ferried troops.

[1]: (? 2018) Author?. Title?. Javier Alvarez-Mon. Gian Pietro Basello. Yasmina Wicks. ed. 2018. The Elamite World. Routledge. Abingdon.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.