Tag Archives: Elam

Between Highlands and Lowlands

Wicks, Yasmina. 2019. Between highlands and lowlands. The Ram Hormuz Plain in the neo-Elamite and early Achaemenid periods, and comments on five burials from the Fort Mound at Tal-i Ghazir. Arta 2019.002.


The plain of Ram Hormuz was a strategically important area of southwest Iran connecting the Susiana lowlands with the Zagros highlands, and undoubtedly a critical zone of Elamite and Iranian interaction in the centuries leading up to the emergence of the Persian Empire. Its archaeological remains must therefore be regarded as a vital key to our comprehension of the processes of acculturation that gave rise to the Elamo Persian culture of the early Achaemenid period. While the plain has been extensively surveyed, its only excavated site remains Tal-i Ghazir where just two seasons of excavation were conducted in 1948/49 by Donald E. McCown under the auspices of the Oriental Institute. McCown worked in three separate mounds— Mounds A and B, and the so-called Fort Mound—but he never published his results. Almost half a century later, Elizabeth Carter (1994) published a series of burials in the Fort Mound from his field notes, and another two decades later, Abbas Alizadeh (2014) published the complete records of the Tal-i Ghazir excavations. The purpose of this paper is to outline the evidence for the Neo-Elamite (ca. 1000 525 BCE) and Achaemenid periods (ca. 525-330 BCE) collected during the surveys across the Ram Hormuz plain and the excavations at Tal-i Ghazir, with special attention to the burials in the Fort Mound.

Profiling Death

Wicks, Yasmina. 2019. Profiling Death. Neo-Elamite Mortuary Practices, Afterlife Beliefs, and Entanglements with Ancestors (Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 98). Leiden: Brill.

Recent scholarship has begun to unveil the culturally rich and dynamic landscape of southwest Iran during the first half of the first millennium BCE (aka the Neo-Elamite period) and its significance as the incubation ground for the Persian Empire. In Profiling Death. Neo-Elamite Mortuary Practices, Afterlife Beliefs, and Entanglements with Ancestors, Yasmina Wicks continues the investigation of this critical epoch from the perspective of the mortuary record, bringing forth fascinating clues as to the ritual practices, beliefs, social structures and individual identities of Elam’s lowland and highland inhabitants. Enmeshed with its neighbours, yet in many ways culturally distinct, Elam receives its due treatment here as a core component of the ancient Near East.

The Monumental Reliefs of the Elamite Highlands

Javier Álvarez-Mon. 2019. The Monumental Reliefs of the Elamite Highlands: A Complete Inventory and Analysis (from the Seventeenth to the Sixth Century BC). Eisenbrauns.


The Monumental Reliefs of the Elamite Highlands documents and analyzes for the first time a corpus of eighteen monumental highland reliefs from the Elamite civilization in ancient Iran, which—hitherto preserved by their remote location and anonymous existence—have recently become imperiled by an influx of tourists and the development of the surrounding landscapes. With this book, Javier Álvarez-Mon aims to safeguard this important part of Iran’s cultural heritage.
The eighteen reliefs presented in this volume are spread across the valley of Izeh/Malamir (Xong-e Azdhar, Shah Savar, Shekaft-e Salman, and Kul-e Farah), the Ghale Tol plain (Qal-e Tul), the Mamasani Fahliyan river region (Kurangun), and the Marvdasht plain (Naqsh-e Rustam). In his analysis of these reliefs, Álvarez-Mon draws from the complementary disciplines of art history and archaeology, giving equal weight to the archaeological context of these artifacts and traditional methods of artistic analysis in order to determine the nature and significance of each artifact’s form and theme. At the same time, the book’s dual emphases on ritual-religious and aesthetic-ecological phenomena respond to the contemporary challenges of the dissociation of human existence from nature and the commodification of the environment on an unsustainable scale, presenting the preservation of this remarkable corpus of monumental art as a matter of urgency.


Richly illustrated with hundreds of color photographs and line drawings, The Monumental Reliefs of the Elamite Highlands is sure to become an invaluable reference to scholars who study the Elamite and other ancient civilizations.

Elam and its Neighbors

Mofidi-Nasrabadi, Behzad, Doris Prechel & Alexander Pruß (eds.).(2018). Elam and its neighbors: Recent research and new perspectives. Proceedings of the International Congress Held at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, September 21-23, 2016 (Elamica 8). Hildesheim: Verlag Franzbecker.

The international congress “Elam and its Neighbors. Recent Research and New Perspectives”, which forms the content of the present proceedings volume, was held at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz from September 21st – 23rd 2016. The idea to hold a congress originated from the recent excavations and fieldworks carried out in different Elamite sites. These new research activities yielded interesting archaeological, philological and historical results which offer new perspectives concerning Elamite studies. The aim of the congress was to provide an opportunity to discuss such new results in order to reflect the research strategy and create impulses for further studies in the future.

Table of contents:

  • Badamchi, H: Law in a Multicultural Society: Akkadian Legal Texts from Susa in Comparative Perspective
  • Krebernik, M: Eine neue elamische Beschwörung aus der Hilprecht-Sammlung (HS 2338) im Kontext alloglotter Texte der altbabylonischen Zeit
  • Mäder, M., Balmer, St., Plachtzik, S., Rawyler, N: Sequenzanalysen zur elamischen Strichschrift
  • Malbran-Labat, F., Roche-Hawley, C: On the Unpublished Contracts from Susa (TS A IX-XV)
  • Mofidi-Nasrabadi, B: Who was ˮdMÙŠ.EREN.EŠŠANA.DINGIR.MEŠˮ? 113
  • Prechel, D: Administration in Haft Tappeh 127
  • Tavernier, J: The Functions of Abrupt Spellings in the Elamite Writing System
  • Abdali, N: Glazed Artefacts in Elam and North-Western Iran: A Common Technology?
  • Álvarez-Mon, J: Puzur-Inšušinak, Last King of Akkad? Test, Image and Context Reconsidered
  • Dinarvand, Y., Rezaloo, R., Ba Ahmadi, H: A Neo-Elamite Site South of Susa (Tappeh Konar)
  • Rashidian, E: Dehno and its Environs. A Geoarchaeological Approach to the Elamite Urban Places
  • Wicks, Y: Elam and its Neighbours: A View from Neo-Elamite Mortuary Remains
  • Zalaghi, A: Digging up the Past: Revisiting the Elamite Underground Vaulted Tombs at Tappeh 497 (KS 53?), Susiana Plain

IRANICA ANTIQUA, VOLUME 53

The table of contents of the latest issue (53) of the journal Iranica Antiqua:

Intercalary Months in Achaemenid Elamite Documents

Stolper Matthew W. 2018. Intercalary months in Achaemenid Elamite administrative documents from Persepolis. In C. Jay Crisosotomo, Eduardo A. Escobar, Terri Tanaka, & Niek Veldhuis (eds.), The scaffolding of our thoughts: Essays on Assyriology and the history of science in honor of Francesca Rochberg, 296–316. Leiden: Brill.

Surveys current evidence from the Persepolis Fortification Archive and the Persepolis Treasury Archives on intercalation: terminology, usage, attestations.

 

Studien zur Kulturgeschichte des Alten Orients

Kleber, Kristin, Georg Neumann & Susanne Paulus (eds.). 2018. Grenzüberschreitungen. Studien zur Kulturgeschichte des alten Orients. Festschrift für Hans Neumann zum 65. Geburtstag am 9. Mai 2018 (DUBSAR 5). Münster: Zaphon Verlag. Unter Mitarbeit von Christin Möllenbeck.

Vierzig Beiträge in deutscher, englischer und französischer Sprache sind dem Assyriologen Hans Neumann (Universität Münster) gewidmet. Korrespondierend mit den breit gefächerten Forschungen des Jubilars bieten sie einen aktuellen Überblick über Themen der Assyriologie, der Vorderasiatischen Archäologie und der Kulturgeschichte des Alten Orients.

With contributions by Bruno Jacobs and Daniel Potts on Achaemenids and Elamites, respectively.

Continue reading Studien zur Kulturgeschichte des Alten Orients

Topography and Toponymy in the Ancient Near East: Perspectives and Prospects

Tavernier J., Gorris E., Abraham K. & Boschloos V (eds.). 2018. Topography and toponymy in the ancient Near East: Perspectives and prospects (Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain, 71). Peeters.

The present volume, based on a conference on Ancient Near Eastern historical geography and toponymy held at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) on 27-28 February 2014, brings together 12 contributions by Belgian and international specialists on various aspects of this field of research. They deal with the entire Ancient Near East (Anatolia, Levant, Mesopotamia and Iran). Chronologically, the various contributions in the volume discuss topics situated in the 3rd, 2nd and 1st Millennia BC.
The articles in this volume are arranged geographically, starting with items on Anatolia, followed by studies on Mesopotamian and Levantine topography and finally a third part on ancient Iran and Elam. They will doubtlessly demonstrate the high importance of the study of historical geography and toponymy for our understanding of the history of the Ancient Near East and will also stimulate the research on the historical geography of the ancient Near East.

Continue reading Topography and Toponymy in the Ancient Near East: Perspectives and Prospects

The Elamite World

Álvarez-Mon, Javier, Gian Pietro Basello & Yasmina Wicks (eds.). 2018. The Elamite World (Routledge Worlds). London: Routledge.

Amongst the civilizations to participate in the dynamic processes of contact and interchange that gave rise to complex societies in the ancient Near East, Elam has remained one of the most obscure, at times languishing in the background of scholarly inquiry. In recent years, however, an increasing body of academic publications have suggested that the legacy of Elam was more considerable and long-lasting than previously estimated.

The Elamite World assembles a group of forty international scholars to contribute their expertise to the production of a solid, lavishly illustrated, English language treatment of Elamite civilization, covering topics such as its physical setting, historical development, languages and people, material culture, art, science, religion and society. Also treated are the legacy of Elam in the Persian empire and its presence in the modern world.

This comprehensive and ambitious survey seeks for Elam, hardly a household name, a noteworthy place in our shared cultural heritage. It will be both a valuable introductory text for a general audience and a definitive reference source for students and academics.

Continue reading The Elamite World

The Elamite Royal Orchestra from Madaktu (653 BC)

Alvarez-Mon, Javier. 2017. The Elamite Royal Orchestra from Madaktu (653 BC)Elamica 7: 1-34.

Contents: §1. Prelude; §2. The Royal Elamite Orchestra from Madaktu; §2.1. Instruments: horizontal harps, angular harps, double pipes, a drum, hand clapping and singing; §2.2. People: Musicians and Singers; §3. Allegro ma non troppo: Madaktu 653 BC, the Royal Orchestra in Historical Context. §4. From Madaktu to Assyria: Cacophonies at the Heartland of the Empire; §4.1. The Assyrian Royal Orchestras from Nineveh (Room S1); §4.2. Foreign Orchestras in Assyria; §5. Requiem 612 BC: Royal Orchestras and the Fall of Nineveh.