Elam: a reconstructed chronology
After I had done a significant part of the research in my revision of ancient history, I applied the new paradigm to the kingdom of Elam. Elam was located north and east of the Euphrates delta of the Persian Gulf, in the region east of what we would call Kuwait. The political identity of Elam is as ancient as Sumer itself, and it lasted as an independent state until the Persian Empire — so its history must be expected to provide a good test for the theory of biblical chronology. Only two major excavations have been carried out in the region, from which we get most of our firsthand information. This neglect can be counted as a benefit, however, since it enhances the potential for new evidence to validate or disprove either the conventional version of history, or my reconstruction.
The land of Elam is now called Kuzistan by Iranians. It is peopled by an ancient dark-skinned race of unknown origin, but not African; they are likely to be related to the Dravidians, indigenous to India. After these first refugees from Babel, the land was visited by lighter-skinned Aryans, and the mixing of these populations produced the brown-skinned race which even today peoples the mountains of the region. Elamite was an agglutative language, and is one of the most intricate ever studied, remaining very oblique. Though these natives now speak Persian, as late as a thousand years ago in isolated parts of the territory which was once Elam, travelers were met by the now-extinct language. A treaty with Naram-Sin of Akkad is the earliest example of the language, and the link between these two cultures is further demonstrated by the fact that during this time Akkadian styles appear on Elamite seals.
We read of Elam in various places in the Bible — first when we learn that Elam was a son of Arphaxad, son of Shem. In Genesis 14, two of the four kings whom Abraham fights are Elamites. The archers of Elam are heralded by Isaiah and Jeremiah, and its capital, Shushan or Susa, is mentioned in Daniel 8:2. Elamites are among those present at the Pentecost of Acts 2:9, and if any language should be given as a gift, it must be the strange and utterly incomprehensible Elamite tongue.
The Elamite form of government is unparalleled,[i] being a sort of federalism, a “strange triarchy”[ii] of a king, a viceroy, and a governor of Susa — respectively the king and his younger brother, and the king's eldest son. The father and son were centered in Susa, and the viceroy seems to have traveled the realm, with his seat located in whatever provincial capital originally gave rise to that particular dynasty. The geography of Elam itself must surely have contributed to its peculiar system of government, since Elam's topography “does not lend itself to political unity, and as soon as the bond of a firm central authority holding the country together disappears or is relaxed the different provinces tend to separate and to live their own lives.”[iii] A further caution should be noted, in the fact that “for the Babylonians 'king of Elam' meant simply the ruler of Susa.”[iv]
Strangest of all in Elam was the Cushite practice — embodied most dramatically by Semiramis, and common in Cushite India and Ethiopia — of institutionalized incest among the royal houses. The discussion of this perversion centers most around the dynasty of the Eparti, which rose to prominence in the same era as the rise of Dynasty XVIII in Egypt, which itself originated in India. That the dark-skinned Elamites shared this trait with the dark Dravidians and Ethiopians is perhaps incidental, but then again we may find here a most ancient Cushite custom. In any event, “The high mortality rate in the ruling houses of Elam was very probably the result of incest.”[v]
Babylonian history is actually divided into various conflicting timelines which create a number of fictitious dark ages, and which view the same period and characters as disjointed. In Elam, we find at work the three timelines, of the Old Babylonian (off by about 700 years), the Ashurite-Kassite (off by about 500 years), and the Ninevite (accurate). This is my assertion — let's test it against the evidence of Elam.
Peli-Awan (1900-1650-1450 / *2600-2370-2170 bc) key: Akkad
The Elamites of Abraham's day, who fought in the war of Genesis 14, are perhaps too early to be counted as part of the Peli line. But during Akkadian times, two of the kings of Awan are attested to have been contemporaries of Sargon. The last ruler of the Peli dynasty was Puzur- or Kutik-Inshushinak (c. 1520- / *2240). He ruled first as viceroy of Susa where his early inscriptions are found, but later he won independence and gained territory. However, the mountain tribes of Guti greatly reduced Awan's power in his reign, and his rule is marked by its sudden end and disappearance from history. There are a few inscriptions in the unique Elamite script from his reign, but afterwards the Akkadian script was adopted. Throughout the 1300's / *2000's, Awan was vassal first to Lagash, and then to Ur III (1390's-1280's / *2110-2005).
Three unknown kings — c. 1900 / *2600 (post‑Abraham)
Peli — c. 1800 / *2500
Tata, Ukkutahesh, Hishur, Shushuntarana, Napilhush, Kikku-Siwe-Tempt
Luh-Ishshan; ||Sargon I (1617-1561)
Hishep-Ratep — 1651- / *2371-2316; ||Sargon
Helu — 1580-/*2300-2280?; ||Rimush, Manishtusu
Epir-Mupi, Hita 1560- / *2280‑40?; ||Naram‑Sin (1561-52)
Puzer- or Kutik-Inshushinak — 1520- / *2240?; ||Shar-Kali-Sharri (1500-1475)
Tazitta I, Eparti I (1480 / *2180), Tazitta II
Shimashki (1315-1125 / *2040-1850); key: Ur III
A local royal house in Shimash finally gained ascendance and won independence for all of Elam when its leader, Girnamme, conquered Ur III (c. 1280's / *2010); “but of events within Elam little is known beyond names of kings.”[vi] This period is wrongly supposed to be that of Lot's capture by the Elamite forces, although the only recommendation for this idea is the period's obscurity: of course no trace of Chedorlaomer is found in this era.[vii] Larsa's 5th king, Gungunnum (1209-1182 / c. *1930-), who twice defeated the Elamite city of Anshan, probably so weakened the Shimashki that the way to power was cleared for the next Elamite dynasty. However, due to the errors of the standard scheme, it is said that Hammurabi put an end to the independence of this dynasty; this assertion is an expectation originating from the lack of evidence. To us, it seems likely that by Hammurabi's day (c. 1069 / *1792), whatever remained of the Shimashki line would have been a pale shadow which lingered through the glory days of the Shutrukids. In any case, from the king list which archeology has recovered, we can see that this dynasty fades away as the next ascends — whether the Eparti, as the standard scheme would have it, or the Shutrukids, as this revision avers. Indeed, our rivision has the Shimashki line terminating at the same time that the Shutrukids disappear from conventional chronology — suggesting that the two lines met their fate by the same agent — Nebuchadnezzer I (c. 1117; not the second Nebuchadnezzer, who was the contemporary of Daniel).
Kings of Shimashki
Girnamme (|| Shu-Sin); Lurak‑Luhhan (|| Ibbi-Sin of Ur III)
Hutran-Tempt 1290- / *2010-90?
Kindattu 1270- / *1990-70?
Indattu-Inshushinak 1250- / *1970-45?
Tan-Ruhurater (son) 1225- / *1945-25? (|| Bilalama of Eshnunna)
Eparti II; Indattu II 1205- / *1925-1900?
Indattu-Napir (III) 1180- / *1900-1875?
Indattu-Tempt (IV) 1155-1130 / *1875-50?
Shutrukids 1205-1120 key: Ninevite, correct
While the Shimashki house is obscure, thrust into shadow by the confusion inherent in the Old Babylonian timeline, it is overlapped by the somewhat more lucid house of the Shutrukids, keyed to the correctly dated Ninevites. The Elamite capital of the Shutrukids is unknown, but it was “probably centered at Susa, [and] raised Elam to its zenith for a few decades”,[viii] supposedly at a time when “Assyria had declined, and Babylonia too, after a brief resurgence”.[ix] This zenith is believed to have occurred after the fall of Tukulti-Ninurta I. The reality, however, is that ‘Assyria’ was not yet even a force to contend with. The "decline", the "dark age" which supposedly followed the Ashurite king Tukulti-Ninurta "I" (8th / *13th century), is illusory, and this line of Assyrians is itself misplaced by five centuries, as we shall consider momentarily.
The Mesopotamian sources regarding Elam for this era “are a fragmentary chronicle, a detail from a letter and a few other texts which must be used with caution.”[x] From these, it is learned that the great Shutruk-Nahhunte ruled in the time of the Ashurite king, Ashur-dan I (1179-1134), as well as of Babylon's Zababa-shuma-iddina (1160) and Enlil-nadin-ahhe (1159-1157). We also learn that the latter Hutelutush-Inshushinak (of this line, the final king of whom we have any detail) finished his reign in the early days of Nebuchadnezzer I (1124‑1103).
Hallutush-In-Shushinak (1205-1185 bc)
Late Elamite sources list the first Hallutush-In-Shushinak as the father of Shutruk-Nahhunte; as expected from our paradigm, it is known that he was not related to Kitin-Hutran, last of the misplaced Igehalkids. “As no reference is made to any parental ties between this Khallutush-In-Shushinak and one of the sovereigns of the [supposedly] preceding dynasty, nor to his own reign, . . . [we] are therefore obliged to admit a break in the dynastic line between [Igehalkid] Kidin-Khutran and [Shutrukid] Shutruk-Nahhunte.”[xi] The break is clear even in the names of the respective houses: the (later) Igehalkids honor in their names the deities Humban and Hutran, whereas the Shutrukids honor the chief god in Susa, In-Shushinak. Since our paradigm has these lines in reversed order, separated by centuries, this lack of continuity and cultic difference is a mere truism.
In any case, the “father of the new ruling house was called Hallutush-Inshushinak . . . . His origins remain obscure . . . . All the evidence suggests that the new royal house sprang from the far south-east of Anshan . . . . We know nothing of his achievements, only that he reigned from 1205-1185 bc.”[xii] He is obscure because he lived at the same time as the latter Shimashki kings, perhaps as a vassal — even though these two houses are supposed to have been separated by over 700 years. It is not accurate to say we know nothing of his achievements: it appears to be he who twice lost battles with Gungunnum (c. 1200 / *1930). (Notice how this reconstruction corrects and illuminates the evidence.) Hallutush was the first of several royals so named, the last of whom also had a son named Shutruk. This unfortunate similarity has exacerbated the chronological confusion.
Shutruk-Nahhunte I (1185-1155)
The heir of Hallutush-Inshushinak I was Shutruk-Nahhunte I, called one of the three greatest kings of Elam — although part of his supposed greatness may be from the confused attribution to him of the accomplishments of his name-sake from the late 8th century. Be that as it may, scholars admit that of the years “preceding the reign of Shutruk-Nahhunte we know practically nothing about the happenings in Elam . . .”[xiii] This lack of evidence is disguised by confidently-stated assumptions derived from the standard scheme. Shutruk made Susa the capital of his realm, and it is said that he collected the steles of the kings of various lands. While this seems to be true, it is also true by this reconstruction that his namesake of four-and-a-half centuries later also collected steles, and the latter's efforts have been confused for the former's. In any event, it is from this collection (perhaps started by the first Shutruk, but certainly continued by the latter) that we have our copy of the Code of Hammurabi, which by our reckoning was authored in the century following Shutruk I; this stele has a vacant space carved into it which never received the inscription which would have named the king who took it as booty.[xiv]
A further confusion of the standard paradigm is in the interpretation of foundation-bricks in the temple of the goddess Manzat. Bricks bearing Shutruk's inscription are placed next to those “of his predecessors who had already done work on this sanctuary.”[xv] There are three likely explanations of this evidence:  that it was Shutruk who repaired the work of previous builders,  that other builders who were actually later (but thought to be earlier) re-used the first Shutruk's bricks to supplement their own building (which is claimed to be a relatively common practice), or  that it was the latter Shutruk (of the 8th century) rather than the former who did these repairs. Any of these interpretations, as permitted by the evidence, is the product of the scholar's paradigm. By our interpretation, it appears that many of the inscriptions attributed to the first Shutruk were actually those of the second.
Shutruk's kingdom reached south to Bushire, and he expanded even further when he invaded Babylonia, capturing hundreds of towns. “He constantly excited, in all respects, Elamite nationalism by pointing out the unity of the empire as well as its lasting tradition.”[xvi] At this time, however, the Kassites “had settled by *1800 bc [c. 1100] in what is now western Iran in the region of Hamadan-Kermanshah.”[xvii] (The Kassites were a race of barbarous invaders who conquered Babylon and ushered in a period of confusion. Their identity is a mystery, but I will argue elsewhere that they are to be associated with the Medes and Persians.) The Ninevite Tiglath Pileser I (1115-1077) mentions Escatana, Hamadan, by the name Kar-kassi, "Kassite town". This region already belonged to the Elamites, and so it is no surprise that there was conflict.
Shutruk turned his attention to Babylonia and the trade routes of the river Diyuala which linked the plain of Mesopotamia with the plateau of Iran. Around 1160, Shutruk fought the battle which supposedly ended the Kassites, but this is another bizarre trick of the false timeline. In fact, this is the first battle with the Kassites — 400 years before their end — and they were soundly beaten by the powerful Shutruk. At this time he and his son Kutir-Nahhunte marched west with a large force, and several badly damaged steles still inform us of their victories and tributes, speaking of such conquered cities as Eshnunna, Sippar, Opis, perhaps Akkad, and Dur-Kurigalzu (by our reckoning named "Kurigalzu" not for the first or second Kassite king of this name, but rather for some Kassite predecessor or divinity). From Akkad and perhaps Kish, several artifacts were removed of king Manishtusu. A statue of the Kassite Meli-Shikhu (**? 1188-1174) was removed from Karindash (present-day Karind?), reportedly by this Shutruk, but by this reconstruction perhaps by the latter Shutruk. In any case, the Elamite conquests had the effect of isolating Babylonia from the north.
The Elamites routed the weakling Zababa-Shum-Iddina (1160), called the second-to-last Kassite king, but actually only penultimate of his particular line. From our perspective, it was actually only a single Kassite line which was vanquished: the scribes of that time could not know that future Kassites would regain power, and subsequent scribes were simply confused and ignorant about correct chronology. Scribal bias is recognized in the fact that the next Kassite king, Enlil-Nadin-Akhe, was “afterwards entitled 'king of Babylon' by the chroniclers who refused to recognize the Elamite usurper [Shutruk].”[xviii] We have empirical indication of the confusion in the fact that Nebuchadnezzer I is called the "destroyer of the Kassites", yet their ‘last’ king had already been vanquished.
Kutir-Nahhunte "II" c. 1160-1140
In any event, Shutruk appointed as regent of Babylonia his son Kutir — a contemporary of the Ninevite Asher-Dan I (1179-34). Kutir in turn appointed as viceroy "the last of the Kassites", Enlil-Nadin-Akhe, who promptly rebelled. “The son faced the Babylonians after his father's death and defeated them in a three-year struggle, bringing the Kassite dynasty to an end and deporting many people and their gods.”[xix] Kutir exiled Enlil to Elam, c. 1155, upon whose death, it is said, the Kassite dynasty ended — but we have said otherwise. The Elamite then put a foreigner on the throne of Babylon, who was an enemy of the Babylonian deities.[xx] The idols of Uruk — Marduk and Nana — were taken to Susa; Marduk's statue was returned a generation later by Nebuchadnezzer I, but the idol of Nana remained in exile until the days of Ashurbanipal. Although Kutir built a strong hegemony, he did not control all of Mesopotamia, since at Isin, Nebuchadnezzer I, “a local chief, was called king of Babylon and it was around him that the resistance to the Elamite invader formed.”[xxi]
The Babylonians had only grim memories of Kutir, so much so that inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzer I report that “His crimes were greater and his grievous sins worse than all his fathers had committed . . .”[xxii] Nebuchadnezzer goes on to say that Kutir “grew wrath (against the Kassites), and like a deluge swept all the people of Akkad away. He turned Babylon and the other famous shrines into piles of rubble. He forced the great lord Marduk to rise from the throne of his majesty. He led the people of Akkad and Sumer captive into Elam. He also dragged Ellil-Nadin-Ahhe away, overthrew his kingdom, and ended his rule.”[xxiii] (Note the comical, to our ears, delicacy with which Nebuchadnezzar explains the theft of the idol of Marduk – “the great lord arose.”)
Kutir was an ambitious builder within his capital, but left many works unfinished. An item of cultural interest is found in the Susan temple of In-Shushinak, where Kutir installed decorated panels, one of which bears the grotesque figure of a bull-man next to a palm tree and the outline of a woman with a narrow body and thin, triangular face. This image is similar to the wall image of Uruk's temple of Inanna, which was built by the Kassite, Karaindash of the 900's / **1400's.[xxiv] Obviously, we would have the order of influence reversed from that of the standard paradigm, with the Elamites taking precedence.
Shilhak-Inshushinak (1140?-1120? bc)
After Kutir, a "Pax Elama" was established within Elam during the glorious reign of Shilhak-Inshushinak, a younger son of Shutruk. Shilhak's lands were ruled in tight control, and building projects of this period “surpassed anything done until that time. Local art was encouraged and flourished to a remarkable degree. . . .The desire to make himself the symbol of Elamite power and unity was more marked in him than any of the other kings. . . .He wanted his reign to be the culmination of Elamite history and himself to be the legitimate inheritor and continuer of all the dynasties, whether of Simash, Susa, Elam or Anzan.”[xxv] Regardless of chronology, it seems reasonable that there were local dynasties which Shilhak wished to supplant.
Shilhak restored several temples at Liyan, honoring the original builder, one Humban-numena; by our reconstruction, this cannot have been that Igehalkid Humban of c. 810-790 / **1285-1266, but must rather have been some like-named local king of centuries earlier; that this name was recycled is obvious, since another Humban-numena ruled c. 688. Regarding this chronological confusion, it is important to note another problem. Shilhak rebuilt using baked brick, which was “an act of munificence in itself. The clay is a natural product and cheap enough but the baking is very expensive. The necessary combustibles are not common in the country and what forests there are near Susa supply only a brushwood that flares quickly without giving much heat. The manufacture of baked bricks, therefore, necessitates a large number of workers to cut, collect, transport, and tend the fires . . .”[xxvi] Thus, due to the expense involved, bricks, even more than names, were recycled — which can further add to the chronological confusion, since a building restored by such-and-such a king can contain bricks of earlier rulers, or of later restorers.
Shilhak bore the venerable title "Enlarger of the Empire," and we have much detail of his extensive conquests in what is now eastern Iraq,[xxvii] where he subdued Semites and Kassites, and the intractable hill tribes — perhaps the Guti. Contact with regions associated with the Neo-Assyrians is indicated by the fact that at various times Shilhak took the towns of Bit-Nakiru (undoubtedly of the Nakri tribe which resisted Tiglath-pileser III 400 years later), Bit-tasak-ESSANA (also mentioned by Tiglath[xxviii] ), and Reshu (the Aramaic tribe of the Rashi, mentioned by Sargon II). His pattern of conquest indicates a defensive frame of mind, seeking to establish a buffer zone to the north, and to the west it is manifest “that he wished to control the route along which Elam could be invaded . . .”[xxix] Shilhak's interest in the region of the lower Zab suggests designs on Ashur, just a few days distant. “We do not know whether or not the Elamites actually threatened Ashur, but the fact that a revolt, followed by troubles, brought to an end the long reign of Ashur-dan (1134) seems to suggest that the presence of the Elamites nearby was of some consequence in these events.”[xxx]
Although Shutruk and Kutir had crushed Babylonia, which apparently freed Shilhak to turn his energy northward, somehow Shilhak lost control of Babylonia, as indicated by a stele which speaks of an expedition of his against the south. By concentrating on the Tigris and the Zagros, he lost the Euphrates, and in southern Mesopotamia the state of Isin mushroomed into prominence, becoming arrogant enough to meddle in Ninevite politics at the death of Ashur-Dan I; perhaps it was this hubris which induced Shilhak to turn to Babylonia once more. He crows of his victory, but never again mentions the city of Babylon, which suggests that he did not capture it; indeed, after his return home, there is no more mention of that region.
Hutelutush-Inshushinak (c. 1120?-1105? bc)
The incestuous customs of Elam had Silhak marry his widowed sister-in-law, Nahhunte-Utu, who was also probably his own blood-sister, so his large empire was inherited by his son / nephew: Hutelutush-Inshushinak. This inbred heir was unable to hold the empire together, against the resurgence of Babylonia under Nebuchadnezzer I (1124-03 bc) and the initial rise of the Ninevites to the north (under Ashur-reshishi, 1133-1116, and Tiglath-pileser I, 1124-03). The weakness of Hutelutush is perhaps hinted at in his few inscriptions, by his failure to use the title sunkir (king) but rather merely menir (feudal lord) of Anzan and Susa.[xxxi]
Hutelutush seems not to have been wanting in courage, but his leadership was flawed. A Babylonian invasion was launched by an unnamed king (possibly Nebuchadnezzer I) to reclaim the idol of Marduk which Kutir had commandeered; this attack was violently repulsed by Hutelutush. When Nebuchadnezzer I took the throne of Isin in the Elamite-controlled Sealand of southern Mesopotamia, true to form he resolved to recover from Susa the cult statue of his patron.[xxxii] Nebuchadnezzer attacked Hutelutush, allied with Lakti-Marduk of Bit-Karziabku and priestly personages from the Elamite city Din-Sharri. Hutelutush yielded the initiative to the Babylonian, failing to move “his armies into the plains and mountains along his borders . . . and the Babylonian king was able to carry out a violent and successful attack against Elam.”[xxxiii] The upshot is that after a famous battle by the Ulai river, Susa was pillaged and its king killed shortly afterwards. Nebuchadnezzer controlled Elam and rewarded his allies. After this defeat of Elam, the brother of Hutelutush, Silkhina-Khamru-Lakamar, is listed as a king, but is known only as a name.
A "Dark Age"
The picture which follows becomes very confused. From the correctly dated Ninevite perspective, with “this disaster Elam entered a long period of obscurity (ca. 1110 bc).”[xxxiv] It “appears that . . . Susa was so severely damaged that for some time it forfeited its position as the capital of Elam; at any rate, for nearly *four centuries no texts survive from the city.”[xxxv] Even for the whole of Elam, “almost *three hundred years elapsed before the complete textual silence was broken.”[xxxvi] During this "dark age", “there are no native texts nor are there allusions to Elam in the Mesopotamian sources.”[xxxvii] From the standard timeline, no reference to Elam is recognized until the correctly dated 821 bc, when the Ninevite Shamshi-Adad V defeated a coalition of Elamites, Chaldeans and Aramaeans.
Much of the obscurity of this time, however, comes from the failure to recognize that the Shutrukids (1100's) were immediately followed by the Eparti (c. *1800). We are told that the “final years of the Shutrukids are hidden in an obscurity no less profound than that which shrouded the kingdoms of Awan, Simashki and the Eparti. Elam's great classical period comes to an abrupt end, and 'the rest is silence'.”[xxxviii] But it is not any silence here, but rather deafness, which is profound. These centuries are filled not with ruins, but by the dynasties of the Eparti (of the Old Babylonian timeline) and the Igehalkids (of the Ashurite-Kassite timeline).
The Eparti 1100‑900's / c. *1860‑1500 key: Old Babylon
Eparti III, Shilkhakha (son), Attakhushu (nephew), Shirukdukh I (c. 1100 / 1800), Shimut-Wartash [Pala-Ishshan?, c. 1060 - / *1570-1545]
Siwe-Palar-Khuppak (c. 1047-), Kuduzulush I, Kutir-Nahhunte I (c. 1005- \ *1725)
Lila-Ir-Tash, Temti-Agun I, Tan-Uli, Temti-Khalki, Kuk-Nashur II, Kutir-Shilkhakha I, Temti-Raptash, Kuduzulush III, Tata, Atta-Merra-Khalki,
Pala-Ishshan (c. 1060-),
Kuh-Kirwash (Siwe? 1047),
Kuk-Nahhunte (Kuduzulush I?), Kutir-Nahhunte II (the "First"?, 1005?)
The three rulers after Pala-Ishshan may be the same individuals as Siwe and the next two, in which case there is only one Kutir-Nahhunte mentioned here.
The first ruler named Eparti (c. 1460 / *2180's) — before the rise of the Shimashki kings — is the only Elamite whose name is preceded by the sign for divinity.[xxxix] He seems to have arrived at his center of power with some "unusually impressive" event, but appears to have been only a local ruler, and is totally obscure. By my reconstruction, this era (from 1501-1404 / *2230-2120) was the period Guti domination in Mesopotemia. Whenever King Eparti thrived, it was before Gungunnum of Larsa (c. 1200 / *1930).
Sirktuh I (Shirukdukh I; c. 1100 / *1800)
The rise to some sort of prominence of the Eparti dynasty proper started with Sirktuh I around the same time as Hammurabi (and the corrected start of Dynasty XVIII of Egypt). This dynasty is obscure, and most likely faded away sometime in the late 10th century. The Pala-Ishshan who appears in the king list may be the same as the one who appears on the stele of Pahir, which we will now examine; in this case the king list is not chronological but thematic, listing the different offices of leadership for an unstated period.
Pala-Ishshan (c. 1060-35 / **1570-1545 bc; Ashurite-Kassite timeline)
Siwe-Palar-Huhpak (c. 1047-22 / *1770-1745 bc; Old Babylon timeline)
As we have just seen, the "silence", the illiteracy of the eleventh century is a watchword to historians. But it turns out that this era was not quite as "dark" as the standard understanding would have it. Apparently, the collector Shutruk II (c. 717-699 bc) found a stele in Ayahitek and removed it to Susa. This monument, composed by the Igehalkid king, Pahir, is to us extremely vague and difficult to translate. “Its poor condition and difficult Elamite vocabulary make it, too, almost totally unintelligible although it could be most revealing. . . .Sadly, the inscription is nowhere free from damage, added to which it is almost incomprehensible.”[xl] Indeed, it is lamented as “unfortunate that our knowledge of the Elamite language, still very imperfect, does not allow us to fully understand” even later, and so more accessible, texts.[xli] In any case, Pahir's stele was actually written in the ninth century, and refers to men ruling in very heart of the supposedly silent 11th century.
The stele originally referred to the Eparti ruler, Siwe-Palar-Huhpak (c. 1047-22 / *1770-1745 bc; keyed to the Old Babylon date for the post-Hammurabi Ashurite, king Ishme Dagan), and to the "Grand Regent," named Pala-Ishshan (c. 1060-35 / **1570-1545; keyed to Dynasty XVIII and the Amarna letters, via the Ashurite ruler, Shamshi-Adad II). This reconstruction independently dates these very rulers as contemporaries. Just a little consideration will demonstrate the superiority of this paradigm in dealing with this evidence — which has the force of independent validation: it is most reasonable that the stele would refer to the exploits of recent and contemporaneous kings, as my reconstruction shows these rulers to be. We will read more of this stele when we discuss Pahir, and then Shutruk II.
Because a large gap is inserted into this land's history, we find scholars wondering at the fact that the only Elamite tablet within "a thousand years" comes from that same Siwe (c. 1047 / *1770 bc) of the stele. This tablet is important “because idioms contained in it are not used again for *six hundred years, and then — significantly — without linguistic variation. The historian is constantly staggered by the conservative habits of the Elamites; some scholars would prefer to question the authenticity of this inscription . . .”[xlii] The "600" years forward (from Siwe of the *1700's to Shutruk I of the 1100's) are really about a century, from Siwe of the eleventh century back to Shutruk I of the twelfth. This interval cannot honestly be said to represent a "profound silence".
Again, scholars wonder at the Shutrukid “resurgence in the *13th cent. bc [which] included a revival of [the Elamite language] for royal inscriptions and private contracts, which was maintained into the [Persian] Achaemenid era.”[xliii] When we correct the misunderstandings, we see that there was no unusual conservation of idioms, nor any resurgence of the Elamite tongue since there had been no decline in its use.
Kuter-Nahhunte "I" 1005 / *1725 bc
We find this king 700 years out of place, called "the First" by historians, but in actuality following by 150 years the Kutir-Nahhunte "II" of the Shutrukids. Hammurabi's grandson Abieshukh was the contemporary of the Eparti Kuter. “Although Kutir-Nahhunte I [actually the second] raided Babylon, ca. *1725 bc [c. 1005], Hammurabi's successors seem to have held some dominion over Elam until their dynasty was ended ca. *1595 bc [c. 880].”[xliv] It is believed that during this period Elam had disintegrated into a cluster of city-states, easily dominated by even the weak rulers of Babylonia.
We encounter Kuter again, from the Ninevite perspective, when Ashurbanipal reports (c. 646 bc) that quite like the Shutrukid Kutir "II", “Kuter-Nahhunte of the Elamites . . . . laid hand on the shrines of Akkad, and levelled Akkad to the ground.”[xlv] The Elamite removed the idol of the goddess Nanaia in 1005/ *1725, and Asherbanipal recovered the idol only three-and-a-half centuries later, although he writes that the goddess “had been angry for one thousand, six hundred and thirty-five years . . .”[xlvi] It is self-evident that Asherbanipal's dating is in error (five times too large), since this event is supposed by conventional dating to have occurred no more than 1,075 years before Ashurbanipal — his error by standard reckoning being 560 years. The date would be *2281 bc if counted as Asherbanipal reckons. This is an example of the common error of later scribes, in adding up as successive the years of contemporaneous kings.
This exhausts our knowledge of the line of the Eparti. Using the scheme presented here, the names in the Eparti table could be re-arranged to fill in the gap of the 900's bc — but this is outside our scope.
Switching to the correct, Ninevite timeline, we know that following the Sealand II or Pasha dynasty (1022-1001), and the Basu dynasty (1001-981), the brief Elamite rule over Babylonia is recognized, of Marbiti-apal-usur (981-975), followed by Dynasty H. None of these governments is well-understood. We must notice that there is indeed a true silence or obscurity in Babylonia, lasting throughout the height of Israel's power under David and Solomon. We might expect that Israel played some role in Elam's obscurity of this time.
The characteristic confusion of history is dramatically at work when dealing with the Eparti. While we maintain that the Shutrukids and the Eparti were consecutive houses, standard chronology separates them by *600 years, with the intervening Kassite "dark age" of *400 years. While everyone agrees that the Shutrukids started to reign around 1200 bc, the house which supposedly ruled long before, actually ruled immediately after, and the "Kassite dark age" is a fiction — an invention to rescue an invalid paradigm.
The true Dark Age of the 9th century
The Old Babylonian dynasty of Hammurabi “came to its end after the retreat of the Hittites, when Agun II, King of the Kassites, occupied Babylon in *1593 [c. 877 bc], thus putting an end to Babylonian supremacy over Elam.”[xlvii] (For clarity, note that Babylon fell to a coalition of Elamites, Kassites and Hittites in 879/ *1595/ c. **1370; this is from the perspectives of the corrected *Old Babylonian/ **Ashurite-Kassite timelines. This coalition is somehow reminiscent of the Elamite / Aramaean / Chaldean coalition mounted against Shamshi-Adad V in 821.) What is it that happened during the *150 years which are invented and placed between Agun and the next Elamite line? “We have no idea. The end of the Eparti dynasty is shrouded in a mystery as profound as that which surrounded the downfall of the earlier dynasties of Awan and Simashiki.”[xlviii] This mystery is answered by realizing that standard chronology has invented the so-called "Kassite dark age" which supposedly followed the Eparti and the fall of Old Babylon. The wayward Igehalkid dynasty is placed in this "dark age", but by this reconstruction we see that the Igehalkids actually followed the Shutrukid dynasty, and is lost in the murk of the ninth century.
“It is generally admitted that after the end of the First Dynasty in Babylon, and following upon the death of Shamshi Adad I in Assyria, there begins a period of great obscurity. The former abundance of documents ceases as though some catastrophe had paralysed the ordinary lives of these countries. No text reveals the true causes of this overthrow . . . . Undoubtedly there was an abrupt change in the locality of our sources. It is no longer at Malamir, in Susiana, but at Liyan, several hundred miles to the south-east, that the next [Igehalkid] Elamite texts reappear. We have no means of estimating the lapse of time involved here . . .”[xlix]
What seems clear is that Elam — along with the entire Near East — was undergoing a change of ethnicity, as reflected in the Malamir texts. “Certain of the attested names could be Hurrian, while others could be Kassite, Lullian, Gutian or Subarian. They indicated that Susiana was directly affected by the invaders, and it is likely that there was a considerable Hurrian proportion among these.”[l]
In any event, consider the disarray: during the Kassite "dark age", Hammurabi's line (lasting into the *1500's bc) controlled Eparti Elam (through the 870's) after the time of the Shutrukids (1100's), who were followed by the Igehalkid Elamites and Ashurites of c. **1300. How's that for confusing? We have three separate timelines running, all trying to describe the same time.
From the Old Babylonian perspective, during the disunity brought on by Kassite Babylonia, Elam “suffered pressure from Indo-Aryan invaders in the east and north. The Medes gradually settled N of Elam, the Persians in the southeast, around Pasargadae and Persepolis. . . .[The] darkness that hangs over the following centuries of Babylonian history is shared by Elam.”[li] In this "darkness", the Kassites are said to have had a presence in Elam, with the ‘Eparti’ dynasty just fading away within a century, supposedly leaving Elam a cluster of city-states. It is correct that Hurrians and Kassites out of the north appear in Susa, and in some regions may have been predominant. A "barbaric" Hurrian influence becomes apparent on Elamite seals at this time. We see in this Old Babylonian shadow that the Hurrians and Kassites are quite similar to the Medes and Persians — all from the north, all of the same era — the 800's.
From the Ninevite perspective, the “beginnings of the Arian immigration into Iran may be traced back to the period around 1000 bc. The Medes and Persians first occupied the area that was once Gutium and is now Persian Kurdestan. Here they were met for the first time by the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III in 835 bc.”[lii]
Igehalkids — 880's-c. 742? / **1350-1222 bc; key: Ashur, "dark age"
Elam of the true dark age after the year 900 bc is indeed obscure. For this era, Elamite chronology depends “on Babylonian chronology. We know that Ammisaduqa [c. 930-910 / *1646-1626] and Kuknashur were contemporary, and that the texts of Malamir overlap the end of the First Dynasty of Babylon. Events occurring just before the foundation of the new Elamite dynasty are known to us though the texts of Kurigalzu II [863-852 / **1345-24 – the Kassite conqueror]. Therefore the interval between these two periods in Elamite history depends on the dates assigned to Ammisaduqa and Kurigalzu II and there is little agreement on these dates. Some authors consider that at least four centuries separate the two kings, thereby leaving a blank of over four hundred years in Elamite history, whereas others reduce the gap considerably by lowering the date of Hammurabi and adopting a less rigid chronology for the early Kassite kings.”[liii] It is clear that by this reconstruction, no significant number of years passed "between these two periods". Not four or three hundred years, but 50 or 60, separated these kings, of Hammurabi's line and the Kassite.
Ige-Halke 870 / **1350
Humban-Numena c. 795 / **1275
Unpatar-DGAL (c. 760's? / **1245)
Kidin-Khutran (brother) 760's? / **1244-1222
As for historical details, “Such information as we possess concerning Elam, from the intermediate period, is of only the slightest importance for history.”[liv] Eagamil, last king of the Sealand, invaded Elam c. 866 / **1348, and was later defeated by the Kassite, Ulamburiash, brother of Kashtiliash.[lv] Next, the “final and the most terrible event of the Kassite "dark ages" in Elam was the conquest of Susa by Kurigalzu II . . .”[lvi] Hurpatila, king of Elammat, is mentioned in no other source than the late Chronical P, and is “otherwise totally unknown”,[lvii] but scholars speculate that he headed a brief kingdom in western Elam; all we know of him is that his name suggests a Hurrian origin. Our reconstruction demands that we look for Hurpatila in the 9th / *16th century, perhaps among the Eparti, near the end of Hammurabi's line.
As for Kurigalzu II, this Kassite conqueror, grandson of the Ashurite king Ashur-uballit, ruled by our reckoning just a few years after the fall of Hammurabi's Old Babylonian dynasty (c. 879 / *1595). It seems that c. 850 / **1330, Hurpatila gathered an army at Dur-Shulgi in eastern Sealand and verbally challenged the Kassite, but his rebellion was summarily squelched and he was pursued into Elam where Kurigalzu captured Susa; various monuments and artifacts corroborate these details.
After this episode, circumstances conspired to allow Elam to reunify under a new dynasty, since the Kassite “Babylonians became uneasy at the fresh aggressive tendencies of Assyria under [the Ashurite kings] Arik-den-ili ([c. 840-/] **1319-1308) and Adad-nirari I ([c. 830-/] **1307-1275) and turned their gaze away from a land which they might think subdued [Elam,] towards frontiers more immediately threatened. Later native sources attributed the founding of this [Elamite] dynasty to a certain Ike-Khalgki”[lviii] (Ige-Halki – c. 875? / c. **1350 bc), the patriarch (probably a Hurrian from Malamir) who sired the first two kings of this dynasty, which was contemporaneous with the final century of the Ashurites.[lix] It seems unlikely that Hurpatila would be Ige‑Halki, since executed kings do not usually establish dynasties. Most likely, Ige-Halki was a local ruler who rose to prominence after the death of Hurpatila. We have seen already that the Shutrukids dynasty which supposedly follows, actually preceded the Igehalkids by about three centuries.
Ige-Halki's son was Pahir-Ishshan (c. 854?- c. 810's / **1330‑?1290's), who ruled in the days of the Kassite, Nazimaruttash (**1323-1298). It is Pahir-Ishshan who is noted on that monument which referred to Pala-Ishshan (c. 1050 / **1560 bc) and Siwe-Palar-Huhpak (c. 1035 / *1755), rulers actually only two centuries his elders, rather than the supposed two- and four-centuries. The translator of this inscription notes its difficulty, and then states: “If I have understood the passage right, it describes Pahir-Ishshan as the prince 'who has established the peace of Elam'.”[lx] The inscription goes on to tell of Pahir's quest for land and plunder, and of his raising of the memorial stele in Ayahitek, where Shutruk II found it not five, but only one century later.
From the insight we gain from our corrected chronology, it appears that we also meet Pahir in a Ninevite inscription, imagined to be “the first historical notice of [Elam] since the sack of Susa”[lxi] by Nebuchadnezzer I in the 12th century. This text is from 821 bc, “when the Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad V overcame an army composed of Elamites, Chaldees and Armaics.”[lxii] The Elamite adversary referred to in the "silence breaking" inscription may well be Pahir, waging those wars by which he claimed to have established peace. Note the confusing similarity between Pahir-Ishshan's name, and that of Pala-Ishshan, the ruler he honors on his stele. The confusion is not in the least eased by the similarities between the names of a number of key Ninevite and Ashurite kings.
Pahir was succeeded by his brother Attar-Kittakh, who was probably a contemporary of the Kassite, Kadashman-Targu (**1297-1280). Where Pahir was active apparently only in the region of Aakhitic, his brother extended his influence into Susa. An artifact found at Susa tells us that he was "king of Susa and Anzan"; another was partially overwritten by Untash-dGAL.
The Elamite resurgence under the Igehalkid dynasty reached maturity in the time of Humban-Numena (c. ?810-790 / **1285-66) when Elam was again united; he styles himself with many impressive titles. A bead found in a well of the sixth city of Susa bears his name, and he was reported to have built a temple there, although inscriptions bearing his name are found not in Susa, but at the backwater of Liyan, almost 250 miles to the southeast. Since the name Humban-Numena was known to Shilhak-Inshushinak of the 12th century, as we have seen, we must conclude that not all such references refer to this specific individual. As for his capital, its location is not known.[lxiii]
His son was Untash-dGAL (c. ?780-760's / c. *1250’s; dGAL is a Sumerian sign meaning "god-great", in this case read either as ‘Humban’ or as ‘Napirisha’). A stele of his was collected by Shutruk II. During his rule, the Akkadian tongue was increasingly written, and well-written, and Elamite temples were modeled after those of the west, both suggesting an increased — indeed, an intimate[lxiv] — Semitic influence. Untash was probably a peer of the Ashurite Shalmaneser I (**1274-1245) and the Kassite Babylonian Kadashman-Enlil (**1279-1265) and Kudur-Enlil (**1263-1255). Untash was a great builder, and his capital was Dur-Untash, which he founded and named for himself. For much of his reign, he appears to have been at peace with the west, although his building activities in Susa suggest that he had an eye toward Babylonia. Eventually, in or after the time of Kashtiliash IV, he seized upon the vulnerability of the west, and raided Kassite-controlled Babylonia east of the Tigris; evidence of this boldness remains in a mutilated idol found in Susa, captured from Babylon.
Unpatar-dGAL ruled next in Elam, and while he was not a son of Untash, he was probably an uncle, since his father is given as Pahir-Ishshan, who ruled in the previous generation. Only two Elamite sources speak of Unpatar, referring to his restoration of a temple in Susa. But Ashurite records are clear in their implication that Unpatar was no warrior, and Elam under his rule waned significantly. The final significant Ashurite king, Tukulti-Ninurta "I" (c. 760's-20's / **1244-1208 bc), pressed into the Zagros Mountains and south towards the sea, capturing the Kassite king Kashtiliash IV and annexing cities claimed by Babylonia and Elam — indeed, some sources say he set up a vassal king in Susa.
The last strike for Igehalkid power came from Kitin-Hutran (c. 764-742? / **1244-1222), brother of Unpatar-dGAL and child of the old age of Pahir. The Ashurite Tukulti-Ninurta had placed Enlil-Nadin-Shumi, a vassal of Kastilliash IV, on the throne of Babylon after Kastilliash died. In c. **1240, when the aggressive Kitin raided Nippur and slaughtered all the inhabitants, and then sacked Der and razed its famous temple, the Kassite fled. Tukulti regained control of Babylonia (**1240) and placed two more puppets on the throne — the Kassite Kadashman-Arbe, followed after a year-and-a-half by the Babylonian Adad-shuma-iddina (**1224-1219). But when Adad-Shuma-Usur (**1218-1189) came to rule Babylon, Kitin struck again, taking Isin and other cities northward. This provoked Tukulti into marching on Elam. These facts come only from non-Elamite sources, since as yet “no contemporary Elamite documents of the time of Kidin-Khutran have been found in the excavation.”[lxv] In any case, Tukulti-Ninurta eventually won out, “and marched triumphantly 'to the southern shores of the Lower Sea.'”[lxvi]
As for details, “We do not know what happened next; it is only certain that Kitin-Hutran vanished abruptly from the historical scene, and with him the dynasty of the Igehalkids. There may have been a period of temporary internal chaos in Elam; in any case a new dynasty soon appears.”[lxvii] This new dynasty is wrongly imagined to be the Shutrukids of three centuries before. We shall shortly see that the "abrupt disappearance" of Kitin appears (by the independent outworkings of this reconstruction) to have occurred in 742, the exact year in which Humban-Nikash of the correctly-dated "Later Elamite Kingdom" gained the throne.
In trying to unkink the loops in the timeline, we observe that conventional chronology imagines after the Igehalkids yet another "dark age", around **1200, supposedly lasting for a "half century". This half century of obscurity includes the aftermath of Tukulti-Ninurta's fall, including the struggle between Ashur's hapless Enlil-kudurri-usur (**1197-1193) and Babylon's Adad-shuma-usur (**1218-1189), who managed to plant on the throne of Ashur another king, Ninurta-apli-Ekur (**?1192-1180). After this, Assyrian chronology loops back on itself and resumes with the correctly dated Ashur-dan I, c. 1179.[lxviii] No contact with Elam at this time is recorded, which "dark age" allows for the chronological confusion.
As with Assyria, Elamite standard chronology tries to catch up with itself by back-tracking and inserting the correctly-dated 12th century bc house of Shutruk-Nahhunte I, which itself ended with the true, grossly misunderstood dark age of the 10th to 8th centuries. These "dark" centuries were actually filled with the Epartis (of the 900's / *1500's — the "Kassite Dark Age") and the Igehalkids (880's-720's / **1350-1200 — Ashurite-Kassite timeline). All this we have seen. When time has finally caught up with itself — after the Shutrukids, and the ignored Epartis and Igehalkids — the final Elamite era comes into reasonably clear focus.
"The Later Elamite Kingdom" 759-640 bc; key: Neo-Assyria, correct
After the disappearance (c. 742? / **1222 bc) of the Igehalkid king Kitin-Hutran, a new Elamite house filled the void, exactly as we would expect — but rather than the much earlier Shutrukids, this new government is called the "Later Elamite Kingdom". The repetition of Shutrukid names suggests that this latter kingdom may have been a return to power of that ancient line — but it may merely indicate a tendency to name kings after former kings — who were, of course, named after gods. There is no problem with the chronology of the "Later Elamite Kingdom," but I will give some details because several of these kings interact with characters known from the Bible.
This kingdom of Elam is imagined to have emerged from a long dark age. It is true that the last dynasty of Elam emerged (c. 759 bc) after an era of disintegration and bitter quarrels which ravaged the royal house, but this start is confused with the "dark age" following Hutelutush (1110), and with the final days of the Eparti (c. *1500) and of the Igehalkids (**1222). Stupefying as all this may be, the fact is clear that during the era preceding the Later Elamites, the prince of western Elam had come to be considered the king of Elam.
Only “a few dominant characters emerge from the gloom which, from an historical point of view, surrounded the Later Elamite kingdom. Among them was its real founder, King Humban-Nikash, who ruled Elam for twenty-five years, up to 717 bc.”[lxix] There are no surviving Elamite texts about him, but the Babylonian Chronicle tells us that, in the year 742 bc, “King Humban-Nikash ascended the throne in Elam.”[lxx]
Recall that 742 is the very **1222 which ended the reign of Kitin-Hutran of the Igehalkids — whether or not this coincidence hints at some "bitter quarrel" is moot. Just as Kitin of the Igehlkids destroyed the temple at Der (**1240 / c. 760) in the time of the Ashurite Tukulti-Ninurta and the Kassite Kastilliash IV, notice that some 40 years later, in the battle of Der (720 bc), Humban of the "Later Elamite Kingdom" (with aid from Merodach-Baladan of Babylon) defeated the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II. For all the gloom and confusion with which the standard paradigm befuddles us, we may all agree that the last Act of Elamite history followed this battle, which halted for a time the southward advance of Sargon II (invigorated by his own ascendance over the Ashurite Tukulti-Ninurta).
After Humban I, his nephew ruled in Elam: Shutur-Nahhunte, who changed his name to Shutruk-Nahhunte II (717-699 bc); this change was ignored by many of his peers, and even by his vassals. He controlled a large part of southern Mesopotamia, and it is he rather than his like-named predecessor who collected the stele of Hammurabi and the others of which we have read. The confusion as to his identity is evident, even in his own time, in his name change.
As we have seen, Shutruk II was a great collector, and he transported (probably from Chogha-Zanbil) a stele set up by the Igehalkid king Untash-Napirisha[lxxi] (-dGAL; c. 760 / c. **1240 bc) whom we have met already; note that this transportation is normally attributed to the previous Shutruk. Shutruk also removed the stele of Pahir (c. ?860 / **1330), to which he added an inscription: “I am Shutruk-Nahhunte, son of Hallutush-Inshushinak, King of Anshan and Susa . . .”[lxxii] Notice that the father of Shutruk-Nahhunte II, like that of Shutruk-Nahhunte I, was called Hallutush-Inshushinak; the latter Shutruk may in part have been inspired to change his name for this reason — to further emphasize his similarity to his great, eponymous predecessor. It was Shutruk's uncle who had been king, and to what extent his father controlled the land and ruled is ambiguous; grammatically, the inscription is saying that it was Shutruk who was king of Anshan and Susa, and the mention of his father was merely for identification.
In his inscrption, Shutruk tells of his search for the land in which Pahir's stele was hidden, which land (after 150 rather than 650 years) "no one knew how to find." He inquired of his father, who had no memory of the place. This is considered remarkable since the father “cannot possibly still have been alive at the time”.[lxxiii] But given that it is not the first, but the second Shutruk who is writing, it may not be so remarkable after all. Finding the stele of Pahir in Ayahitek, Shutruk says he “took it into my protection and kept the vanquished land as my kingdom.”[lxxiv]
The stele seems to have had the force of a deed, much to be sought — perhaps analogous to the teraphim of Jacob's day, which acted as deeds of the land. They were apparently presumed to have the power of conferring blessings: “For my well-being, I set up the memorial stone before my god Inshushinak, and to honour him have set his name upon it.”[lxxv] That steles need not be inscribed is indicated by Shutruk's statement on a certain stele which he found: “I do not know which king set it up.”[lxxvi] At least in some cases, then, these steles are merely the upright stones supposed to be phallic symbols.
In 710 bc, Sargon II drove Shutruk into the mountains and then marched into Babylonia. According to the Babylonian Chronicle, “Merodach-baladan had ruled over Babylon for twelve years. Now Sargon ascended its throne. Merodach-baladan, at the head of his great ones, fled to Elam.”[lxxvii] Sargon died in 705, succeeded by Sennacherib. Two years later, Merodach and the Elamites defeated the Assyrians and Merodach-Baladan regained his throne. But his gains were short-lived, and even with the aid of 80,000 Elamite archers (cf. Is 22:6, Jer 49:35), he was routed by Sennacherib, and Elamite territory was lost to the Assyrians. In 700 bc, Merodach sent his emissaries to Hezekiah (2K 20:12), looking for allies against Assyria, but shortly afterwards Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem, which itself had been leaning on Egypt. That same year, Merodach fled before the Assyrians to the Elamite coast, where he died. In the following year (699), the son of Sennacherib was installed as king in Babylon.
Meanwhile, Hallutush-Inshushinak II (699-693 bc), brother of Shutruk-Nahhunte II, usurped the throne and continued to accept refugee royals from Babylonia. In the Elamite's fifth year (694) Sennacherib marched to stop this undermining and took control of the Sealands, but Hallutush countered by sacking Sippar and capturing the king of Babylon, Sennacherib's son. Boldly, he placed Nergal-Ushezib on the Babylonian throne. But, in turn, Sennacherib retook Babylon and carried its Elamite-appointed king to Assyria as a prisoner.
Hamban-Nimern, the son of Hallutush, became the next king of Elam. Of a battle in 691, Sennacherib claims that “Hamban-nimern, the King of Elam, and Mushezib-Marduk, the King of Babylon, both abandoned their tents and, to save their own lives, drove over the bodies of their fallen troops . . . . When I saw that the two had (out of fear) defecated into their chariots, I let them go and spared their lives . . .”[lxxviii] The Babylonian Chronicle, on the other hand, claims that it was the Assyrians who were defeated (albeit not defecated). Elam had been hired to restore Babylon, and among its troops were mentioned for the first time the Persians, apparently recent to their land. Their king was Achaemenes, founder of the house of Cyrus and Darius.
The next king of Elam was Kudur-Nahhunate — a name identical with Kutir "II" (c. 1160 bc) and Kuter "I" (c. 1005 / *1725), making him "the Third". He lost much territory and lasted less than a year. A rebellion made a king of Humban-Numena ("II"), but when the indecisive battle of Halule was fought, east of the Tigris, Humban suffered a seizure and died 10 months later (688 bc). This time the Assyrians were able to capture Babylon, and took its king captive to Nineveh.
Two kings named Hamban-Haldash followed (688-681 and 681-674 bc); the Babylonian records list the latter by the name of the former, but the Elamite records give him another name. Meanwhile, in 681 Sennacherib was assassinated by his son Essarhaddon. The Elamite king raided Sippar in 675, and died shortly afterwards. His brother, Urtaki (674-664), took the throne and returned some of the captured idols to Babylonia, and in return received famine-relief from Assyria. But in 665 the detente was broken by an Elamite raid into southern Mesopotamia, while the main body of the Assyirian army (now under Ashurbanipal) was engaged in Egypt. But then, fortuitously, the Elamite king died.
Tempt-Humban-Inshushinak II usurped power in 664 bc, and became supreme in Elam. He was known as Te-Umman in his enemy Ashurbanipal's numerous inscriptions, which are the only records of this king. In the first part of his rule he enlarged his kingdom to the north and southeast, into the territory of the Persians. Against all tradition, he sought to imprison the relatives of his former co-ruler, but these nephews fled to Assyria and were granted asylum. In 653, Te-Umman was stricken with seizures of some sort, perhaps epileptic. Yet he launched an attack into Mesopotamia, which was repulsed and then countered by Assyria. The usurper was executed after this defeat, from which Elam never recovered.
Humban-Nikash (653 bc) — heir of Urtaki — was installed, but he rebelled against his Assyrian overlord and allied himself with the king of Babylon, Shamash-Shum-Ukin. In 651 his cousin Tammaritu usurped the throne, only to lose it to a rebellious general, Indabigash, who sought peace with Assyria. In 648 the newly enthroned regent of Susa, Hamban-Haldash III (called Ummanaldasi in the Assyrian records), deposed the general, but was himself deposed by the return of Tammaritu in 647. In the following year, Ashurbanipal ravaged Elam, and the last known king of Elam lost his throne to rebellion c. 644, and fled to Assyria for refuge. The kings which Ashurbanipal placed over Elam succeeded only in watching it later be destroyed by that same Assyrian.
“During the early years of the seventh century, the Persians disassociated themselves from the Medes, who were of shared ancestry, and migrated to the east where they occupied the area of Parsa, named after them (Persis in Greek) . . .”[lxxix] Weakened by Persia on the east and Assyria to the north, Elam crumbled in 640 bc. The people of Susa and Elam were deported to Samaria (Ezra 4:9), where they intermarried with the indigenous Hebrews, creating the hated, "half-breed" Samaritans. At the death of Ashurbanipal in 629, the Medes — in what had been Gutium but became known as Kurdestan — rose to prominence; their king Kyazares allied himself with Nabopolassar of Babylonia to conquer Nineveh in 612 bc. In 550 Cyrus the Great surpassed the Medes, and in 539 he took Babylonia. After this, Elam was absorbed as a provence of Persia, and never again knew independence.
Now, you should be asking yourself if all this is correct. Since you do not know the Elamite tongue (and neither do I), and since, even if you had heard of Elam before, it is unlikely that you could have located it on a map, how then can you know whether or not I am correct in my reconstruction? — which is, by any standard, utterly revolutionary. We do not take up revolution lightly — it is a very grave matter. So how can any of us be sure that my version of history is correct?
In a sense, we can only let the evidence speak for itself. I have already laid out the facts, and I affirm that I have dealt with every potential problem I could find. A rather minor amount of independent reading will reveal that I have suppressed nothing, and have not stacked the evidence to make myself sound right at the expense of the standard paradigm.
But I offer the further verification, of elegance. You need not be a historian of ancient civilization to recognize the cumbersome dark ages blotched onto the standard construction. You need not be one of the few scholars who can read Elamite, to understand the many announcements made by historians lamenting the confusion and obscurity of Elamite history. I have sought to bring order to the chaos. I have tried to bring a sort of grace to the grotesque. I would be Rembrandt, to the standard Picasso — both were brilliant, but only one was realistic. In terms of the facts, I have painted as unbiased a picture of standard history as I am capable, and you must decide for yourself if the warts that I reveal are beauty marks or melanomas.
[i].Hinz, The Lost Kingdom of Elam, p. 69.
[iii]. CAH, II,2, p. 382.
[vi]. A.R. Millard, "Elam," International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 50.
[vii]. A.R. Millard, ibid.
[xiii]. CAH, II,2, p. 484.
[xiv]. CAH, II,2, p. 486.
[xv]. CAH, II,2, p. 484; citing G. Husing, Die einheimischen Quellen zur Geschichte Elams (Leipzig, 1916), 52, no. 20.
[xvi]. CAH, II,2, p. 484.
[xvii]. Ency. Brit., Vol. 11, p. 979.
[xviii]. CAH, II,2, p. 487.
[xx]. H. Tadmor, "Historical Implications of the Correct Rendering of Akkadian daku," JNES, Vol. 17 (1958), pp. 129ff, (K. 2660), obv. 14; cited in CAH, II,2, p. 487.
[xxi]. CAH, II,2, p. 488; comma added after "chief".
[xxii]. In H. Tadmor, "Historical Implications of the Correct Rendering of Akkadian daku," JNES, Vol. 17 (1958), pp. 129ff, (K. 2660), obv. 4ff; cited in CAH, II,2, p. 487.
[xxiii]. In Hinz, p. 126.
[xxiv]. See J. Jordan, 'Erster vorlaufiger Bericht uber die ... in Uruk-Warka ... Ausgrabungen,' in Abhandlungen der Preussischen (Bayerischen etc.) Akademie der Wissenshaften, Phil.-hist. Klasse (1929), no. 7, plates 15-17; cited in CAH, II,2, p. 487.
[xxv]. CAH, II,2, p. 488.
[xxvi]. CAH, II,2, p. 495.
[xxvii]. See CAH, II,2, pp. 489‑493.
[xxviii]. . Ebeling, B. Meissner, and E.F. Weidner, eds., Reallexikon der Assyriologie, Vol. II (Berlin and Leipzig, 1938), p. 52b; in CAH, II,2, p. 490.
[xxix]. CAH, II,2, p. 491.
[xxx]. CAH, II,2, p. 492; "nearby" is corrected from "near by".
[xxxi]. CAH, II,2, p. 500; citing G. Husing, Die einheimishen Quellen zur Geschichte Elams, Leipzig, 1916, p. 84ff, nos. 60‑65.
[xxxiii]. CAH, II,2, p. 501.
[xxxvii]. CAH, II,2, p. 503.
[xl]. Hinz, pp. 122 & 112.
[xli]. CAH, II,2, p. 484.
[xlviii]. Hinz, pp. 99-100.
[xlix]. CAH, II,2, p. 379.
[liii]. CAH, II,2 p. 380.
[liv]. CAH, II,2, p. 381.
[lv]. See L.W. King, Chronicles concerning Early Babylonian Kings (London, 1907), ii, pp. 22ff.
[lviii]. CAH, II,2, p. 383; paragraph break ignored before "Later..."
[lxiii]. CAH, II,2, p. 384.
[lxiv]. CAH, II,2, p. 386.
[lxv]. CAH, II,2, p. 388.
[lxvi]. CAH, II,2, p. 389.
[lxviii]. Cf. CAH, II,2, p. 483.
[lxxiv]. In Hinz, p. 123.
[lxxvi]. In Hinz, p. 123.
[lxxvii]. In Hinz, p. 145.
[lxxviii]. In Hinz, p. 150.
[lxxix]. Hinz, pp. 138-9.