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
We read of
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
Strangest of all in
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
Peli-Awan (1900-1650-1450 / *2600-2370-2170 bc) key:
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
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
Kings of Shimashki
Girnamme (|| Shu-Sin); Lurak‑Luhhan (|| Ibbi-Sin of
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
The Mesopotamian sources regarding
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
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
Shutruk-Nahhunte I (1185-1155)
The heir of Hallutush-Inshushinak I was Shutruk-Nahhunte I, called one of the three greatest kings of
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
Shutruk turned his attention to
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
Kutir-Nahhunte "II" c. 1160-1140
In any event, Shutruk appointed as regent of
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
Kutir was an ambitious builder within his capital, but left many works unfinished. An item of cultural interest is found in the Susan
Shilhak-Inshushinak (1140?-1120? bc)
After Kutir, a "Pax Elama" was established within
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
Shilhak bore the venerable title "Enlarger of the Empire," and we have much detail of his extensive conquests in what is now eastern
Although Shutruk and Kutir had crushed
Hutelutush-Inshushinak (c. 1120?-1105? bc)
The incestuous customs of
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
A "Dark Age"
The picture which follows becomes very confused. From the correctly dated Ninevite perspective, with “this disaster
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
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
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
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
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
“It is generally admitted that after the end of the First Dynasty in
What seems clear is that
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
From the Ninevite perspective, the “beginnings of the Arian immigration into
Igehalkids — 880's-c. 742? / **1350-1222 bc; key: Ashur, "dark age"
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
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
After this episode, circumstances conspired to allow
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
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 [
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
The Elamite resurgence under the Igehalkid dynasty reached maturity in the time of Humban-Numena (c. ?810-790 / **1285-66) when
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
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
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
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
Tempt-Humban-Inshushinak II usurped power in 664 bc, and became supreme in
Humban-Nikash (653 bc) — heir of Urtaki — was installed, but he rebelled against his Assyrian overlord and allied himself with the king of
“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.
[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.