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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Elamite Art : Elamite Silver Head of an Ape
Elamite Silver Head of an Ape - cb.2968
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1100 BC to 600 BC

Collection: Near Eastern
Style: Elamite

Location: Great Britain
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Neo-Elamite Period 1100 - 539 BC[edit] The Neo-Elamite period is further subdivided into Neo-Elamite I(1100-770BC),Neo-Elamite II(770- 646BC) and Neo-Elamite III periods (646-539BC) Very little is known about the Neo-Elamite I period. During this period, there seems to have been constant wars between the Elamites and Babylonians on one side and the Assyrians on the other. The Neo-Elamite II period witnessed the migration of the present-day Iranians into the Iranian plateau. The first historical references to the Medes (Mada) date to 835BC when they are mentioned in an inscription of ShalmanesserII, King of Assyria, who relates that after having subjugated the Zimri who held the Zagros Mountains he lead an expedition to Media and defeated the Medes. The Assyrian chronicles also mention the Parsu or the Persians living on the south- eastern shore of Lake Urmia in the year 844BC. Susa-destruction.jpg In the late 8th century BC, the Elamites allied with the Babylonian king Merodach-baladan against the Assyrians but were defeated by Shutruk-Nakhkhunte II (716-699BC) in 710BC. In 700BC, the Assyrian ruler Sennacherib dethroned Merodach-baladan and installed his own son on the Babylonian throne. Another battle was fought between the Babylonians and the Assyrians at Halule in 691BC which ended without either side achieving victory. There was continuous warfare betweent the Elamites and the Assyrians during the reigns of Elamite monarchs Khumma-Kaldash I and Khumma-Kaldash II. Urtaku (674-664BC) maintained friendly relations with the Assyrians but during the end of his reign, the Elamites launched an invasion of Mespotamia and the Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal responded by counter- attacking Elam and killing Urtaku's successor in 653BC. In this same year the Mede state to the north fell to the Scythians, immediately displacing the Parsu tribe to Anshan, which their king Teispes captured that same year. Civil war broke out in Elam and the government was rendered unstable. Perceiving his chance, Assurbanipal launched a massive invasion of Elam in 646BC and destroyed Susa altogether.In a tablet unearthed in 1854 by Henry Austin Layard, Ashurbanipal boasts of the destruction he had wrought: "Susa, the great holy city, abode of their Gods, seat of their mysteries, I conquered. I entered its palaces, I opened their treasuries where silver and gold, goods and wealth were amassed...I destroyed the ziggurat of Susa. I smashed its shining copper horns. I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur. I devastated the provinces of Elam and on their lands I sowed salt." However, the destruction wrought wasnt so great as Assurbanipal claims in this inscription of his. The Elamites revived and ruled Susa till its conquest by Cyrus the Great in 539BC. This last period, when Elam was ruled by a set of weak kings is known as the Neo-Elamite III period. - (cb.2968)


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