Tahere Shokri, K.a Niknami, year 0, Issue 0 (3-2023)
Seals are one of the most important archaeological data, being always considered in archeological and ancient art studies. As one of the most important archeological sites in Iran in different historical-cultural periods, especially the Elamite period, the ancient city of Susa has provided a lot of cultural-artistic data to archaeologists and art history experts, including seals. Findings from this ancient city, including the seals, indicate various artistic styles in the past, various styles of engraved seals, and iconography have a special place among this data that can express information in various fields such as symbols, myths, or narrative stories. In the Elamite period and especially the ancient Elam that is discussed in this article, we are faced with different artistic styles in the engraved seals. Styles that can express both the special Elamite art and in some cases have not been without the influence of the engraving styles of the neighboring land, i.e., Mesopotamia. Here is a selection of seals of the Old Elamite period of Susa (11 pieces) in this regard, which belongs to the National Museum of Iran, which are considered to study their images in terms of a specific cultural-artistic style to respond to the question indicating “whether the engravings of these seals of Old Elamite express a special narrative style!" The study, which is a library-museum method and is accompanied by a comparative analysis of images, can be a narrator of the power of “master of the animals” / or perhaps the best person in the society of that day in protecting the animals under his support against wild animals such as lions, somehow narrating its power with these illustrations.
The seal or sealing has always had an important meaning for archaeologists and art historians. The researcher can use them in indicating dates, subject analysis, determining customs, and sometimes even in understanding myths, and thus reconstructing a forgotten world in parts. In addition, by studying seals, complex administrative processes, business relationships, and cultural relationships may be somewhat understood (Neuman, 2013: 83). The use of a seal was a guarantee of authenticity, ownership, documentary participation in a legal exchange, or protection of goods against encroachment on individuals (Collon, 1990: 11).
No seals have been found in the 7-12 layers of the metropolitan area dedicated to the Susa IV period, but in any case, Le Bretonchr('39')s tabulation of seals without exact origin indicates the superiority of the Mesopotamian style of seals during the first half of the third millennium (Carter, 1980: 25; Carter, 1979: 453). The influence of Akkadian art on the seals of Iran / Elam - almost simultaneously with the Awan period - can be seen on a group of cylindrical seals of unknown origin, at least one of which is purchased in the Foroughi collection from Iran (Porada, 1964: 88 -93).
The form of wide shoulders and narrow waist and proportion of people in these seals is comparable to the examples of the Akkadian period. However, the equal distribution of people in the scenes of Iranian seals distinguishes them from the form of narrative distribution of people in the Akkadian seals, in which there were wide empty spaces in front of people (Porada, 1993: 486). The domination of the rulers of the third dynasty of Ur/ Ur III over Susa (from the last years of Shulgi rule on 2094-2097 BC) is reflected in the influence of the Mesopotamian sealing style on the seals of the rulers of Shimashki dynasty and the first kings of Sukkalmah (Porada, 1993: 486).
Based on the studies by researchers and comparative studies on several selected seals in the repository of the National Museum of Iran, this article will try to answer the question regarding whether the engravings of these seals of Old Elamite could express a special narrative style. The study was conducted by the library-museum method and was accompanied by the comparative analysis of images.
The seals selected from the National Museum of Iran, which are 11, can be divided into the following categories in terms of visual style and iconography:
Susa style (Susa IV), which includes the seals No.: 592.1 (Susa), 597 (Susa), 599 (Susa), 602 (Susa), and 601 (Susa) of this collection.
In the period of Old Elamite, we also see different styles, which we will discuss as follows:
Akkadian Related style, which includes the seals No. 607 (Susa), and 605.1 in this collection.
Popular Elamite style (Akkadian / Awan Related), which includes the seals No.: 619.1 (Susa), 619.2 (Susa), and 595 (Susa) in this collection.
Ur III Related / Susa V, which includes the only seal: 606 (Susa) in this style collection.
What can be seen in all the designs and images of the seals is the depiction of things that existed in the life and climate of the people of that period, which were influenced their thoughts and type of look, somewhat being the engraved designs affected by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of those people. Except for the scorpion motifs on the seals, which symbolized the insidious creatures and suffering or even indicated rebirth, they were often found in arid lands and could be related to the climate that had influenced the beliefs of the people of those lands. What most of the pictures in this collection tell us, is about the fight between humans and animals; a powerful human being against strong animals, perhaps to defend a weaker animal. The fight of man and lion, with the presence of animals such as goats and cows; An ideal narrative of superior personal power. These fighting scenes are often seen in the motifs of ancient Iran (and of course Mesopotamia) from the period before Elamite and Elamite to later periods, indicating the power of a superior person in most interpretations - in older periods, perhaps the of “master of the animals” or ruler and referring to the king in more recent periods.
On the one hand, the distinct and prominent presence of animals such as lions (or cats) being the symbol of power in the land of Elam - especially the Susa plain as a habitat of this animal - e and also the goats as a constant companion of humans from The agricultural period onwards, and also in this period. On the other hand, the need to protect the owned animals accompanied by man against hostile animals does not take the creation of such scenes out of the mind. Inspired by the issues and landscapes around him, the engraving artist used to create images, which ultimately led to a particular style. In these special cases, the battle scene is a kind of narrative of a superior person to show his superiority and power. Now, this person should be considered the ruler of animals to be sought in myths, or a powerful king that is present in the historical scenes.
Rouhollah Yousefi Zoshk, Sahar Yazdani, year 2, Issue 6 (3-2019)
Proto-Elamite writing system known as phase 2 in proto-writing system in the Iranian plateau. Unfortunately, in decipherment and interpretation of the Proto-Elamite texts, they are always Under the influence of their contemporaneous writing system, proto-cuneiform. With further study at this system, albeit they have a common ancestor, but we have to consider to its specific and unique properties like Ecological geography, subsistence system, social hierarchy and etc., that make this culture. Keywords: Proto-Elamite, Susa, Proto-Cuneiform, Tablet.
During the early French excavations of Susa, more than 1600 texts and fragments were found and were recognized to be a very early writing system (Dyson, 1968), and called the Proto-Elamite writing system (Scheil, 1900). After a while, Proto-Elamite texts have been found at sites across Iran. Due to the nature of the available radiocarbon data, the Proto-Elamite tablets can only to be dated with confidence to around 3300-3000 BC (Dahl, 2014:24). Current archaeological research suggests that many important sites across Iran were abandoned around 2800 BC. However, there is no consensus of how we understand the data, and we can here only note that there exist no samples of writing from Iran between the disappearance of Proto-Elamite writing system around 2900 BC and the introduction of cuneiform around 2300-2200 BC (Ibid:26).
Since Proto-Elamite texts record administrative transactions within a cultural and economic setting which is not entirely unknown to us, and since the scribes who wrote the texts had inherited certain bookkeeping techniques the content-specific numerical system, from their western neighbours in Mesopotamia, we can decipher the content of many texts. In 1978-79, Joran Friberg proposed a partial decipherment of a group of texts based on the number of cereal products found in these texts, the use of specific numerical systems, and the resemblance to text from Mesopotamia. Building on the results of him Peter Damerow and Robert K. Englund, a few years later proposed several sign identifications. Years after them, Jacob Dhal, also proposed a partial decipherment of sheep and goat terminology in Proto-Elamite texts(Ibid).
Though all these decipherments are true for part of these texts, but they consist of the relationship with Mesopotamian writing systems. Following this article, we can find at least two texts that could not verify all their signs and numerical systems match with that decipherment, and they could suggest that we need to review the decipherments manner with more Accuracy and independent from Mesopotamian texts.
MDP31, 33 and MDP31, 27
Both are administrative Proto-Elamite clay tablets and first published by Roland De Mecquenem in 1949 and keep in Louvre Museum.
In the seventh entry of MDP31, 33 texts, there is a string of signs: M024+M004+M218+M263~b+M038~a, that shows the owner(s) name of products M263~a which count with 2 N01. Because of the fading, it also might be two strings of names, but the important thing is the sign M263~b appeared in the string of the names and its very common in other texts that one sign which represents as products or workers, used as a syllable of the names. The other important thing like MDP31, 27 is behind the tablet, where we had an entry that normally should be the total account, but the entry contains sign M243~g which does not appear in the rest of the text and counting with numerical signs: N39b+1N24+1N30C and this number is not equal with this tablet’s front text. So, we can offer that, this tablet is not about the accounting of few products and their final total, but it represented several products that they had been donated to the warehouse (maybe the elite warehouse) and the sign M243~g is an introduction for the module and its size which, each product counts with this. The other suggestion for this Inequality can be: the products accounting with another numerical system that could not be recognised for us by now.
In MDP31,27, also, the above result could be true, but the other impressive difference in this text is the absences of the signs of owner(s) before product signs, which shows that all these products (grain and dairy which usually did not account together) belongs to the household or institute that came at header entry sign and that’s why the scriber didn’t need to separate them.
As a conclusion to sum up, the texts that were reviewed shows that hypothesis based on proto-cuneiform texts contemporary Proto-Elamite period which considered for the decipherment of these texts couldn’t be true and need more investigating.
In addition, the lake of material evidence from Proto-Elamite sites that showing their subsistence system and management system, hasty look and compare this period with its neighbors in Mesopotamia, Leads to more problems to its decipherment.
So, it’s worthy to consider in additional of Semantic structure, notice to the subsistence system, the economic and social hierarchy of the Proto-Elamite period.
So far, the assumption in the interpretation of Proto-Elamite texts has been revealed that everything on the tablet count should be accounted as their final total on the reverse the tablet exactly. But these two tablets presented that this rule might be a break and we might search on the new numerical system or consider them as text that contains products that offer to a warehouse, and this entrance wasn’t important as export from the warehouse or to have final total.
Kamal Aldin Niknami, Morteza Hessari, Tahereh Shokri, year 3, Issue 8 (9-2019)
The cultural period of the Proto-Elamite, due to the entry of the Iranian plateau into another phase of the urbanization period and having a number of writings indicating the beginning of writing in this land, is an important stage in the historical beginning of Iran. Since then, the Elamite period has received much attention due to the creation of the first Dynastic governments on the Iranian Land. The Sequence of the Proto-Elamite to the beginning of the Old Elamite period is based on the Elamite text, with some ambiguities and based on some information and data, including the Elamite text, stop is considered, and its evolution until the time of Old Elam is questionable but the sequence mentioned in Mesopotamian texts can be traced and reviewed. A study was carried out with the aim of examining the name of Elam, its land and its states in the period from the Proto-Elamite to Old Elamite in Mesopotamian texts, and the most important question in this research is to find out how the succession of the Elamite to Old Elamite was based on Mesopotamian texts during this period. Research alongside archaeological data confirms the existence of the Elam and Elam states in the third millennium B.C in Mesopotamian linguistic texts obtained at this time. The Present study has a qualitative and strategic system and is based on fundamental goals and is descriptive in terms of methodology. The method of collecting the findings was done in a library manner and all of them were extracted from valid source. The base for further analysis relies on library information and findings. Keywords: Proto-Elamite, Old Elamite, Mesopotamia, Sumerian Texts.
Proto-Elamite first found in Susa in Khuzestan, traditionally considered one of the capital of the Elam state. Identification of this cultural period goes back to the explorations of the Susa area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The texts of the beginnings of the third millennium Elam deal only with administrative, local matters and are the documents for the receipt and payment of grains, livestock’s and workers. After the Elamite period the volume of information and some of the features of this period have been excluded in some areas, the written documents do not clearly indicate the continuation of the course until the next stage, the Old Elamite. The Question in this study is how the succession of the Elamite to the Elamite period is based on Mesopotamian texts during this period. The excavations along with the archaeological findings confirm the existence of the name of Elam and its states in the third millennium B.C in the inter-linguistic texts obtained from this period. This research has a qualitative and strategic system and is based on descriptive method and with fundamental aims. The basis of further analysis relies on library information and findings.
The name of Ilam is clearly explored in Sumerian sources. Sumerian inscription from Mesopotamia around 2600- 2700 BC use the Sumerian legal NIM meaning king Islam, and these references can be traced back to the last king Avan and the Elamite tetts left over from the inscriptions of the Elamites themselves. The written from of the Islam land in the Sumerian cuneiform used the NIM .KI from which was spoken Elam (ma) the word NIM in Sumerian has several meanings, but because it is one of the NIM pronunciations in Akkadian elu, some orientalists have speculated that the word elam (ma) in sumerian elamtu in Akkadian must be an anonymous from of the verb root, and ilam was called the high land. Vocabulary list of the names of the gods of discovered from AbuSelabiq in southern Mesopotamia names a god named leugal NIM. NIM implies the state of Ilam as used here, so god’s name can be called king of Ilam . Other linguistic evidence from Mesopotamia, including the myth of the Arath land, also confirms the expansion of commerce and consequently increased cultural exchange.
In this discussion they have documented linguistic evidence in two parts of the cuneiform and pseudo- cuneiform texts on the relationship between Ilam and Mesopotamia. The mountainous part of the east was so important to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia that the Sumerian word Nim has been used in the Mesopotamian texts of the Uruk period for mountainous areas , especially the mountaineers of the Iranian plateau. Although complex forms of writing were invented in southern Mesopotamia and south western Iran in the 4th millennium BC, but until about 2500 BC, we cannot say precisely on the basis of written texts about the history of the region. During this period, events are based on royal inscriptions. Elamite words are visible in both Elamite and non -Elamite sources, and the Elamite vocabulary has been documented since the second half of the third millennium BC, but little information is known about the Elamites. The resources available for the history of the early Mesopotamian dynasty provide little insight into the research on the history of Ilam. These sources. Which some times refer to Ilam, Report most of the scattered wars between Ilam and Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC, which can be seen in later periods. Ilam was the most important and powerful neighbor of summer during the third millennium BC and lang after that.
What the documented literary sources indicate is the existence of a cultural, economic and hostile relationship between the Proto-Elamite to the Old Elamite not only did the Elam States exist but they were powerful enough to defend themselves against Mesopotamian and even attack Mesopotamia.
, Rouhollah Yousefi Zoshk, year 4, Issue 11 (6-2020)
The invention of writing is considered one of the hallmarks in the human eveloution. Writing has not been invented all at once. Indeed, it had a gradual process from the Neolithic period to the end of the fourth millennium BC. In its early stages, it was similar among the Middle Eastern cultures, but at the end of the fourth millennium BC and the formation of the states in Uruk, Khuzestan, and Fars, two writing systems (Proto-Elamite and cuneiform) were invented at a same time. Both scribes are rooted in a common communication system. Some words with exactly the same iconography are obtained in the scribes of two lands which have been translated with different semantic uses thank to the progress of decipherment. The purpose of this study is to investigate the phonetic structure between the common early scribes in the second half of the fourth millennium BC in West Asia, which paves the way for the emergence of literature in the coming centuries. By using a descriptive-analytical methodology, the authors try to deduce that the reason for the similarities in the writing systems of the both areas is becuause of their identical roots by finding the roots of writing in two lands and examining the reasons for the formation of the first differences arising from understanding the environment and archaeological data. Also, the reason for the semantic differences of the words with the same iconography is due to the diversity of social and subsistance changes between the Iranian plateau and southern Mesopotamia, as well as the linguistic differences between the two regions. Keywords: Proto-Writing, Cuneform, Proto-Elamite, Susa, Phonetic Value.
There are various theories about the origin of writing in Iran and the Middle East. Some argue that with the advancement of agriculture, rapid economic growth and lack of confidence in memory, the loss of many business and accounting information, and over-complexity of computing and business communications, the need to preserve information had increased. It was necessary to invent a way to maintain them. The invention of writing was not revolutionary nor suddenly is taken by an individual at a certain time; rather, it has evolved over several thousand years, and the period of Susa II and the emergence of complex societies and the specialization have greatly contributed to its growth. In the second half of the fourth millennium and early third millennium BC, tokens became more advanced, and were made in various forms with economic themes and were used in trade, then, the clay envelopes, also called bullae, became frequent. This clay envelopes date back to the mid-fourth millennium BC. Following the develepomental procees of the administrative system, the numerical tablets were invented.
The stages of writing up to the Susa II (Uruk) period were exactly the same, and from this period onwards the difference between the two scribes becomes apparent. The only major change of this period is the formation of a dense community in southern Mesopotamia. Since many ideograms were taken from the symbols around the environemnt, to better understand the roots of these differences, we need to fully understand the climate, environment and archaeological data of the two regions to comprehend these differences by taking the the environmental variety into account.
A) Mesopotamian climate in the fourth millennium BC: Mesopotamian communities due to alluvial soil and rich in minerals and nutrients that river water was washed from the surrounding mountains, in the field of agriculture and grain collection had access to surplus. On the other hand, the existence of large gardens near the permanent and water-rich rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates, vast pastures for sheep, goats and cattle, as well as abundant fish, poultry and wild animals for hunting, etc., led to extensive progress compared to other areas. In the fourth millennium BC, the population in these areas increased enormously, while the city of Uruk reached an area of about 2.5 square kilometers. Of course, there is no direct evidence of the exact number of inhabitants of Uruk, but with the help of anthropological data from the pre-modern Middle East, 100 to 200 inhabitants per hectare has been accepted for the residential sector. Apart from the the central monumental area of Uruk, It has reached approximately 230 hectares in the residential sector, which refers to the population of 25,000 to 50,000 people in Uruk in the late fourth millennium BC. Over 90 percent of the tablets were found in the garbages of the Temple of Eanna (the largest religious monuments of Uruk) presenting that this scribe was only used by a gropu of elites of the Mesopotamian society.
B) Climate of Iran in the fourth millennium BC: Iran is a clear example of the impact of natural structures on the cultural development. Iran is one of the arid lands of the ancient world and this determines the climatic relations of this land and the climate of its different regions. The summer heat in the lowlands forces people to migrate to the highlands with their herds. Due to the climatic conditions in these areas, a large part of the inhabitants of valleys and foothills are forced to live in their tents. Among the most important nomadic areas, we can mention Dar Khazineh, Tal-e Bakun and some settlements of Ramhormoz in the fifth to third millennium BC.
Management system has been one of the needs of human social development since the Neolithic period onwards which in the fourth millennium BC this need was felt quite clearly and at a high level, which led to a significant development of management in West Asia. At this time, the formation of different systems of government between the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia probably led to the formation of different management systems, but since for more than four thousand years, both regions had used a completely identical writing system, it is not far-fetched that the two different types of scribes are affected by common roots and have evolved according to the management needs of their environment.
As was said before, In Mesopotamia the scribe was only used by a group of elites. Hence, the ideogram and pictogram were enough to respond the needs of conveying a message. But in Iran, due to the special climate in the past, it was devoid of the centralized populations; instead the main populations were scattered in different parts of the Iranian plateau and the use of this scribe was over an area of one million square kilometers from the Shahr-e Sokhte in Sistan, Tepe Yahya in Kerman, Tepe Ozbaki in Qazvin plain and Tepe Sofalin in Tehran to Tal-e Malyan and Susa in southwestern Iran which probably there were different ethnicities and dialects in these areas. Due to the scatterness of proto-writing caly tablets in different part of Susa, one can conclude that this scribe became common in the society to respond to the needs of such a large society. Consequently, a scribe with the use of pictograms and ideograms was invented. We believe, according to the percentage of repetitions, the phonetic use of this scribe is probably high, and since this scribe was common among the different tribes of the Iranian plateau, perhaps with the phonetic use, it was effecient to convey meaning from different languages on the Iranian plateau in the second half of the fourth millennium BC.
In recent years the Achaemenid sites in the Borazjan area have attracted a great deal of attention and their identification with Elamite Tamukkan/Greek Taocê has been widely accepted. Aside from the architectural interest of these sites, however, their location along what later became an important route linking the Persian Gulf and the Iranian plateau is significant. Whether travelling between the Persian Gulf coast and Shiraz, or the earlier Achaemenid capitals (Pasargadae and Persepolis), Borazjan represents the first stage for travellers moving along this route. This study examines some of the logistical aspects of travel between Borazjan and the highlands, as well as the climatic extremes experienced by travellers during much of the year. The difficulties of traversing the route are illustrated with selections from 19th and early 20th century travellers accounts. The advantages of commencing or ending the journey at Shif, as opposed to Bushehr, are discussed with reference to numerous examples. The importance of mules as pack animals along the route is emphasized. Finally, the implications of the evidence marshaled for the burgeoning field of sensory studies are underscored.
R.T. Hallock’s identification of El. Tamukkan with Gr. Taocê1 predated the excavation and initial publication of the monumental architectural complexes near Borazjan (Sang-e Siah, Bardak-e Siah and Charkhab).2 Although Rawlinson suggested that, ‘The Achæmenian Palace of Taoce, mentioned by Strabo, was probably at the modern village of Dalaki, where there is a fine mound of great apparent antiquity,’3 most scholars would today agree that Taocê/Tamukkan should be identified with the Borazjan sites. Due to limited exploration and excavation, the function(s) and chronology of these important sites are still imperfectly understood,4 but iconographic, architectonic and epigraphic data5 suggest building activity and regular use from the reign of Cyrus to that of Darius or Xerxes, and possibly beyond.
Borazjan lies on the principal route linking Bushehr and Shiraz (Fig. 1). As Maclean noted in 1904, ‘The only important route is viâ Borasjun and Kazeroon to Shiraz.’6 For most travellers, Borazjan was either the last stop on the way from the highlands to the Persian Gulf coast, or the first stop heading in the opposite direction. Hence the Borazjan complex would have received visitors during the Achaemenid period who, after sailing either down or up the Persian Gulf by ship and landing on the coast,7 had just completed the first overland stage of their journey to the north; or, moving in the opposite direction, the Borazjan complex would have been where visitors spent their last night before traversing the remaining distance to the coast and boarding a vessel bound for southern Babylonia or points south.
The fact that Bushehr’s Elamite predecessor, Liyan, probably acted as a maritime gateway to the highlands of Anšan8 makes it tempting to think that the Liyan-to-Anšan or Tamukkan-to-Parsa route was always the main thoroughfare from the Persian Gulf to the Iranian plateau. Yet, in some periods, this was demonstrably not the case. During the Safavid period, for example, Bandar ‘Abbas was the principal port of entry on the Persian Gulf for goods destined for the markets of the Iranian Plateau.9 Indeed, when Carsten Niebuhr visited Bushehr in 1765 he remarked that (Fig. 2), until 1735 when Nader Shah decided to make it the headquarters of his much vaunted but never realized navy,10 Bushehr had been an unimportant village.11 Strictly speaking, however, this is not quite correct. Nader Shah’s naval yard was at Reshahr, c. 6 kms. to the south of Bushehr.12 Earlier, Shah ‘Abbas I had kept a squadron of 100 vessels at Reshahr with which to attack vessels bound for Basra.13
Nevertheless, despite fluctuations in the importance of the Bushehr region and its immediate hinterland through time, scholars appear to be unanimous in recognizing the importance of the Borazjan complex. It is not my intention here to challenge this contention, yet it is interesting to consider what the hydrography, climate and environment of the Borazjan region, and the topographic exigencies of travel between the Iranian plateau and the coast, meant to the region’s transient population, whether bureaucrats and royal visitors passing through, or corvée laborers brought to work on the building projects attested in cuneiform sources, during the Achaemenid period. What follows is intended to initiate a conversation about some often overlooked, critical factors that would have impacted all who frequented Bushehr and its hinterland in antiquity, and followed the route linking this part of the coast with the Iranian plateau. Keywords: Persian Gulf, Borazjan, Elamite, Achaemenid, Tamukkan, Travellers.
This study has sketched out some of the difficulties of travel between Bushehr, Borazjan and the Achaemenid capitals; some of the logistical requirements of travel along that route; and some of the climatic considerations that made travel during much of the year an unpleasant experience, to say the least. These considerations naturally make one consider the Borazjan complex in a new light, not merely as impressive examples of Achaemenid monumental architecture, but as sites that could be difficult of access, uncomfortable and potential graveyards for those not in the upper echelons of society.
In that sense, some of the data presented here may contribute to the growing field of sensory studies in both the recent historical past and more remote antiquity that have become increasingly common in recent years as a means to gaining a deeper understanding of our subjects’ life experiences. Many sensory studies focus on sight — viewsheds, natural illumination and darkness within buildings — and sound — from the noise of battle to the sound of silence on the steppe.103 Others focus on smells, whether pleasant ones produced by frankincense and other aromatics in palaces and sanctuaries,104 or the stench of war, death and the battlefield.105 Sensory discomfort due to extremes of weather and environmental conditions, as well as the influence of these factors on the utilization of a specific ancient site and on its inhabitants, are less commonly treated. Govert van Driel’s study of references to weather in Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian sources, for example, made much of the cold and the importance of seasonality as a consideration in the timing of Assyrian military campaigns, but was curiously silent on the topic of heat.106 In fact, comments on extreme heat tend to be regarded as a literary trope, and the ability to withstand it a form of boasting by those who, despite scorching temperatures, managed to prevail over adverse conditions and defeat an adversary. A vivid illustration of this is provided by the literary account of Nebuchadnezzar I’s (1125-1104 BC) Elamite campaign, launched in July from the eastern Babylonian outpost of Der. ‘With the heat glare scorching like fire, the very roadways were burning like open flame….The finest of the great horses gave out, the legs of the strong man faltered.’107 Yet the unseasonable nature of the campaign also conferred a tactical advantage on Nebuchadnezzar who felt his campaign had been ‘divinely ordained, in the unexpected summer month of Tammuz (June-July). His timing made for a miserable forced march for his army because of the unbearable heat and the dried-up water sources. But this unorthodox timing also afforded Nebuchadnezzar the element of surprise when confronting the Elamite forces.’108
Another, much later example of almost unbearable heat from the same general area appears in Strabo’s description of Susiana which, he noted, had ‘a hot and scorching atmosphere.’ So intense was the heat at Susa that, ‘when the sun is hottest, at noon, the lizards and the snakes could not cross the streets in the city quickly enough to prevent their being burnt to death in the middle of the streets.’109 Such language may sound hyperbolic, but only to someone who has never visited Khuzestan in the summer. Indeed, with a modern average maximum of 46.4˚ C (115.52˚ F) and average minimum of 32˚ C (89.6˚ F) in July,110 the descriptions of Khuzestan’s summer heat in the accounts of Nebuchadnezzar I and Strabo are no exaggeration.
In the introduction to her classic study of Athens and Persia in the fifth century B.C., Margaret Miller wrote that ‘experience shows that even the wildest imagination cannot step beyond the familiar world of sensory experience.’111 Implying as it does that nothing we have not ourselves experienced in the flesh can be imagined, this assertion, I suggest, needs to be modified. On the contrary, we can and must step outside of our own compendium of sensory experiences if we are ever to have an inkling of what life was like in the past. And while we may not be able to travel on a mule from Shif to Shiraz, or sail in a small craft up and down the Persian Gulf, we can get closer to the experience of those who did these things by scrutinizing the literature of pre-modern, pre-motorized travel for experiential descriptions of places that interest us in antiquity. The many descriptions that survive from the 19th and early 20th century of travel between the Persian Gulf coast and Shiraz, via Borazjan, offer a rich body of data that helps us to better understand the exigencies of life there in the Achaemenid period, whether for corvée laborers or élite Achaemenid travellers. They afford us a fresh perspective, one that looks at the Borazjan complex not as decontextualized monuments or free-floating units of Achaemenid architecture and iconography but as buildings tethered to an environment that could be brutally harsh for most of the year, one in which travellers, whether arriving from Babylon by sea or from Pasargadae and Persepolis by land, sought refuge from an unforgiving climate of scorching sun, suffocating winds or freezing cold.
One of the most important and controversial prehistoric cultural periods is Proto Elamite period, which can be considered as a revolution in the development, growth and development of communication and interaction of the people of that period, in the period of 3300 to 3000 B.C Many changes took place in this golden age, which itself is due to the existence of political and social complexities. During this period, livestock unions were formed, which had an Proto Elamite writting on the inscriptions of this period. The union’s livelihood was based on animal husbandry. The economies of monogamous and farming communities are fully integrated with the livestock nomadic economy, and farmers are therefore the direct economic dependents of nomadic unions. Of course, it goes without saying that nomadic ranchers also need farmers, but this was not always the case. Farmers provided some of the farmers’ grains, but the farmers continued to cultivate. They usually had rainfed agriculture. But in general, the most important livestock economy is herding, and farmers needed to migrate to find forage, and on the other hand, the very hot weather in the area of Susa was not tolerable for livestock, and farmers had to migrate to colder areas. The inscriptions are very important in this cultural period. Inscriptions changed from counting mode to scrolls for managing office and animal documents that were thought-provoking. One of the most significant areas of the fourth millennium BC is the area of Susa, which in this period has a lot of livestock inscriptions. In this article, the authors try to analyze the type and number of livestock inscriptions, the existence of a nomadic union, and subsequently the bipolarity of the Susa community in the early Elamite period. Keywords: Fourth Millennium BC, Proto Elamite, Susa, Animal Husbandry, Inscription.
Proto Elamaite refers to a period in history that chronologically shows 14 carbon samples obtained from millions of times between 3300 and 3000 BC.( Dahl et al, 2013: 358). But the end of this cultural period is not very clear yet (Pats, 1396: 99). Today, there are various sites from this period in Iran, some of which have been excavated, but according to the excavated sites, it covers a large part of the Iranian plateau, and so far 8 of its sites have been identified with an integrated writing standard.some of them like 1. Susa (Vallat, 1971) 2. Sialk (Ghrishman, 1938: XXXI) 3. Tal Geser (Alizadeh, 2014). Proto Elamite writing has an integrated structure in terms of form, writing and in terms of illustrating the ideas of the drawings. For example, in the field of animal texts, all of them have used a series of common or close signs, and in most cases, all of them have shown the difference between male and female goats, male and female sheep, and lambs with a single sign .Also, the same collection counting system is used.
Objective: To study the duality of the population of Susa (monogamous and nomadic) in the fourth millennium BC is based on the inscriptions of Proto Elamaite period, based on which it can be seen that Susa in Proto Elamate period is a bipolar society. Indigenous and probably in the same language, the Mesopotamian family is in the south of the Acropolis hill of Susa and a farming and pastoral community in the north of the Acropolis hill. Each nation provided the economic market for the other. Research Questions: Has a union of animal husbandry communities been formed in Iran during Proto Elamaite period? Was Susa a community, farmer and cattle breeder in the Proto Elamite period?? What cultural connections have there been between livestock and monogamous communities?
Hypothesis: Considering the similarity of the structure and texts of Proto Elamite in the Iranian plateau, it can be seen that there was a connection between these areas and since the most consistency in the signs as well as the areas found in the herd. Early Elamite writings are related to animal texts, it can be seen that the livestock community may have played a role in this collection. These livestock communities in southwestern Iran were in close contact with Susa to meet their material needs, and probably half of Susa communities were forced to migrate to the highlands due to the large number of livestock in the warmer months of the year. Research Method: In this research, the aim is to reconstruct the herdsman community living in the Susa area in the second half of the 4th millennium BC, which according to the statistical analysis of the number of livestock tablets compared to other Proto Elamite texts, shows that the most Note that these tablets have livestock provisions. In fact, it is possible to understand the type of livelihood of the Sush community in the Proto Elamite period from reading the tables, which is that the people of Sush were cattle breeders in the north of the hill and farmers in the south of the hill. The tablets obtained, which are mentioned in the research proposal, how to discover and decipher them, are very effective in achieving the goal of this research.
Proto Elamite inscriptions obtained from Susa
Proto Elamite inscriptions were first found in the excavations of Susa in 1900. (De Morgan, 1900: 130) Inscriptions are flattened clay fragments made by hand. They have formed. And are cooked at low heat or not cooked at all. In their study, the authors divided the Elamite inscriptions from Susa into two categories. One is the texts obtained from MDP.17, most of which were found from the north of Susa hill, and the other is the rest of the Susa inscriptions, which are generally obtained from the south of Susa hill. Demorgan’s large trench in MDP.6 had less than 10 percent of the animal texts But MDP.17 has the highest percentage of livestock statistics
Animal Texts of Susa
The content of all Elamite texts is administrative and related to the production, storage and distribution of the product (Dahl, 2015). In Proto Elamite texts, various signs are used for animals and livestock, but among them, only the sign of sheep and goat can be recognized with complete certainty due to the similarity with the example of the beginning of cuneiform can be distinguished from other animal signs. All livestock and domestic animal signs used in the herd are shown with abstract signs. Also, one of the most important factors related to livestock communities is the use of signs of livestock products.
Today, in the southwest of Iran, there are nomadic communities that have land in summer and winter, and apart from animal husbandry, whose main occupation is seasonal and rainfed agriculture, which does not meet the consumption of the whole year. And trade in livestock products and grains with the surrounding farming communities, and since the life of nomads depends on climate and environment, and since the end of the fourth millennium BC, major changes in water conditions and the weather in southwestern Iran has not happened. It is possible that the life of the nomads in Proto Elamite period was the same as now. By examining Proto Elamite tablets of Susa, it can be found that a significant part of them (nearly one third of the texts) are concepts related to wages, payment and in the field of livestock activity or collection and audit of livestock, and Attention is also regular with agricultural activity or payment of wages. By classifying the tablets and also according to the statistical concepts and percentages, it is determined that more than 32% of Proto Elamite texts obtained from Trench I of Domkenam in the north of the Acropolis hill are directly related to the counting and trading of livestock and may be part of the payment inscriptions whose goods Not specified, also related to livestock. According to Domkanem’s explanation, part of the inscriptions of the Great Trench of Damurgan is probably related to the texts of grain, storage and payment of labor wages, and at the time of publication, it was merged with a part of the tablets of the Great Trench in other Sush collections such as the book MDP.17 It has been reported that if they are separated, the number of livestock in the north of Shush Hill will probably reach a much higher number than %32. which in general can be understood the livelihood and life of the people of Susa in Proto Elamite period.
Mohammad Hossein Azizi Kharanaghi, year 7, Issue 24 (8-2023)
The correct position and the determining role of the second and first millennium BC cultures in the Fars region (Marvdasht plain) which we know as the Shoqa/Timuran cultures and the importance of this culture in the transition from the prehistoric to the historical period (Achaemenid) are still not well known. Despite of extensive archaeological research that has been done in the Marvdasht plain and the presence of significant sites of this period, due to the limited and generally very old excavations in these sites, it is still difficult to understand these developments. During that time, huge developments were taking place in Khuzestan and Fars regions; Changes usually created many conflicts between native cultures and southwestern cultures origin (Elamite).Some archaological findings, such as weapons, are signs of the height of such conflicts in the past. This paper will study and introduce the collection of weapons of Toll-e Shoqa, which were obtained from the excavations of Mahmoud Rad in 1942 and Vandenberg in 1950 in that site, those are now kept in the National Museum of Iran. These collections have been studied recently in the inventory project in the National Museum of Iran archives. So far, few cultural materials from Toll-e Shoqa have been published and more emphasis has been placed on its pottery; the pottery is the basis of the relative chronology of this period in the Fars region. Unfortunately, the results of the archaeological excavations in Shoqa were never fully published and all its cultural materials were not introduced. In the organizing project of the National Museum of Iran which will be described and analyzed in this paper.