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A New King of Susa and Anshan

Parsa Daneshmand <>
(Wolfson College, University of Oxford)

Meysam Abdoli <>
(Allameh Tabatabai University)

Iran, Car Museum, Royal inscriptions, Elamite, brick, relief

§1. Introduction
The cuneiform bricks and fragments published here for the first time are preserved in the National Car Museum of Iran (NCMI) located in Tehran. Founded in 2001, the NCMI is affiliated with the Museums Cultural Institute of the Mostazafan Foundation of the Islamic Revolution. The museum is comprised of two departments: distinctively, a collection of 42 classic cars, but a small fraction of those once owned by the last Shah of Iran, and one of ancient objects, including historical doors (ca. 12th century AD) and ceramic works (ca. 18th century AD), and the texts published here. This second collection belongs to the Treasury Department of the Mostazafan Foundation Museums. We know of no other cuneiform artifacts in the NCMI. The texts lack archeological records, and the circumstances of their acquisition are not known to us. We would like to thank Mohammad Reza Javaheri, Cultural Director of the Mostazafan Foundation Museums, Turaj Hosseini, Director of the National Car Museum of Iran, Parisa Andami, Chief of the Cultural Institute of the Mostazafan Foundation Museums, and Shahram Moghaddam, Chief of the Architectural Treasury of the Mostazafan Foundation Museums, for their kind generosity and invaluable assistance during this project.[1]


§2. The Texts
§2.1. NCMI Text 1
(figure 1)
Artifact type: Akkadian brick
Measurements: 320 × 80 × 110mm
Provenience: Deh-e-no (?)
Date: Middle Elamite
Parallels: Steve in MDP 53, pp. 11-13 (our 2a and 2b2)


§2.1.1. Transliteration[2] and Translation

1.   diši-gi-ḫa-te-et ma-an-za-at iš-si2 iš-me-šu-ma
(2a   diši-˹gi˺-[ḫa-te]-˹et˺ dišma-an-za-at iš-si2 iš-me-šu-ma)
(2b2   diši-gi-ḫa-te-et ma-an-za-at iš-si2 iš-me-šu-ma)
2.   šar-ru-ut šu-ši2-im u3 an-za-an id-di-iš-šu-um-ma ku-ku-na ˹ša2˺
(2a   eššana-ut šu-˹ši2 u3˺ an-za-an id-di-iš-šum-ma ku-ku-un-na ša3)
(2b2   šar-ru-ut šu-[ši2] u3 an-za-an id-di-iš-šum-ma ku-ku-na ša2)
3.   e-mi-ir-ti-im la-bi-ra u2-uš-ši2-iš-ma a-na ma-an-za-˹at˺
(2a   e-pi-ir-ti la-bi-ra u2-uš-ši2-iš-ma a-na dma-an-za-at)
(2b2   e-pi-ir-<ti> la-bi-ra u2-uš-ši2-iš-ma a-na ma-an-za-at)
4.   id-di!-im-ma ma-an-za-at ba-la-ṭa2-am da-ra <li>-id-di-iš-šu
(2a   !-in ˹d˺ma-an-za-at ba-la-ṭa2 da-ra li-id-di-iš-šum-ma)
(2b2   id-di-in ma-an-za-at ba-la-ṭa2 da-<ra> li-id-di-iš-šu)
5.   šar-ru-ut ḫu-ud li-ib-bi li-še-pi2-iš-su2
(2a   ˹eššana˺-ut ḫu-ud li-ib-bi li-še-pi-is-su2)
(2b2   ˹šar-ru˺-ut ḫu-ud li-ib-˹bi˺ li-še-pi-iš-su2)
1.   Igi-ḫatet called Manzat; she heard him and
2-3.   bestowed the kingship of Susa and Anšan on him, and he (=Igi-ḫatet) renewed the old kukunnû of baked brick and gave it to Manzat.
4.   May she (=Manzat) give him a long life!
5.   May she (=Manzat) provide him a joyful kingship!


figure 1

Figure 1: The Middle Elamite brick NCMI 1


§2.1.2. Commentary
Philological Remarks

l. 1: Steve read iš-tar5 instead of iš-si2 and took Manzat-Ištar to be a syncretized Elamite-Babylonian god. Although Manzat is parallel to Ištar, no other document confirms such a reading. Moreover, in all three bricks, the second sign is a clear ZI, not GI, meaning that a reading tar5 (deriving from GI(4) = târu) is without foundation. But the reading iš-si2, from the verb šasû, ‘to call,’ fits the context, and corresponds to šamû, ‘to hear,’ following it. The lack of (at least othographic) assimilation of šs to ss is frequent and is found in other texts , for instance in the Old Babylonian Epic of Zu cited by CAD Š/II, p. 153: iš-si-a-am. Attestation of šs instead of ss in the present brick inscription is confirmed by li-še-pi-iš-su2 at the end of line 5. The occurrence of Manzat without iš-si2 in lines 3 and 4 strengthens this suggestion.

l. 2. kukunnû/ gigunû, denoting a sacred building generally devoted to Inšušinak, is a well attested term; cf. CAD G, pp. 67ff. and also Malbran-Labat 1995: 187. The end of the line is broken, so the last sign is not clear. One may expect a “mimation” for kukunnû; however, it looks more like ša2.

l. 3. e-mi-ir-ti-im is a hapax legomenon in this text. The two texts published by Steve give epirtu, a common form for ‘baked brick.’ For the b/p and b/m assimilation, see GAG §27. The finite verb u2-uš-ši2-iš-ma is attested in MDP 23, 282 10.

l. 4. The sign DI in id-di-im-ma is doubtful; however, as far as the photo shows, the verb nadānu is probably attested in (2b2): id-di-in (Steve 1987: pl. 1). As regards brick (2a), the verb is more obscure. One may read the first sign as AŠ: aš!-in: iddin. This hypothesis can be questioned in three ways: first of all, one may argue that the sign is not a well written AŠ (more likely BI). Secondly, it is well known that the sign AŠ for nadānu is normally used in writing proper names, and finally, since the whole text is written syllabically, the use of a single logogram is not expected. Steve tried to read these words as 2-še-er and uš-ši2-ir, taken from uššuru, but his reading matches neither the photos nor the meaning. Until a new collation of the tablets 2a and 2b2 is done, it is not possible to be sure of this verb.


§ General Remarks
§ This inscription belongs to an Elamite king whose name was not recognized in previously published materials. Two texts similar to the brick were published by M.-J. Steve in MDP 53, pp. 11-13. All three texts speak of rebuilding the temple of the goddess Manzat by the king. According to Steve, as a part of a 1978 survey conducted by M. S. Ganjavi at Deh-e-no in the Iranian province of Khuzestan, François Vallat had recognized two duplicate bricks (our 2a and 2b2) that he in turn permitted Steve to publish. Brick 2a at the very beginning of the line 1, where the name of the king is written, is broken, and just two signs i-gi are legible. Brick 2b2 is better preserved in this section, and the signs i-gi-ḫa-te- can be easily read. The sign after ḫa is clearly a TE sign, misread by Steve as LI. The sign after TE is partly damaged; however, it is not a KI sign, but ID. Despite all this, Steve reconstructed the name of the king as i-gi-ḫa-li-ki, concluding that the bricks belonged to Igi-ḫalki, whose name was already attested in the genealogy of Šilḫak-Inšušinak as the father of Paḫir-iššan and Attar-kittaḫ. Since no available documents display any trace of Igi-ḫalki’s kingship at Susa and Anšan, Steve was confident that “we now know that he reigned,” a hasty conclusion on the basis of his reading of the two aforementioned bricks.[3] By this inference, the bricks were dated to ca. 1400 BC when the Igi-ḫalkid house gained power.[4]

§ Our NCMI brick, however, clearly demonstrates that the name of the king is written as i-gi-ḫa-te-et (Igi-ḫatet) with an ID-sign at the end of the name preceded by the sign TE. Thus Igi-ḫatet is the correct name of the king, and since he is not cited in the genealogy of Šilḫak-Inšušinak or in the other documents related to Igi-ḫalki’s sons, he should be dated to a different dynasty.[5] Among legal documents published in MDP 4, there are two names of significance in this regard: Amma-ḫatet and Atta-ḫatet are written syllabically as am-ma-ḫa-te-et and at-ta-ḫa-te-et, respectively, parallel to i-gi-ḫa-te-et.[6] Other occurrences of Atta-ḫatet can be found such Haft-Tappe texts as HT 82: 4.[7] These names are translated by Hinz as “Be (your) mother’s favorite!” and “Be (your) father’s favorite!,” respectively.[8] Since igi in Elamite means “brother,” a name Igi-ḫatet, “Be (your) brother’s favorite!,” fits this pattern.[9] An additional point in favor of this argument is the script of the three bricks. Paleographically, the signs in these bricks are not properly identical to those of well known Akkadian texts found within Elam from the early or late 14th century BC. The sign forms suggest an older period, especially attested in MDP 22, 23. Orthographically, using SI in writing šu-ši2(-im) is attested in such very late sukkalmaḫ texts as a Temti-agun text and later in Inšušinak-šar-ilāni and Tepti-aḫar inscriptions.[10] In terms of phonology, the inclusion of “mimation” in words such as šu-ši2-im, e-mi-ir-ti-im and ba-la-ṭa2-am, refers to an era earlier than the 14th century BC. The bricks published by Steve seemingly lack mimation, so that this amalgam is suggestive of a very late Old Elamite or an early Middle Elamite dating.[11] Furthermore, there is no attestation of writing ḫalki as ḫa-li-ki in other documents.


§ In cases like Tepti-ḫalki and Igi-ḫalki, the element ḫalki is written as ḫal-ki. Nonetheless, the attribution of these bricks to Igi-ḫalki made its way into a variety of secondary publications that have dealt with the history of ancient Elam. Consequently, we should refer back to Scheil’s 1932 statement: “Nowhere is it stated that Igi Halki reigned, but he could very well have founded a dynasty.”[12]


§ How then is this new king to be dated? MDP 22, 160, provides notable documentation in our discussion. Palaeographically, this tablet is quite similar to our text 1. The name of Susa is written with both ši2 and with mimation: (35-26) i-na šu-ši2-im i-na ki-de-en dšušin im-ta-ga-ru, ‘In Susa, they came to an agreement in the kidennû of Inšušinak.’ According to the text, the participants in the agreement swore an oath by the life of Kuk-našur, the sukkal of Elam, and also by the life of Kuduzuluš, the king of Susa, refering to the rulers of the sukkalmaḫ dynasty: (25-27) mu ku-uk-na-šu-ur2 sukkal nim-ma-tim u3 ku-du-zu-lu-uš lugal šu-ši2-im it-mu-u2.[13] However, the attestation of the “kingship of Susa and Anšan” characteristic of Middle Elamite, instead of the “king/kingship of Susa,” probably puts the date of our brick to an overlapping phase between the end of the sukkalmaḫ era and the beginning of the Middle-Elamite I period in the 15th century BC.[14]


§2.2. NCMI Text 2 (figure 2)
Artifact type: Elamite brick
Measurements: 355 × 95 × 170mm
Provenience: Chogha Zanbil
Date: Middle-Elamite


§2.2.1. Transliteration and Translation

1.   u2 dišun-taš-dGAL ša-ak diš dḫu-ban-nu-me-na-ki su-un-ki-ik an-za-an
2.   šu-šu-un-ka ta-ak-me u2-me tu4-ur ḫi-iḫ si-it-me u2-me šu-ul-lu-me-ka
3.   az-ki-it tu4-ur saḫ-ri ḫu-šu-ia in-ki2 ḫi-en-ka3 in-ti4-<ik>-ka3 a-ki2
4.   si-ia-an u2-pa-at ḫu-us-si-ip-me ku-ku-un-nu-um ub-ku-mi3-a ku-ši-iḫ
5.   din-šu-uš-na-ak si-ia-an ku-uk-ra in du-ni-iḫ u2 zag-ra-tu4-me
6.   ki-ik-ki-te-eḫ ḫu-ut-tak ha-li-ik u2-me din-šu-uš-na-ak ul-li-na te-la-ak-ni
1.   I, Untaš-napiriša, son of Ḫumbannumena, king of Anšan
2-3.   and Susa. Wishing that my life (will) constantly prosper and that the extinction of lineage may not be granted to me (at the time of) judgment (?), it is for this reason that
4.   I have built a temple with baked brick, a kukunnû with glazed bricks.
5-6.   I gave it to Inšušinak of siyan-kuk. I raised a ziggurat. May my work be dedicated to Inšušinak.


figure 2

Figure 2: The Middle Elamite brick NCMI 2


§2.2.2. Commentary
Philological Remarks

l. 2. The translation of ta-ak-me u2-me tu4-ur ḫi-iḫ si-it-me u2-me šu-ul-lu-me-ka: tak-me tur-ḫiḫ šullume-g/k+a is based on tak-me my life, tur-ḫiḫ continuity of my prosperity. Grillot in her grammar analyzed tur-ḫiḫ and as “continuity of power (>reign)” and “my-happiness of” respectively (Grillot 1987: 53) and translated šullume-g/k+a as “which is prolonged” (Grillot 1987: 52). On the basis of this analysis, Grillot’s translation is as follows: “So that (=this [being] the reason of) my life, may my happy reign be extended” (Grillot 1987: 53-54). Malbran-Labat gave a slightly different interpretation of this passage and translated “desirous (that) my life (is) one of continuous prosperity” (Malbran-Labat 1995: 71). For a discussion of this formula, see Akkadica 27, 8-9; JA 271: 207-218; and Malbran-Labat 1995: 72.

l. 3. The interpretation of az-ki-it tu4-ur saḫ-ri ḫu-šu-ia in-ki2 ḫi-en-ka3: azki-t tur saḫri ḫušu-ya in-g/ki ḫin-g/k+a is quite problematic. Grillot in 1982 translated azkit as “a separation” (Akkadica 27, 10). One year later in JA 271: 216, she offered a different view and analyzed it in form of “as (“part”, “thing”, “element”) +ki “a” + t (nominal suffix)”. Malbran-Labat translated it as “extinction” (Malbran-Labat 1995: 72). Grillot in Akkadica 27, 14, proposed that the element saḫri is probably identical to ṣaḫru/ṣeḫru in Akkadian. As a result, tur saḫri has been translated as ‘lineage’ (literally “continuity of child”). Hinz & Koch (1987: 705) interpreted ḫušuya as “retributive.” Their interpretation is based on the function of Inšušinak as the judge of the dead. Malbran-Labat (1995: 72) has pointed out that ḫušuya can serve in both favorable and unfavorable contexts: “the contexts in which ḫušuya appears make the qualifier occasionally disastrous, occasionally favorable.” For more discussion of this formula, see Akkadica 27, 10, 11; JA 271, 216; and Malbran-Labat 1995: 72.


§ General Remarks
The brick belongs to Untaš-napiriša, the Middle-Elamite king whose famous building work is the ziggurat of Chogha Zanbil located about 40 km southeast of Susa.[15] The text is identical to MDP 41, 1, EKI 12, and Malbran-Labat 1995: 71-72 no. 28. The surface of the brick is badly abraded, but the signs are on the whole legible. For the system of transcription in commentaries we follow the method proposed in Grillot 1987.


§2.3. NCMI Text 3 (figure 3)
Artifact type: Elamite brick
Measurements: 220 × 90 × 170mm
Provenience: Chogha Zanbil
Date: Middle-Elamite


§2.3.1. Transliteration and Translation

1.   [...] ḫu-um-ban-nu-me-na-ki su-un-ki-ik an-za-an
2.   [...] ˹tu4˺-ur ḫi-iḫ si-it-me u2-me šu-ul-lu-me-ka3
3.   [...]-ia in-ki2 ḫi-en-ka3 in-ti4-ik-ka3 a-ki2
4.   [...] -˹ip˺-me ku-ku-un-nu-um ub-qu-mi-a ku-ši-iḫ
5.   [...] ˹ku˺-uk-ra in du-ni-iḫ u2 zag-ra-tu4-me
6.   [...]-me din-šu-uš-na-ak ul-li-na te-la-˹ak-ni˺


figure 3

Figure 3: The Middle Elamite brick NCMI 3


§2.3.2. Commentary
The brick duplicates text 2 with some minor orthographical differences; more than 10 cm is broken off of the left side of the artifact.


§2.4. NCMI Text 4 (figure 4)
Artifact type: Assyrian relief
Measurements: 200 × 120 × 40mm
Provenience: Nimrud/Calah (?)
Date: neo-Assyrian


§2.4.1. Transliteration and Translation

    beginning broken
1'.   […] ˹iri kal-ḫu˺ [maḫ-ra-a ...]
2'.   […] ˹kur˺za-mu-a ana ˹paṭ˺ [gim-ri-ša2? …]
3'.   […] ˹e2-gal˺ gešeren-na […]
4'.   [… u2]-˹ma˺-am kur-meš-e u a-ab-˹ba˺-[meš …]
5’.   [… ina ka2-meš]-˹ša2˺ u2-re-ti ku3-babbar-meš u ku3-˹sig17˺-[meš …]
    rest broken
1'.   ... the ancient city of Calah …
2'.   ... the entire land of Zamua …
3'.   ... a palace of cedar ...
4'.   ... beasts of mountains and seas ...
5'.   ... in its doorways. I put silver, gold ...


figure 4

Figure 4: Fragment of an Assurnasirpal II relief inscription


§2.4.2. Commentary
A piece of a stone relief belonging to the reign of Assurnasirpal II (figure 4). The inscription duplicates RIMA lines 52-61 and RIMA (the Standard Inscription) lines 14b-21. Both texts concern the building of Calah and its palace.





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Version: 16 February 2015