Elamite

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Elamite

(ē`ləmīt'), extinct language of uncertain relationship that was once spoken in the ancient kingdom of ElamElam
, ancient country of Asia, N of the Persian Gulf and E of the Tigris, now in W Iran. A civilization seems to have been established there very early, probably in the late 4th millennium B.C. The capital was Susa, and the country is sometimes called Susiana.
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, located in SW Asia. It appears to be unrelated to any other languages, although some scholars see a kinship between Elamite and Brahui, one of the modern Dravidian languagesDravidian languages
, family of about 23 languages that appears to be unrelated to any other known language family. The Dravidian languages are spoken by more than 200 million people, living chiefly in S and central India and N Sri Lanka.
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. Elamite is an agglutinative language in that different linguistic elements, each of which exists separately and has a fixed meaning, are often joined to form one word. A number of stone inscriptions and clay tablets that have Elamite texts written in cuneiformcuneiform
[Lat.,=wedge-shaped], system of writing developed before the last centuries of the 4th millennium B.C. in the lower Tigris and Euphrates valley, probably by the Sumerians (see Sumer).
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 survive. These texts cover a period of about 2,000 years that began at the end of the third millennium B.C.

Elamite

 

the language of the people who inhabited the ancient state of Elam. The linguistic affinity of Elamite has not yet been established, although the most promising line of research would appear to lie in the study of Elamite-Dravidian relationships.

The earliest Elamite texts were written in the Old Elamite period (30th-22nd centuries B.C.) in “proto-Elamite,” which was markedly pictographic; this writing system has not yet been deciphered (seePICTOGRAPHIC WRITING). Toward the end of the period, Elamite adopted the Accadian cuneiform writing. An inscription on the Naram-Sin stele (23rd century B.C.) is the only text that has been preserved from the Old Elamite period.

Texts from the Middle Elamite period (14th–12th centuries B.C), including several bilingual Accadian-Elamite texts, are also known. Texts of the eighth century B.C., unlike those of the preceding periods, are extremely diverse in genre.

Elamite, an agglutinative language, was an official language of the Achaemenid Empire, and the most extensive Elamite texts date from this period. The language of the Achaemenid inscriptions was strongly influenced, however, by Old Persian, which is reflected in such areas as lexicon, syntax, and style and in the presence of numerous caiques.

REFERENCES

D’iakonov, I.M. Iazyki drevnei Pererdnei Azii. Moscow, 1967.
Reiner, E. “The Elamite Language.” In Handbuch der Orientalistik: Altkleinasiatische Sprachen. Leiden-Cologne, 1969.

A. A. KOROLEV

References in periodicals archive ?
Since about 150 years ago, first a French archeological mission and then Iranian archaeological teams have carried out excavations in the city which led to retrieving artifacts, buildings and objects from various periods, shedding more light on the Elamite history and culture.
The historic site is home to Iran's only surviving ziggurat--an ancient temple tower in the form of a terraced pyramid with receding stories--which is also one of the most important remaining pieces of evidence of the Elamite civilization (3,400 BCE-550 BCE).
The successors of Ahmenes eliminated the authority of Elamites establishing their residence at Anshan and Parse (present province of Shiraz), accepting the suzerainty of King Astyages.
According to Rashidi, when the Assyrians took over the capital Susa in 639 BC, they attempted to destroy it completely by "the looting and razing of temples, the destruction of sacred groves, the desecration of royal tombs, the seizure of Elamite gods, the removal of royal memorials and the deportation of people, livestock and even rubble from the devastated city".
The Elamites were an early Persian Kingdom centered in the modern-day Iranian province of Khuzistan.
They were Parthians and Medes, they were the Elamites and the Who-lamites and the What-lamites," Hailer said.
There was an element of hypocrisy in the condemnations by the bash-patriots, because the Elamites have similar views to them on the Cyprob.
1: Sur les inconnus 'connus': Cassites, Elamites, Suteens, Subeens, Guteens et Subareens.
In several points in history, Mesopotamian civilizations such as Ur and Babylon overthrew the Elamites and gained control of the Karun and its surroundings in modern Khuzestan.
Parthians, Medes, Elamites and the residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the part of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power.
He rightly emphasizes that Elam and the Elamites were constructs and that these were mostly products of foreign (especially Mesopotamian) concepts which frequently did not correspond to internal perceptions.
The contributors to this volume are convinced that it was not the Medes but the Elamites who were the prime contributors to the emerging Achaemenid Empire.