Anshan (Persia)

Anshan (Persia)

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Anshan is a city in and the capital of Dorudzan District, in Marvdasht County, Fars Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 2,033, in 446 families. The name of Kushkak village was changed to Ramjerd upon obtaining city status....

plain , in the province of Fars in the Zagros mountains
Zagros Mountains
The Zagros Mountains are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq. With a total length of 1,500 km , from northwestern Iran, and roughly correlating with Iran's western border, the Zagros range spans the whole length of the western and southwestern Iranian plateau and ends at the Strait of...

 , southwestern Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, was one of the early capitals of Elam
Elam
Elam was an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Elam was centered in the far west and the southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province, as well as a small part of southern Iraq...

, from the 3rd millennium BC
3rd millennium BC
The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age.It represents a period of time in which imperialism, or the desire to conquer, grew to prominence, in the city states of the Middle East, but also throughout Eurasia, with Indo-European expansion to Anatolia, Europe and Central Asia. The...

.

History


Before 1973, when it was identified as Tall-i Malyan, Anshan had been assumed by scholars to be somewhere in the central Zagros mountain range.

The Elamite city appears to have been quite ancient; it makes an appearance in the early Sumerian epic Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is a legendary Sumerian account, of preserved, early post-Sumerian copies, composed in the Neo-Sumerian period ....

as being en route between Uruk
Uruk
Uruk was an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia, situated east of the present bed of the Euphrates river, on the ancient dry former channel of the Euphrates River, some 30 km east of modern As-Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq.Uruk gave its name to the Uruk...

 and the legendary Aratta
Aratta
Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list.-Role in Sumerian literature:Aratta is described as follows in Sumerian literature:...

, supposedly around the time writing was developed. At various times, Anshan provided, in its own right, the source for a number of Elamite dynasties that sometimes competed for extent and influence with other prominent Elamite cities.

Manishtushu
Manishtushu
Manishtushu was a king of the Akkadian Empire from 2276 to 2261 BC. His name is also spelled as Maništušu.- Biography :Manishtushu was the son of Sargon of Akkad and Queen Tashlultum, brother of En-hedu-ana and the father of Naram-Sin...

 claimed to have subjugated Anshan, but as the Akkadian empire weakened under his successors, the native governor of Susa
Susa
Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers....

, Kutik-Inshushinak
Kutik-Inshushinak
Kutik-Inshushinak was king of Elam from about 2240 to 2220 BC , and the last from the Awan dynasty....

, a scion of the Awan dynasty
Awan dynasty
The Awan Dynasty was the first dynasty of Elam of which anything is known today, appearing at the dawn of historical record. The Elamites were likely major rivals of neighboring Sumer from remotest antiquity; they were said to have been defeated by Enmebaragesi of Kish The Awan Dynasty was the...

, proclaimed his independence from Akkad and captured Anshan (some scholars have speculated that the name Awan is an alternate form of Anshan).
Following this, Gudea
Gudea
Gudea was a ruler of the state of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia who ruled ca. 2144 - 2124 BC. He probably did not come from the city, but had married Ninalla, daughter of the ruler Urbaba of Lagash, thus gaining entrance to the royal house of Lagash...

 of Lagash
Lagash
Lagash is located northwest of the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and east of Uruk, about east of the modern town of Ash Shatrah. Lagash was one of the oldest cities of the Ancient Near East...

 claimed to have subjugated Anshan, and the Neo-Sumerian rulers Shulgi
Shulgi
Shulgi of Urim was the second king of the "Sumerian Renaissance". He reigned for 48 years, dated to 2029 BCE–1982 BCE...

 and Shu-Sin
Shu-Sin
Shu-sin was king of Sumer and Akkad, and was the penultimate king of the Ur III dynasty. He succeeded his brother Amar-Sin, and reigned circa 1972-1964 BC....

 of Ur
Ur
Ur was an important city-state in ancient Sumer located at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate...

 are said to have maintained their own governors over the place. However their successor, Ibbi-Sin
Ibbi-Sin
Ibbi-Sin, son of Shu-Sin, was king of Sumer and Akkad and last king of the Ur III dynasty, and reigned circa 1963 BC-1940 BC . During his reign, the Sumerian empire was attacked repeatedly by Amorites...

, seems to have spent his reign engaged in a losing struggle to maintain control over Anshan, ultimately resulting in the Elamite sack of Ur in 2004 BC, at which time the statue of Nanna
Nanna
-Mythology:* Nanna or Sin , god of the moon in Sumerian mythology, also called Suen* Nanna , goddess and wife of the god Baldr in Norse mythology-People:* Nanna , a Scandinavian female name...

, and Ibbi-Sin himself, were captured and removed to Anshan. In the Old Babylonian period, king Gungunum
Gungunum
Gungunum ruled the ancient Near East city-state of Larsa from 1868 BC to 1841 BC. He was an Amorite, the son of Samium. He was a contemporary of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin, and took control of the city of Ur...

 of Larsa
Larsa
Larsa was an important city of ancient Sumer, the center of the cult of the sun god Utu. It lies some 25 km southeast of Uruk in Iraq's Dhi Qar Governorate, near the east bank of the Shatt-en-Nil canal at the site of the modern settlement Tell as-Senkereh or Sankarah.-History:According to...

 dated his 5th regnal year after the destruction of Anshan.

From the 15th century BC, Elamite rulers at Susa began using the title "King of Anshan and Susa" (in Akkadian texts, the toponyms are reversed, as "King of Susa and Anshan"), and it seems probable that Anshan and Susa were in fact unified for much of the "Middle Elamite period". The last king to claim this title was Shutruk-Nahhunte II (ca. 717-699 BC).

Cradle of Achaemenid Persia


Anshan fell under Persian Achaemenid rule in the 7th century BC, having been captured by Teispes
Teispes of Anshan
Teispes lived from 675-640 BCE. He was the son of Achaemenes and an ancestor of Cyrus the Great. There is evidence that Cyrus I and Ariaramnes were both his sons. Cyrus I is the grandfather of Cyrus the Great, whereas Ariaramnes is great grandfather of Darius the Great...

 (675–640 BC), who styled himself "King of the city of Anshan". For another century during the period of Elamite decline, Anshan was a minor kingdom, until the Achaemenids in the 6th century BC embarked on a series of conquests from Anshan, which became the nucleus of the Persian Empire. The most famous conqueror who rose from Anshan was Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus II of Persia , commonly known as Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much...

.

Archaeology


The site of Anshan covers around 200 hectares. The main feature is a
low flat-topped mound of about 130 hectares running 4–6 meters
in height. On three sides are the remains of a city wall 5 kilometers
in length dating from the Late Banesh and Kaftari periods. Finds
at Tall-i Malyan included primarily Proto-Elamite
Proto-Elamite
The Proto-Elamite period is the time of ca. 3200 BC to 2700 BC when Susa, the later capital of the Elamites, began to receive influence from the cultures of the Iranian plateau. In archaeological terms this corresponds to the late Banesh period...

 and Middle Elamite
cuneiform tablets, seals, and a pottery sequence important to dating the
chronology of the region. The most notable find was a building brick
of Elamite king Hatelutus-Insusinak which confirmed that the site was
indeed Anshan.

The site was first worked by Ferydoun Tavalloli of the Archaeological
Service of Iran in 1961. No records or publications of that effort
appear to exist, though some artifacts ended up in the Persepolis Museum.
Scientific excavation began in 1971 with a team, led by William Sumner, from the
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

 and Ohio State University
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University, commonly referred to as Ohio State, is a public research university located in Columbus, Ohio. It was originally founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and is currently the third largest university campus in the United States...

 after
a survey in 1968.
The dig continued for several seasons until 1978, when the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 intervened. Most recently, Tal-i Malyan was excavated by Kamyar Abdi in 1999.
A further 6 week dig was conducted in 2004 by the
Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran
Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran
Iran Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization is an educational and research institution overseeing numerous associated museum complexes throughout Iran. It is administered and funded by the Government of Iran....

 and Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

.

See also

  • Cities of the Ancient Near East
    Cities of the ancient Near East
    The largest cities in the Bronze Age ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age with some 30,000 inhabitants was the largest city of the time by far...

  • Short chronology timeline
    Short chronology timeline
    The short chronology is one chronology of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 1728 BC – 1686 BC and the sack of Babylon to 1531 BC....

  • History of Iran
    History of Iran
    The history of Iran has been intertwined with the history of a larger historical region, comprising the area from the Danube River in the west to the Indus River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and Egypt...

  • Cyrus the Great
    Cyrus the Great
    Cyrus II of Persia , commonly known as Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much...

  • List of kings of Persia

External links