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Journal of Iran's Pre Islamic Archaeological Essays
A Study on Akkadian Documents of Susa with Emphasis on Social Rules of Elam

 submission: - | acception: - | publication: 14/01/2019


Hossein Koohestani1, Maryam Ghasemnezhad2





Social security is the most important objective that each civilized society tries to achieve and for this purpose, the main role is played by the rules governing the society. Common rules in each society create social justice, sustainability of the government, and satisfaction of people. Therefore, this aspect is very important in governments that have shown durability over history. In this regard, common rules in ancient Elam deserve investigation as a government that despite the fluctuations over more than two thousand years continued its life and influenced next governments in Iranian plateau, especially Achaemenid dynasty. The Elam land was a connector between prehistoric era and historic era of Iran’s land, which has more than 2000 years’ history and old culture. Elam was an ancient Pre-Iranian civilization centered in the far West and Southwest of what is now modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of what is now Khuzestan and Ilam Province as well as a small part of southern Iraq. More than two thousand years of civilization in the ancient, middle and new kingdom of Elam, they stood in front of the invasions of Mesopotamian’s and finally destroyed by the Assyrians. This study aimed to investigate the rules in ancient Elam using the available documents. Organizing the information found from archeological documents and Akkadian documents From Sukkal-mah period (Sukkal-mah is a Sumerian term that may be literally translated “grand vizier,” was the title borne by the highest official of the empire under the Third Dynasty of Ur) found in Susa, As well as using library sources, it was found that the available documents present an accurate system about legal issues in ancient Elam that according to the area of interest, it is significant. Akkadian documents of Susa, despite limited sources about Elam, present direct and clear image of social life in this region. By investigating the contracts in ancient Elam including commercial contracts and marriage contracts, it was found that witness had an important role and except in certain cases, the presence of two witnesses was necessary and, in some contracts, 40 witnesses were required. Contract confirmation sign was nail sign that was functioning as a signature. With studies on Elamite rules and comparing them with the Code of Hammurabi (Hammurabi was the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty, reigning from 1792 B.C. to 1750 B.C. and the code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian code of law of ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to about 1754 B.C.), differences were observed that have different reasons, but there are similarities between them where we can point to giving value to swearing as an instrument to investigate verification of claims. Crucify was among the sentences in ancient Elam and existed in different periods. Elamite gods had important roles in legal issues and sentences and documents and contracts were accompanied by their names. The legacy law in Elam gives a special position to women; the Elamite men have paid attention to their own women. No evidence is found regarding the existence of prisons in ancient Elam.


Akkadian Documents  Elam  Rules  Susa 

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