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Khuzestan; Elam civilization and Chaghazanbil


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  • Before starting this article, we must remember why we Iranians should know our history!

    Knowing history is not only useful for a certain group and group such as scholars and researchers, but it is also worth knowing and learning for every populist and patriotic person, because today's world, which has passed several thousand years, is indebted to history. As we know, one of the The history-making countries are certainly our country, Iran.

    A country that is the birthplace of freedmen, free breeders and liberators of other peoples from slavery, it is known in the world and with an impartial examination of various political and social history, I see what a great service has been left in building the foundations of the world civilization. The great scientists and historians of the world have considered our country as the cradle of civilization and the founder of the world, and this statement is not exaggerated and an undeniable truth, and no Iranian federation can consider itself deprived of this honor, and we should be proud of Iran and being Iranian.

    Elam: In ancient times, Elam was called a country that included Khuzestan-Lorestan-Pesht-Kuh-Bakhtiari mountains. The borders of this country were from the Tigris side to the west, a part of Pars from the east side, and the road from the north side. Babylon went to Hamedan, and from the south, the Persian Gulf to Bushehr were the important cities of Ilam.

    🔵Shush is the most important city of Ilam and one of the oldest cities in the world

    🔵Madakto, on the Karkhe River

    🔵Khaidalu, which was built in the place of the current Khorramabad


    The people of Ilam called their country (Anzan Susunka), the word Ilam means mountain and it was referred to the mountainous part.

    Our knowledge of History of Elam is mainly the result of reconstructing incomplete fragments from Mesopotamia sources (Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian). The history of Elam is usually divided into three periods with a span of more than two thousand years. The period before the first period of the history of Elam is known as Nia-Elami.

    • Nia-Elamite: around 3200 BC. AD to 2700 BC (Niya-Elamite script in Shush)
    • Ancient Elam: around 2700 B.C. AD to 1600 AD M (the first documents up to the opera dynasty)
    • Middle Elamite: around 1500 BC. AD to 1100 BC AD (Anzan dynasty until the Babylonian attack on Shush)
    • New Ilam: around 1100 BC. AD to 539 AD AD (539 BC, the beginning of the Achaemenid period)

    First - from ancient times to 2225 BC

    The Sumerians and the Akkadians: These people lived in the country from the 9th century BC onward, which became known as Calcutta, from a very ancient time, where it is not known where Shadkh began, the Sumerians at the head of the Persian Gulf and the sides of the Shatt al-Arab and the Akkadian They lived in the northeast side. It is not possible to determine the borders of Sumer and Akkad with certainty, it is only known that Ur-Uruk (Erkh) and Nippur are important cities of Sumer and Sip Parkish and Babylon are important cities. were akad

    Religion: Every city had a lord of sorts, or as the Samaritans say, a god, and in the eyes of the residents of each city, the lords of other cities were lower in rank than the lord of their city, despite this, they all worshiped three great lords:

    🔵 Anu (Mr. Sky)

    🔵EA (Owner of Deep Valley)

    🔵 Bel (Lord of the earth)

    Second - from ancient times to 2300 BC

    For a long time, new researchers considered Ilam to be the same as Susiana, which Susiana is synonymous with the plains and foothills of the Lower Zagros in modern Khuzestan province. But recently, two important factors have modified this belief. First, the researchers found that Tel Melian in Fars province was the ancient center of the Anshan kingdom, and secondly, it was proved that Shush and Elam were two distinct concepts; In other words, Shush is not synonymous with Elam. In fact, during the history of several thousand years of Elam, the borders of this land varied not only from one period to another, but also according to the perspective of the person who described it. For example, based on Mesopotamia sources, a relatively accurate map of Elam can be drawn at the end of the third millennium BC; We especially owe the drawing of this map to the "Geography of Sargon of Akkad", a work compiled in the Neo-Assyrian period and showing the scope of Sargon the Great's conquests around 2300 BC. It seems that according to the imagination of the Mesopotamia people at the end of the third millennium BC, the country of Elam covered the entire plateau of Iran, and it extended from Mesopotamia to the Desert Plain and the Lut Plain, and from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf.

    But the influence of Elamite culture in that period was much wider than these political borders and reached Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the southern shores of the Persian Gulf. It should be emphasized that during the last centuries of the third millennium, Susiana was sometimes politically dependent on the Mesopotamian empires, whose center was first Akkad and then Ur; Suziana was only a member of the Elamite confederation for a short time. The Elamite confederation consisted of several kingdoms: the kingdom of Avan (probably in the Zagros region), Simashki or in Assyrian pronunciation, Shimashki (probably from Kerman to the Caspian Sea) and Anshan (modern Fars province, which naturally has access to the Persian Gulf from the Bushehr region). . It should be added that this whole definition is from the point of view of Mesan-Rudani people. For the people of the Iranian plateau, that is, the Awanis and the Shimeshkis, Ilam meant their land.

    Third - from very ancient times to 2004 BC

    When the Elamites united with the people of Susiana and ended the Third Ur Empire in 2004 BC, they annexed Susiana to Elam; Then the 9th king of Simashki in Suziana formed the Operti dynasty or Sokel Mukhs; Therefore, this dynasty was rooted in the Iranian plateau. It is difficult to determine the eastern borders of the Apartite kingdom, but as their power decreased in the 18th century BC, their influence in the east probably also decreased. Regarding the "Kings of Anshan and Shush" who ruled during the middle Elamite period (1500 to 1100 BC), according to the available documents, we know that they exercised dominion over at least the present-day provinces of Khuzestan, Fars and Bushehr. In the first millennium BC, the expansion of people who spoke Indo-Iranian languages ​​and dialects into the Iranian plateau, caused the Elamites to lose their empire territories one after another and take refuge in Susiana; It was after this that the borders of Elam were limited to Susiana. Ashurbanipal's annals, Achaemenid inscriptions and the Bible and its fake books mention this small land.

    Choghazanbil; in Khuzestan, older than Noah's Ark

    Undoubtedly, this huge temple is the oldest temple in Iran and one of the oldest temples in the world, which is said to have a longer life than Noah's Ark. Unfortunately, the maintenance of this temple is not done with good value. If you travel to Khuzestan, you must Visit this temple.

    Chaghazanbil is located in the southwest of Iran, 35 kilometers southeast of the ancient city of Shush, which was registered in the list of world monuments by UNESCO in 1979.

    The construction of this city, which began around 1,250 years before Christ (AS) during the Elamite period, was left unfinished after the Assyrian attack. Thousands of unused bricks and bricks left in this area are proof of this. In 1979, Chaghazanbil was registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    Chaghazenbil was built in the early 13th century BC by the Elamite king "Ontash Nepirisha" near the River Dez and was called "Duravantash". Duravantash means Untash Castle. Of course, in some cuneiform texts, this city is mentioned as "El Untash" which means the city of Untash.

    Elam was the most powerful and long-standing civilization of the Iranian plateau before the arrival of the Aryans and has a complex history. Most of the historical materials about Elam were recorded by their enemies, the Babylonians and the Assyrians, and after them the Persians, who had a strong motive to destroy the new Elam kingdom. For this reason, the displayed face of the Elam civilization is not very fair or accurate, and only by paying attention to new research and re-reading the Elamite inscriptions can one gain good knowledge about them. We do not have accurate information about the origin of the Elamites, like the Kassites. The traces of the Elamite settlement in the plains of Khoz (north of the Persian Gulf) date back to the 4th millennium BC. The research conducted on Elamite skeletons shows the closeness of the Elamite race to the Sumerians and the Dravidian civilization in the Indus Valley (now in Pakistan), while the Elamite language (at least its final form) has little connection with the mentioned civilizations. Clay vessels and Elamite vessels are strongly influenced by Sumerian works and civilizations of the Indus Valley and Bactria-Margiana (now Turkmenistan). It is believed that the Elamites probably came to the land of Elam from the southern region of the Indus Valley by sea around 3500 BC. Before the arrival of the Elamites, the plains of the north of the Persian Gulf were among the oldest civilized areas in the history of the world, and the area of Shush was inhabited since about 4200 BC and was under the command of the kings of Akkad (a civilization north of Babylon). When the first Elamites entered this area, they were under the command of the Sumerian kingdom of Ur. The primitive Elamites learned many features of the Sumerian civilization, such as the cuneiform script, which they replaced with their pictorial script. Of course, the Elamites kept some of the characteristics of their civilization, such as the matrilineal system (transmission of the king's lineage through the mother) and their religion. It seems that women have had a very important position in the society of Ilam. They inherited and were the owners of their property, business management was with them, and as it was said, the government was transferred through them. The matriarchy system was maintained until the era of modern Elam (about 750 years BC) and at that time the Babylonian-Semitic patriarchal system of the neighbors was introduced to Ilam.

    Aerial photo of the ziggurat (stepped temple) of Chaghazanbil, located in the south of ancient Shush.

    Apadana Palace, Shush

    قلعه شوش

    Apadana palace in Shush was the winter palace of Achaemenid kings and the main palace of Darius the Great. This palace was built by the order of Darius the Great, the Achaemenid king, around the years 515-521 BC in Shush (ancient city) on Elamite monuments and remains.

    Apadana Palace should be considered one of the most magnificent historical buildings in Iran. This work is one of the most proud sights of Shush. Apadana Shush is considered to be the result of great Iranian architecture, which was built during the Achaemenid period by the order of Darius the Great. The stone walls and columns of this palace with different motifs show the attractiveness of Iranian architecture in ancient times. A large part of the remains of this palace are kept in museums outside Iran.

    This palace was excavated during excavations between 1311 and 1314, and after 70 years, it was registered in the national monuments of Iran on 10 Mehr 1380.

    Apadana Palace dates back to 515 to 521 BC. The Apadana Palace of Shush was built on the remains of the Elamite civilization by the order of Darius the Great, the Achaemenid king, in the 6th century BC. The Elamite civilization in Shush is among the first known civilizations in the world, which adds to the historical importance of Shush. This palace was actually the winter palace of the Achaemenid kings, which had various units such as the public hall, harem, gate and reception palace, and three central courtyards.

    There are different opinions about Apadana Palace. Some consider the reason for its construction to be the religion of the city of Shush. As it is known, in the ancient civilization, all the buildings consisting of halls with several columns were called Apadana. Apadana is actually a type of pillared hall in ancient Iran.

    Achaemenid Darius came to the throne in 522 BC. Darius was able to overcome the claimants of the monarchy. He restored peace to the country. Darius had conquered many countries, so he tried to manage them all with a special policy. For this great empire, he needed to choose a place as the center of Achaemenid government.

    The occupied lands of Darius Achaemenid reached about 30 countries or states; But he centralized a few places, including the city of Parse or today's Persepolis, Hamedan, Babylon and Shush. Achaemenid Darius built palaces in each of these centers that are the same in the general principles of construction; But there are differences in details.

    The expansion of the Achaemenid Empire (from the Indus to the Nile) made Shush, which was in the center of the empire, to be chosen as the capital. Undoubtedly, the glory of Shush's ancient history was important in this choice; Because Darius the Achaemenian considered himself the heir of the rulers of Elam.

    Apadana Palace has 6 courtyards, three of which are very large and are located around an east and west axis. The interior of the Apadana palace complex is connected to the northern part by a large corridor.

    Three smaller courtyards were located in the northern part of the palace complex, and various rooms and buildings of the palace were lit and ventilated by these courtyards. The bed of these yards is covered with ocher red bricks.

    In the easternmost and largest courtyard, circular holes can be seen, which were the places where the flag was installed. Archaeologists believe that this courtyard had a military use or was a place for lining up and gathering palace guards. In the north of this yard, there are four-meter-long lions, which have remained completely intact over time. After passing through this courtyard, we will reach the second courtyard in the west-east direction.

    Apadana has circular columns, whose bases are decorated with 12-petaled lotus flowers, and on top of these 18-meter columns, there are large capitals in the shape of two horned cows. These columns without mortar are connected with lead fasteners. The public hall, rooms, harem, gate and reception palace as well as three central courtyards were parts of this palace.

    The reliefs of the Achaemenid soldiers or the Immortal Corps, the lotus flower and the horned lion are the distinguishing features of Shush Palace from other historical buildings and palaces. All these motifs are made with glazed bricks (Petorsk). Of course, when you enter this complex, you will not see anything of the grandeur and glory of the 6 courtyards of the palace; Because only remains of the building remain. In the excavations of 1351, the French discovered the main gate of Apadana Palace on the eastern side, which is the entrance to the palace. On the west side is the exit gate of the palace. According to archaeologists, in the past, the statue of Darius was on the left side of the gate and the statue of King Xerxes was on the right side.

    In the case of the photo above, one's heart really hurts, how to expose such important works to serious damage, according to one of the palace staff, they were instructed to expose these works to erosion and not to preserve them.

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