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The Kingdom of Elymais (ca. 301 BC-224 AD): a comprehensive analysis (archaeological, artistic, and textual) of one of the most important minor reigns in southern Iran

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posted on 2022-03-29, 00:11 authored by Davide Salaris
The Seleucid and Arsacid periods (ca. 301 BC – 224 AD)‚ spanning the centuries from the end of the Achaemenid dynasty to the rise of the Sasanid empire with the arrival of Ardashir ‚ long persisted as one of the most obscure hiatus in the history of southwestern Iran. Although less renowned than its neighbours in the lowlands of Susiana and Mesopotamia, the Zagros-Bakhtiari highland (now the mountainous part of the Khuzestan‚ and the Kohgiluyeh and Buyer Ahmad provinces) represents nonetheless a distinctive cultural lens through which the heterogeneous socio-political dynamics about one of the most vital regions of western Asia may find an explanation. In this context‚ the last survival of the Elamite civilization clearly emerges in that small kingdom which was widely know during the antiquity by the name of Elymais. In reality, while Classical sources speak of Elymais, Mesopotamian authors reproposed the long-established designation of Elam, suggesting that this kingdom – so often overlooked in the academic world – was probably heir to the millennial Elamite kingship and culture. During the last few decades‚ scholars have moderately progressed to disclose a clearer picture of the Elymaean culture and its material evidence‚ even though a comprehensive study has remained surprisingly absent. This work investigates the origin and development of Elymais through both epigraphic and archaeological data‚ and reassessed its relevance placing it in the perspective of the latest archaeological and historical scholarship. A thorough analysis with the aim to confront th etopic of Elymais from all sides (textual, archaeological, cultural) is suggested then to provide for the first time in academic studies a complete vision of all the fragmentary material records so as to collate them as a corpus. I assume that my own efforts may adequately indicate the signiПicance‚ and indeed the necessity‚ to enhance these artistic assets in order to remodel the Elymaean history and socio-cultural identity. Narrowing the gap in scholarship through the elaboration of a critical review‚ which is also refined by supplementary data from written sources and other prospects of the material attestation‚ a new general overview has been elaborated for this intriguing society.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Part I. The background -- Part II. Corpus of evidence -- Part III. Discussions and interpretations -- Part IV. Maps, tables and plates.


Theoretical thesis. Includes bibliographical references

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Javier Álvarez-Mon


Copyright Davide Salaris 2017. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (400 pages) illustrations, maps

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