Warfare > Ashurbanipal's Elam Campaign

Ashurbanipal's Elam Campaign

Background

For the first four years of Ashurbanipal's reign everything was smooth however, everything would change upon the rule of the new king of Elam named Urtaku. Under Esarhaddon the civilization of Elam was at peace with Assyria. In fact prior to Urtaku they were going through a famine and required Assyrian food supplies. But for some reason Urtaku decided to attack Babylonia in 664 BCE and was killed in combat. The Elamite troops retreated and he was succeeded by Tempti-Khumma-In-Shushinak also known as Teummamn cause no one can pronounce the guy with the longest name in history... literally we think. Teummamn was not the legitimate heir to the Elamite throne so many of the real Elamite elite had to flee to Assyria at this time.

The Assyrians under Ashurbanipal went after the Elamites once again in between 658 BCE and 657 BCE. The province of Gambulu had previously rebelled in 664 BCE and Ashurbanipal decided he had enough with constant rebellions. Clashing at the Battle of the Ulaya River, the Assyrians emerged victorious and crushed the Elamites. Rather than facing Assyrian capture according to relief tablets Teummamn chose to end his own life. Soon after Ashurbanipal installed new puppet kings named Humban-nikash at the city Madaktu and Tammaritu at the city of Hidalu. The civilization of Elam was now officially subjugated by the Assyrians completely and taken over as a vassal state.

The Assyrians marched back to their capital at Nineveh and took the head of Teummamn with them. Upon returning home they showed the head to the Elamite ambassadors where according to ancient legends and tablets one ripped off his beard and the other committed suicide. The head was then put on display in the Assyrian capital and the entire ordeal was depicted in multiple reliefs and tablets throughout Ashurbanipal's palace.

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources