Explore highlights
Bronze tankard


Length: 16.000 cm
Width: 13.700 cm
Weight: 439.000 g

ME 134884

Room 52: Ancient Iran

    Bronze tankard

    Elamite, about 18th century BC
    From Luristan, western Iran

    Deicated to Attakhushu

    The cuneiform text engraved on this bronze tankard is in Akkadian and is typical of royal inscriptions from the region of Susa. It translates: 'Attakhushu, the son of Silhaha’s sister, he who holds the . . . of the people of Susa. Ibni-Adad, the assistant scribe, his servant, made for him and gave him this gunagi [the word for this type of vase].'

    Attakhushu was a governor of Elam and ruler of Susa. This was the period of the so-called sukkalmahs - 'Grand Regents' - a distinctive title used by Elamite rulers. By 1900 BC the sukkalmahs had gained control of the region between Susa and Anshan, some 320 miles to the south-east. It has been suggested that Elamite kingship at this time consisted of a senior ruler, the sukkalmah, a co-regent, sukkal, and a junior co-regent called the sukkal of Susa.

    Attakhushu, however, did not use the title sukkalmah. He dated his reigns according to a Babylonian system and it is possible that Attakhushu came to power with the help of the Babylonian king Gungunum, the founder of a dynasty of kings at the city of Babylon.

    E. Sollberger, 'A tankard for Atta-Hušu', Journal of Cuneiform Studies-1, 22 (1968), pp. 30-33

    J.E. Curtis (ed.), Early Mesopotamia and Iran: co (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)


    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    On display: Room 52: Ancient Iran

    Shop Online

    Art and culture from Ancient Persia, £20.00

    Art and culture from Ancient Persia, £20.00