Art and culture from Ancient Persia, £20.00
Length: 16.000 cm
Width: 13.700 cm
Weight: 439.000 g
Room 52: Ancient Iran
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)