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Monday, 10 September 2012 13:52

Andimeshk: Civilizational Bridge

Khuzestan province is a plain that has been a cradle of civilization. Greeks called it Suziana.

This region has been the main center of Elamite Civilization, when it was called Shoushan. Prehistoric ancient sites and remains have been excavated in the province, wrote.

Located in northwest Khuzestan where the plain meets Zagros mountain range, Andimeshk faces Abdanan city in Ilam province, which is on the other side of the mountains.

Andimeshk is bordered by Khuzestan Plain on one side and by Mesopotamia on the other. The region is bound by Karkheh River on the west, which was called Kheops by the Greek and Aqnu by Assyrians.

On the eastern side, the city is bound by Karkheh River called Idadid by Elamites. There are many natural springs in the region, which made it a suitable habitat for various peoples since a long time ago.


Strategic Passageway

Andimeshk is an ancient city dating back to five millennia and Tavallaei Hill as well as Sanjar Hill are good evidence of this fact.

The city has been used as a strategic passageway since ancient times. Elamites used the passageway to contact people in Mesopotamia. In fact, Andimeshk has acted as a bridge between two civilizations.

Homayoun Hatamiyan, a senior expert on civilizational history of Iran and the world, has noted that Andimeshk has been a link between Elamite and Mesopotamian civilizations.

“The people of those civilizations mostly contacted each other through Andimeshk because beyond the city, Zagros mountains are located, which prevented communication between them. On the other hand, Karkheh River passes by Andimeshk at the beginning of its course,” he said.

Hatamiyan maintains that a major relic indicating Andimeshk was an ancient passageway is a tablet now being kept at British Museum of London.

“The tablet is an account of a war that took place in 644 BC and it was a fateful war for the two big kings of that time, namely Ashurbanipal, the powerful Assyrian king whose lands were located in present-day Erbil city in Iraq, and Elamites who lived in Suziana Plain,” he said.

The picture carved on the tablet shows that after Elamites were defeated and their ziggurat (Choghazanbil) was demolished, a group of Assyrian singers, who had taken the statue of Elamite god as booty, are moving along Karkheh River. It shows the Assyrians moving exactly at the spot where Karkheh River enters the plain, that is, present-day Andimeshk.

Hatamiyan has also noted that another important relic is an inscription in which Ashurbanipal has explained his attack on the land of Elamites.

The king has noted that to overcome Elamites, he followed the river where it enters the plain.

“I destroyed hundreds of Elamite cities and ruined their ziggurat whose bricks were made of polished copper. I erased Elam from the map and then Arab and Elamite soldiers carried my carriage up to the temple of Assyria and Ishtar,” noted the inscription.

Hatamiyan added that these relics show the importance of the passageway in ancient times, as it was used by Assyrian kings to put an end to Elamite Civilization.

“A more recent document shows the passageway has also been used by Sassanids as has been proven by the war waged by Sassanid king, Shapour, in 260 AD,” he said.

“The powerful Sassanid king took the Roman emperor, Valerian, captive and after selecting Khuzestan as the venue for the establishment of Sassanid Empire, he brought the Roman emperor along with Roman captives to Khuzestan through the passageway of Andimeshk in order to build his new city.”

Another document shows that the passageway has even been used after the rise of Islam. Also, Mogul Ilkhanid rulers have used it to overcome their main foes, that is, Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad.

In fact, the best place that would have given Moguls easy access to Baghdad was this strategic passageway, which helped them achieve their goals.


0 #1 Mehrdad Fravashi 2012-12-23 11:53
Well Done,That is a Great Document about Andimeshk history which explained its ancient aspects archeologically .Do your best,I'm so appreciated for taking place such splendid research and I ask you to do it more than ever.
Thanks a lot.

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