Episode 4: the Sukkalmah

This episode is about the Golden Age of the Old Elamite period, the period often associated with the title of Sukkalmah. Lasting between about 1950-1600 BCE, this is the height of Old Elamite power, when the Elamite king is known as the elder statesman of Mesopotamia and even Shamshi Adad and Hammurabi call Siwe-palar-huppak, “father”. The episode talks about the issues of ethnic make up of Elam, the highland vs. lowland duality, and prepares the scene for the Middle Elamite period, that of the Kings of Anshan and Susa (or Susa and Anshan, if you are reading the Babylonian texts!).

You can download the episode from here. You can also subscribe, using your favourite subscription tool!

Apologies for the long delay in releasing this episode. A series of life-crises prevented me from doing it any earlier. The episodes will be released on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future, at least until I catch up with the original schedule. Check in often, and please tell me what you think.

Old Elamite Statue

An Old Elamite statue with Linear Elamite writing

the Old Elamite relief at Kurangan

the Old Elamite relief at Kurangan

Map of the major sites in Elam and Sumer

Map of the major sites in Elam and Sumer

Some Bibliography:

The Archaeology of Early Egypt: Social Transformations in North-East Africa, c.10,000 to 2,650 BC (Cambridge World Archaeology)

Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece

The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran (Oxford Handbooks)


  1. Hooray! So glad you’re back! I hope all those life crises have been resolved and your life is now peaceful again.

  2. I am delighted to have found your podcast, and more delighted that you are such a good teacher. Your passion for your subject is infectious while your clear, conversational style invites us to listen, and think. Often, you answer a question just as I have thought of it, which I suspect means you are skillfully guiding your listeners.

    I am also thrilled with the geographical area you are covering in your history, as it is the part of the planet that has most intrigued me since I was a child.

    I have a few comments which I hope will be useful.
    Length: While I know listeners have stated preferences, I would like to note that podcasts can be shut off and the listener can return when ready. I’d much rather you were not restrained by the clock, but instead broke off where you feel it is natural to do so.

    Names: You usually speak new names slowly and clearly but if the name is (I suspect) in your first language, you say it tooo quickly for my ears to catch, and I am unable to figure it out as I speak only English (Canadian) and so am often unsure of the consonants I am hearing. It was very helpful when you included the list of terms in your notes.

    Maps: not all can be enlarged on my Mac. I don’t know why, or how to fix this, but perhaps someone can help you find a solution.

    music: I hereby lobby as hard as a polite Canadian can for you to start and end each episode with music from the broad geographic area you are covering, and tell us what the music is in your podcast notes, so that we can be introduced to the music as your introduce us to other cultural aspects in your lecture.

    Frequency: you are a busy person, and are having a hard time maintaining the schedule you have set for yourself. I’d much rather you make new episodes when you are able, without causing yourself so much stress that you decide to discontinue. I would like to continue this journey with you for the whole 3,500 years. One of the most successful history podcasts, Hardcore History, comes out infrequently. This doesn’t seem to have affected its popularity or the pleasure the listeners take in each episode.

    Thank you so much for taking this on.

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