Episode 6: Peoples and Languages of Iran in the Early Iron Age

Well, here is Episode 6 for you, and the feed too…

I am stopping our chronological progression to talk a bit about the people we have been concerned with. I am going through a list of the civilisations, cultures, and languages of western Iran. We know of most of these through Assyrian and Sumerian, and occasionally Babylonian sources. I will talk a bit more about the Elamite culture, the Kassites and the Gutians, the Lullubi, and finally the Manneans. This will set up the scene for the whole “Indo-Iranian” migration story which seems to be overshadowing so much of early Iranian history.

I talk about the Loristan Bronzes in this episode. Here is an example of a couple of anthropomorphic horses from the BM. They are very common, so much so that you can even buy some of them on the Ebay! (I STRONGLY discourage you from doing this. Do NOT encourage looters and dealers!).

Naram-Sin and the Lullubi

Stele of Naram-Sin showing his victory over the Lullubi


  1. I find your comments about the language groups interesting. In particular, the efforts of those who are attempting to relate the disparate languages into larger associations. This may well be a perfectly rational position to take, but I don’t think it is beyond the realms of possibility that the small groups were in fact completely isolated languages.

    We have other examples of this – the Australian Aborigines of the Kimberley region of North West Australia. It has been found that this area hosted perhaps the most intense concentration of completely distinguishable languages anywhere in the world. Each different valley was host to an entirely different language – not just a different dialect. It would appear that under the right circumstances, it is completely plausible for distinct languages to develop independently in ways that we can’t currently fathom.

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