What Ancient Civilization Was Located in Iran?

Iran is a country with a rich cultural heritage that dates back to ancient times. The land of Iran was home to many great civilizations, each with its unique cultural and historical significance. One such civilization that flourished in Iran was the Elamite civilization.

The Elamite Civilization

The Elamites were an ancient civilization that arose in present-day southwestern Iran around 2700 BCE. They were one of the oldest civilizations in the world and are often referred to as the “first Iranians.” The Elamites developed a sophisticated society with their own language, religion, and political structure.

History of the Elamites

The history of the Elamite civilization is divided into three main periods: Early, Middle, and Late. During the Early period, Elam was ruled by a series of independent city-states. However, during the Middle period (c. 1500-1000 BCE), the Elamites established a unified kingdom under their capital city Susa.

During this time, they became a major power in Mesopotamia and established diplomatic relations with other great empires such as Assyria and Babylon. However, during the Late period (c. 1000-539 BCE), the power of the Elamite kingdom declined due to internal conflicts and external invasions by neighboring empires.

Culture and Society

The culture of the Elamites was heavily influenced by their neighbors in Mesopotamia but also had unique elements of its own. They built impressive temples and palaces at Susa that featured intricate carvings and detailed architecture.

The society was hierarchical, with kings at the top followed by nobles, priests, soldiers, artisans, farmers, and slaves at the bottom. The people worshipped many gods but primarily worshipped Inshushinak – their primary deity.

Legacy of the Elamites

Although the Elamite civilization declined and eventually disappeared, its legacy lives on in Iran’s rich cultural heritage. Their influence can be seen in many aspects of Iranian culture, from language to art and architecture.

The Elamites were also one of the first civilizations to develop a legal code, which influenced later legal systems in Mesopotamia and beyond. In addition, their contributions to metallurgy, agriculture, and irrigation helped shape the region’s economy and infrastructure.


In conclusion, the Elamite civilization was an important part of Iran’s ancient history. They were a significant power in Mesopotamia during their time and left a lasting impact on Iranian culture. By understanding their achievements and struggles, we can gain a deeper appreciation for this ancient civilization that once thrived in what is now modern-day Iran.