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An Elamite Deportee

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Chapter Summary

Mass deportation was an integral part of Neo-Assyrian military practice. Deportation had fairly diverse aims such as to punish rebellion against the Assyrian authority, and to weaken rival powers. During the excavations of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft in Ashur between 1903 and 1914, the tablet that was unearthed contained texts that records the sale of a woman and her daughter, who are characterized as Elamite captives (lines 12-15). Except for this rather unusual remark, the document shows the prevailing Neo-Assyrian legal formulary and is written in the Neo-Assyrian cuneiform script. Together with Babylonia and Media, Elam belonged to the countries from which the Assyrians most frequently deported people. From VAT 9755 we learn that the Elamite captive was sold together with her daughter by ten men and that both had previously been given by the king (most likely Ashurbanipal) to the city of Ashur, that is to say to its inhabitants.

Keywords: Ashurbanipal; Assyrian army; Elam; mass deportation



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