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Stele of Untash Napirisha, sandstone, ca. 1340–1300 BC, brought from Tchoga Zanbil to Susa in the 12th century BC; fish-tailed woman holding snakes

Untash-Napirisha was king of Elam (in present-day southwest Iran) during the Middle Elamite period. He was the son of the previous Elamite king, Humban-Numena. He was named after Napir, the Elamite god of the moon.

He founded and built extensively a new city, Dur-Untash, 40 km SE of Susa, modern Chogha Zanbil. He built extensively in this city, and its main temple, the famous Ziggurat, still stands there.[1] Although construction in this religious city complex abruptly ended after Untash-Napirisha's death, the site was not abandoned, but continued to be occupied until it was destroyed by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 640 BC.

Untash Napirirsha also left numerous building inscriptions for more than 50 temples and buildings, either built or renovated during his reign, in Chogha Zanbil, Susa, Choga Gotvand and other places.[2]

A later Elamite letter from Berlin Pergamon Museum (VAT17020) mentions that he married to “the daughter of Burna-buriash (a Babylonian king) and she bore him a son (and the future Elamite king) Kidin-hudurdish (Hutran)".[3] If this was the Babylonian king Burna-Buriash II, then the reign of Untash-Napirisha could be dated ca 1340–1300 BC. However, some scholars consider a different model for the synchronism between Kassite dynasty in Babylone and the Elamite kings, and suggest that the mentioned Burna-buriash was a later prince, and that the reign of Untash-Naprisha could be dated ca. 1275–1240 BC; see, for example The Berlin Letter, Middle Elamite Chronology and Sutruk-Nahhunte I’s Genealogy.[4]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Carter, Matthew W. Stolpe. Elam: Surveys of Political History and Archaeology p. 37
  2. ^ .T.Potts (1999). The Archaeology of Elam. Cambridge University Press. pp. 213–216. 
  3. ^ .T.Potts (1999). The Archaeology of Elam. Cambridge University Press. p. 208. 
  4. ^ J. Goldberg. The Berlin Letter, Middle Elamite Chronology and Sutruk-Nahhunte I’s Genealogy
Preceded by
King of Elam
1340–1300 BC
Succeeded by