Around two decades ago, following on from attempts to redress the long-standing neglect of the lives and contributions of women in antiquity, archaeologists and historians around the world started to reframe their treatments of past societies to incorporate children in larger-scale social, economic, political and religious processes. While scholars of the ancient Near East were much slower to follow, there is now a growing library of research available on children, particularly for Mesopotamia and the biblical world. Children and childhood in Elam, however, are still faring poorly as subjects of inquiry, despite the varied sources from which we can learn about them. This article's raison d’être is to review these sources, which fall into the three broad categories “textual”, “iconographic” and “archaeological”, and reflect on what they can tell us about Elamite children. By the conclusion it becomes clear that Elamite society tended to marginalise younger individuals, who had not yet attained full membership in the group. Their appearance in a fairly restricted range of contexts in art and texts and their differential treatment in death resonates with the results of studies of children in other areas of the Near East.
- Ancient Iran
- social history