Elamites, an ancient people who inhabited a region of southwest Persia known as Elam (also called Susiana—from Susa, their capital city). By the time they appeared in history, about 2500 B.C., they had developed a high culture. They were a warlike people and carried on intermittent warfare with Mesopotamian kingdoms.

About 2000 B.C., the Elamites invaded Sumer destroyed its capital, Ur, and then withdrew. In the 19th and 18th centuries B.C., the Elamites conquered much of Sumer but were forced out by King Hammurabi of Babylonia (1792–1750 B.C.). With the conquest of the Kassites in the 12th century B.C., the Elamites entered a new period of aggression. Their land was devastated by the Assyrians in 639 B.C. and soon afterward fell to the Medes and the Persians. Anshan the eastern section of Elam, was the original domain of Cyrus the Great, who in 550 B.C. founded the Persian Empire.