But a more detailed look at the description of this large household estate inventoried on the occasion of seizure proceedings, as shown by K. It is nonetheless very likely that domestic textile production mainly corresponded to women. In the first contract, IMT , a group of three people are held: Assyrian women owned personally one or more female slaves, and bought or sold them as they liked: In HSS 19 79 the expected fate of the house given away as dowry is established: Women as debtors and creditors. Thus its close connection with marriage is obvious in this text. However, the exact implications of that formula remain unclear.
One interesting case concerns the household of the son of the governor of Girsu, early in the reign of Amar-Suen. Intention of the formula note: However some texts do exist, documenting a real productive activity involving women within a family home. This would be, however, against the general assumption that Mesopotamian girls married in their teens […]. Thus, we do find frequent mention of women qualified as geme 2 -kar-KID: They had to estimate the quantities needed to feed all the members of their household and could come up short as we learn from this letter sent to Innaya by his wife.
These documents were published by Oppenheim,  who proposed further parallels: Few items presumably made of wood are listed at the end of the text: Wunsch, Das Egibi-Archiv, I. Women as creditors With the silver they owed, Assyrian women took part in various transactions and invested their silver in interest-bearing loans.
The next text shows how quite a rich father distributed gifts to his wife, his two daughters and his son, giving them slaves, livestock, and real estate:. Ultimately, are these data sufficient to validate or invalidate the commonly asserted idea that the living conditions of women deteriorated over time in Mesopotamian history after the III rd millennium? The formula probably does not reflect personal difficulties, but a generalized crisis in Emar.
Meaning of the formula In the five texts in which the almattu-azibtu formula is stated in the context of marriage, its meaning is easily understood.
Indeed, we do not have marriage contracts at our disposal to complete our view point on the arrangements the two families would have made regarding the utilization of the dowry. HSS 59, Winona Lake. In our opinion, it might be further investigated following two research approaches:.
One last example will be proposed that goes in the same direction: In HSS 19 79 the counter-dowry is said to be paid by the husband, who receives the dowry; thus it does not constitute evidence of the possessions of the bride. In addition, it is Iddin-Marduk, the grand-father, who receives the dowry. Emar VIParis Dowry promises and receipts are at the heart of numerous administrative documents.
Geme 2 — d suen -ke 4 Geme-Suen said to the wife of Ur-lugal the gardner 2. Since the girl has grown up, I have made a epksode heavy textiles for the wagon. In addition to this property there is also 0.
We will study two dowry contracts that follow this model. We can notice an extraordinary peak of the preserved documentation during the first year Darius II B.
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E Cylinder seal of Arad-Enlil. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 26, Economic relationships between women and the other members of the family.
I suppose that through this fact in religious sphere, actual roles of women in human societies in Mesopotamia, especially in high societies, can be appeared.
Now, it is Abi-qiri, his wife, who accepts the obligation in his stead. Her role cannot be well seen from out, but she was effective behind the scenes. Two further documents from Emar refer to the situation of women during the period saacrifice economic crisis. This text was first edited and studied by von Sodenp.
Loans in which women appear as debtors often deal with small amounts of silver, or sacks of cereals, so seem in general to be for their own subsistence and that of their children in time of shortage, as shown by the repayment dates, sometimes fixed to the harvest. But in all these examples textiles are given by men: We are able to follow the story of this field, which has been mainly transmitted by the female line of the family, over six generations. These counter-dowries are made up of movable properties which can be classified in the different rubrics: Else, Anat-ummi may marry her to someone in another family.
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But as before, she does not receive the femmee money nor does she recover her slave. She is father and mother over the silver femne is her inheritance share. Of the silver, she shall share with my children.
Sometimes, it is even stated that they had to care of their children and had no resources. This approach asserted that women were reduced to the domestic, private sphere in their activities, while men acted in the public sphere.