Economic history is well documented in Assyriology, thanks to the preservation of dozens of thousands of clay tablets recording administrative operations, contracts and acts dealing with family law. Despite these voluminous sources, the topic of work and the contribution of women have rarely been addressed. This book examines occupations involving women over the course of three millennia of Near Eastern history. It presents the various aspects of women as economic agents inside and outside of the family structure. Inside the family, women were the main actors in the production of goods necessary for everyday life. In some instances, their activities exceeded the simple needs of the household and were integrated within the production of large organizations or commercial channels. The contributions presented in this volume are representative enough to address issues in various domains: social, economic, religious, etc., from varied points of view: archaeological, historical, sociological, anthropological, and with a gender perspective. This book will be a useful tool for historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and graduate students interested in the economy of the ancient Near East and in women and gender studies.
Brigitte Lion, Charles de Gaulle University, France, Cécile Michel, French National Center for Scientific Research, France.
"[...] the contributions have a high philological and historical value. The work certainly deserves a close attention, because it concerns a rarely examined aspect of the economic and social life in Antiquity. We should be thankful to the editors of the volume, B. Lion and C. Michel, for having prepared this work for publication."
Edward Lipinski in: The Polish Journal of Biblical Research 15, 2016, pp. 84-86