Functions and personalities of “Syrian” priestesses in the Bronze Age

Priestesses at Mari, Emar, and Ugarit

Authored by: Patrick M. Michel

Women in Antiquity

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138808362
eBook ISBN: 9781315621425
Adobe ISBN: 9781317219910


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Syrian Bronze Age priestesses are mainly known through the texts from Mari, Emar, and Ugarit. Four types of written sources are available to us: law codes, letters, administrative texts, and ritual texts. The archives of Mari and those of the Great Diviner at Emar are especially rich and allow us to draw some general conclusions about the status and role of their women in society between 1800 and 1200 bce. Many sacerdotal titles are attested in these texts: ugbabtum, nadîtum, qammatum, entum (ereš.dingir), maš’artum, qadištum.

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