Women’s Ritual Practice In The Western Phoenician and Punic World

Authored by: Meritxell Ferrer Martin , Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels

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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Since the 1980s, the study of gender—especially of women—has had a strong impact on research on the ancient world, both in archaeology and history (e.g., Meyers 1988; Gero and Conkey 1991; Bird 1997; Bahrani 2001; Nelson 2006, 2007). However, this line of analysis has not appeared with the same strength in Phoenician and Punic studies, where gender remains a minor field of inquiry. In fact, the field of Phoenician and Punic studies has traditionally focused on what might be considered masculine topics and, with modern eyes, directly associated with power—topics such as trade, war, monumental architecture, and political and religious institutions (Delgado and Ferrer 2007a: 30). This androcentric bias in Phoenician and Punic studies not only involved a noteworthy lack of attention to women and feminine agency, but also to those research areas where women, and especially their capacity of action, could be visualized more effectively, for example in domestic contexts and other arenas of domesticity. These spaces being traditionally seen as unconnected to power were consequently relegated to secondary roles in the historical development of the western Phoenician and Punic world 1 (for map, see Figure 38.1).

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