Businesswomen and their seals in Early Mesopotamia

Authored by: Andrew McCarthy

Women in Antiquity

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

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

10.4324/9781315621425.ch7

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Abstract

The business world, both public and private, is made up of individuals, and in order to understand the ancient economy we should allow for discussions of how aspects of an individual’s identity are factored into that economy. Sex and gender are two of these aspects, but these personal qualities are often sterilized from our historical descriptions in favour of more universal characteristics. The way ancient business operated, however, does not allow for the separation of an individual’s identity from her ability to contribute to the business world. For this reason, isolating how a woman would have operated in business can make a contribution to understanding the whole system. One way to access the role of women in business is through seals and their uses.

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