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Author : Jonathan S. Tanny
ISBN : 9789004206892
Genre : History
File Size : 56.9 MB
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Life at the Bottom of Babylonian Society is a study of the population dynamics, family structure, and legal status of publicly-controlled servile workers in Kassite Babylonia. It compares some of the demographic aspects proper to this group with other intensively studied past populations, such as Roman Egypt, Medieval Tuscany, and American slave plantations. It suggests that families, especially those headed by single mothers, acted as a counter measure against population reduction (flight and death) and as a means for the state to control this labor force. The work marks a step forward in the use of quantitative measures in conjunction with cuneiform sources to achieve a better understanding of the social and economic forces that affected ancient Near Eastern populations.
Author : Jonathan Stuart Tenney
ISBN : 1109212372
Genre : Demographic archaeology
File Size : 26.40 MB
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The public servile labor force at Nippur can be identified by standard Middle Babylonian markers of sex-age class and physical condition as well as by other distinctive designations (e. g., qinnu, am ilutu) in a corpus of more than five hundred tablets and fragments dating between 1359 and 1224 B.C. This collection of administrative texts, legal documents, and letters partially illuminates for us several key features of this group, including aspects of its demographic composition, its family and household organization, its occupations, and the administrative structure concerned with maintaining, tracking, and controlling the laborers.
The Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. was a watershed event in the history of Judah, the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the exilic period, during which many of the biblical texts were probably written. The conquest left clear archaeological marks on many sites in Judah, including Jerusalem, and the Bible records it as a traumatic event for the population. Less clear is the situation in Judah following the conquest, that is, in the sixth century, a period with archaeological remains the nature and significance of which are disputed. The traditional view is that the land was decimated and the population devastated. In the last two decades, archaeologists arguing that the land was not empty and that the exile had little impact on Judah’s rural sector have challenged this view. This volume examines the archaeological reality of Judah in the sixth century in order to shed new light on the debate. By expanding research into new avenues and examining new data, as well as by applying new methods to older data, the author arrives at fresh insights that support the traditional view of sixth-century Judah as a land whose population, both urban and rural, was devastated and whose recovery took centuries.