The aim of this book is to track a distinct human phenomenon in the history of the ancient Near East: persons who were born males, but under various social and historical circumstances their masculine identity was considered to be ambiguous. On the basis of this, these persons can be classified as belonging to a third gender They bore specific titles, and were engaged in cult or palace administration. The contexts of their documentation occasionally depict them as possessing or exhibiting traits that were uncharacteristic of the standard social expectations of men in Mesopotamia. The terms that describe these persons were grouped in numerous lexical lists, which supply us with the frame and boundaries of the present research. To a lesser extent, the grouping of these persons is apparent in narrative and literary compositions. The most notable of these titles were gala/kalû, assinnu, kurgarrû and lú-sag / ša rēši. Other similar titles that were documented less frequently were kulu’u, girseqû,tīru, SAG-UR-SAG, pilpilû, nāš pilaqqi, sinnišānu and parû. Their sexual and gender ambiguity was realized in numerous and diverse manners. Continue reading Ilan Peled: Masculinities and Third Gender
This volume gathers brand new essays from some of the most respected scholars of ancient history, archaeology, and physical anthropology to create an engaging overview of the lives of women in antiquity. The book is divided into ten sections, nine focusing on a particular area, and also includes almost 200 images, maps, and charts. The sections cover Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, Cyprus, the Levant, the Aegean, Italy, and Western Europe, and include many lesser-known cultures such as the Celts, Iberia, Carthage, the Black Sea region, and Scandinavia. Women’s experiences are explored, from ordinary daily life to religious ritual and practice, to motherhood, childbirth, sex, and building a career. Forensic evidence is also treated for the actual bodies of ancient women.
“The Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale held in Paris in 2009 enabled Agnès Garcia-Ventura and Saana Svärd to realize they both had a common interest: gender studies. This common interest materialized in a joint project we launched in 2012. The aims of their project were, first, to discuss some possible methodological approaches to gender within the framework of ancient Near Eastern studies; and second, to create spaces where people interested in such discussions could interact with each other. With their contribution to this special issue of the Near Eastern Archaeology, Agnès Garcia-Ventura and Saana Svärd aim to offer a brief presentation of the genesis of their project, the initiatives carried on until now, the current state of research, and future prospects.”1
Studying Gender in the Ancient Near East: First Steps and Future Prospects
Agnès Garcia-Ventura and Saana Svärd
Near Eastern Archaeology
Vol. 79, No. 3, Special Issue: Gender Archaeology (September 2016), pp. 222-223.