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Bartash, Vitali (2015): Children in Institutional Households of Late Uruk Period Mesopotamia. In: Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Vol. 105, No. 2: pp. 131-138 [PDF, 555kB]


The article discusses references to children in cuneiform records from Southern Mesopotamia dating to the Uruk III/Jemdet Nasr period (ca. 3000 B. C.). They confirm the presence of infants and children among the personnel of institutional households. Documents offer two patterns of classifying humans. The first describes individuals as male or female and then distinguishes between adults, children and babies. The second disregards gender but offers six age groups instead, four of which refer to children. The article summarizes and interprets the information these early economic records provide on the gender and age groups of children. It shows how officials of institutional households in ancient Sumer defined the childhood of their dependents.

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