Women in Neo-Assyrian Palaces: The case of the ekal mašarti in Nimrud/Kalḫu

Eva Schmalenberger


Ø  Basic Facts on Nimrud:

  • Left Bank of the Tigris, North of the Greater Zab
  • capital of the Neo-Assyrian empire since 878 B.C. under King Aššurnaṣirpal (883 - 859 B.C.)
  • The city wall encloses an area of 380 ha
  • The main architectural features are located on the northern and the south-eastern acropolis, including various palaces and temple buildings

Ø  The ekal mašarti:

  • Built under King Šalmaneser III. (858 - 824 B.C.)
  • completed 844 B.C.
  • on the south-eastern acropolis
  • mainly used for military purposes (Areas NW, NE, SW and SE)
  • Representation rooms (Area T) and private quarters (Area S) in the south

Ø  Women in the ekal mašarti:

  • Clear archaeological evidence for the presence of women in the palace; Finds: Amulets (Bes, Lamaštu, Pazuzu), skorpion, fibulae
  • Important rooms in area S: throne room of the queen (S 5) and bureau (S 10) of the šakintu (female high-official)
  • Reception rooms and working areas on the ground floor
  • Living quarters on the upper floor
  • Not all women belonging to the household of the queen, also lived in the (same) palace

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Video Abstract

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22012/baf.2017.13

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