Tens of thousands of cuneiform texts, monumental sculptures, and images on terracotta reliefs and cylinder seals cast light on the fates of women at the dawn of history, from queens to female slaves, living at the bottom of society. In the patriarchal world of ancient Mesopotamia, women were often represented in their relation to men—as mothers, daughters, or wives—giving the impression that a woman’s place was in the home. But, as we explore in this exhibition, they were also authors and scholars, astute business-women, sources of expressions of eroticism, priestesses with access to major gods and goddesses, and regents who exercised power on behalf of kingdoms, states, and empires.
Yale-ID accessible during the Sterling Memorial Library operating hours. For general public, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guided tours and general questions about the exhibit.