Although the impression may still linger that Assyrian women are hidden and unavailable for study, nothing could be farther from the truth. There is a rich treasure trove of textual, visual and archaeological information that gives a detailed and coherent picture of women in the temples and palaces of Assyria. This study reveals that women in Assyria were definitely in the public arena and their lives were not as circumscribed or limited as has been previously supposed. The positions they held in palaces and temples frequently required administrative abilities, business acumen and literacy. In the temples women participated in public rituals and female prophets revealed messages to heads of state. Female musicians performed at public events while foreign female musicians were popular and much sought after. Royal women had names and images displayed in public. Women in the temples and palaces of Assyria generated great respect from the king himself, his circle of advisors and Assyrian and foreign officials. They actively and noticeably participated in the great institutions of Assyria. This study makes an important contribution to the increasing number of publications on women in other areas of Mesopotamia and the larger ancient Mediterranean world.
With indices, bibliography and 15 illustrations.