Though equally matched in power the kings of this

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Unformatted text preview: e conspired against each other, with Egypt and the Hittites hoping to control Syria and Palestine, and Babylonia and Assyria testing each other’s borders. The Discovery of Iron An important technological change took place in northern Anatolia, somewhat earlier than the creation of the Hittite Kingdom, but perhaps within its region. This was the discovery of how to smelt iron, along with the decision to use it rather than copper or bronze to manufacture weapons and tools. Archaeologists refer to the period after 1100 B.C.E. as the Iron Age. The Mitannians The Mitannians belonged to a large group of people called the Hurrians, some of whom had been living in Mesopotamia and Syria in the time of the kings of Akkad and Ur. Their language is imperfectly understood, and the location of their capital city, Washukanni, is uncertain. The Hurrians were important mediators of Mesopotamian culture to Syria and Anatolia. They developed the art of chariot warfare and horse training to a high degree and created a large state that reached from the Euphrates to the foothills of Iran. The Hittites destroyed their kingdom, and the Assyrian Empire eventually incorporated what was left of it. The Assyrians Assyrian Palace Relief. This eighth-century B.C.E. relief of a hero gripping a lion formed part of the decoration of an Assyrian palace. The immense size of the figure and his powerful limbs and muscles may well have suggested the might of the Assyrian king. Giraudon/Art Resource, New York. The Assyrians were originally a people living in Assur, a city in northern Mesopotamia on the Tigris River. They spoke a Semitic language closely related to Babylonian. They had a proud, independent culture CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 22 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 22 Part 1 Human Origins and Early Civilizations to 500 B.C.E. Document An Assyrian Woman Writes to Her Husband, ca. 1800 B.C.E. The wives of early Assyrian businessmen were often active in their husbands’ business affairs. They made extra money for themselves by having slave girls weave textiles that the husbands then sold on business trips. Their letters are among the largest groups of women’s records from the ancient world. The woman writing this letter, Taram-Kubi, complains of her husband’s selfishness and points out all the matters she has worked on during his absence on business. ■ What functions did this woman perform on behalf of the family? How do you judge her real power in regard to her husband? On what evidence do you base that judgment? What does this document reveal about the place of women in Assyrian society? You wrote to me saying, “You’ll need to safeguard the bracelets and rings which are there so they’ll be available [to buy] food. In fact you sent [the man] Ilum-bani a half ” pound of gold! Which are the bracelets you left me? When you left, you didn’t leave me an ounce of silver, you picked the house clean and took away everything! After you left, there was a severe famine in the city. Not so much as a quart of grain did yo...
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