The Sacrificial Economy: Assessors, Contractors, and Thieves in the Management of Sacrificial Sheep at the Eanna Temple of Uruk (ca. 625-520 B.C.).

Author:Schmidl, Martina
Position:Book review
 
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The Sacrificial Economy: Assessors, Contractors, and Thieves in the Management of Sacrificial Sheep at the Eanna Temple of Uruk (ca. 625-520 B.C.). By MICHAEL KOZUH. Explorations in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, vol. 2. Winona Lake, Ind.: EISENBRAUNS, 2014. Pp. xii + 324, CD-ROM. $69.50.

The Sacrificial Economy by Michael Kozuh treats the internal and external workings of animal husbandry (primarily sheep and, to a lesser extent, goats) in the Eanna temple in Uruk. It covers the timespan from the Neo-Babylonian to the beginning of the Achaemenid period. Kozuh's observations are based on around 950 published and unpublished texts. The volume, the author's revised Ph.D. thesis, includes a CD-ROM with good photographs of the thirty-five unpublished texts edited in the book. It concludes with indices for texts and topics. As Kozuh states himself (p. ix), this book came into being at a time when major research was being conducted in the field of Neo-Babylonian studies, also touching on his avenue of research. This is understandably a difficult framework to work in; yet it was a deliberate decision, due to timing, not fully to include the findings of AOAT 377 (Jursa 2010, which he calls a "capstone," p. 20).

Chapter one deals with the internal and external administrative spheres of the Eanna connected to sheep herding. The author treats the basic question of whether the purpose of its herds was meat or wool production. He suggests that limitations on the herdsmen's profit in wool--which the Eanna basically took in full as its cash crop--led them to raise herds for meat production and quantity, not quality, of wool. He considers the number of animals the Eanna owned and kept on-site and devises a livestock calendar.

In chapter two, Kozuh describes his source material and gives a cursory overview of previous scholarship. He introduces a classification of textual material from the Eanna tailored to his research needs and discusses several types of assessment texts in detail. Chapter three treats the Eanna's relationship with its external herdsmen, focusing on the contract employed and its terms in theory and practice. Kozuh defines the difference between the mathematical model used in the contract and the actual number of inspected and extracted animals in audit texts as rehu, which he translates as "balance" (p. 92) and discusses in detail in various contexts in chapter four.

Chapter five expands further on this, taking wool as an example and...

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