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Chapter Summary

To estimate the household size in ʿAyntāb, the author has used probate records from the second half of the seventeenth century, and identified the incidence of polygamy as well as the number of children who survived a parent. An exceptionally large family of seventeen people and cases of pregnancy, i.e. unborn babies of the deceased excluded, the average household size according to the probate inventories was 4.85. Since the ‘Detailed ʿAvariz Registers’ for seventeenth-century ʿAyntāb are yet to be discovered, he has had to work with summary accounts that only give the number of tax-houses. To convert tax-house data to household data, he has established a range of 4–10 households per tax-house, based on the smallest and largest tax-houses he has encountered in seventeenth-century registers. Topographic evidence and descriptions of the town found in narrative sources render the lower range estimates highly implausible.

Keywords: ʿAyntāb; household size; tax-paying population



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