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Single-Parent Families

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Chapter Summary

74 single-parent families of the lower stratum are attested in the Neo-Assyrian Period. In 74% of the single-parent families, the father is missing, and only in 19 cases is the wife/mother missing. Most single-parent families in the Ancient Near East probably came into being not through the free choice of a man or a woman who at some time decided to establish a single-parent family because he or she had not found a suitable partner or preferred not to marry. Thirty-six out of 85 slave families are single-parent; 26 of them are type-A4 families, namely a maid with her child or children. Five out of 18 pledged families are single-parent. Six out of 30 families listed in sales and lists of "Land and People" are single-parent. Two of the four single-parent families attested in the Harran Census are of type A3 and the other two are of type A5.

Keywords: Harran census; neo-Assyrian period; pledged families; single-parent families; slave families



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