Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

IV. "Sex, Rhetoric And The Public Monument": Gendered Contexts

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

High priestesses stood at the head of major temples and were among the highest dignitaries in the realm. Their office was exclusive to one holder at a time and their tenure was lifelong. When looking at daily activities of high priestesses, one must bear in mind that Mesopotamian temples were not only places of worship, but also economic enterprises. An archive associated with Shulgi-simti, consisting of approximately 500 tablets written in the Sumerian language, spans a period of a little less than two decades. The tablets allow us a glimpse into the operation of Shulgi-simti’s organization. The archaeological and textual evidence suggests that the lead reliefs with erotic content were made as decorative insets for the furniture of Assyrian elite. Formal and contextual analyses in light of contemporary visual and social traditions indicate that they are private pornography.

Keywords: high priestesses; lead reliefs; pornography; Shulgi-simti



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation