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Enslaved People in an Ancient Syrian City

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Chattel Slaves and Debt Bondage at Alalakh

image of Journal of Global Slavery

The cuneiform documents found at Tell Atchana, a site on the River Orontes not far from modern city of Antakya, are of pivotal importance for our knowledge of western Syrian society during the Middle and Late Bronze Age. These tablets from ancient Alalakh provide data relating to the city’s daily life and its social structure and administration. Compared to the large amount of information regarding free citizens, the material concerning slave laborers and menial workers—which is the topic of this article—is scanty and not always easy to interpret, for both the public and private sectors.

Affiliations: 1: Università degli Studi di Verona


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