Shawn Flynn, St. Joseph’s College, and Kristine Garroway, Hebrew Union College, have a nice article over at theconversation.com on children and families in the Ancient Near East. It provides some brief introductory insights. The article is entitled: “Children in the ancient Middle East were valued and vulnerable — not unlike children today“
Here are a couple of excerpts:
“Through data from archaeology, letters, contracts, laws, material culture, ancient stories and religious practices, we study the children in the ancient lands of the Middle East, in the region now encompassing Egypt, Israel and the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
“In our recent research we learn how children were both valued and vulnerable — in many ways, similar to children today.
“Children experienced violence and vulnerability at the hands of adults. And the same adults wove a child’s religious and economic value into society through laws, religious expression and what happens in homes.”
“Play was an important part of life. Small perforated discs found in some parts of the region suggest the use of spinning tops.
“Mesopotamian texts speak of familiar games, like jump ropes, wrestling, running races and games of hide and seek. But life was not all play for children. For the most part, older girls would help the mothers with domestic activities, while boys would follow in their father’s footsteps. But for a limited few male children, education was an option.”
Read the entire article here.
Header Image: A replica of Nubian Tribute Presented to the King, Tomb of Huy, showing Nubians with their children paying tribute to the Egyptian Pharaoh. Based on the original from circa 1353–1327 B.C. (Wikimedia) | Spinning Toy – An ancient spinning disk (reconstruction shown) found in what’s now southwestern France may have been a children’s toy. St-Germain-en-Laye