The seventh in the Oriental Institute Seminar Series, this volume contains papers that emerged from the seminar "Slaves and Households in the Near East" held at the Oriental Institute March 5-6, 2010. Despite widespread mention of enslaved people in historical records from the ancient, medieval, and early modern Near East, scholars struggle to understand what defines this phenomenon in both particular contexts and in general. The purpose of the seminar was to seek new understandings of slavery through scholarly exchange and exploration of new approaches. In particular, contributors examined slavery in the context of households, an approach that allows scholars to expose different dimensions of the phenomenon beyond basic economic questions. Households, whether domestic units, temples, or the building blocks of political organizations, can be used as the prism through which to view the dynamics among enslaved people and their immediate contacts. The volume contains micro-historical examinations of slavery in contexts spanning almost four millennia.
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