For much of the twentieth century scholars have debated the issue of temple vs. private economy during the close of the third millennium BCE in ancient Mesopotamia. The author highlights the function and significance that individual entrepreneurs maintained in the economy. He provides an extensive analysis of three well-known archival records of merchants in the non-institutional ( private ) sector. Each of the archives examined provides different aspects of entrepreneurial activity, extending from money-lending and exchange to the management and organization of professional groups. In addition to an in-depth analysis, this work presents revised transliterations and new editions of each text in the three archives along with a number recently identified texts published for the first time. The volume will be of interest to archaeologists and socio-economic historians.
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