Book: Framing Archaeology in the Near East
Chapter: Gender and the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East: Femininities and Masculinities
In archaeology understanding of gender and sex has changed from regarding them as the opposition of culture versus nature to perceiving both of them as cultural constructs. In this paper I would like to focus on gender in Mesopotamia, where obviously different types of masculinities and femininities were in use. In fact, in Mesopotamia, men and women were only two of more possible genders. Kurgarru, assinu, kulu’u and SAL-zikrum might be regarded as other genders. Enquiry into construction of these genders is important to understand the relationships between people. Yet, we should keep in mind that investigation of genders is not simple, there are traps waiting for archaeologists.