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Review: Notes on the Goldsmiths, Jewelers and Carpenters of Neobabylonian Eanna

Reviewed Work: Guild Structure and Political Allegiance in Early Achaemenid Mesopotamia by David B. Weisberg
Review by: Johannes Renger
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 91, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1971), pp. 494-503
DOI: 10.2307/598446
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/598446
Page Count: 10
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Notes on the Goldsmiths, Jewelers and Carpenters of Neobabylonian Eanna
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Abstract

The goldsmiths, jewelers and carpenters,-and possibly other skilled craftsmen (ummānu) -of the Eanna-temple in Uruk, during the end of the 6th century B. C., were usually members of the upper strata of society (mār bānê) who worked within the greater organization of the temple. They were organized as a group and supervised by one of their own group, but ultimately obliged to obey orders and regulations imposed upon them by the temple administration. Since in quite a number of cases they are listed on the payrolls (ration lists) of the temple, they can hardly be regarded as an autonomous organization or guild, completely independent from the temple for which they worked. The work of these craftsmen-consisting of fashioning or repairing temple paraphernalia or other objects or structures in the temple-was done in small workshops set up along family lines. Since their duties regularly required the use of scarce and precious materials which were entrusted to them by the temple administration, embezzlement and improper use of these materials were quite frequent. As a preventive measure, the temple administration used a number of contractual and other regulations stipulating high fines for the improper use of such materials, or the craftsmen were bound through exclusive work-agreements.

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