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Women of Mesopotamia

Hosted By: The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC)

In 1927, archaeologists working at the ancient city of Ur excavated a stone disc with the name Enheduanna. She was the daughter of Sargon of Akkad, and was a remarkable woman who wielded considerable religious and political power as a princess, high priestess, and poet.

Currently on exhibit at The Morgan Library (She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia, ca. 3400-2000 B.C). is artwork that captures expressions of women’s lives in ancient Mesopotamia during the 3rd millennium B.C.E, highlighting that of Enheduanna. These works bear testament to the roles that religious life as well as their everyday lives as mothers, and rulers had.

Most ancient texts come to us without authorship or attribution, yet Enheduanna (ca. 2285-2250 BCE). is the first named author in history. This princess told us the grandeur and sorrows of her life in the hymns and petitionary prayers that she wrote. Her compositions were highly valued, and therefore they were copied and re-copied in antiquity; many are thought to be early foundations of some of our own biblical psalms and hymns.

Our presenter, Dr. Sharon Keller will explore this groundbreaking exhibition currently on view (through Feb. 2023) at the Morgan Library (NYC) and not only see the woman and her work, but will tease out many connections to our biblical narrative that can be seen in the exhibition.

The event listed here is hosted by a third party. My Jewish Learning/70 Faces Media is not responsible for its content or for errors in the listing.

Teacher

Dr. Sharon Keller

Dr. Sharon Keller set her sights on a Ph.D. in Bible and Egyptology studies when she was in the sixth grade, and she steadfastly worked toward that goal, earning her doctorate at NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies in the areas of the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Dr. Keller is currently on the Classics faculty at Hofstra University, where she teaches courses as diverse as Magic, Miracle, and Medicine in the Ancient World and Greco-Roman Comedy. She has been an assistant professor of the Bible and Ancient Semitic languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary and at Hebrew Union College.
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Host

The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC)

The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC) is an educational non-profit, created in 1998, to preserve and support the Lower East Side’s community of living synagogues and other historic structures, and to raise public awareness of the neighborhoods distinct cultural identity. As the birthplace of American Jewish civilization, and the most iconic immigrant neighborhood in America, we share this history by taking people on walking tours which enter sacred sites, where you learn how past generations came here, lived and worshiped. Learn more about LESJC here.
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