The Socioeconomic Organization of the Metalworkers During the Late Bronze Period at Ugarit

A Dissertation Proposal Submitted to The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

By Jill Ashley Fine

© 1997 All Rights Reserved
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
University of Chicago
Approved* 5 August 1997


Table of Contents


ABSTRACT

This dissertation will be an investigation of the socioeconomic organization of the metalworkers at Ugarit in the Late Bronze period. Without a bias in support of any of the main societal models, I intend to examine the available evidence for Ugarit which I anticipate will enable me to provide a synthesis of the status of the metalworkers and determine whether or not the metalworkers can be taken as a paradigmatic example of the socioeconomic organization of the crafts as a whole. My aim is to construct as complete a model as possible of the day-to-day life of the metalworkers by means of a detailed examination of both the textual evidence and the archaeological record. As for the textual evidence, both Akkadian and Ugaritic documents will be carefully examined for any data relevant to the social and economic system. Administrative, epistolary and mythological texts will all be consulted with their individual natures and limitations clearly in mind. This will be supplemented by a study of the archaeological evidence which will involve examination of the metalworking installations that have been discovered in the area extending south of the acropolis and the corpus of metal artifacts and metalworking tools.

I intend to break my study down into the following main sections:

  • Summary and review of previous studies
  • Mechanics of Late Bronze metallurgy and the current state of our knowledge
  • The evidence from the textual record
  • The evidence from the archaeological record
  • Comparisons with other areas
  • Conclusions

INTRODUCTION

Since the initial discovery of ancient Ugarit at the modern coastal site of Ras Shamra, a great deal of attention has been focused on the hundreds of Ugaritic texts that have shed valuable light upon such things as Canaanite myth and religion, the evolution of the Northwest Semitic branch of languages, and the position of the kingdom of Ugarit in the greater political arena of the Late Bronze Age. It is more to the texts than to any other single find from Ras Shamra that credit must be given for having attracted such widespread interest in the site. Whereas a great deal of attention has been focused on the above issues, less attention has been focused on such things as the socioeconomic organization of the kingdom; less still on that of individual groups.

I propose to investigate the socioeconomic organization of the metalworkers at Ugarit in the Late Bronze Age. My aim is to construct as complete a model as possible of the day-to-day life of the metalworkers by means of a detailed examination of both the textual evidence and the archaeological record. As for the textual evidence, both Akkadian and Ugaritic documents will be carefully examined for any data relevant to the social and economic system. Administrative, epistolary and mythological texts will all be consulted with their individual natures and limitations clearly in mind. This will be supplemented by a study of the archaeological evidence which will involve examination of the metalworking installations that have been discovered in the area extending south of the acropolis and the corpus of metal artifacts and metalworking tools.

STATE OF THE DISCUSSION

General sociologically oriented studies of Ancient Near Eastern society have been steadily gaining popularity. As regards the social organization of Ugarit, there exist two main schools of thought. One influential1 model reconstructs two separate sectors: both a palace-controlled sector and a private, independent sector. We will call this the "Two-Sector Model" following David Schloen's terminology.2 The alternative model -- termed here the "Unitary Model" -- rejects the notion of two separate sectors in favor of a single, palace-centered society. The following is a very brief summary of the two different models.

The chief proponents of the two-sector model for Ugarit are Michael Heltzer and Mario Liverani. In his several articles and monographs on this subject published since the late 1950s, Heltzer presents the data which, in his view, support the bipartite model of Ugaritian society.3 According to him, RS 17.238 in particular exhibits persuasive evidence in favor of the two-sector model. RS 17.238 is a decree of Hattushili III written in Akkadian in which Hattushili pledges to extradite any and all fugitives from Ugarit who might be found amongst the ʿapiru in Hatti. The portion of the edict relevant to Heltzer's hypothesis is as follows:4

Transliteration

3) šum-ma ÌR LUGAL KUR-ú-ga-ri-it
4) ù lu-ú DUMU KUR-ú-ga-ri-it
5) lu-ú ÌR ÌR LUGAL KUR-ú-ga-ri-it
6) ma-am-ma i-te-eb-bi-ma
7) a-na ŠÀ-bi A.ŠÀ SA.GAZ dUTU-ši i-ru-ub
8) LUGAL GAL ú-ul a-la-aq-qí-šu
9) a-na LUGAL KUR-ú-ga-ri-it
10) ú-ta-ar-šu

Translation

3) If a servant of the king of Ugarit,
4) or a son of Ugarit,
5) or a servant of a servant of the king of Ugarit
6) whoever (it may be who) should revolt and
7) enter into the midst of the territory of the ʿapiru of Hatti,
8) (I), the great king, will not accept him;
9) to the king of Ugarit
10) I will return him.

Heltzer interprets the mar ugarit of this text as belonging to the separate social class of independent free citizens which make up the "village-community," whereas he takes both the arad šarri and the arad arad šarri as "royal dependents" within the palace sector, the former of higher status than the latter and equivalent to the Ugaritic term bnš mlk.5 Heltzer cites this as clear evidence in favor of the two-sector model, arguing that if this were not the case, the Hittite monarch would not have specifically distinguished them by group in such a way. Based upon several alphabetic texts in which certain professions are listed among the bnš mlk,6 Heltzer concludes that the royal dependents included military servicemen, administrative personnel, temple personnel, craftsmen, and agricultural workers. Having established that, he proceeds under the assumption that where any such professional groups are mentioned, the text refers to bnš mlk, whether or not they are specifically designated as such.7

Heltzer cites technical service terms in both Akkadian and Ugaritic which he believes further support his argument. Akkadian pilku and Ugaritic ʾubdy, he maintains, refer to royal service obligations of the bnš mlk dependents within the palace sector, whereas Akkadian ilku (Ugaritic hlk) and Akkadian unuššu (Ugaritic ʾunt ) refer to the service obligations of those within the independent village sector. Again, Heltzer views the use of different terms as evidence supporting the two-sector model.8

Also in support of the two-sector reconstruction, Mario Liverani presents a model which aims to improve upon this approach by accounting for social, political, and economic transformation.9 He describes the original bipartite social organization of Ugarit as being one in which the royal sector controls the means of production complemented by the free rural sector which is required to provide the royal sector with agricultural surplus, taxes and service. Contrary to Heltzer, however, Liverani sees the breakdown of the system as a result of the increased wealth of many among the higher status royal servants. This increased wealth came about gradually, beginning with the replacement of ration rewards with land allotment awards. Added to land allotments came exemptions from service and monetary payments which ultimately led to the weakening of the king's position. Personal property, wealth, and power were no longer the exclusive privileges of the king. At about the same time that changes took place in the royal sector, the village sector experienced transformation as well. From large extended families where all the members contributed to the livelihood of the family and food was internally rationed in much the same way that it was in the palace sector, division toward nuclear family organization became the trend followed by land inheritances and even sales of land to individuals outside the family unit. In Liverani's view, this transformation of both the palace sector and the village sector was the result of mutual influence between the two. The resulting organization did not at all resemble the original bipartite system. This created such conditions of weakness in the kingdom of Ugarit that by the time the Sea Peoples arrived on the scene, the internal instability of the kingdom disabled the Ugaritians from being able to deal effectively with the serious threat that the invaders posed. In Liverani's view, this would explain not only why the entire system collapsed but also why the kingdom was unable to recover thereafter.

In an effort to illustrate that the bipartite socioeconomic structure was indeed in practice and was effective at Ugarit, Liverani presents statistical data derived from examination of two alphabetic texts: RS 16.395 and RS 19.097.10 He describes these texts as "[basic] documentation . . . furnished by annual summaries . . . in which the royal administration registers, farm by farm, the amounts . . . of 'rations for servants' (hpr.ʿbdm / hpr.bnšm), of seed (drʿ ), of fodder for cattle (drt.l.ʾalpm), amounts to distribute - or rather to leave - to each farm for the following year."11 Liverani maintains that examination of these texts enables him to estimate production surplus and workforce size; on this basis he reevaluates the system of production in the Late Bronze Age in general and in the kingdom of Ugarit in particular. In order for the two-sector system to have been effective at Ugarit, or any other state, it would have been necessary for the free village sector to have provided sufficient agricultural surplus to the royal sector in the form of payments or taxes for the royal sector (including all of the bnš mlk dependents -- who did not generate produce as a result of their royal service) to have been adequately maintained. By means of numerical estimates based upon these two texts, Liverani attempts to illustrate that the bipartite system was indeed in practice at Ugarit.

In contrast to the supporters of the two-sector model, the other main school of thought reconstructs Ugaritic society as a closed homogeneous system in which the palace controlled the administration of the entire kingdom without there having existed a separate independent sector. John Gray, Georges Boyer, and Anson Rainey12 are the leading proponents of this unitary model, also referred to as the "Feudal Model." According to this reconstruction, all Ugaritians would have been in some way subservient to the king in much the same way that the king himself was subservient to the Hittite king. Just as taxes and service were imposed internationally, they were imposed domestically as well. In return, protection and support were offered to loyal servants and land usufruct was intrinsically connected to royal service.13 Those who accept this model cite evidence for guild structure and the hereditary nature of professional occupations at Ugarit as indicative of unitary organization.

Recently, there has been renewed discussion about the appropriateness of the term 'feudal' to describe the situation at Ugarit.14 The main reason for the opposition to the use of this term is that it is reminiscent of medieval feudalism which is not representative of the system at Ugarit. Indeed, those who were amongst the earliest to describe Ugarit as a feudal system seem to have begun with the Medieval paradigm in mind and in this way find the evidence they were looking for at Ugarit.

David Schloen has recently offered a new interpretation of the social organization of Ugarit which among other things attempts to improve upon the misleading feudal terminology. In his dissertation, he re-assesses the archaeological and textual evidence and applies Weberian social theory to the situation at ancient Ugarit. Ugaritian society was organized according to what he calls the "Patrimonial Household Model," that is, the king, as patriarch, was situated at the head of a symbolic extended-family household which itself was based upon patriarchal, patrilineal, and patrilocal hierarchy. Rather than two separate sectors and a nuclear-family basis, the single system would have incorporated all members of society into an extended household bonded and made legitimate by quasi-kinship ties but still decentralized enough to allow for individual enterprise.15 According to Schloen, not only does the archaeological data suggest this (i.e., domestic structures, family tombs, agricultural installations, etc.) but the textual corpus does as well -- including both literary and non-literary documents.

Without a bias in support of any of the main societal models, I intend to examine the available evidence for Ugarit which I anticipate will enable me to provide a synthesis of the status of the metalworkers and determine whether or not the metalworkers can be taken as a paradigmatic example of the socioeconomic organization of the crafts as a whole. I have chosen the metalworkers as a distinct group for this reason and in view of the fact that sufficient data is available both from textual evidence and from the archaeological record to permit an informed investigation.

METHODOLOGY

In order to reconstruct the socioeconomic picture as pertains to the metalworkers at Ugarit, I intend to break my study down into the following main sections:

  • Summary and review of previous studies
  • Mechanics of Late Bronze metallurgy and the current state of our knowledge
  • The evidence from the textual record
  • The evidence from the archaeological record
  • Comparisons with other areas
  • Conclusions

I will begin by reviewing the previous studies in much greater detail than I have done here. A summary of the prevailing views will be presented and critiqued.

Next I will present a summary outlining the state of our knowledge concerning the mechanics of metallurgy in the Late Bronze period in general including such issues as materials, sources, methods, tools, and techniques for smelting, refining, casting and finishing the various types of objects whether utilitarian or decorative. The reason for this is so that the background, the behind-the-scenes of metalworking can be fully appreciated. Without a solid understanding of the mechanics of metalworking, including the resources necessary to carry out metal-related crafts and the details of the profession, socioeconomic status cannot be properly evaluated. Due to the limited nature of the data for Ugarit, this section will necessarily entail a broad general discussion of a greater geographical area than just that limited to the kingdom of Ugarit.

A separate chapter will follow devoted to metalworking and socioeconomic organization at Ugarit in particular according to the evidence available from the textual record. This will involve analysis both of the syllabic and alphabetic texts from Ugarit. I plan to begin with a discussion of the types of data that can be gleaned from the texts. Next, extant terminology will be discussed including philological analysis of the terms for and related to metalworking. The terms will then be evaluated in context and an interpretation of the texts and their implications for the social reality at Ugarit will be offered. It should be noted here that all texts relevant to the issue will be studied, not just those which contain direct references to metalworking.

Both literary and non-literary texts will be included in the examination. Obviously, the bulk of the information will be primarily obtained from the administrative texts and secondarily from epistolary documents; I intend however, to include mythological and religious texts in my investigation as well. I acknowledge that these texts have an altogether different function and reflect a unique aspect of the culture of society at Ugarit; I believe however, that the examination of these texts and especially of the activities of the craftsman deity Kotharu-wa-Hasisu can shed light upon the importance of and attitude toward metalworking within the society. For example, many gold and silver items, including furnishings, gifts, and building materials16 for the palace of Baal, are described in column I of CTA 417 as having been cast by Kotharu-wa-Hasisu. The mere fact that there was an individual craftsman deity, i.e. a creator-of-objects other than the creator-of-living beings, is telling. Later in column VI of CTA 4, Baal calls his own palace his 'house of silver, palace of gold' (<b>hty ... dt ksp hkly dtm hrs).18 Although the literary texts cannot be used in a vacuum as direct evidence for socioeconomic organization, they can be used to complement the other non-literary texts.

As far as the archaeology is concerned, two levels of data will be evaluated: the architectural and the artifactual. The largest concentration of metalworking sites identified is located in the area to the south of the acropolis. Of particular pertinence is their location within a residential quarter at some distance from the palace. What factors were considered important for determining workshop location? (Again, here it is important to understand the mechanics of metalworking so as to be able to understand what issues were relevant for making such decisions.) An adequate understanding of the practical organization of the work site can lend insight into the social and economic implications of the craft organization. Additional information will be drawn from examination of the better preserved metalworking installations at nearby Ras Ibn Hani. As regards the artifacts, both metal assemblages - decorative, utilitarian, and ritual - and tool assemblages will be examined. The metalworkers will have used, in addition to raw materials, ceramic crucibles, hammers, tongs, anvils, bellows, molds, and fuel.

A separate chapter will be devoted to comparative examples from other areas such as Alalakh, Mari, Cyprus, and Late Bronze Canaan.

ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED - CONCLUSIONS

Having assembled all of the evidence gathered from the archaeological and textual record, I will then draw upon it in an effort to extract the social and economic implications of the information. I will address such questions as:

  • how were the metalworkers organized?
  • to what extent were metalworkers subordinate to and/or independent from the palace?
  • in what way did the metalworkers participate in corvée service?
  • did they pay taxes to the palace?
  • how often were they exempted from taxes and corvée?
  • how often were they granted land by the palace and under what circumstances?
  • were the metalworking crafts hereditary?
  • if so, was the hereditary nature of the crafts jealously guarded?
  • how were the training and apprenticeship carried out?
  • was there a "guild" structure of any kind?
  • if so, were foreigners included in the "guilds?" - did their status differ?
  • were women or children involved in any part of the metalworking process?
  • where did the metalworkers live?
  • where did they carry out their craft?
  • how was the value of their product determined?
  • what was the value determined?
  • how did they obtain their raw materials and tools?
  • were there any omens, taboos, rituals, or superstitions associated with any part of the metalworking process?
  • was smelting carried out at a particular season of the year?
  • to what degree was there recycling of material?

I hope to be able to answer as many of these questions as possible, but there are inherent limitations in the data. It is important to take this into consideration, as well as the potential biases of the evidence, especially those of the textual record. The most directly pertinent data are those gathered from the administrative documents; however it is just this detail that requires that one proceed with caution. For supporters of the two-sector reconstruction, the administrative documents overwhelmingly reflect the bureaucratic interests of the administration. However, many administrative texts have been found in archives outside of the palace. It will be necessary to determine the relationship of these texts and of the data extracted from them to the palace administration. They certainly reflect bureaucratic interests, but were they necessarily the bureaucratic interests of the king and his administration? Since no private archives of metalworkers exist (indeed the very literacy of the metalworkers is suspect), our results are skewed from the outset. This in no way should deter us, however it is necessary to acknowledge the situation as a handicap.

There have been a few studies of the organization of distinct groups at Ugarit. Anson Rainey has produced several on business agents, military personnel, a$iru - personnel, and scribes.19 Mario Liverani and Michael Astour too have each presented studies of the merchant class.20 I believe that this dissertation will be valuable in that it will synthesize the archaeological data with the textual data and hopefully contribute to the general discussion of the social and economic structure of Late Bronze Ugarit. There is no doubt that metalworkers were essential for the kingdom of Ugarit. Not only were metals valuable for ritual, utilitarian, and decorative reasons, but silver was used as daily currency and so fundamental to Ugarit's economic well-being. Located at a crossroads at a time when international trade was important, Ugarit became a wealthy metropolis as a result of its involvement in the metals trade, among others. I intend this study to be an explanatory analysis rather than a mere descriptive summary. Ideally, it will be followed up by studies of the other groups of craftsmen at Ugarit, an endeavor which is beyond the current scope but which I hope to pursue at the completion of this study.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Astour, Michael C.

  • 1972 "The Merchant Class of Ugarit." Gesellschaftsklass im Alten Zweistromland und in den angrenzenden Gebieten, edited by D. O Edzard, 11-26. RAI 18 ABAQ NF 75. Munich.

Boyer, Georges

  • 1955 "La place des textes d'Ugarit dans l'histoire de l'ancien droit oriental." Le Palais royal d'Ugarit III:1, edited by C. Schaeffer, 283-308. MRS 6. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale.

Chanut, Claude

  • 1996 Les metaux à Ugarit à l'âge du bronze récent. Unpublished MA thesis, ICP ELCOA Mémoire de D.E.A.

Dietrich, Manfried, and Oswald Loretz

  • 1966 "Die sociale Struktur von Alalah und Ugarit." WO 3:188-205.
  • 1969a "Die sociale Struktur von Alalah und Ugarit (II)." WO 5:57-93.
  • 1969b "Die sociale Struktur von Alalah und Ugarit (III)." UF 1:37-64.
  • 1970 "Die sociale Struktur von Alalah und Ugarit (IV)." ZA 60:88-123.

Dietrich, Manfried, Oswald Loretz, and Joaquin Sanmartín

  • 1976 Die keilalphabetischen Texte aus Ugarit. AOAT 24. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag.
  • 1994 The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit, Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places (KTU: second, enlarged edition). Munster: Ugarit-Verlag.

Gray, John

  • 1952 "Canaanite Kingship in Theory and Practice." VT 2:193-220.
  • 1969 "Sacral Kingship in Ugarit." Ugaritica VI, edited by C. Schaeffer, 289-302. MRS 17. Paris: Guethner.

Heltzer, Michael

  • 1976 The Rural Community in Ancient Ugarit. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.
  • 1978 Goods, Prices and the Organization of Trade in Ugarit. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.
  • 1979 "Royal Economy in Ancient Ugarit." State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East II, edited by E. Lipínski, 459-96. OLA 6. Leuven: Department Oriëntalistiek, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
  • 1982 The Internal Organization of the Kingdom of Ugarit. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag.
  • 1984 "Private Property in Ugarit." Circulation of Goods in Non-Palatial Context in the Ancient Near East, edited by A. Archi, 161-93. Incunabula Graeca 82. Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo.
  • 1988 "The Late Bronze Age Service System and Its Decline." Society and Economy in the Eastern Mediterranean (c. 1500-1000 B.C.), edited by M. Heltzer and E. Lipínski, 7-18. OLA 23. Leuven: Peeters.
  • 1990 "Vineyards and Wine in Ugarit (Property and Distribution)." UF 22:119-35.

Herdner, Andrée

  • 1963 Corpus des tablettes cunéiformes alphabtiques découverte à Ras Shamra-Ugarit de 1929 à 1939. Mission de Ras Shamra, vol. 10. Paris.

Liverani, Mario

  • 1975 "Communautés de village et palais royal dans la Syrie du IIème millénaire." JESHO 18:146-64.
  • 1979a "La dotazione dei mercanti di Ugarit." UF 11:495-503.
  • 1979b "Ras Shamra: I. Histoire." Dictionnaire de la Bible-Supplément, edited by H. Cazelles and A. Feuillet, cols. 1295-1348. Paris: Letouzey & Ané
  • 1982 "Ville et campagne dans le royaume d'Ugarit: Essai d'analyse économique." Societies and Languages of the Ancient Near East: Studies in Honour of I. M. Diakonoff, edited by M. A. Dandamayev et. al., 250-58. Warminster, UK: Aris & Phillips.
  • 1983 "Communautés rurales dans la Syrie du IIe millénaire A. C." Les communautés rurales II: Antiquité, 147-85. RSJB 41. Paris: Dessain et Tolra.
  • 1984 "Land Tenure and Inheritance in the Ancient Near East: The Interaction between 'Palace' and 'Family' Sectors." Land Tenure and Social Transformation in the Middle East, edited by T. Khalidi, 33-44. Beirut: American University of Beirut.
  • 1989 "Economy of Ugaritic Royal Farms" [orig. Italian: 1979 "Economia delle fattorie palatine ugaritiche." DdA NS 1/2:57-72]. Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East, edited by C. Zaccagnini, 127-68. Budapest: University of Budapest.

Rainey, A. F.

  • 1962a The Social Stratification of Ugarit. Ph.D. diss., Brandeis University. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms.
  • 1962b "Administration in Ugarit and the Samaria Ostraca." IEJ 12:62-63.
  • 1963 "Business Agents at Ugarit." IEJ 13:313-21.
  • 1965 "The Military Personnel of Ugarit." JNES 24:17-27.
  • 1966 "MA$KIM at Ugarit." Orientalia 35:426-28.
  • 1967 "a$iru and asiru in Ugarit and the Land of Canaan." JNES 26:296-301.
  • 1970 "Compulsory Labour Gangs in Ancient Israel." IEJ 20:191-202.

Schloen, J. David

  • 1995 The Patrimonial Household in the Kingdom of Ugarit: A Weberian Analysis of Ancient Near Eastern Society. Ph.D. diss., Harvard University. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms.
  • 1996 "The House of the Father in Ancient Ugarit." Paper presented to the Jewish Studies Workshop: Myth and Legend. University of Chicago.

Van Soldt, W. H.

  • 1995 "Ugarit: A Second-Millennium Kingdom on the Mediterranean Coast." Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, edited by J. M. Sasson, 1255-1265. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Vargyas, P.

  • 1988 "Stratification sociale à Ugarit." Society and Economy in the Eastern Mediterranean (c. 1500-1000 B.C.), edited by M. Heltzer and E. Lipínski, 111-123. OLA 23. Leuven: Peeters.

Yon, Marguerite

  • 1992 "Ugarit." Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 6:695-706.

Zaccagnini, Carlo

  • 1989 "Asiatic Mode of Production and Ancient Near East: Notes Towards a Discussion" [orig. Italian 1981, in DdA NS 3/3]. Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East, edited by C. Zaccagnini, 1-126. Budapest: University of Budapest.

NOTES

*In accordance with the rules of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago this dissertation proposal was approved by the dissertation committee and successfully defended at a public hearing. The members of the committee are:

  • Dennis Pardee (Chairman)
  • Aslihan Yener
  • David Schloen

This document was published on-line for the first time on 15 October 1997, courtesy of the Oriental Institute Research Archives. The only changes from the version approved by the Faculty of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations include minor editorial corrections, normalization of the typographical presentation of ancient names, and some small changes to accommodate the HTML encoding. HTML encoding was done by Charles E. Jones.


1 'Influential' because it is this reconstruction that one is most likely to find in the general historical summaries of Ugarit such as Van Soldt (1995); Liverani (1979b); Yon (1992).[Return to text]

2 Schloen (1995) 45. [Return to text]

3 Heltzer (1976); (1978); (1979); (1982); (1984); (1988); and (1990). [Return to text]

4 RS 17.238: 3-10. [Return to text]

5 It is interesting to note that in the CAD reference to this text, the translation given for ÌR is "official" thus the entry reads: "[if] either an official of the king of Ugarit or a citizen of Ugarit or the official of an official of the king of Ugarit . . ." (CAD A II, p.247). The semantic range of "official" in English is much broader than that of "servant" and conveniently avoids passing judgment on the issue of the organization of the kingdom of Ugarit. Taking ÌR as "servants," Heltzer translates the ÌR LUGAL as "servants of the king" and ÌR ÌR LUGAL as "servants of the servants of the king." However, whereas ÌR LUGAL may be a "state official," or "state servant," ÌR ÌR LUGAL is likely a person in service to the ÌR LUGAL in some capacity. [Return to text]

6 Included in Heltzer's list are RS 19.096, 18.026, 18.079, 18.076, 15.022+, 15.032, 19.016, and 15.115 among others. [Return to text]

7 Heltzer (1982) pp. 10-12. [Return to text]

8 The suggestion that the use of different terms indicates different types of service (and hence different social sectors) is not universally accepted. Ignacio Marquez Rowe, in his recent dissertation (which unfortunately is unavailable to me at this time), presents the results of his extensive research on these terms and concludes that pilku and ilku were simply two different terms used to refer to the same service. Whether one term was used over another in a particular text had to do with the training of the scribe rather than with distinctly different service. [Return to text]

9 See especially Liverani (1975); (1982); and (1984). [Return to text]

10 Liverani (1989) 127-68. [Return to text]

11 Ibid., p. 129. [Return to text]

12 Gray (1952); (1969); Boyer (1955); Rainey (1962a); (1962b); (1963); (1965); (1966); (1967); (1970). [Return to text]

13 Payments were commonly accepted by the Hittite overlord in lieu of military service since the value of Ugaritian military support was considered to be negligible.[Return to text]

14 See Schloen (1995), especially p. 48 n. 10 and pp. 48-51. [Return to text]

15 Schloen, (1995); (1996). [Return to text]

16 Metal items listed there include hym, tbth, kt, kht, nht, hdm, and nʿl. [Return to text]

17 RS 2.[008]+. [Return to text]

18 CTA 4.VI.36-8. [Return to text]

19 Rainey (1963); (1965); (1966); (1967). [Return to text]

20 Liverani (1979a); Astour (1972). [Return to text]


JILL ASHLEY FINE ©1997
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations