To See or Not to See: The Issue of Visuality in Ancient Near Eastern Art
Images of Queens, High Priestesses, and Other Elite Women in the Third Millennium BC
The presence of veil usually characterises and defines women in ancient Near Eastern societies: indeed, the use of veil has been usually interpreted as to define both gender and role of the represented characters. But can the veil be so exclusively targeted? The analysis of the presence or even the absence of the veil needs to be contextualised: this contribution offers a short consideration on the use of the veil by women in ancient Mesopotamian and Syrian societies, trying to single out moments and circumstances, showing how images of women with veil are not so clearly identifiable and detectable as pointing to only one category, an exclusive role and a special position.
keywords: Syria. Mesopotamia. Iconography. Women. Ebla. Mari. Assyria.
Language: enSubmitted: July 1, 2021 Accepted: Aug. 3, 2021 Published: Aug. 30, 2021