- 東海大学紀要. 文学部 (ISSN:05636760)
- vol.78, pp.238-218, 2002
An Old Assyrian letter (TC 317) adressed to a lady named Waqartum, by Puzur-Assur is a purchase order of textiles being produced by the lady's workshop. It proves that the two parties were in a long and intimate partnership on business, and with the fact and the other evidences Professor K. R. Veenhof has already demonstrated that Assyrian women enjoyed an important role in trading firms managed by their fathers, husbands, and brothers: production of textiles. One question still remains, however, to understand the relationship of both figures, since Puzur-Assur is by no means a family member of Waqartum, neither her husband nor another relative. Waqartum is certainly a nickname of Ahaha, the gubabtum-priestess and the daughter of a famous merchant Pusuken, and she has four brothers whose names and businesses are well-known. What reasons and opportunities, then, made her do single-handed business with the strerrger outside her own family? In this artile, the present author examines Ahaha's career, analysing 'her archive' (47 texts mention her in total) and rearranging the information of them into three periods as follows: (1)In her youth, Ahaha, who had already been nominated a gubabtum-priestess, has been living unmarried. together with her mother. Lamassi. in Assur, while her father and elder brothers were engaged in managing their trading firm, often travelling abroad on business. Meanwhile she started hercareer on textile production by her mother and mastered the business, that is proved mainly by letters of her parents. (2) Many legal documents and letters written down immediately after her father's sudden death, are found in her archive, and almost of them are in concerns with the assets of Pusu-ken and his firm Lawsuits and settlements were concluded in Kanish concerming the assets among his children and buisness partners. One remarkable fact is that Ahaha has right to receive a large inheritance, including some naruqqu-funds invested on his partners by her father at least and possibly also the textile workshop. She remained, however, outside the negotiations managed by her brothers since she somehow stayed alone in Assur, and even her share on the inheritance was kept and used by her brothers without her permission, while only her younger brother. Buzazu, stood by Ahaha as her represetative, but the others-especially her eldest one, Assur-muttabbil, who inherited his father's business and the position of the new head of the family-never and often even against her. Even she personally became in debt because of the maintenance of the family's household in Assur, while Assur-muttabbil should have taken responsibility on it. (3) Letters communicated between Puzur-Assur and Ahaha appear after the latest period of (2). He was a well-established merchant and a business partner of Buzazu. He had, however, been once a junior partner of Pusu-Ken, travelling on business between Kanish and Assur, and that may be the reason Ahaha personally knew him a long time and trusted him. The most important facts for understanding their relationship is that among her inherited share of naruqqu-funds existed that of Puzur-Assur, and that she was still holding her share on it and even investing more on him, while having already converted the funds of the other merchants into money and cleared off the business relations with them. Consequently, the reconstruction of her career thus shows us that Ahaha has enough capital to run her own textile workshop and has quite reasons and chances to have a very trustworthy partner and patron besides her brothers: Puzur-Assur It is also notable that the Old Assyrian society, either or her position of priestess, allows Ahaha such rights and opportunities on her career, although her case might be quite unique.