Ancient Iranian Women Warriors
Watercolour by Shapour Suren-Pahlav
Any analysis of women’s lives and status in ancient times is a very complicated task and needs time and space. This very brief article intends to provide much needed basic information based on archaeological evidence and will primarily deal with women in Achaemenid times. The material is based on Fortification and Treasury texts discovered at Persepolis (509-438 BC) and documents recovered at Susa Babylonia and other major Mesopotamian cities of the period. These texts provide us with a unique insight into the social and economic situation of both the royal and non-royal women at the time. In the texts individual women are identified, payments of rations and wages for male and female workers are documented and sealed orders by the royal women themselves or their agents gives us valuable information on how these powerful women managed their wealth.
The documents clearly indicate distinctions of status between different members of the royal household. The titles used by the royal women are determined by the relationship between these women and the king. For example the King’s mother had the highest rank and seems to be the head of the female members of the household. The next was the Queen (mother of the crown prince or the principal wife) followed by the kings’ daughters and sisters. They all had titles wi… >>>