Dress Pins, Textile Production, and Women’s Economic Agency across Early Second Millennium Anatolia

Author(s): Nancy Highcock

Year: 2018


Nearly seventy years of excavations at Kültepe have yielded a remarkable assemblage of material reflecting the rich and fluid daily lives of the Anatolians, Assyrians, and others who inhabited such a dynamic and cosmopolitan city. A diverse category of objects, metal dress pins, has been recovered from burials at Kültepe and other Middle Bronze Age Anatolian sites, providing tangible connections to the ancient people who wore them. Previous scholarship has focused on the style and origin of these pins, generally associated with female adornment, but both the cuneiform and material records also allow for glimpses into the economic power they held for women during this period. For example, the Old Assyrian mercantile indicate that pins could function as working capital in times of need. Furthermore, the survival of their impressions on crescent-shaped loom weights across Anatolia also demonstrate their importance to the economic agency of women. Through a study of the various types of pins and their associated objects within the contextual framework provide by the texts, this paper will explore the multiple roles of these personal objects and analyze how both Anatolian and Assyrian women used pins to mediate the social, religious, and economic worlds in which they navigated.

Cite this Record

Dress Pins, Textile Production, and Women’s Economic Agency across Early Second Millennium Anatolia. Nancy Highcock. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443918)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: 34.277; min lat: 13.069 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 42.94 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20791