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Thomas Staubli Geschlechtertrennung und Männersphären im Alten Israel

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Ethnological studies have observed that in non-industrialized societies, men’s huts are usually the expression of a patriarchal division of the sexes. This article discusses whether similar phenomena existed in the Ancient Near East, especially in Ancient Israel. The results are fragmentary, since even the most recent archeological studies hardly address gender issues. As far as we can see, Ancient Near Eastern houses, also the so called pillared house, didn’t know a separation of the sexes, but rather a dominance of the woman within the house, while the male’s responsibility was in the garden and on the fields. In Ancient Israel, the house of the prophet, the city gate (court), the palace (government), the army and the temple are typical but not exclusive domains of men. It was the increasing wealth and the accompanying urbanization, beginning in Hellenistic times that cultivated a separation of the sexes, sometimes in a strict manner, all the way to the complete veiling of women in public.

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Dr. Thomas Staubli,

ist Dozent an der Universität Freiburg (Schweiz) und Leiter des dortigen BIBEL+ORIENT MUSEUMS E-Mail:

©Thomas Staubli , 2008,, ISSN 1661-3317