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Anthro Discussion Public Transcript

Submitted by mpetracchi on Tue, 09/24/2019 - 18:31

Dickson argues that Woollley’s interpretation of the tomb and its contents being a ‘snapshot’ of the way of life in UR is wrong. He says we must not look at these tombs as a sample of life in UR, rather a ‘public transcript/record’ of how political elites wanted UR to be seen. Dickson says the burials don’t show the “tensions, ambiguities and social conflicts that must surely have existed in the city” and therefore we cannot trust that this was their way of life. Dickson adds, ‘just how dominant and durable a ruling order can be depends on how far it convinces others — and itself — of its right to rule and its ability to rule’ (Colley 1992, 193) implying that these tombs may have actually been ritual to impose the government's power, specifically through divinity. The kinds of artifacts found in the tomb and the fashion in which the people were displayed may indicate that the event was part of a numinous ceremony. Therefore a show of the governments divinity and ultimately their strength as a way to keep people in line.