Okay, well moving from the structure of the house to the actual inhabitants, the living inhabitants in this case. What kind of a family set-up would an urban Assyrian typically have? >> Okay. >> If you can describe that for me, please. >> Yeah, well from the fact that people like to bury their dead inside their houses it's clear that typically, if people could, they would live for generations in the same house. And the house would be passed on typically to the eldest son and his family. And so the typical setup would be that one family occupies one house, and it's not just the dead that would be there, but several generations. >> Okay. >> Several generations, dead and alive [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> would share the house. >> Indeed. >> Yeah, that's the basic setup, the children of this family would live with their parents not just until they reached adulthood, but sometimes much longer. They would typically only move out when they got married. Girls for sure and also boys, unless they are the eldest son. And so typically, we know a lot about these multi-generational families through the main line. And whoever moves out, sort of gets lost to us, in a way. And again, we can link that of course to the growing Assyrian Empire. People that didn't come into the possession of their paternal home, they also have to live somewhere. We can say that in the city of Assur which is so very well explored, we can say that on the whole houses tended to be left intact, that means they were not divided. That did happen sometimes, but the basic idea was clearly to leave the house intact. >> Okay. >> So that means some members of the family definitely moved out. Because otherwise- >> Yes. >> of course, we would- >> have a problem very quickly. So it's basically one house for one family, and that family typically consisted of a couple and their children, and the mother of the husband. >> Right, okay. >> Not typically the father of the husband, because he would be dead before the son married. Because there's a link in Assyria between coming into your inheritance, and getting married, if you are a man. >> Can you give me a sense of what that means - what age sons can typically, expect to marry? >> Yeah, that's linked to the age when their father dies. >> Okay. >> The father dies and the son would come into his inheritance, and that would be the time that he would get married. We know quite a bit about Assyrian life expectancy. Men would live to an age of 50, 55, 60. That wouldn't be unusual at all. When the father dies the son would get his inheritance as would his younger brothers, and that's then typically when they would get married. So we're talking really about someone who would be in their late 20s, around 30, just like their fathers before them. But the bride the son would choose as his wife would be much, much, much younger. He would choose a girl that would have just entered adulthood. So basically, we are talking about a young woman who was just old enough really to carry a pregnancy to term and to give birth without dying. And so we are talking about someone who is probably 13, 14 years old, with a husband who is as we said late 20s, early 30s. >> Early 30s. >> So someone that is at least twice the girl’s age, so that's typical of the Assyrian family set-up. And that set-up makes then the most of a woman's childbearing years. Then if she survived this, then of course, she could outlive her husband for a number of years. So frequently, we have a household set-up where we have the grown up husband who'd come into his inheritance with his wife, who was let's say 15 years younger than him, their had children and his mother, his widowed mother, living with them. Whereas the wife would have left her family behind when she got married. Mind you, they might very well live in the same city. But legally speaking when a woman gets married, when a girl gets married, she receives her share of the family estate, not in the form of inheritance, she doesn't have to wait until the father dies. She gets her share as her dowry, at the moment when she gets married. She brings that with her when she gets married, and should she get divorced, she would take that with her again, but we'll talk about that at another time >> when we talk about women and women's lives. So we will also have the children of that couple, boys and girls. They would leave the household at very different moments in their life, as we said. The girls when they got married in their early teens, the boys after their father in turn would die. And when the father died, the brothers could either choose to divide the inheritance, which would mean that the oldest brother would typically get the house, would stay living in that house - the house with all the ancestors buried underneath the floors. Whereas the brothers would move out, would find another house, maybe the same city, maybe somewhere else. Quite often, we really don't know the details. Or the brothers might decide not to split the inheritance, but keep living together. The younger brothers might still choose to get married, but they would then basically live in the same household as the brother, until a point in time where they might set up their own household. And sometimes we can then see adaptations in the physical fabric of the house that shows that parts were sort of separated a little bit. But this family wouldn't be the only people living in our house, because Assyrians, especially wealthy Assyrians, had slaves. >> Okay. >> Yeah, and the slaves would be living in that same house with the family. Some of these slaves could have been bought, because there was a trade in slaves. Prisoners of war could be sold as slaves, exotic foreigners were popular as slaves for well to do families, especially from Anatolia, for whatever reasons- from modern day Turkey. And that's one way of entering a household as a slave. But many families never bought slaves and still the had them because slaves, of course, were born into the family. And the third source of slaves, were Assyrians that fell onto hard times. If you couldn't pay your debts, you could sell yourself into slavery, typically with your creditor, or you could place your children into debt slavery. The idea was that you could redeem yourself and your family members. But that from the start would always have been an uphill struggle, because once you were in these desperate straits, how could you realistically hope to do that? On the whole this doesn't happen very often in well-to-do central Assyria in the heartland, which of course profits enormously from the expansion of the Assyrian Empire. And on the whole we have very well-to-do people that we are dealing with there, but this is legally possible. But however you look at that, the most usual set up would be that slaves in a family would have been born into that family. And that of course means, that really we are talking people that are related to each other. >> Right. >> Because the slave women giving birth to slave children, would give birth to children typically fathered by male members of the family, the main family. >> By the family members not necessarily by other slaves. >> Yeah, no, no, that's the idea, although it's also possible that slaves are married to other slaves, that does happen as well. But on the whole, we are talking really about the male members of the main family fathering children with the slave women, Who may have been their cousins, great cousins, whatever. And there would have been a great awareness of this of course. But there is a big legal and social distinction, because only the children born to the legal wife would have been entitled to inherit or receive a dowry. So we're talking, on the one hand, about a largely monogamous society. But that's only true as long as we consider marriage the way the Assyrians do, which is connected to inheritance and property, and not about relationships that also lead to children, children that live with the family, but are not at all seen as legal members of that family that are due a share, whether they are boys or girls. And of course, that's the reason why people wouldn't necessarily sell their slaves, unless they had a particular reason to doing that. Because in a way those were their relatives and they were very aware of that. And a lot to do with adoption and so on and so forth, plays with these… not necessarily completely black and white boundaries between being a slave and being a legitimate family member. So where were we? We've been talking about our houses in the centre. I did say that there were wide differences in the size of these houses. >> Yes. >> I said that houses in Assur were of a completely different scale than the houses in this place Dur-Katlimmu in the provinces. And that surely has to do with the fact that if you wanted to further your fortunes, you had very good opportunities to do that once you left the Assyrian heartland in Northern Iraq, and went elsewhere as part of this imperial project. And at Dur-Katlimmu, we excavated a house, one family's house, and the house was gigantic. It was very palatial- >> [LAUGH] Not compared to the Assyrian palace, mind you. But really much, much larger that anything the ordinary person in Assur would live in. And and these people, as we said, have a very high standard of living. We're talking about several hundreds of square metres on the first floor only. >> Wow, yeah. >> And that family, they bought lots of slaves, because this was a new house; a new household was being created. And when you sort of start from scratch, then of course, you're in a very different situation than when you live in an established household. >> Okay, well that's a lot of meaty stuff. So one last question as always, bringing this back to the head of Assyria. What you have just described, how does that relate to the royal family? What are the differences and what are the things that are the same? >> Well there are many, many, many similarities really. On the whole one can say that the Assyrian royal family doesn't function very differently from the urban, well to do Assyrian family that we've described. It's also all about inheritance, it's also all about insuring that the family continues across generations. They too, buried their dead >> underneath the floor in the palace. But because this generational continuity is so much more in the royal family, there are some differences there. So while the… while the average Assyrian man was in a monogamous marriage, and had only children, legally “seen” children, with this one spouse. The Assyrian king couldn't afford to do that. Because what if there was a problem with having children? This is one of the foremost duties of the king is really to procreate. So this risk couldn't be taken, and therefore the Assyrian king had several legally binding marriages. That was also important of course, in terms of international relations - treaties with other states, very, very often, and actually typically, including a dynastic marriage. So the king would be married to the daughter of a client king. So the king would have several wives. Only one of them would be considered the queen. But not only the children with that particular queen would be possible successors. >> So could the king have an unlimited number of wives or was there a typical number? >> No, no, in a sense. So what's crucial is this idea of monogamy was so important that the king followed it. So the king only had one queen. >> Yes, yes. >> The king had several partners, if you will, but they didn't have this title. There was only ever one queen, and the royal blood, if you will, that went from the king to his heirs, to his sons. And therefore, it's very, very important to guarantee that they are really the king's sons. And we can talk that some more when we talk about eunuchs, which will be our next topic. I look forward to that one. Of course.