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Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia$
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Dominique Charpin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226101583

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226101590.001.0001

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The Transfer of Property Deeds and the Constitution of Family Archives

The Transfer of Property Deeds and the Constitution of Family Archives

Chapter:
(p.53) Chapter 4 The Transfer of Property Deeds and the Constitution of Family Archives
Source:
Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226101590.003.0005

This chapter examines the constitution of family archives and the transfer of property deeds in ancient Mesopotamia. The analysis of archives from Sippar to Ur reveals that the custom of transferring deeds of property was widespread in different types of transactions including dowry, sale, inheritance or exchange. Property deeds served as proof of the legality of a transaction and they prevent former owners from subsequently contesting the rights of the new owner by producing his deed. This chapter also highlights the impact of this practice on constitution of family or private archives.

Keywords:   family archives, property deeds, Mesopotamia, Sippar, Ur, dowry, sale, inheritance, exchange

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