Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Family and Social Trends Research Article from World Eras

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Inheritance. Patterns of inheritance varied by time and place. Each city had its own customs. For the most part, the eldest son received a larger share of his father's estate than his brothers; for example, he might be left two of the shares instead of one; an extra proportion, at least 10 percent, of the total assets; or a choice of what part of the estate his share might comprise while his brothers drew lots for their shares. Inheritance might include land, houses, furniture, slaves, and animals, as well as religious and military duties. During the second millennium B.C.E., in some peripheral areas such as Nuzi in northeast Mesopotamia and Emar in Syria, a daughter was treated the same as a son in the eyes of the law and could inherit a share of her father's estate.

The Estate...

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