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CSUN History Female Power in Ancient Mesopotamia Essay

  • The goal of the final research project is to apply Michael Mann’s theory of social power to understanding female power in the ancient world – this means you can focus in on a culture/woman of special interest to you!
  • Your project will rely on primary ancient source material – in the form of ancient texts, ancient art, and/or archaeological evidence like artifacts or even human remains – to understand a problem about feminine power (or the lack thereof) from one or more points in time in the ancient world
  • If you are seeking to answer questions like WHY? or HOW? in your paper, then you are on the right track.

Thesis: I will argue that Mann’s IEMP model of social power demonstrates significant similarities between multiple empires of the ancient world because the unique expression of patriarcial power and male-constructed morality in ancient Mesopotamia was shown through the distinct harem cultute as well as the hunter-gatherer world.


Part 1 is the intro: introduce the topic, main research question(s), and your thesis statement. Also indicate how the Mann IEMP model will be integrated into your paper. Is it a fundamental part of your thesis, something extra which you are periodically in dialogue with? Which aspects of IEMP are most prominent (realistically you cannot apply them all)?

Part 2 is perhaps 1-3 paragraphs of context (historical, cultural, political, religious, etc)

Part 3 is the heart of your paper, that is, the main lines of evidence supporting your argument. Each line of evidence should be stated as your topic sentence, after which you will support that evidence with primary and secondary sources. The close of these paragraphs ususally consists of your own critical interpretive statements concerning your sources/line of evidence.

Part 4 (optional) presents any counterarguments and how you are in conversation with these (1-2 paragraphs, and I did say optional).

Part 5 is your conclusion (please consult the Harvard Writing Program Link below).

Use primary and secondary sources: (some you can use)…

“Women’s Roles in Ancient Civilizations A Reference Guide.”

“Men, Women, and Foraging”


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