Miners and Mining - Ancient Mesopotamia and Iran
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Miners

Salt Miner
Skeleton of a salt miner from Sassanid Iran

Mining was a dangerous job, and most people didn't want to do it. This is the skeleton of a young salt miner, who was very likely a slave. He died inside the mine, and the salt preserved his body so archaeologists could find it. He lived about 500 AD, in the Sassanian Empire (modern Iran). He was wearing a quilted tunic down to his knees, and gaiters (laced-up stockings) up to his thighs, and he carried oil lanterns and a dagger in a leather sheath. He wore earrings in both ears.

Bibliography and further reading about West Asian people:

Find Out About Mesopotamia: What Life Was Like in Ancient Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, by Lorna Oakes (2004).

Ancient Mesopotamians, by Elena Gambino (2000). For kids, retellings ofMesopotamian stories and lots of context.

Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide, by Marian Broida (1999). Not just Egypt! Includes activities for kids about the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Hittites, and the Nubians.Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, by Jean Bottero and others (2001). Translated from French.

Life in the Ancient Near East: 3100-332 B.C.E., by Daniel Snell (1998).

Ancient West Asia
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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