Scientists believe that an Assyrian clay tablet, that is 4,000-years-old, is the world’s oldest known marriage contract with references to infertility and divorce.
The tablet was discovered by researchers including those from Harran University in Turkey. The tablet specifies a marriage contract between a man named Laqipum and his bride, Hatala.
The tablet details that if Hatala is unable to bear a child, she will buy a slave woman known as a hierodule who will sleep with her husband.
“There are many different ways to solve infertility problems – like surrogacy, as mentioned even 4,000 years ago in this Assyrian clay tablet,” the study published in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology quoted the researchers as saying.
The marriage contract depicts that “the concept of infertility is not just a disease of our age”, but rather one of the ages, the researchers said.
According to Live Science, the tablet also lays down stipulations in the event of a divorce between Laqipum and Hatala, in case things did not work out between them.
“Should Laqipum choose to divorce her, he must pay (her) five minas of silver – and should Hatala choose to divorce him, she must pay (him) five minas of silver,” reads a translation of the contract.
The tablet was discovered in Turkey at Kultepe-Kanesh, an archaeological site on the World Heritage list kept by the UNESCO.
With inputs from PTI
Source of news : Indiatimes