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Melonie Schmierer-Lee of the Genizah Research Unit reveals the fortunes of women in medieval Cairo by looking at marriage and divorce deeds, as well as some incredibly detailed pre-nuptial agreements.

The Cairo Genizah is a treasure trove of manuscripts from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo that portrays over 800 years of community life. Rediscovered in the 19th century, this vast communal paper-bin contained hundreds upon thousands of scraps of rag-paper and parchment - an unedited archive of prayers, letters, poems, magical spells, alchemical recipes, children's exercise books, divorce deeds and pre-nuptial agreements that paints a lively and intimate picture of daily medieval life in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Produced by Michele Banal and Miranda Hinkley

First broadcast in May 2013.

15 minutes

Last on

Wed 11 Jun 2014 22:45
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