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Tamara Toy

When it comes to the social stratification of the Ancient Near East, art gives us excellent examples and representations. The Law Code Stele of Hammurabi gives us several insights into this. Not only do we see Hammurabi on equal footing as the god, Shamash, but this also gives the impression that the laws are god given, inforcing the social structure. The laws themselves, show the stratification as punishments for a commoner that strikes someone of a higher social rank, their punishments were much more severe than if the roles were reversed. The well quoted, “An eye for an eye” would only have been applicable if both parties were of the same social standing. As well, extensive laws in a massive empire would create the need for another layer to the social structure-a judicial structure of some kind. This would be in addition to the religious stratification in the social structure, as well as the social rankings themselves.