The GALATEO (Good Attitudes for Life in Assyrian Times: Etiquette and Observance of Norms in Male and Female Groups) project aims to understand anew the importance of etiquette in late Assyrian society (10th–7th century BCE) and to investigate through a multidisciplinary approach the extent to which etiquette influenced the subsequent cultures of the Middle East. As a showcase of the project, the creation of an open source Atlas will be delivered, which is conceived as an open repository, in which the addition of new references to delineate the manners of a given culture can contribute to the understanding of etiquette, from the ancient to the modern Middle East. GALATEO develops and works through an adaptable sociological and anthropological theoretical model for the study of etiquette in the ancient Middle East. To this end, the sociological perspective will explore the way that correct behaviour in Assyrian society was codified and imposed during meetings, both religious and lay, in variously political, economic, and convivial settings. In this way it will be investigated how etiquette becomes a means for both men and women to display their social status and gender balance. The anthropological perspective will examine the etiquette of hygiene, especially concerning the practices of proper handwashing, body washing, facial cleanliness, and bodily purification from a religious point of view, the intention of which was to avoid the transmission of disease, such as sex and bodily pollutions, as well as the admission of evil spirits. This analysis will show how the extent to which hygiene plays a role in assigning order and integrity to a culture or group. Being adaptable, this model will pave the way for emerging new perspectives on understanding the social history of a number of cultures of the ancient Middle East in light of etiquette, to better understand contemporaneous ones.
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