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The ancient Anatolian city of Kanesh (present-day Kültepe, Turkey) was a continuously inhabited site from the early Bronze Age through Roman times. The city flourished ca. 2000–1750 BCE as an Old Assyrian trade outpost and the earliest attested commercial society in world history. More than 23,000 elaborate clay tablets from private merchant houses provide a detailed description of a system of long-distance trade that reached from central Asia to the Black Sea region and the Aegean. The texts record common activities such as trade between Kanesh and the city state of Assur and between Assyrian merchants and local people. The tablets tell us about the economy as well as culture, language, religion, and private lives of individuals we can identify by name, occupation, and sometimes even personality. This book presents an in-depth account of this vibrant Bronze Age Anatolian society, revealing the daily lives of its inhabitants.Read more
- There is no comparable description of the ancient Anatolian city of Kanesh
- Allows an unprecedented view of an ancient society based on long-distance trade
- Includes family archives, which provide an exciting opportunity for micro-history with a close understanding of the lives of ordinary people
Reviews & endorsements
"In [this] beautifully detailed new book … we meet dozens of the traders of Kanesh and their relatives back home in Assur. Larsen has been able to construct family trees, detailing how siblings and cousins, parents and spouses, traded with one another and often worked against one another."
Adam Davidson, The New York Times Magazine
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- Date Published: July 2018
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107552036
- length: 342 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.45kg
- contains: 43 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Beginnings:
2. The discovery
3. The mound at Kültepe
4. The lower town
5. Understanding the texts
6. Chronology and change
Part II. The Home Town:
8. The king in Assur
9. The government of a city
10. The year eponym
Part III. Anatolia:
11. The Anatolians and their land
12. The colonial system
13. The government of a colony
Part IV. Economy and Society:
14. The caravan trade
15. Quantities and origins
16. Families and money
17. Where did the money come from?
18. Law and death
Part V. Cultures:
19. Cultural interaction
Part VI. Interpretations:
21. Economic theory and evidence.
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