THE AGE OF ASSYRIAN TRADE COLONIES

Anatolia entered her golden age at the beginning of 2000 B.C and became the most attractive place for immigrants. The Assyrians, who were well- known for their commercial cunning, were of course aware of the riches of this peninsula, and have founded ” Karum”s, that is trade centers, in the most promising localities of Anatolia. The leading Karum of the times was the one founded in Kültepe. The Karum of Kültepe was situated at the outskirts of the castle of Kanish. The Assyrians imported tin, textiles, perfumes and other luxury articles to Anatolia, and exported gold, silver and copper in return. This queer trade between the Assyrian merchants and the locals of Anatolia lasted as long as 150 years. The wars among the Anatolian kingdoms in 1850-1800 B.C put an end to the age of the Assyrian trade colonies.

This era has attracted the attention of many researchers and archaeologists since the beginning of the 19th century, and finally an Assyrian trade colony was excavated in Kültepe/ Cappadocia in 1925. One of the main discoveries of this excavation was the ” Tablets of Cappadocia” which are the oldest written documents of Anatolian history, and which are therefore of immesurable importance.

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