The Old Assyrian Copper Trade in Anatolia
1996 (PIHANS vol. 75)
279 pp. softcover
Excavations in the ancient town of Kanish have yielded a large amount of texts and objects from the Middle Bronze Age. Most of these were found in the sector occupied by an important Assyrian trade colony. The thousands of clay tablets contain a wealth of details on life during the 19th c. B.C. The role played by the Assyrian merchants was pivotal in the local bronze manufacture; they imported tin and participated in the Anatolian copper trade. The author has investigated in this book the origins, the diffusion and the use of this copper by analysing (often previously unknown) texts and by using results of archaeological and metallurgical research. This yielded new insights about the terminology used in the texts and about the role played by Assyrian trading houses and authorities, as well as by the local rulers. To illustrate this, 20 texts in translation are included. Apart from a catalogue presenting the data on terminology and prices available in the texts, the book contains several appendices concerning artefacts related to copper and bronze production (moulds, artefacts, Assyrian words). Extensive indexes also facilitate the use of this publication.