The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

Ups and downs at Kanesh

Book Specifications
IX, 161 pp.
Illustrations: yes

Ups and downs at Kanesh

2012  |  PIHANS Volume 120 Chronology, History and Society in the Old Assyrian Period. (Old Assyrian Archives, Studies, Volume 5) ISBN 13: 978-90-6258-331-7  |  ISSN: 1571-5728

G. Barjamovic, T. Hertel, M.T. Larsen

UPS AND DOWNS AT KANESH proposes a revised sequence of Old Assyrian eponyms and establishes a relative and an absolute chronology by way of linking textual evidence, dendrochronology and archaeological stratigraphy. This chronological framework is used to trace broader historical and social developments of political and territorial centralisation in Anatolia, as well as to offer new insights in the social and commercial history of the Old Assyrian trade.
A number of economic and social transformations in Assyrian society over the course of two centuries are identified by way of a statistical and prosopographical analysis. It is shown how the economic system that drove the well-known overland trade of the early Colony Period collapsed in a dramatic fashion after only thirty years (c. 1895-1865 BC), and that a series of changes in administrative organisation were created in immediate response. A primary vehicle in financing the trade – the joint-stock enterprise – was abandoned, and exchange came to be organised by way of venture trade. A distinct community of hybrid Assyrian-Anatolian households grew more prominent as mixed families came to be engaged mainly in local Anatolian trade and agriculture. In turn, a small and wealthy Assyrian elite functioned as permanently settled foreign trading agents, and a distinctive group of itinerant merchants continued to engage in the caravan trade and connect the Anatolian colonies to the mother city of Assur.