Kültepe (Turkish: "Ash Hill") is an archaeological site in Kayseri Province, Turkey. The nearest modern city to Kültepe is Kayseri, about 20 km southwest. It consists of a tell, the actual Kültepe, and a lower town, where an Assyrian settlement was found. Its name in Assyrian texts from the 20th century BC was Kaneš; the later Hittites mostly called it Neša, occasionally Aniša. In 2014 the archaeological site was inscribed in the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey.[1] It is also the site of discovery of the earliest traces of the Hittite language, and the earliest attestation of any Indo-European language, written in Old Assyrian, dated to the 20th century BC.

Hittite palace at Kültepe
Kültepe is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
LocationKayseri Province, Turkey
Coordinates38°51′N 35°38′E / 38.850°N 35.633°ECoordinates: 38°51′N 35°38′E / 38.850°N 35.633°E
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins


Kültepe Höyüğü
View from lower town to the actual tell

Kaneš, inhabited continuously from the Chalcolithic to Roman times, flourished as an important Hattian, Hittite and Hurrian city, containing a large kārum (merchant colony) of the Old Assyrian Empire from c. the 21st to 18th centuries BC. This kārum appears to have served as "the administrative and distribution centre of the entire Assyrian colony network in Anatolia."[2] A late (c. 1400 BC) witness to an old tradition includes a king of Kaneš called Zipani among seventeen local city-kings who rose up against Naram-Sin of Akkad (ruled c. 2254-2218 BC).[3]


VAM - Gießgefäß
Animal shaped rhyton from Kanesh (19th century BC) Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin

The king of Zalpuwa, Uhna, raided Kanes, after which the Zalpuwans carried off the city's Šiuš idol. Pithana, the king of Kussara, conquered Neša "in the night, by force", but "did not do evil to anyone in it."[4] Neša revolted against the rule of Pithana's son, Anitta, but Anitta quashed the revolt and made Neša his capital. Anitta further invaded Zalpuwa, captured its king Huzziya, and recovered the Šiuš idol for Neša.[5]

In the 17th century BC, Anitta's descendants moved their capital to Hattusa, which Anitta had cursed, thus founding the line of Hittite kings. The inhabitants thus referred to the Hittite language as Nešili, "the language of Neša".


Central Anatolia during the karum-period

In 1925, Bedřich Hrozný excavated Kültepe and found over 1000 cuneiform tablets, some of which ended up in Prague and in Istanbul.[6][7]

Modern archaeological work began in 1948, when Kültepe was excavated by a team from the Turkish Historical Society and the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums. The team was led by Tahsin Özgüç until his death, in 2005.[8]

  • Level IV-III. Little excavation has been done for these levels, which represent the kârum's first habitation (Mellaart 1957). No writing is attested, and archaeologists assume that both levels' inhabitants were illiterate.
  • Level II, 1974 BC - 1836 BC (Mesopotamian Middle Chronology according to Veenhof). Craftsmen of this time and place specialised in animal-shaped earthen drinking vessels, which were often used for religious rituals. Assyrian merchants then established a merchant colony (kârum) attached to the city, which was called "Kaneš". Bullae of Naram-Sin of Eshnunna have been found toward the end of this level (Ozkan 1993), which was burned to the ground.
  • Level Ib, 1798 BC - 1740 BC. After an interval of abandonment, the city was rebuilt over the ruins of the old and again became a prosperous trade center. The trade was under the control of Ishme-Dagan I, who was put in control of Assur when his father, Shamshi-Adad I, conquered Ekallatum and Assur. However, the colony was again destroyed by fire.
  • Level Ia. The city was reinhabited, but the Assyrian colony was no longer inhabited. The culture was early Hittite. Its name in Hittite became "Kaneša", which was more commonly contracted to "Neša".

Some attribute Level II's burning to the conquest of the city of Assur by the kings of Eshnunna, but Bryce blames it on the raid of Uhna. Some attribute Level Ib's burning to the fall of Assur, other nearby kings and eventually to Hammurabi of Babylon.

To date, over 20,000 cuneiform tablets have been recovered from the site.[9][10]

Kârum Kaneš

The quarter of the city that most interests historians is the kārum, a portion of the city that was, during the Chalcolithic, set aside by local officials for the early Assyrian merchants to use without paying taxes as long as the goods remained inside the kārum. The term kārum means "port" in Akkadian, the lingua franca of the time, but its meaning was later extended to refer to any trading colony whether or not it bordered water.

Several other cities in Anatolia also had a kārum, but the largest was Kaneš, whose important kārum was inhabited by soldiers and merchants from Assyria for hundreds of years. They traded local tin and wool for luxury items, foodstuffs, spices and woven fabrics from the Assyrian homeland and Elam.

The remains of the kārum form a large circular mound 500 m in diameter and about 20 m above the plain (a tell). The kārum settlement is the result of several superimposed stratigraphic periods. New buildings were constructed on top of the remains of the earlier periods so there is a deep stratigraphy from prehistoric times to the early Hittite period.

The kārum was destroyed by fire at the end of both levels II and Ib. The inhabitants left most of their possessions behind, to be found by modern archaeologists.

The findings have included numerous baked-clay tablets, some of which were enclosed in clay envelopes stamped with cylinder seals. The documents record common activities, such as trade between the Assyrian colony and the city-state of Assur and between Assyrian merchants and local people. The trade was run by families rather than the state. The Kültepe texts are the oldest documents from Anatolia. Although they are written in Old Assyrian, the Hittite loanwords and names in the texts are the oldest record of any Indo-European language (see also Ishara). Most of the archaeological evidence is typical of Anatolia rather than of Assyria, but the use of both cuneiform and the dialect is the best indication of Assyrian presence.

Dating of Waršama Sarayi

At Level II, the destruction was so total that no wood survived for dendrochronological studies. In 2003, researchers from Cornell University dated wood in level Ib from the rest of the city, built centuries earlier. The dendrochronologists date the bulk of the wood from buildings of the Waršama Sarayi to 1832 BC, with further refurbishments up to 1779 BC.[11] In 2016 new research using carbondating and dendrology on timber used in this site and the palace in Acemhöyük show the likely earliest use of the palace as not before 1851–1842 BCE (68.2% hpd; the 95.4% hpd is 1855–1839 BCE): [12]. In combination with the many Assyrian objects found here, this dating shows that only middle or low-middle chronology are the only remaining possible chronologies that fit these new data.

See also


  1. ^ "Archaeological Site of Kültepe-Kanesh". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  2. ^ Bryce, Trevor (2005). Kingdom of the Hittites: New Edition. Oxford University Press. p. 37. ISBN 0199281327.
  3. ^ Bryce 2005, p. 10
  4. ^ Kuhrt, Amélie (1995). The Ancient Near East, Volume I. London and New York: Routledge. p. 226. ISBN 0-415-16763-9.
  5. ^ "The Proclamation of Anittas (Old Hittite)".
  6. ^ Julius Lewy, Die altassyrischen Texte vom Kültepe bei Kaisarije, Konstantinopel, 1926
  7. ^ Veysel Donbaz, Keilschrifttexte in den Antiken-Museen zu Stambul 2, Freiburger Altorientalische Studien, 1989
  8. ^ Tahsin Özgüç, The Palaces and Temples of Kultepe-Kanis/Nesa, Turk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi, 1999, ISBN 975-16-1066-4
  9. ^ E. Bilgic and S Bayram, Ankara Kultepe Tabletleri II, Turk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi, 1995, ISBN 975-16-0246-7
  10. ^ K. R. Veenhof, Ankara Kultepe Tabletleri V, Turk Tarih Kurumu, 2010, ISBN 978-975-16-2235-8
  11. ^ http://www.arts.cornell.edu/dendro/TUBA-ARCaptured.pdf
  12. ^ Manning, Sturt W.; Griggs, Carol B.; Lorentzen, Brita; Barjamovic, Gojko; Ramsey, Christopher Bronk; Kromer, Bernd; Wild, Eva Maria (2016). "Integrated Tree-Ring-Radiocarbon High-Resolution Timeframe to Resolve Earlier Second Millennium BCE Mesopotamian Chronology". PLOS ONE. 11 (7): e0157144. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1157144M. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157144. PMC 4943651. PMID 27409585.


  • Tahsin Özgüç, Kültepe, Yapi Kredi, 2005, ISBN 975-08-0960-2
  • KR Veenhof, Kanesh: an Old Assyrian colony in Anatolia, in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East ed. by J. Sasson, Scribners, 1995
  • J Mellaart, Anatolian Chronology in the Early and Middle Bronze Age, 1957, Anatolian Studies, vol.7, pp. 55–88

External links


Anitta, son of Pithana, was a king of Kussara, a city that has yet to be identified. He is the earliest known ruler to compose a text in the Hittite language.

His high official, or rabi simmiltim, was named Peruwa.

Berdan Dam

Berdan Dam is an embankment dam on the Berdan River in Mersin Province, Turkey. It was built between 1975 and 1984. It supports a 10 MW power station and provides water for the irrigation of 27,050 hectares (66,800 acres).

Derbent Dam

Derbent Dam is a gravity/embankment dam on the Kızılırmak River in Samsun Province, Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Gezende Dam

Gezende Dam is an arch dam on the Ermenek River in Mersin Province, Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Işıklı Dam

Işıklı Dam is a dam in Denizli Province, Turkey, built between 1950 and 1953. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.


Kayseri (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈkajseɾi]) is a large industrialised city in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is the seat of Kayseri Province. The city of Kayseri, as defined by the boundaries of Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, is structurally composed of five metropolitan districts, the two core districts of Kocasinan and Melikgazi, and since 2004, also Hacılar, İncesu and Talas.

Kayseri is located at the foot of the extinct volcano Mount Erciyes that towers 3,916 metres (12,848 feet) over the city. The city is often cited in the first ranks among Turkey's cities that fit the definition of Anatolian Tigers.The city retains a number of historical monuments, including several from the Seljuk period. While it is generally visited en route to the international tourist attractions of Cappadocia, Kayseri has many attractions in its own right: Seljuk and Ottoman era monuments in and around the city centre, Mount Erciyes as a trekking and alpinism centre, Zamantı River as a rafting centre, and the historic sites of Kültepe, Ağırnas, Talas and Develi. Kayseri is served by Erkilet International Airport and is home to Erciyes University.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, as of 2011 the city of Kayseri had a population of 844,656; while Kayseri Province had a population of 1,234,651.

Kayseri Archaeology Museum

Kayseri Archaeology Museum is a museum in Kayseri, Turkey. It is at 38°42′59″N 35°29′58″EKayseri is an old city. The Kültepe ruins are about 22 kilometres (14 mi) south west of the city.

The museum was opened on 26 June 1969.

Kemer Dam

Kemer Dam is a dam in Aydın Province, Turkey, built between 1954 and 1958. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Kültepe Dam

Kültepe Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.


Kültəpə (also Aşağı Gültəpə, Gültəpə, Kyul'tepe, Kul'tepe, and Kultepe) is a settlement dated from the Neolithic Age, a village and municipality in the Babek Rayon of Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. It has a population of 1,859.

Menzelet Dam

Menzelet Dam is an embankment dam on the Ceyhan River in Kahramanmaraş Province, Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Middle Bronze Age migrations (Ancient Near East)

Various and currently outdated theories have been proposed that postulate waves of migration during the Middle Bronze Age in the Ancient Near East. While the turmoils that separate the Late Bronze Age from the Early Iron Age are well documented (see Bronze Age collapse), theories of migration during the Middle Bronze Age (20th century BCE) have little direct support. Some suggestions connect these alleged "mass migrations" with the coming of the Greeks, moving from their former settlements into the southern and central Balkans displacing the former pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece. Others make reference to a supposed migration of the Hittites to their earliest known home in Kültepe during the same period.However, other theories and evidence provide further information of a supposed migration of the Hittites, suggesting that a Proto-Indo-Hittite language dates back to the fourth millennium BC. The migration theory is elaborated on by recent genetics research. This has revealed that the ancient Mycenaean and Minoan populations were highly similar, but not identical, and that their ancestors had migrated from Anatolia thousands of years before the Bronze Age, during the Neolithic. Nevertheless, the Mycenaean Greeks, and not the Minoans, also possessed an Ancient North Eurasian ancestry from eastern Europe and the Eurasian steppe associated with a migration of Indo-European speakers, likely proto-Greek. Thus, while this is evidence of Mycenaeans being related to the Minoans, it also provides support of a pre-Greek migration into mainland Greece which was in part ancestral to the Mycenaeans.

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Turkish: Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi) is located on the south side of Ankara Castle in the Atpazarı area in Ankara, Turkey. It consists of the old Ottoman Mahmut Paşa bazaar storage building, and the Kurşunlu Han. Because of Atatürk's desire to establish a Hittite museum, the buildings were bought upon the suggestion of Hamit Zübeyir Koşay, who was then Culture Minister, to the National Education Minister, Saffet Arıkan. After the remodelling and repairs were completed (1938–1968), the building was opened to the public as the Ankara Archaeological Museum.

Today, Kurşunlu Han, used as an administrative building, houses the work rooms, library, conference hall, laboratory and workshop. The old bazaar building houses the exhibits. Within this Ottoman building, the museum has a number of exhibits of Anatolian archeology. They start with the Paleolithic era, and continue chronologically through the Neolithic, Early Bronze, Assyrian trading colonies, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuq and Ottoman periods. There is also an extensive collection of artifacts from the excavations at Karain, Çatalhöyük, Hacılar, Canhasan, Beyce Sultan, Alacahöyük, Kültepe, Acemhöyük, Boğazköy (Gordion), Pazarlı, Altıntepe, Adilcevaz and Patnos as well as examples of several periods.

The exhibits of gold, silver, glass, marble and bronze works date back as far as the second half of the first millennium BC. The coin collections, with examples ranging from the first minted money to modern times, represent the museum's rare cultural treasures.

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations reaching the present time with its historical buildings and its deeply rooted history was elected as the first "European Museum of the Year" in Switzerland on April 19, 1997.

Sürgü Dam

Sürgü Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Tatlarin Dam

Tatlarin Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works (Turkish: Devlet Su İşleri).

Tercan Dam

Tercan Dam is an embankment dam on the Tuzla River in Erzincan Province, Turkey. Constructed between 1969 and 1988, the development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works. The dam has an installed capacity of 15 MW and provides water for the irrigation of 29,725 hectares (73,450 acres).

Yayladağ Dam

Yayladağı Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Ḫattušili I

Hattusili I (Ḫattušili I) was a king of the Hittite Old Kingdom. He reigned ca. 1586–1556 BC (short chronology).

He used the title of Labarna at the beginning of his reign. It is uncertain whether he is the second king so identified, making him Labarna II, or whether he is identical to Labarna I, who is treated as his predecessor in Hittite chronologies.

During his reign, he moved the capital from Neša (Kaneš, near modern Kültepe) to Ḫattuša (near modern Boğazkale), taking the throne name of Ḫattušili to mark the occasion.

He is the earliest Hittite ruler for whom contemporary records have been found. In addition to "King of Ḫattuša", he took the title "Man of Kuššara", a reference to the prehistoric capital and home of the Hittites, before they had occupied Neša.

A cuneiform tablet found in 1957 written in both the Hittite and the Akkadian language provides details of six years of his reign.

In it, he claims to have extended the Hittite domain to the sea, and in the second year, to have subdued Alalakh and other cities in Syria. In the third year, he campaigned against Arzawa in western Anatolia, then returned to Syria to spend the next three years retaking his former conquests from the Hurrians, who had occupied them in his absence.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia
Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia
Southeastern Anatolia
All over Turkey


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.