The Texts of Two Treaties Found at Kültepe
Keywords: Kültepe, Treaty Text, Assyrian Merchants, Tablet, Archaeology, History
It has been observed that the two tablets with excavation inventory numbers Kt. 00/k 6 and Kt. 00/k 10, found during the Kültepe excavation of 2000 and dated to the late phase of Kültepe (Ib), contain the texts of different treaties. Kt. 00/k 6 was found broken into two pieces, which were then rejoined. The front side in particular is in a very bad condition and most of the text cannot be deciphered in a way providing us with meaningful sentences. This 90 line tablet contains the text of a treaty between Kanis and the Assyrian state. In particular it contains many provisions concerning the protection of the lives and properties of Assyrian citizens. Among the main provisions: Assyrians' goods or real estate could not be confiscated or bought for less than their market value; if goods were lost and found they would be given back to their owners, and if they were not found indemnity would be paid for them; blood money would be paid for each Assyrian killed and the murderer would be punished by execution, to be carried out personally by the Assyrians; the commercial activities of an Assyrian indebted to a citizen of Kanis could not be limited and others would not be considered responsible in his place. Kt. 00/k 10's dimensions and four columns are unique as far as Kültepe is concerned. The tablet contains the text of the treaty entered into between Hahhum and the Assyrian state. A considerable part of the tablet is missing. Among the treaty's provisions it was also stated that decrees and sentences concerning Assyrians should be just; in case a ship owned by an Assyrian was sunk by someone, the full value of the goods transported would be indemnified; and as in the case of the above-mentioned treaty blood money would be paid for each Assyrian killed and the murderer would be punished by execution, to be carried out personally by the Assyrians.