The Emergence and Consolidation of State in Anatolia as Evidenced at Kültepe Excavations
费克里·库拉寇格鲁 Fikri Kulakoglu
(土耳其安卡拉大学 Ankara University)
考古学研究的多学科方法和合作 如上所述，该遗址自发掘以来的重要性是显而易见的，持续的考古工作发现了大量的遗存和书面文献。然而，早期发掘工作是按照传统的近东田野调查的方式进行的，特别强调可供博物馆展出的文物。对此，屈尔德佩遗址贡献良多。然而，尽管出土了精美的器物，但几个关键性问题并没有得到证实，如该地的发展序列，如此复杂的长途贸易体系的出现，制作精美物品所需的技术，区域环境与经济，相距甚远的两大地域—叙利亚与安纳托利亚—融合后的社会互动等。库拉克奥格鲁团队的新任务：开展新的田野工作的同时重新评估以往的发现 新的研究战略基于多学科方法并对所有愿意合作的学科开放，不论是为遗址本身的理解做出贡献，还是测试他们的研究模式。从这方面讲，近年来，第一次在现场出现了多学科的积极合作，涉及的学科有动物考古、古植物学、 孢粉学、人类学、树木年代学、树木生态学、同位素分析的古气候学、冶金考古、地球物理学、萃取冶金学、古地磁学、艺术史、文字学、金石学、古文书学。 虽然对该遗址的多学科研究仍处于起步阶段，考虑到50多年来积累的大量材料，合作的初步结果开始出现，不仅对安纳托利亚的文化和环境历史，而且对整个近东的文化和环境历史研究都有了重大突破性的成果。 值得一提的是，利用绝对年代测定法和同位素分析方法阐明了几个以前备受争议的年代序列和古气候问题。其中最具挑战性的新结果是饮食研究和流动性，明确表明在第三个千年后期，来自美索不达米亚的移民已经定居在了屈尔德佩。
安纳托利亚冶金考古越来越为人所知，部分归功于阿斯里汉·耶纳与库拉克奥格鲁，他们开展了旨在探索锡产地与青铜技术的起源的多个项目。自该遗址第一次被发现以来，在绝对年代学上，特别是在安纳托利亚和美索不达米亚的先后顺序上曾有过一些争议。借助于其它测年方法，古地磁的分析已经确定了不同阶段火灾的时间，更重要的是把著名的瓦尔沙马宫殿的时间定在了公元前1750-1740年间。最近的主要工作之一是地球物理调查，以探测上城的空间布局，特别是下城的范围，在深厚的冲积层下，土壤基质的高粘土含量使得常规勘探技术难以发挥作用。 多学科研究成果 屈尔德佩及其居民的年代和历史一直是研究或讲座的中心内容。幸亏开塞利考古调查项目提供了涵盖整个第三个千年的长序列，所以对青铜时代早期的屈尔德佩的年代序列进行了微调。在由库拉克奥格鲁博士主持的抢救性发掘中发现的一处新墓地很有希望能填补这一时期的年代数据。所有这些跨学科研究结果将在2013年以来每年举行两次的屈尔德佩国际会议(KIM)上进行讨论，并且成果发表在国际知名期刊《苏帕图》一个单独系列上。事实上，该国际会议的目的就是促进这些不同学科之间的对话。结合这些数据，可以使我们更详细的了解屈尔德佩及其环境；这些在KIM会议期间开始的交叉研究，也可以帮我们更准确地了解公元前两、三千年的屈尔德佩地区居民的生活环境。
费克里·库拉寇格鲁，1960年出生于土耳其的萨姆松。1982年获得安卡拉大学近东考古学系学士学位，并于1985年和1997年分获硕士和博士学位。 他的学术生涯是始于1994年，当时他加入了近东考古学系，担任研究助理，目前他已成为该系教授。 目前的研究兴趣主要包括青铜时代，包括“早期青铜时代”，“安纳托利亚的亚述贸易殖民时代”“安纳托利亚城市化的诞生和发展”“赫梯文化的起源”“赫梯艺术和雕塑”。 参与了安纳托利亚地区的多项考古发掘，如Samsat, Acemhöyük, Kaman-Kalehöyük, and 屈尔德佩–卡尼什。继奥兹古驰之后，他在2016年被指定为屈尔德佩考古发掘的负责人。 发表了关于青铜时代的论文数篇，主要涉及亚述贸易殖民时期和赫悌时期。 与人合著5部，其中三部即将付梓。
Kültepe: the capital of the ancient Kanesh Kingdom
Kültepe, the ancient capital of the Kanesh Kingdom, is critically located on the meeting point of two major natural routes crossing Anatolia; it is actually the place where the East-West route running from Iranian highlands to the Aegean following the northern flanks of the Taurus ranges comes together with the North-South route joining the Mediterranean with the Black Sea. In this respect, the Sarmısaklı basin where the site is located has always been the gateway throughout history, as evidenced by the historic center of Kayseri in close vicinity of the site.
Kültepe consists of a high city mound and a lower town, the famous “karum (port) of Kanesh”; the mound, 21m. high and 550 m. wide has evidenced a long cultural sequence running from Late Chalcolithic (BC 4500) up to the late Roman period. The lower town is at least 2.5 km in diameter, and possibly larger being sealed under the alluvial fill. Lower Town had been established by the early stages of the second millennium BC and was abandoned after the Assyrian Trading Colony period.
Kanesh-Karum: the first international long-distance trade center in Anatolia
Since the early years of the last century, the site has been one of the excitements of Near Eastern archaeology, particularly of the Bronze age as the milestone in picturing the intensive long-distance trade and procurement of luxury items.
Systematic excavations at the mound were initiated by late Prof. Dr. Tahsin Özgüç in 1948 exposing monumental palaces and temples of the rulers controlling the living quarters of the foreign traders, the Karum of Kanesh. Tablets containing royal letters and the lists of palace officials were also revealed. Through time Özgüç became more interested in the quarter of the Assyrian merchants in the Lower Town exposing houses and private archives of the merchants who came to Anatolia for trade; the number of private correspondence of the merchants at present is over 23,000.
The capital city of the Assyrian trade colony
The site of Kültepe has been reputed as the biggest and one of the earliest trading colonies, and has revealed thousands of cuneiform texts on trade and economic relations between Anatolian kingdoms and Mesopotamia. Due to the fabulous finds recovered in the houses of Assyrian merchants, excavations had been focused in the area that had been allocated by the local rulers to the foreign merchant to live. Eye-catching finds recovered in the houses of rich merchants diverted interest away from the socio-cultural set up of the site and evidence of the city mound. Likewise, selective publication of the merchant’s cuneiform archives resulted in biased interpretations.
Anatolia’s prologue: Kültepe-Kanesh cuneiform tablets
Kültepe tablets are the earliest written documents ever recovered from the Anatolian Plateau; actually, the cuneiform script was introduced to Anatolia by Assyrian merchants. The Anatolian people had learned to read and write for the first time in Kültepe. The Assyrian merchants brought not only the cuneiform script to Anatolia but also their culture. Within the framework of the agreements they made with the Kanesh kings, they established a trade colony, traded in Anatolia and paid taxes. Kanesh kings, with the taxes they collected, had built palaces, temples, and a large fortification wall.
Kültepe, with its 21 meter thick cultural deposit, stands as one of the main reference points of Anatolia in understanding the transition from Early Bronze Age towns to the urban centers becoming the seats of local kingdoms. Thus, what has been so far excavated at Kültepe is of consequential significance for the entire Near East, particularly Syro-Mesopotamia. Along with the 23,000 cuneiform tablets recovered in the houses and private archives of the merchants, written documents unearthed in the city mound, though fewer, reveal the social, political and economic life of the 19th and 18th centuries BC in central Anatolia and Upper Mesopotamia. These private archives were enlisted in UNESCO World Memory List in 2015, and the cuneiform tablets written in an Old Assyrian dialect give exceptional insight into a sophisticated market economy, representing one of the best-documented historical cases of ancient trade in the world.
Reconsidering the state formation emerged and consolidated in Anatolia: the new term of Kültepe Excavations
Recent work, with its multidisciplinary approach, along with resolving some of the much-debated problems, has also provided a hitherto unprecedented insight into the social-economic system of the Near East.
The new instalment of the Kültepe project under Dr. Fikri Kulakoğlu had its focus in the city mound and also study and publication of the previously excavated textual and archaeological material.
The aim of the excavations carried out in recent years was to understand the political, cultural and economic situation of Anatolia and especially Kültepe in the periods before the Assyrian merchants came and the modalities on how and why this very complex system developed. In this respect, recent work at the site has already reached Early Bronze Age levels, evidencing a clear sequential development of cultural and architectural traditions.
The outcome of this new undertaking has already revealed so much new evidence necessitating a reconsideration of how state formation emerged and consolidated in Anatolia. We now have a clear picture of the strong kingdom of Kanesh involved in active interaction with Syro-Mesopotamian states. Likewise, technological and archaeometry studies on the previously excavated materials have already led to ground-breaking results on the sourcing and use of tin, and procurement and making sophisticated vessels of obsidian.
The emergence of monumental buildings in Anatolia: monumental structures discovered in Kültepe
What has been exposed in the early stages of the Early Bronze Age, during EBA I and II periods are present a picture of modest simple-plan structures; however, already by Early Bronze Age III the monumental structures began appearing, reflecting not only the architectural developments at Kültepe but also giving the indications of social change taking place in Central Anatolia.
Three consecutive monumental buildings have been excavated in the West Trenches of the mound – built on top of each other, and each destroyed by violent fires. Considering even the large dimensions of these buildings, they must have been significant public buildings. At that time period, there are no known parallels in Anatolia to these either in plan-type or in monumentality; thus we assume that they must have been inspired from the monumental public buildings of Northern Syria or Mesopotamia. Even being able to erect such monumental structures evince the presence of a powerful local authority having close commercial ties with her neighbors. Actually, the name of Kanesh Kingdom is mentioned in the so-called “šar tamhari” text as a powerful kingdom in Central Anatolia.
The first evidence of Aegean-Central Anatolian relations: Aegean originated wares and jewelry
Furthermore, the ceramics from these monumental buildings demonstrate important Aegean connections. Numerous examples of double-handled cups (tankards) dating to the end of the EB II in the Aegean and Western Anatolia replaced the depas at the beginning of the EB III. Kültepe provides a unique opportunity to precisely date them and determine their function. Along with this, ceramic connections between Kültepe and the Aegean include the wheel turned plates similar to those from Troy. Two plates previously found in Kültepe were published as having been imported from the Aegean coast. However, contrary to this notion is the fact that hundreds of them have been found in recent excavations. This necessitated the question of whether they are indeed imported from the Aegean. The presence of such plates in good stratigraphic contexts in Kültepe, as well as ceramics specific to the Aegean such as the tankard and depas, indicates that these relationships should be investigated in detail.
Jewelry is another important category that shows important connections with Aegean. The jewelry found at Kultepe has wide geographic distributions from Ur in Mesopotamia, Troy in western Anatolia and Poliochni in the Aegean perhaps as a mutual exchange of gifts between kings or elites, or as a dowry. These as-yet-unpublished luxury objects were made of silver and gold and were recently found in EBA burials at Kültepe strongly attesting to the existence of relations between the two regions (i.e., Troy, Poliochni).
Recent excavations revealed also a rich and unique collection of stamp and cylinder seal impressions in the vicinity of these monumental buildings. The study of these sealings will also enlighten the presence of the earliest international trade established between Kültepe Kanesh and the other international centers of Syria and of Mesopotamia. Accordingly, the recent work has, for the first time presented concrete evidence on the emergence of international trading systems.
Fine-grained stratigraphical research at Kültepe
In the deep “North Trench”, fine-grained excavations provided important stratigraphic information about the EBA and earlier levels since the monumental structures discovered in the Central Trench prevent reaching them. With the help of more accurate archaeo-metric measurements and analyses, specialists have been successful in obtaining data not accessible in the Central Trench.
New insight to the burial customs in Central Anatolia
In 2014, an extramural EBA Cemetery was discovered about 2 km south of Kültepe. 67 pithoi burials have been excavated. The discovery of the İnler Dağı cemetery is groundbreaking for the study of burial practices and traditions outside of settlement areas.
Multidisciplinary approach and cooperation in the archaeological research
As briefly noted above, the importance of the site had been apparent since its recovery, with extensive excavations revealing a wealth of finds and written documents. However, early excavations were conducted in the modalities of traditional Near Eastern fieldwork with particular emphasis on the recovery of museum objects, of which Kültepe revealed great numbers. However, in spite of the glorious appearance of its finds, several critical issues had remained unattested; among them the sequential development of the site, the emergence of such a complex long-distance trade system, technologies involved in the fabrication of objects that exhibit outstanding features, environment and economy of the community and the social dynamics of the merging of two distant communities-Assyrians and Anatolians.
The new instalment of the project, led by the team directed by Dr. Kulakoğlu has developed a new research strategy, not only in the implementation of new fieldwork but in reassessing earlier finds.
The new research strategy is based on a multidisciplinary approach and cooperation being open to all disciplines that are willing to cooperate, either to contribute to the understanding of the site or to test their own modalities. In this respect, during the recent years, for the first time at the site, there has been the active collaboration of a great variety of disciplines: from zooarchaeology, palaeobotany, palynology, anthropology, dendrochronology, dendroecology, paleoclimatology to isotope analyses, archaeometallurgy, geophysics, geometallurgy, geo and archaeo-magnetism, art history, philology, epigraphy, and palaeography.
Even though multidisciplinary studies on Kültepe materials are still in an incipient stage, considering the vast amount of material accumulated over 50 years’ work, preliminary results began appearing with ground-breaking consequences for the cultural and environmental history not only of Anatolia but of the Near East in general.
In particular, the implementation of absolute dating methods and of isotope analysis have elucidated several previously much-debated chronological problems of dating and of paleoclimate. Among the most challenging new results are the dietary studies and mobility, clearly indicating that already in the late 3rd millennium, immigrants from Mesopotamia were settled at Kültepe.
The archaeometallurgy of Anatolia is becoming better known, thanks in part to the various projects carried out by Aslıhan Yener and Fikri Kulakoğlu on sourcing tin and of the origins of bronze technology.
Since the first recovery of the site, there had been certain controversies on absolute chronology, particularly in sequencing Anatolia with that of Mesopotamia. Along with other dating methods, the implementation of archaeomagnetic analyses have now secured the date of various phases of conflagration and more significantly placing the date of the famous Waršama palace to 1750-1740 BC.
One of the major undertakings of recent excavations has been the geophysical investigations to detect the spatial layout of the upper town and particularly the extent of the lower town, which is under deep layers of alluvium. The high clay content of the soil matrix made conventional prospection technologies challenging.
Outcrops of the multi-disciplinary research
The chronology and history of Kültepe and its inhabitants were at the heart of several articles and lectures. The chronology of the Kültepe area during the Early Bronze Age has been fine-tuned thanks to the Kayseri Archaeological Survey Project which provides a long sequence covering the whole 3rd millennium. And a new cemetery found during salvage excavation by Dr. Kulakoğlu is very promising to complete our data on this period. The results of all these interdisciplinary studies are discussed at the “Kültepe International Meetings” (KIM) meetings held biannually since 2013 and the results are published in a separate series (KIM) in an internationally respected journal SUBARTU. Indeed, the aim of the Kültepe International Meetings (KIM) is to facilitate the dialogue between these different disciplines. Combining their data will give a more accurate view of Kültepe and its environment. The cross studies initiated during the KIM meetings will allow us to better understand the lives of the inhabitants of Kültepe and their environment during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C.
Fikri Kulakoğlu was born in Samsun, Turkey in 1960. He received a B.A. degree in the Near Eastern Archaeology Department at Ankara University in 1982, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the same department in 1985 and 1997, respectively. His academic career started in 1994 when he joined the Near Eastern Archaeology Department as a Research Assistant, and he is presently teaching as a Professor in the same department. His current research interests include mainly Bronze Ages, including “Early Bronze Age” and “Assyrian Trade Colony Period in Anatolia”, the “Birth and the Development of Urbanisation in Anatolia”, “the Origin of Hittite Culture” and “Hittite Art and Sculpture”. He took part in several excavations in Anatolia, among them are Samsat, Acemhöyük, Kaman-Kalehöyük, and Kültepe-Kanesh. After Tahsin Özgüç, in 2016 he was appointed as the director of the Kültepe excavations. He is the author of several articles about the Bronze Age, and the Assyrian Trade Colony Period and Hittites. He is also the co-editor of 5 volumes; Anatolias Prologue: Kültepe Kanesh Karum, printed in 2010, Current Research at Kültepe-Kanesh. An Interdisciplinary and Integrative Approach to Trade Networks, Internationalism, and Identity, printed in 2014. Proceedings of the Kültepe International Meetings (KIM1-3) held biannually since 2013 is published by the Journal SUBARTU. Three volumes of the proceedings have already been printed up to date.