and metallurgy reached its peak in Anatolia during the Early Bronze Age.
Major developments were observed in Northern Anatolia towards the end of
Between 2000BC and 1750BC
Assyrian merchants from northern Mesopotamia formed the first commercial
organisations by establishing trade colonies in Anatolia. The centre of
these colonies was at Kanesh Kharum near Kültepe in Kayseri province
(Kharum: A commercial market place). Another important commercial market
place referred in documents is the Kharum Hattush at Bogazköy.
Anatolia was rich in gold, silver and copper, but lacked tin, essential
for obtaining bronze as an alloy. For this reason tin was one of
the major trading materials, as well as textile goods and perfumes.
The merchants had no political dominance, but were protected by the regional
Fortunately for the Assyrian merchants, writing was seen for the first
time in Anatolia. From the "Cappadocia tablets", cuneiform clay tablets
on which ancient Assyrian was written, it has been learnt that merchants
paid a 10% road tax to the Bey, received 30% interest from locals for,
and paid a 5% tax to the Anatolian kings for goods they sold. The same
tablets tell us that Assyrian merchants sometimes married Anatolian women,
and the marriage agreements contained clauses to protect the womens rights
from their husbands.
Assyrian merchants also introduced cylinder seals, metallurgy, their religious
beliefs, Gods and temples to Anatolia. Native Anatolian art flourished
under the influence of Assyrian Mesopotamic art, eventually developing
an identity of its own. During the following ages this developed into the
fundamentals of Hittite art.