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New findings in KE-ltepe show 300 Turkish words in use 5,000 years ago.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Tablets with cuneiform inscriptions that were discovered at the KE-ltepe archaeological site in Kayseri province during archeological excavations last week have revealed that 300 current Turkish words were in use in the Akkadian language 5,000 years ago.

KE-ltepe -- or KaniE-, as it used to be known -- is an archaeological site in Kayseri, consisting of a mound and the lower city or "karum," where Assyrian traders lived. The mound is surrounded on four sides by the karum. The mound, the karum and the citadel at its center are all surrounded by strong walls.

According to the Cihan news agency, Fikri Kulakoy-lu, the head of the excavation -- which started in 1948 -- said on Wednesday that archeologists had come across many currently used Turkish words such as kira (rent), emlak (estate), gebermek (to die), aE-ar-E[micro]E-E-r (tithe), devir (taking over or time period), din (religion), siftah (handsel) and emsal (equal) written on the tablets they discovered. "The language used in the cuneiforms is Akkadian, the language of the Akkadians, and has many similar words to Turkish," Kulakoy-lu said.

Kulakoy-lu said that the tablets were not part of an official archive but were produced by ordinary citizens, mostly traders.

The tablets mostly concern daily economic relations, detailing the tax to be paid to the king, the price of gold, silver and copper and trade records. "There are achives in KE-ltepe houses resembling the accounting records of a [modern] firm. What could be seen in a trader's archive? There could be [records of] debts, interests, credits, payments and sometimes punishments," Kulakoy-lu added.

The archeologist also said that the people living in the area 5,000 years ago had a relatively developed economic system.

The cuneiform writings of KE-ltepe are the oldest documents found in modern-day Turkey. "For this reason, KE-ltepe is where Anatolian history begins. There have been 25,000 cuneiform writings found in KE-ltepe so far. The most important of these documents is a tablet from 2,000 B.C., which reveals that there were local kingdoms in Anatolia at that time and KaniE- was the most powerful local kingdom in Anatolia. Merchants from Asur, which is 1,000 kilometers away, came to KaniE- to use the natural resources of Anatolia," explained Kulakoy-lu.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman)


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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Nov 19, 2015
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