Adam Davidson,The V.C.s of B.C.
Through a series of incredibly unlikely events, archaeologists have uncovered the comprehensive written archive of a few hundred traders who left their hometown Assur, in what is now Iraq, to set up importing businesses in Kanesh, which sat roughly at the center of present-day Turkey and functioned as the hub of a massive global trading system that stretched from Central Asia to Europe. Kanesh’s traders sent letters back and forth with their business partners, carefully written on clay tablets and stored at home in special vaults. Tens of thousands of these records remain. One economist recently told me that he would love to have as much candid information about businesses today as we have about the dealings — and in particular, about the trading practices — of this 4,000-year-old community.[more inside]
The Seljuk Han in Anatolia has tons of information about and pictures of the caravanserai, inns for caravans, built by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in what is now Turkey. The Seljuk caravanserai, called hans, were a vital resource for trade from the middle ages to recent times. The website, by Katherine Branning, explains what a han is, their origins, their function in trade, what life there was like and much more. The site also features 39 individual hans, such as the Kadin Han, now a furniture store, Dibi Delik Han, which is undergoing restoration, Zazadin Han, which has been restored already, and the spectacular Sultan Han Kayseri. For an academic survey of Seljuk hans, here's Ayşıl Tükel Yavuz' The concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais [pdf, automatic download].
"A skull coated in plaster, colored in red, and cradled in the arms of a female skeleton” is among the latest discoveries at the 9,000-year-old site of Catalhoyuk, located on Turkey's Anatolian plain.
Anatolia, the Asiatic portion of contemporary Turkey extending from the Bosphorous and Aegean coast eastward, is one of the oldest continually inhabited regions in the world with an unbroken lineage dating back to the early Stone (Paleolithic) Age. Now an Italian scientist believes he has found the cradle of civilization at the Aslantepe Mound in the Province of Malatya in eastern Turkey, including the oldest known Palace and metal swords dating from 3350BC, civilization older than Mesopotamia.