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Early Anatolians


Admission requirements

Knowledge of Akkadian grammar and cuneiform writing.


The documents written in the Old Assyrian dialect that have been excavated at Kültepe (ancient Kanesh) and a few other sites in Central Anatolia, dating to the 19th-18th c. BC, contain the earliest direct evidence of life and politics in pre-Hittite Anatolia. In this course, a number of these texts will be read and contextualized. The evidence consists of letters exchanged between kings and other high ranking persons, but also of private archives dealing with commerce and the transfer of ownership. Data from these Anatolian sources will be supplemented by information from Assyrian documents.

Course objectives

Students following this course will acquire:


  • of Anatolian history and society during the Old Assyrian period

  • of the Akkadian language and cuneiform used in documents

Insight in

  • the political development of Anatolia and adjacent areas

  • the use of Akkadian as vehicle of local and international communication

Skills in

  • reading cuneiform texts from this period

  • presenting research results to peers

  • presenting research results in writing

  • the use of relevant web sites


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method


  • Oral presentation on a specific text or topic in April/May

  • Paper in June


  • Oral presentation: 20%

  • Paper: 80%


The resit assignment will be determined in consultation with the lecturer.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • M.T. Larsen, Ancient Kanesh. A Merchant Colony in Bronze Age Anatolia (2015 or later)

  • F. Kulakoglu/S. Kangal (eds.), Anatolia’s Prologue, Kültepe Kanesh Karum, Assyriens in Istanbul (2010)

  • C. Günbatti, Anadolulu Tüccarlar Sarabunuwa ve Peruwa’nin Arsivleri. Kültepe Tabletleri 10 (2016)

  • A. Kloekhorst, Kanišite Hittite. The Earliest Attested Record of Indo-European (2019)

(These publications can be consulted in the NINO library)

The texts and articles studied in class will be distributed by the instructor.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


Not applicable.