This tablet shows that a kingdom in Anatolia wanted to buy a city 3800 years ago.

This tablet shows that a kingdom in Anatolia wanted to buy a city 3800 years ago.

Many cuneiform tablets, many of which contain important information, have been found in the archaeological excavations of Aççana Höyük to date. The last tablet that archaeologists found by chance without digging isamong the earthquake debris perhaps the most interesting of all. 3,800-year-old cuneiform clay tablet unearthed in ancient tumulus in southern Turkey. Tablet features contract on sales of a city, which consists of information about parties, witnesses, says team head

Oldest contract about sales of a city

Archeologists have discovered a 3,800-year-old cuneiform clay tablet in southern Türkiye during restoration work after the massive earthquakes in the region earlier this year.

Murat Akar, an archeology professor at Hatay Mustafa Kemal University, told Anadolu that a 25-member team found the clay tablet with cuneiform inscription in Akkadian language in nearly 4,000-year-old Accana tumulus in the southern Hatay province.

The Kahramanmaras-centered twin earthquakes on Feb. 6, which caused great destruction in Hatay, also affected the historical site, which was determined to be the location of Alalakh, the capital of the Mukish Kingdom during the Middle and Late Bronze Age periods.

An unusual clay tablet turned out  through the remnants of the wall destroyed by the earthquake

Restoration and protection work have started with the leadership of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry to repair the damages on some parts of the ruins of palace walls, Akar said.

As part of the study, the team that removed the rubble of the walls found a clay tablet among the ruins.

Archaeologist Murat Akar: Yarim-Lim, the first known king of Alalah, wanted to buy a city

The first examination of the tablet in Akkadian language revealed information containing an agreement made by Yarim-Lim, the first known king of Alalakh, to purchase another city.

Akar said the tablet is not damaged and the finding was “so exciting.”

The cuneiform text on the clay tablet contains the names of those who witnessed the agreement 

“It proves us that those kings had the economic power and potential to buy another city in those times.

“There is also the name of the important people of the city who witnessed this sale on the tablet, most likely,” he added.

“The work came out as an extremely unique example, especially to decipher the economic structure of that period, the relationship between cities, the economic and political model,” Akar said.

The tablet will be transferred to a museum after the examinations, said the restoration team head.


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