The Anisa bronze tablet proves that Greek was used in Anatolia 2,000 years ago

1000070805

Anisa: An Ancient City

Anisa was an ancient Cappadocian city located 19 km northeast of Caesarea on the site of Kültepe-Karahöyük.

Assyrian texts from the 19th century BC mention the Hittite city of Kaniş (or Kaneş), from which the word Anisa most likely originated.

Kültepe: An Archaeological Treasure

Kültepe (ash-hill) is an archaeological site in Kayseri Province, Türkiye, inhabited from the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, in the Early Bronze Age. The nearest modern city to Kültepe is Kayseri, about 20km southwest. The discovery of roughly 10,000 clay cuneiform tablets at Kültepe—dubbed “Cappadocian tablets”—made the site famous.

The Anisa Bronze Tablet: Evidence of Greek and Multiculturalism

A city coin from the third century BC is the oldest piece of known evidence for the Greek name Anisa. While no ancient writer mentions Anisa, it is known from an inscription (ενΑνίσoις) carved on a bronze plate surrounded by relief decor that was discovered at Kültepe-Karahöyük. It is an honorary decree of the city of Anisa dated to the late 2nd or early 1st BC.

Kültepe Excavation Head Prof. Dr. Fikri Kulakoğlu stated that this important artifact is now in the Berlin Museum. He added that a council decision was written on the tablet and it was decided to hang this text in a temple in the city.

Prof. Dr. Kulakoğlu emphasized that Kültepe is not only known for its tablets but also for its settlement sequence dating back to at least 6,000 years ago, with excavations continuing towards earlier periods.

Hellenistic Period at Kültepe

Prof. Dr. Kulakoğlu noted that the most interesting part of the site is the "Hellenistic period," that is, the period after the 300s. Excavations and research have revealed a dense Hellenistic Period settlement in Kültepe, including structures, sculptor artifacts, and ceramics.

1000070807
KAYSERİ TARİHİNİ 6 BİN YIL ÖNCEYE DAYANDIRAN ARKEOLOJİK BULGU VE BELGELERİN GÜN IŞIĞINA ÇIKARILDIĞI KÜLTEPE KANİŞ-KARUM ÖREN YERİ'NDE BULUNAN VE ÜZERİNDE MİLATTAN ÖNCE 160-150 DÖNEMİNDEKİ MECLİS KARARININ TUNÇTAN YAPILMIŞ TABLET ÜZERİNE YAZILDIĞI ANİSA LEVHASI; ANADOLU'DA O DÖNEM YUNANCA'NIN KULLANILDIĞINI VE ÇOK KÜLTÜRLÜ BİR YAŞAMIN VAR OLDUĞUNU KANITLAYAN BELGE ÖZELLİĞİNİ TAŞIYOR. (TURAN BULUT/KAYSERİ-İHA)

Multicultural Society

The professor explained that the names mentioned in the tablet indicate a multicultural society. The father names of the people living in the area suggest that a truly multicultural society existed during that period.

Anisa Tablet's Importance

Prof. Dr. Kulakoğlu highlighted the importance of exhibiting a sample of the Anisa Plate in Kayseri. He believes it would be significant for Kayseri and Kültepe to have a replica of the plate and display it in a museum in or near Kültepe.

The Anisa Plate and Anisa coins provide valuable information about the Hellenistic Period of Kültepe. The decree on the Anisa Plate, dated between 160-150 BC, sheds light on the legal practices and social life of both Kültepe and the Cappadocia Region.

Greek Decree on the Anisa Plate

The subject of the decree, written in Greek, is the honoring of Apollonios, the son of Abbas, the administrator of the city of Anisa, with the title of "benefactor" by the city council and the people's assembly in Anisa.

Religious and Political Significance

Anisa's bronze tablet contained the names of officials as well as various institutions. The tablet, which was said to be stored at the city's temple of Astarte, also commemorated an act by the Cappadocian king Ariarathes granting the citizens of Anisa a new constitution.

1000070806
The Anisa bronze tablet proves that Greek was used in Anatolia 2,000 years ago 1

The aforementioned decree had been offered at the city's most revered sanctuary, which was devoted to the goddess Astarte. The Assyrian goddess Ishtar, who is frequently mentioned in the "Cappadocian tablets," is identified with Astarte. Even though Astarte was not often worshipped in Asia Minor, the Hittite state was where the cult was most prevalent.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024