Earliest trade document over donkey debt?

Well, who ever thought the oldest trade document would be over an Ass? Discovered recently in the Kultepe-Kanis-Karum trade colony in Turkey, the tablet has ancient writing describing a trade, which may be the world’s oldest.


Archaeologists found the tablet in a grave and were surprised that it spoke about a certain “donkey debt”. A philologist translated the text as saying:

“when you read this letter of me, go to the owner of the donkey and give him silver”

The ancient city of Kultepe was a massive complex, which no doubt holds even more unlikely treasures. The city was inhabited for millenia, stretching back to the 2nd millenium BC by different cultures such as the Assyrians and the Hittites.


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