Kultepe Kanesh Karum Kültepe, also known as Kanesh or Nesha, is a significant archaeological site located in the Kayseri Province, around 20 km southwest. The site consists of a tell that encompasses the ancient city's settlement and Assyrian civilization, and a lower town where an Assyrian settlement was discovered. The name of the city was mentioned as Kanes on inscriptions dated back to the 20th and 19th centuries BCE, while later Hittite inscriptions referred to it as Nesa or occasionally Anisa. Kanesh, inhabited continuously from the Chalcolithic period to Roman times, was an essential Hittite and Hurrian city. Between the 21st century BC and the 18th centuries BC, the Old Assyrian Empire established a merchant colony in the city. King Zipani is mentioned in documents dating back to the 15th century BC. The kārum is a significant area of the city that intrigues historians. It was a portion of the city designated by local officials to be utilized without paying taxes, as long as goods remained within its borders. The term 'karum' originates from the Akkadian language, meaning "port," but was later used to refer to any trading settlement, regardless of whether it bordered water. The discovery of numerous clay tablets at Kültepe has shed light on trade between Assyrian colonies and city-states, which was mostly conducted by families rather than the state. These tablets, written in Old Assyrian, are the oldest documents found in Anatolia. Although the texts contain Hittite loanwords and names, suggesting the presence of an Indo-European language, most of the evidence found at Kültepe is typical of Anatolia, not Assyria. The use of both cuneiform and dialect further points to an Assyrian presence. In 2014, the archaeological site was added to the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites in Turkey. It is also where the earliest traces of the Hittite language have been discovered, dating back an estimated 20 centuries BC.