Anatolian city in Cappadocia, near Kayseri. Turkish excavators discovered the remains of a pre-Hittite city that had been inhabited since the mid-third millennium B.C. It seems to have been the center of a wealthy kingdom that benefited from a nearby crossing of important trade routes. Around 2000 B.C., kings with Indo-European names appear in the cuneiform tablets discovered at an Assyriantrade colony that had been set up close to the city. Kanesh was called Nesha by the Hittites, who incorporated the city into their kingdom. It was continuously occupied throughout the second millennium and was an independent city during the Neo-Hittite period (10th–8th centuries). Thereafter, Kanesh was conquered and destroyed by the Assyrians.
   Kanesh is of importance to historians of Mesopotamia because of the cuneiform archives found in the karum, as the trade colony was called. These archives detail the commercial activities of Old Assyrian merchants who in a time between c. 1920 and 1742 B.C. conducted a lucrative business of importing tin and Mesopotamian textiles in exchange for silver and gold. The karum was destroyed by fire several times and rebuilt, until the unstable situation after the death of the Assyrian king Ishme-Dagan made business impossible and the colony was abandoned.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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