"And The Stone Fell by Reason of Its Great Weight"
Trade and Weight Measurement System in Kültepe
Prof. Dr. Fikri Kulakoğlu

Online Talk

February 3, 2022 / 18.00

The Art of Weights and Measures exhibition, organized by Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum with a selection from the Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection, one of the foundation's three main collections, aims to explore the economy, culture, intercultural system relations, the dynamics of public trust and the journey of standardization of units, anchored around weights and measuring instruments, through the eyes of civilizations, gods, merchants, masters and apprentices, from the 2nd millennium BC to the present, and sheds light on the transformations and continuities. Expert speakers in the talk series titled “And the Stone Fell within by Reason of Its Weight” with inspiration from a verse in Homer's Iliad will examine trade, weighing and measurement systems used in the periods the exhibition covers, namely the Age of Assyrian Trade Colonies, the Hittites, the Hellenistic Period, as well as the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

Hundreds of stone weights and bronze scale pans and arms have been found in Kültepe-Kanesh, the capital of the oldest international trade system in Anatolia. In addition to the archaeological findings, written documents found in Kanesh provide valuable information as to the weighing processes and show how important it was to use standardized units in trade. However, we also see that the standardization of weighing used in commercial activities varied according to the owner, institution or state. This also requires a very complex calculation. The speech will explore how developed the trade system in Kültepe-Kanesh was and the importance of standardization in international trade from antiquity onwards.

The speech will be broadcast live on Pera Museum’s YouTube channel. The language of the event is Turkish.

Click here to watch video!

Fikri Kulakoğlu graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Languages, History and Geography, Department of Protohistory and Near Eastern Archaeology in 1982, and completed his master's degree in 1985 in the same department. Afterwards, Kulakoğlu started working as a Research Assistant in the same Department from which he graduated in 1994, namely Ankara University Faculty of Languages, History and Geography, Department of Protohistory and Near Eastern Archaeology, where he received his Ph.D. with his thesis titled “Old Hittite Kingdom Period Pottery in Central Anatolia” in 1997. Becoming an Associate Professor in 1998 and Professor in 2004, Kulakoğlu still serves as "Professor" in the same Department.

Having participated in archeological excavations since he was a student, he served as committee member in the Acemhöyük and Samsat Excavations led by Nimet Özgüç, and later in the Kaman-Kalehöyük Excavations and the Central Anatolia Surface Survey led by Prof. Dr. Masao Mori. Between the years 1998 and 2001, Kulakoğlu led the “Surface Survey of First Millennium BC. Sites in the Şanlıurfa Region”. He was the scientific director of the "Şaraga Höyük Excavations" between 1999-2003 and the "Gaziantep Kale Höyük Excavation" between 2003-2005. Kulakoğlu also carried out the Gaziantep-Adıyaman Cultural Inventory Project in 2005-2006. In the Kültepe Excavations, which he participated as a committee member in 1995, he became the Excavation Director following Prof. Dr. Tahsin Özgüç's death in 2005. Prof. Dr. Fikri Kulakoğlu also carried out the "Kayseri Archaeological Survey Project" in the Kayseri Province between the years 2008 and 2019.

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