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31 May 2010
Digs in Anatolia reveal ancient prisons

Crime has never paid. As far back as 4000 years in fact, according to Professor Fikri Kulakoğlu, who is currently in charge of excavations at Kültepe in Kayseri (Turkey). The semi-arid  highlands of Anatolia are considered the heartland of the region.
     Professor Kulakoğlu described the excavation so far as being very revealing. In a statement he said that the work at Kültepe has revealed not only information about the lifestyles of peoples living there thousands of years ago, but also new information about the penal system that was in place at that time. "In the inscriptions we found, for example, there are many terms used regarding going to prison, release from prison and facing punishment in prison. It is a significant indication that there were many prisons in Anatolia approximately 4,000 years ago."
     He also noted that since excavations began in 1948, close to 23,500 items have been discovered in Kültepe. Much of the material was written in the cuneiform script, which is believed to have been invented by Sumerians. Cuneiform was subsequently adapted for writing in the Akkadian language, of which Babylonian and Assyrian are dialects. The material that has been found currently on display at the Kayseri Archaeological Museum as well as Ankara's Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

Source: Today's Zaman (15 May 2010)

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