Social Theories and Old Assyrian Kaneš
Overview, Comments, Developments
In earlier literature, terms such as Assyrian "colony" are often used to describe the role of Kaneš and the predominant society in Kaneš. But especially in the last 20 years, this picture has changed: As a result of numerous text finds and their publication, it became increasingly clear that the Assyrians in Kaneš did not play such a dominant role as previously assumed – accordingly, other social models were used to describe the Old Assyrian society in Kaneš. This article is intended to explore the possibilities of using modern social theories to investigate and describe a complex ancient social system, such as that of the Old Assyrian Kaneš. Theories used so far in Assyriological literature and their application will be reviewed: the article is thus intended to reflect current research trends. Furthermore, the article will ask what is the purpose of "comparative studies" and whether it is in any case useful to use a comparative example to describe or whether it is not sometimes better to investigate and describe a society with the available means (archaeo-logical and philological sources).