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Archive

46'

France, 2020

Original music : Simon McCorry Production : CNRS, MSH Mondes

Programmed by Pierre Oscar Lévy

French, English, Turkish

French, English, Italian


Science



Synopsis


About 4 000 years ago, Assyrian merchants established a commercial settlement in the ancient city of Kaneš, within Central Anatolia. They came from Aššur, north of Mesopotamia. We have come to understand their history through their writings on clay tablets that have stood the test of time: more than 22 500 cuneiform tablets have been unearthed from the archaeological site of Kültepe. How did these Mesopotamian clay tablets arrived in Anatolia and what do they tell us? The voice of Tarām-Kūbi, an Assyrian woman who corresponded with her brother and her husband in Kaneš, takes us back in time.

Tënk's opinion


This is a classic television documentary that, like fiction, offers us an Assyrian woman’s story from beyond the grave. The calm voice talks directly to us, explaining how she stayed at home while her brother and husband were trading merchandise a thousand miles away. The film gets the dead to speak through this rich correspondence, analysed and authenticated by numerous scientists. It’s a rare film, perfect for those curious enough to want to understand what life was like around 4000 years ago over there in the birthplace of civilisation. And it’s funny that already, even in those days on these cuneiform tables are the words "You have too much love for silver, yet you despise your own life!"

Pierre Oscar Lévy
Director

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