In the early second millennium BC, more than a dozen city-states flourished in central Anatolia, their sites now marked by some of the largest hoyuks in that region. When the Hittite language was deciphered in 1917 and recognized to be Indo-European, ancient Anatolia became an area of keen interest in historical linguistics. Indeed, central Anatolia was to remain an area of linguistic turbulence throughout most of its history. Powerful engines of social and economic development clearly transformed Anatolia in the 20th and 19th centuries BC. It is not that the sites are entirely new most of the important Middle Bronze Age centers are built on sites that were occupied in the Early Bronze Age. The activities of the Assyrian merchants and their relationships with governmental authorities in Anatolia and Assyria are of great importance in a major debate in economic anthropology.