A very unusual literary tablet, Kt. j/k 97 from Kültepe, was published by C. Günbattı in 1997. It is inscribed with what already the first editor described as an Old Assyrian version of legends about Sargon. Since then the tablet has caused a good deal of discussion. Translations or editions have been made by M. Van De Mieroop (2000), K. Hecker (2001), B. Foster (2002, 2005), A. Cavigneaux (2005), and J. G. Dercksen (2005). These studies represent extremely different approaches: Hecker takes the text at face value and reads it as a laudatory royal inscription, whereas others see it as a kind of parody of inscriptions or legends about Sargon (Van De Mieroop 2000; Foster 2002, 2005), inspired by Mario Liverani. Dercksen (2005: 108) goes to the opposite extreme, stating that the “supposedly literary character of the text can be ignored, as this modern concept was alien to OA society”. He sees the text as “not a parody”, but instead as having “functioned to extol Sargon of Akkad during kispum celebrations that were part of the official cult of Assur”. Cavigneaux's study suggests a middle way between these extremes.
The tablet was found — and probably written — in Anatolia within the community of Assyrian merchants living abroad in Kaneš, on a tablet that looks very much like a normal business letter. It was excavated in 1958 in the house of Aḫ-šalim, an ordinary merchant, from whose house a number of other texts have been published. It alludes to the legend Sargon King of Battle, in which, following M. Liverani (1993: 52–6), Cavigneaux understands an expedition of Sargon to Anatolia, aided by the merchants of Purušḫaddum, as in fact referring to the Old Assyrian colonization in Anatolia. Cavigneaux further suggests what kind of situation lies behind our text (2005: 596): “Le nouveau texte … suggère de manière très concrète que les marchands assyriens berçaient leurs soirées au coin de la cheminée, au long des hivers anatoliens, d'histoires dont les rois d'Akkad étaient les héros”. He sees the text as an unicum, with hardly any chances of ever finding a duplicate (p. 597).