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                                                                       Las tablillas cuneiformes de  El-Amarna

   

 

 Mapa de Akhetaten En 1887 cerca de 350 arcillas las tabletas fueron encontradas en El Amarna, el sitio de Akhetatón capital de Akhenatón. La mayoría de éstos ahora están en los museos europeos (200 en Berlín, 80 en el museo británico y veinte en Oxford). Se escriben en caracteres cuneiformes en la lengua diplomática del día, Akkadian. La mayoría de las letras se fechan a los reinados de Amenhotep III (1402-1364) y Akhenatn (Amenhotep IV, 1350-1334).
Reflejan la correspondencia animada entre la administración egipcia y sus representantes en Canaan y Amurru y el estado de asuntos internacionales entre Egipto y las energías principales de el Oriente Medio, de Babylonia, de Mitanni y de Assyria, y de los pocos países tales como Arzawa en Anatolia occidental.
Cinco tabletas cuneiformes fueron encontradas el nombrar de Tushratta, de un rey de Mitanni que era suegro a Amenhotep III y Akhenaten, otros cinco del rey babilónico Kadashman-Enlil y algunas letras que mencionaban por nombre al rey de Kassite de Babylonia Burnaburiash, y del rey de Arzawa.

Los reyes de los paises importantes hablaron con el faraón de igual a igual  , llamándolo hermano y casando a menudo una princesa con él. Los faraones  por otra parte nunca consideraron a reyes extranjeros como  sus iguales: no se dio en esta éoca ninguna princesa egipcia  a un príncipe extranjero.

  • Kadashman Enlil I de Babylon que se queja de que no se le ha dado  una esposa real y proponiendo el intercambio de una de sus hijas por oro . (EA 3)
  • Burnaburiash a Akhenaten que se queja por el tratamiento de sus comerciantes (EA 8)
  • Burnaburiash que intenta conseguir más oro de Akhenaten (EA 7)
  • Burnaburiash que pide más oro (EA 9)
  • Letra del rey de Chipre (EA 35)
  • Carta de Tushratta , rey de Mitanni (EA 17)
  • Tushratta que presta una estatua de la diosa Ishtar a Amenhotep III (EA 23)
  • Tushratta que envía una letra a Tiye (EA 26)
  • Tushratta que desea a Akhenaten buena salud
  • Ashur-uballit que intercambia los regalos (EA 16)
  • Suppiluliuma a Akhenaten (EA 41)
  •                                                                                                 Canaanite cities during the Amarna period

Petrie located the building in which the tablets were found and finally uncovered some further tablets.

building at Amarna

cuneiform tablets published by Petrie, click on the image
(Petrie 1894: pl. XXXI)

further information



 
 Envoys extranjeros prostrating antes de Horemheb Los reyes de las ciudades cananeas  y sirias bajo dominio  egipcio  se postran ante el faraón  - siete veces y siete veces, de rodillas .
, p.293

 

 

Una tablilla de Lakhish

Algo de la correspondencia Egipcio-Canaanita sobrevivió en Canaan
Estas tablillas de Retenu y de Canaan documentan el decaimiento de la influencia egipcia en  Levante, cómo los partidarios del status quo fueron substituidos,  los dispositivos por su zona  meridional. Los reyes locales abogaron por la ayuda egipcia. Sus pueblos estaban ocasionalmente representados aparentemente por un consejo
y ahora un Dunip, su ciudad llora, y ella los rasgones está funcionando, y no hay ayuda para nosotros. Por 20 años hemos estado enviando a nuestro señor, el rey, el rey de Egipto, pero no ha venido a nosotros una palabra de nuestro señor, no uno.
W.M.Flinders Petrie una historia de Egipto , 1924, parte dos
 
 
                               Primary Source Bibliography:

The Amarna Letters -- Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay.

Moran, W.
    1992     The Amarna Letters. Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
                 Translations of the entire extant foreign correspondence of the Amarna pharaohs, with notes and
                 commentary.

Secondary Sources:

Cohen, R. & Westbrook, R.
    2000    Introduction: The Amarna System. Pp. 1-12 in Cohen & Westbrook, eds., Amarna Diplomacy. Maryland:
                The Johns Hopkins University Press.
                A brief introduction to the ancient Near East as represented in the Amarna letters.

Moran, W.
    1992     The Amarna Letters. Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press.
                 Translations of the entire extant foreign correspondence of the Amarna pharaohs, with notes and
                 commentary.

Murnane, W.
    2000     Imperial Egypt and the Limits of Power. Pp. 101-111 in Cohen & Westbrook, eds., Amarna Diplomacy.
                 Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
                 A brief overview of the structure of the Egyptian empire.

Redford, D. B.
    1992     Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
                 A detailed account of the history of Egypt and its relationship with the rest of the Near East
                 throughout ancient history.
 
 
 

 

 

 

                                                                                             

   

                                                                                      Background:

    The Amarna letters, a unique corpus of documents from the Egyptian New Kingdom, were discovered in the late 1880s by Egyptian peasants (Moran 1992: xiii). As soon as their authenticity was confirmed and Egyptologists were able to evaluate their contents, it became clear that the stash of clay tablets represented one of the most important historical sources on the socio-political environment of the ancient Near East.
    The Amarna letters represent the diplomatic correspondence between the pharaohs of the Amarna period and their contemporaries in Canaan, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the Aegean. The earliest of the letters date from late in the reign of Amenhotep III, and the latest date from the reign of Ay, spanning a period from c. 1386-1321 BCE (Moran 1992: xxxix). The majority of the letters date to the reign of Akhenaten, the monotheistic pharaoh.
    The Amarna letters provide an interesting picture of the ancient world at the crest of the Egyptian empire. At this time, the Near East was dominated by a group of "Great Kings" -- the Egyptian pharaoh, the king of Mitanni, the king of Babylonia, the king of Assyria, and the king of the Hittites. The Great Kings are represented in about 50 of the remaining letters (Cohen & Westbrook 2000: 6-7). Two independent states, not quite of Great King status, are also represented in the letters. One of these is Arzawa, and the other is Alashiya, generally identified with Cyprus (Cohen & Westbrook 2000: 7-8).
    There were also numerous city-states under the influence of the Great Kings. The rulers of these city-states were referred to as "mayors" by the Egyptians, and they essentially served as vassals to the Great Kings (Murnane 2000: 107). The correspondence between these vassals and the Egyptian king generally consists of requests for aid or affirmations of loyalty. It is in the vassal correspondence that the Sea Peoples appear most frequently.
    The Amarna letters provide the earliest historical evidence of the Sea Peoples. The ethnic groups now classified as Sea Peoples mentioned in the Amarna letters are the Shardana, the Danuna and the Lukka. The letters to be examined below come from three different authors: Rib-Hadda, Mayor of Gubla, Abi-Milku, Mayor of Tyre, and the King of Alashiya.

 

   

                                                                                    The Shardana:

    A type of person referred to as "Shirdanu" appears in three of the extant letters, all of them from Rib-Hadda of Gubla (or Byblos).  Moran (1992: 393) remarks that this term "probably has nothing to do with" the Shardana of later Egyptian texts. However, he makes no explanation of this statement. At any rate, based on the striking similarity in the form of the two words, it seems unwise to so casually disregard any possibility of a connection.
    EA 81 (Moran 1992: 150-151) is a plea from Rib-Hadda to the Egyptian pharaoh (probably Akhenaten) for aid in a dispute with 'Abdi-Ashirta, the ruler of Amurru and another vassal of the Egyptians. Rib-Hadda accuses his opponent of luring away his followers and inciting them to attack their own ruler. Rib-Hadda pleads with Akhenaten to send archers so that he can defend himself not only from 'Abdi-Ashirta and his defectors, but also from the increasingly unhappy peasantry. In this letter, Rib-Hadda states that a Shirdanu of his acquaintance has run away to join 'Abdi-Ashirta. The context of the remark suggests that the Shirdanu were perhaps some type of mercenary soldiers working for the vassals of Egypt.
    EA 122 and 123 (Moran 1992: 201-202) are two different versions of the same letter, so they need not be discussed separately. Again, as in EA 81, they concern Rib-Hadda's plea for aid against an attacker. This time the offender is the commissioner Pihura. Pihura has captured three Canaanites and slain a number of Shirdanu. Rib-Hadda demands that Akhenaten help him protect himself and also return the three men that Pihura has brought as captives into Egypt. Again, the exact role of the Shirdanu is not clear, but it seems that they might have been acting in some military capacity.

   

                                                                                              The Danuna:

    The Danuna appear in only one letter, EA 151 (Moran 1992: 238-239), written by Abi-Milku of Tyre. The letter contains a typical demand for aid against an attacker (Zimredda of Sidon). Abi-Milku then goes on to ask for wood and water, two resources for which Tyre depended on mainland Phoenicia. Finally, in response to a query from the pharaoh, Abi-Milku summarizes current events in Canaan.
    In this section of the letter, Abi-Milku states that "the king of Danuna has died" and has been peacefully succeeded by his brother. This letter suggests that the Danuna were a significant political entity, governed by a king who controlled a specific territory. He goes on to describe the destruction of the palace at Ugarit by fire -- an interesting historical reference to the numerous destructions that characterize the archaeological picture of the end of the Late Bronze Age.

The Lukka:

    A group called the Lukki appears in a single letter from the unnamed king of Alashiya to an Amarna pharaoh (EA 38; Moran 1992: 111-112). Since only one side of the correspondence is preserved, it is difficult to evaluate the exact nature of the dispute between the two kings. However, apparently the Egyptian king has accused some Alashiyans of attacking Egyptian territory in cooperation with Lukki. The king of Alashiya defends himself by saying that "men of Lukki, year by year, seize villages in my own country." This fits in well with the later picture of the Sea Peoples as wandering raiders.

Conclusion:

    The Amarna letters give us a valuable glimpse at the early history of the Sea Peoples. For the most part, the picture of the Sea Peoples in the Amarna letters is confirmed by later historical information. There is documentation from the time of Rameses II of the Shardana as mercenaries of the Egyptians, and the Lukka were later known for their piracy and fighting prowess (Redford 1992: 243). The reference to the Danuna is most interesting for the light it sheds on the people's social system before the end of the Bronze Age.
                                                                             

                                                                                          http://fontes.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/lb.htm

 

                                                                                   Amarna Letters ANET 483-490; COS 3.92A-G, pp.  237-242

                                                  Letters from the king of Alasiya (Cyprus) EA 35; EA 38  Amarna #35 from Alashiya (Cyprus)

AMARNA.JPG (92140 bytes)
Amarna letter from Hebron

 

Amarna: the cuneiform tablets, background information

(EA stands for El Amarna; the numbering of the letters in Knudtzon 1907/ Knudtzon 1915)

The letters are written in cuneiform, most in Akkadian language, with only a few in other languages (EA 15 - Assyrian; EA 24 - Hurrian, EA 31-32 - Hittite)

382 tablets: 32 are different kind of texts, myths and epics, syllabaries, lexical texts; 350 are letters

  • 203 in Berlin (Vorderasiatisches Museum)
  • 49 or 50 in the Cairo Museum
  • 95 in the British Museum
  • 22 in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (found by Petrie)
  • 7 in the Louvre
  • 9 in private collections
  • 2 in the Metropolitan Museum New York (acquired by M. Chassinat)

over 40 letters came from powers that dealt with Egypt on a basis of equality:
Babylonia (EA 1-14), Assyria (15-16), Mittani (EA 17, 19-30), Arzawa (EA 31-32), Alashia (33-40) and Hatti (EA 41-44)

the other letters are from vassals in Syria-Palestine

 

 

 

                                                                       Hazor

 
 

bibliography:

 

Rammar.jpg (219540 bytes)

Letter from Ramesses requesting marriage with daughter of Hattusili III

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                             Megiddo

 


 

Abi-milki, ruler of Tyre EA 147

LACHEW2.JPG (97254 bytes)

Lachish Ewer--gift to Elat = Asherah 14/13 c

Lab'ayu, ruler of Shechem justifies his behavior

Amarna #365 from
Biridiya

Amarna #287 from Abdu-Heba


Amarna #298 from
Yapahu of Gezer warns of insurgency

Amarna #244 from Biridiya of Megiddo complains of Lab'ayu's attacks; #365 trying to improve his standing

 

Rib-Addi of Byblos to Akhenaten EA 75, 79, 137

 

 Burnaburiash II Kassite king of Babylon 1359-1333 Letters to Akhenaten EA 7; EA 8EA 9

Abdu-Heba, ruler of Jerusalem; supported by Nubian mercenaries 1352-1336.  Amarna #286 from Abdu-Heba

NEFTITI.JPG (386941 bytes)

Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten

 Asshur-uballit I 1365-1330 letters to Amenophis IV EA 15, 16

Amarna #17 from
Tushratta to Amenophis III; Letter #23; Letter #26 to Tiye; Letter to Akhenaten

 

Tushratta, king of Mitanni married his daughter Tadukhipa to Akhenaten; Tushratta was assassinated


Amarna letter from Tushratta to Akhenaten

 

 http://fontes.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/mblb.htm

 

Suppiluliuma I Hittite king, founder of Hittite empire 1344-1322 married a daughter of Babylonian king; killed by the plague.
Treaty with Mattiwaza ANET 205-206 Destroys the Kingdom of Mitanni ANET 318  
Deeds of Suppiluliuma COS 1.74, pp. 185-192 ANET 319
Treaty with Aziru COS 2.17A, pp.  93-95
Letter to Akhenaten EA 41
 

Rib-Addi of Byblos to Akhenaten EA 75, 79, 137
 

Abdu-Heba, ruler of Jerusalem; supported by Nubian mercenaries 1352-1336.  Amarna #286 from Abdu-Heba
Amarna #287 from Abdu-Heba

Amarna #298 from
Yapahu of Gezer warns of insurgency

Amarna #244 from Biridiya of Megiddo complains of Lab'ayu's attacks; #365 trying to improve his standing

Amarna #365 from
Biridiya

Lab'ayu, ruler of Shechem justifies his behavior

 

 

Medinet Abu, los Pueblos del Mar

 

                                                                               Bersheba