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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



  • Izre'el 1997 (publication and translation of the texts which are not letters)
  • Knudtzon 1907/ Knudtzon 1915 (text edition and translation, still one of the main publications)
  • Moran 1992 (translation of all letters; with bibliography on xliii-xlvii)



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