Tell El-Amarna Tablets

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tell El-Amarna Tablets


(also Amarna tablets or Amarna letters), the name used in scholarly literature for a number of clay tablets dating from the time of the Egyptian pharaohs of the 18th dynasty. The tablets were discovered in 1887 in Tell el-Amarna by inhabitants of the area.

The Tell el-Amarna tablets contain some diplomatic correspondence on cuneiform tablets, mainly in the Accadian language, addressed to the pharaohs Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV by the kings of Mitanni, Assyria, Babylonia, and other countries and by minor Syrian and Palestinian rulers subject to Egypt. The tablets are a most important source for the history of Egypt and other Near Eastern countries in the second half of the 15th and early 14th centuries B.C. Most of the tablets—194 of them—are preserved in Berlin, the German Democratic Republic; the rest are in the British Museum, the Egyptian Museum, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Louvre, the State Hermitage Museum, and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.


Knudtzon, J. Die El-Amarna-Tafeln, vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1908–15.
The Tell El-Amarna Tablets, vols. 1–2. Edited by S. A. B. Mercer. Toronto, 1939.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Gold and its uses were clearly engraved in hieroglyphs since 2,600 BC and its importance and abundance evident in some of the Amarna letters. In the late 18th dynasty, King Tushratta of Mitan- ni wrote to Queen Tiye, "I have asked Mimmuriya, your husband, for massive gold statues.
The topics include Canaan in the transition from the Late Bronze to the Early Iron Age from an Egyptian perspective, poor by necessity or by choice: ancient Israelite egalitarianism, the impact of the Late Bronze III period on the origins of Israel, the Amarna letters and Palestinian politics, and the archaeology of the Late Bronze Age in Palestine.
The Amarna Letters are noteworthy for recording the linguistic interference of West Semitic grammar.
Archaeologists, philologists, historians, and other specialists present 14 papers on such topics as Wenamun's misfortune at Dor in its ancient Near Eastern legal context, the multi-period harbor town Tell Tweini on the Syrian coast, Hittite-Egyptian synchronisms and their consequences for ancient Near Eastern chronology, two languages and two dialogues in the Amarna letters, and Levantine combed ware from Heit el-Churab in Giza.
The oldest detailed records found were the Amarna letters. From this diplomatic correspondence a diplomat towers above all others in the ancient world.
The Amarna Letters (Moran, 1992) are clay tablets containing many diplomatic reports from the mid fourteenth century BC.
The 14th-century Amarna letters are from Palestinian and other rulers that report to the Pharaoh what is going on in their territory and/or their need for government aid.
But these things were more precious than gold and they turned out to be the famous 'Amarna Letters', tablets found at Tel El Amarna and connected specifically to the reigns of Akhenaten and his father, Amenophis III, a man who Akhenaten loathed to the point that when he became ruler he ritually defaced all monuments bearing his father's name and titles.
Early Northwest Semitic 3rd pi m Prefix: The Evidence of the Amarna Letters. Ugarit-Forschungen 19: 79-90.
Language of Amarna--language of diplomacy; perspectives on the Amarna Letters.