The Amarna Letters

In 1887, an archive containing over 350 letters was discovered in the ruins of a royal palace in Akhetaten (Akhenaten's city for the cult of Amun-Ra, built c. 1341 BC). These letters contain correspondence between Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), his father (Amenhotep III) and his son (Tutankhamun) with regional rulers for a period of about 25 years.

The letters reveal diplomatic and political communication between the King of Egypt (during this powerful golden age of the new kingdom) and rulers of surrounding nation states, some of which were subservient, and others that were equally powerful, including the kings of Babylonia, Assyria, Mittani, Hatti, Arzawa and Alashiya.

The letters were written in cuniform on clay tablets, and delivered by messengers, who are frequently referred to, sometimes by actual name.

Further details: letters at The El Amarna Age, overview at The Amarna Letters, and book by William L. Moran.

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