BAR 33:01, Jan/Feb 2007
The Amarna letters refer to a collection of cuneiform tablets that were discovered at modern-day el-Amarna, the site of the ancient capital of the Egyptian New Kingdom. The letters were written in Akkadian—the language of official and administrative documents—and consist mostly of diplomatic correspondence between Egypt and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru during the reign of Amenhotep IV (1369–1353 B.C.E.).
The first tablets were discovered by local Egyptians in 1887. Several more were excavated by archaeologist William Flinders Petrie in the 1890s, and still others have been recovered since then. The tablets are located in museums in cities all over the world, including Cairo, Berlin, Paris, Moscow and Chicago.
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