The Tell el-Amarna letters show that, long before the invasion by Joshua, it was occupied by the Egyptians, and was probably a stronghold of considerable importance, as it formed a good strategical position in the hill country of southern Palestine.
Or Akhenaton, one of the sovereigns to whose govern ment the celebrated Tell el-Amarna letters from Palestine were addressed, was a zealous champion of the exclusive claims of the sun-disk God, Ra; but his policy died with him.
Palestine, often mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna tablets.
It would be reasonable to assume that Moab, Ammon, Edom and kindred tribes of Israel in the 15th and preceding centuries were included in the generic term Habiri (or Hebrews) mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna inscriptions as forming predatory bands that disturbed the security of the Canaanite dwellers west of the Jordan.
(3) The Tell el-Amarna inscriptions indicate that the term Elohim might even be applied in abject homage to an Egyptian monarch as the use of the term ilani in this connexion obviously implies.3 The religion of the Arabian tribes in the days of Mahomet, of which a picture is presented to us by Wellhausen in his Remains of Arabic Heathendom, furnishes some suggestive indications of the religion that prevailed in nomadic Israel before as well as during the lifetime of Moses.
The Tell el-Amarna despatches are crowded with evidences of Canaanite forms and idioms impressed on the Babylonian language of these cuneiform documents.
The great influence exercised by Babylonian culture over Palestine between 2000 and 1400 B.C. (circa), which has been clearly revealed to us since 1887 by the discovery of the Tell el Amarna tablets, is now universally acknowledged.
We also know that between 2000 and 1400 E.C. the Babylonian language as well as Babylonian civilization and ideas spread over Palestine (as the Tell el Amarna tables clearly testify).
The Amarna tablets and those more recently found at Taannek (bibl.
The history of this, the " Amarna " age, reveals a state of anarchy in Palestine for which the weakness of Egypt and the downward pressure of north Syrian 1 On the homogeneity of the population, see further, W.
The famous city, within easy reach of the southern desert and central Palestine (to Hebron and to Samaria the distances are about 18 and 35 miles respectively), had already entered into Palestinian history in the " Amarna " age (§ 3).
Anathoth, a few miles to the north-east, points to the cult of the goddess Anath, the near-lying Nob has suggested the name of the Babylonian Nebo, and the neighbouring, though unidentified, Beth-Ninib of the Amarna tablets may indicate the worship of a Babylonian war and astral god (cf.
The commercial activity of the king and the picture of intercourse and wealth are quite in accordance with what is known of the ancient monarchies, and could already be illustrated from the Amarna age.
1 This is especially true of the various ingenious attempts to combine the invasion of the Israelites with the movements of the Habiru in the Amarna period (§ 3).
Xiv.), of the Egyptian conquests in the XVIIIth and following dynasties, or of the period illustrated by the Amarna tablets (§ 3).
Petrie found painted sherds of Cretan style at Kahun in the Fayum, and farther up the Nile, at Tell el-Amarna, chanced on bits of no fewer than Boo Aegean vases in 1889.
Akhenaton at Tell el-Amarna; while in the Aegean area itself we have abundant evidence of a great wave of Egyptian influence beginning with this same Dynasty.
(the Tell el-Amarna Letters).
The Tell el-Amarna Letters (15th century B.C.) show Syria held in part by Egyptian viceroys, who are much preoccupied with southward movements in the Buka'a and the rest of the interior beyond their control, due to pressure of Amorite peoples, and of the Mitanni and the Kheta, whose non-Semitic blood was mingled with that of the Aramaeans even in Palestine.
For the reading "Baal" in the Amarna tablets (Palestine, about 1400 B.C.) see Knudtzon, Beitr.
In Egypt the succession to the work of the Deutsch-Orient Gesellschaft, which excavated Babylon and Assur, has fallen to the Egypt Exploration Society, which has taken up the excavation at Tell el Amarna where it was laid down by the Germans at the outbreak of war, after they had recovered from the houseruins several wonderfully fine examples of the art of the period of Akhenaton, now in Berlin.
The great excavation of the Osireion at Abydos, begun for the Society (then the Egypt Exploration Fund) by Prof. Edouard Naville, 4 ' but suspended owing to the war, it has not been possible to resume at present, owing to the commitments of the Amarna site and the heavy expense of such work as that at the Osireion, which cannot vet be contemplated.
The earliest specimens of glass-ware which can be definitely claimed as Egyptian productions, and the glass manufactory discovered by Dr Flinders Petrie at Tell el Amarna, belong to the period of the XVIIIth dynasty.
Petrie, Tell-el-Amarna, Egypt Exploration Fund (1894); " Egypt," sect.
Sumer has been supposed to be the original of the Biblical Shinar; but Shinar represented northern rather than southern Babylonia, and was probably the Sankhar of the Tell el-Amarna tablets (but see Sumer).
(Akhenaton) at Tell-el-Amarna, explains the origin of death.
Winckler, Altorientalische Forschungen (1893 foil.), and The Tell-el-Amarna Letters (1896); G.
- The name of the race appears in certain of the Tel-el-Amarna letters, tablets written in Babylonian script to Amenophis (Amenhotep) IV.
- Boghaz Keui (see Pteria); largecity with remains of palace, citadel, walls, &c. Long rock-cut inscription of ten lines in relief, two short relief inscriptions cut on blocks, and also cuneiform tablets in Babylonian and also in a native language, first found in situ in 1893, and showing the site to be the capital of Arzawa, whence came two of the Tell el-Amarna letters.
But it remains to be proved whether these tablets were written there, and not rather, being in a foreign script, abroad, like most of the Tell el-Amarna archives.
GEZER (the Kazir of Tethmosis [Thothmesj III.'s list of Palestinian cities and the Gazri of the Amarna tablets), a royal Canaanite city on the boundary of Ephraim, in the maritime plain (Josh.
Not only have antiquities been found in Crete that point to Egyptian inspiration, but quite recently Professor Petrie has found at Tel el-Amarna Mycenaean pottery.
The latter find has a peculiar significance, since the date of the Tel el-Amarna collection is definitely fixed between the years 1400 and 1370 B.C.
Indeed, in the wonderful Tel-el-Amarna collection there is a suggestive absence of literary documents from the Aegean that demands a word of notice.
This monarch had retired from Thebes and established his court on the site now known as Tel el-Amarna, where he founded the city which existed only during the brief period of thirty years ending with the death of the monarch about 1370 B.C. The date of the documents found in the royal library is, therefore, fixed within very narrow limits.
On the other hand, the absence of letters from Mycenae among the tablets of Tel el-Amarna must be regarded as at least suggestive.
Although the Purasati appear after the 15th-14th centuries, now illuminated by the Amarna tablets, their own history is perhaps earlier.
The apparently " Aegean " influence which enters into the general " Amarna " period seems to begin before the age of the Amarna tablets (at Lachish), and it passes gradually into later phases contemporary with the 1 See further, F.
Of the 8th dynasty, which was discovered in 1887 at Tel el-Amarna, makes it evident that Palestine could not yet have been in the occupation of the Israelites.
Attempts have been made to identify the Khabiri, who are mentioned often in the Tel el-Amarna letters as foes, threatening to invade Palestine and bring the Egyptian supremacy over it to an end, with the Hebrews.
There may be some ultimate connexion between the Khabiri and the Hebrews; but the Khabiri of the Tel el-Amarna letters cannot be the Hebrews who invaded Canaan under Joshua.
Dushratta, king of Mitanni, about 1400 B.C., in the Tell el-Amarna letters offers to send to the king of Egypt an image of Ishtar of Nineveh; from which it has been inferred that Nineveh was then under foreign rule.
But although the evidence of the Amarna tablets might thus support the biblical tradition in its barest outlines, the view in question, if correct, would necessitate the rejection of a great mass of the biblical narratives as a whole.
Some, too, find in the Amarna tablets the historical background for Joseph's high position at the Egyptian court (see Cheyne, Ency.
Letter 37 (p. 98), evidence from the Tell el-Amarna tablets that the anointing of kings was practised in Egypt or Syria in 1450 B.C. (c.) in a letter addressed to the Egyptian king by Ramman-nirari of Nuliassi.
The Naharin or Naharen of the Egyptian texts appears some five generations later in the Canaanitic of the Amarna letters in the form Nabrim (a), which would seem.
63), which is the same as Mitanni, several letters from which are in the Amarna collection.
Since a Mitanni princess of these letters is called in Egyptian scarabs a princess of Naharin, it is clear that Mitanni and Naharin are more or less equivalent, whilst in the Amarna letters, even Tushratta, the king of Mitanni, seems to use in the same way the name Khanigalbat.
The references to these people, who practically make their first appearance in the Amarna correspondence, 2 show that they were unsettled bands who took advantage of the loosening of authority to introduce themselves into various parts of the country, in this case Mesopotamia.
Weber, the notes to Knudtzon's Die El-Amarna Tafeln; A.