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Chapter Summary

A central component in the documented cultural and political life of the Ancient Near Eastern Late Bronze Age is the collection of cuneiform documents known as the Amarna Tablets. Today three hundred and eighty two texts and fragments are known, although several have disappeared or been destroyed during the twentieth century. Three hundred and forty nine of them are letters in varied states of preservation, some complete, others fragmentary. One letter was seen to be written in a strange language which we now know is Hurrian. Two other letters were in Hittite. Knudtzon recognized early on that they were in a European language. All the rest were in dialects of Akkadian. Only one letter was in Middle Assyrian. The Amarna tablets from Alashia include examples in Canaano-Akkadian besides Hurro-Akkadian, though two of them seem to come from a scribe trained in the true Middle Babylonian tradition.

Keywords: Akkadian; Amarna Tablets; Ancient Near Eastern Late Bronze Age; cuneiform documents; European language; Hurrian; Middle Babylonian tradition



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