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Discovery, Research, and Excavation of the Amarna Tablets—The Formative Stage

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Chapter Summary

The earliest modern history of the collection of the Amarna tablets is closely related to private excavations carried on at the site by the antiquities dealer Farag Ismaïn of Giza. The British Museum in London was to be the first official institution to host a rather extensive collection of the Amarna tablets. In this particular case it is linked to the activities of E.A. Wallis Budge who, as an Assistant Keeper of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, was able to obtain a first set of the Amarna tablets already during his second mission to Egypt and Mesopotamia. The very first mention of the Amarna tablets in Museum documents dates to the early weeks and months of 1888. It was also in early months of 1888 that the largest set of Amarna tablets, today part of the collection of the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, started to take shape.

Keywords: Amarna tablets; British museum; E.A. Wallis Budge; Egypt; Farag Ismaïn; London; private excavations; Vorderasiatisches Museum



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