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The Tell El Amarna Period   By: (1861-1927)

Book cover

First Page:

The Ancient East

No. II.

THE TELL EL AMARNA PERIOD

The Relations of Egypt and Western

Asia in the Fifteenth Century B.C.

According to

The Tell El Amarna Tablets

by

Carl Niebuhr

Translated by J. Hutchinson

London: David Nutt

57 59 Long Acre

1903

CONTENTS

The Ancient East I. The Tablets, and How they were Found. II. The Egyptian Court and Administration. III. Letters from Asiatic Kings. IV. Letters from Asiatic Vassals. V. Political Conditions in the Tell el Amarna Period. Bibliographical Appendix

THE ANCIENT EAST

Under this title is being issued a series of short, popular, but thoroughly scientific studies, by the leading scholars of Germany, setting forth the recent discoveries and investigations in Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian History, Religion, and Archæology, especially as they bear upon the traditional views of early Eastern History. The German originals have been appearing during the last eighteen months. The English translations made by Miss Jane Hutchison have been submitted in each case to the Authors, and embody their latest views. Short, helpful bibliographies are added. Each study consists of some 64 to 80 pages, crown 8vo, and costs 1s. sewed, or 1s. 6d. cloth.

The following are issued:

THE REALMS OF THE EGYPTIAN DEAD. By Professor ALFRED WIEDEMANN.

THE TELL EL AMARNA PERIOD. By Dr. C. NIEBUHR.

THE BABYLONIAN AND THE HEBREW GENESIS. By Professor H. ZIMMERN.

THE BABYLONIAN CONCEPTION OF HEAVEN AND HELL. By Dr. ALFRED JEREMIAS.

POPULAR LITERATURE IN ANCIENT EGYPT. By Professor ALFRED WIEDEMANN.

I. THE TABLETS, AND HOW THEY WERE FOUND.

As early as 1820 it was known in Europe that in Middle Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile, in the district between Minieh and Siut, there lay the remains of a great city of Ancient Egypt. The Prussian exploration expedition of 1842 45 gave special attention to this site, where indeed were found, about sixty miles south of Minieh, extensive ruins, beginning at the village of Haggi Kandil and covering the floor of a rock bound valley named after the fellahin village, El Amarna. At that time the ground plan of the city was still easy to distinguish; the regular lines of the streets could be traced, and enough could be seen of the great design of the principal temple to excite the admiration of the discoverers. This example of the laying out of an ancient Egyptian town still remains almost unique, for of old, as now, private buildings were constructed of flimsy material. That the Tell el Amarna remains have escaped rapid destruction is due entirely to the sudden and violent downfall of the original splendour of the city and the complete desolation which succeeded. The importance of the place was revealed on examination of the surrounding cliffs. Here were found, sculptured and inscribed in a new and peculiar style, the rock cut tombs of the most distinguished inhabitants of Akhet haten, the royal city built for himself about 1380 B.C. by Amenophis IV., and destroyed soon after his early death.

In the beginning of 1888 some fellahìn digging for marl not far from the ruins came upon a number of crumbling wooden chests, filled with clay tablets closely covered on both sides with writing. The dusky fellows must have been not a little delighted at finding themselves owners of hundreds of these marketable antiquities, for which a European purchaser would doubtless give plenty of good gold coins. To multiply their gains they broke up the largest tablets into three or four separate pieces, often to the grievous hindrance of the future decipherer... Continue reading book >>




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