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Akhenaten's Diplomatic Relations/Ability
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EA 59
From the citizens of Tunip to Akhenaten, in the midst of the mounting turmoil in Syria.

Quote:

To the king of Egypt, our lord: Message from the citizens of Tunip, your servant. For you may all go well. And we fall at the feet of my lord.

[5-8]My lord, says Tunip, your servant: Tunip - who ruled it in the past? Did not Manahpriya your ancestor rule it?
Manahpriya is Thutnmose III; Petrie constructs this as "who would have previously plundered Tunip without being plundered by Manahpriya?"

[9-12]The gods and the ... of the king of Egypt, our lord, dwell in Tunip and he should inquire: when did we not belong to our lord, the king of Egypt.
Akhenaten, you aint no Thuthmose III

[13-17]And now for 20 years, we have gone on writing to the king, our lord, but our messengers have stayed on with the king, our lord. And now, our lord, we ask for the sone ok Aki-Tessup from the king, our lord. May out lord give him back.
According to Moran and Petrie, '20' is not a real number - letters are filled with such round numbers in requests for horses or soldiers. It is apparently an idiom for 'as many as you can send', or 'a long time' here.

[18-20]My lord, if the king of Egypt has given the son of Aki-Tessup, why does the king, our lord, call him back from the journey.
The son of Aki-Tessup apparently refers to the custom of the sons of vassal kings being raised in Egypt, Egyptified and then returned as needed as loyal vassals and hostages in the meantime. Where is he???

[21-24]And now Aziru is going to hear that in Hittite territory a hostile fate has overtaken your servant, [a ruler] and your garnder.
No!!! Not the gardner!!!!!

[25-28]Should his (the king's) troops and chariots be delayed, Azuru will do to us just as he did to Nii.
ie, Burn the town, kill the men and take the women as slaves

[29-33]If we ourselves are negligent and the king of Egypt does nothing about these things that Aziru is doing, then he will surely direct his hand against our lord.
Tunip is not all Aziru is after, Akhenaten; this is an on site intelligence report. Come in out of the sun and freaking help us!

[34-38]When Aziru entered Surmur, he did to them as he pleased, in the house of the king our lord. But our lord did nothing about these things.
Sumur was burned and the long, long time king killed.

[39-42]An now Tunip, your city weeps, and its tears flow, and there is no grasping of our hand.

[43-46]We have gone on writing to the king, our lord, the king od Egypt for 20 years, and not a single word of our lord has reached us.


Thats really sad. After years of paying homage and sending tribute to Egypt, the king cant even shake himself loose from his self indulgence to even send back word. Apparently loyalty to the king, didnt buy as much as it had under T-IV and T-III. There are 2 other similar petitions from the elders of cities to Akhenaten begging for help.

There is a series from the King of Sumur I will post later where after a 3 year siege, they had to tear down the houses and sell the wood and their children for food. For THREE YEARS the indolent Akhenaten couldnt be bothered to respond and rally to the aid of his subjects.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that this letter was actually sometimes dated to the reign of Amenhotep III?

But either way, there is an interesting site here:
http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/projects/amarna.html

It doesn't address the question of when they were written, but it does talk about where they were written.

Quote:
..... the international letters are originals sent from Western Asiatic kingdoms to Egypt, and not copies made in Egypt.


I found that tidbit rather interesting.


About the actual location of Tunip:

Quote:
Tunip and Amurru

Amurru was a small political entity that expanded greatly during the Amarna period in the territory stretching between Tripoli on the Lebanese coast and the Middle Orontes area of western Syria (Klengel 1969: 178-299; Singer 1991). It first emerged under a certain Abdi Ashirta and his son and successor Aziru. Scholars have debated the sequence of events in the time of Aziru and the location of his seat (Singer 1990: 128-59, with earlier literature).

As a result of the petrographic analysis, reconstruction of the changes in the location of Amurru's center of government and, hence, the territorial expansion of the kingdom in the time of the Amarna correspondence, is now feasible. The early Amurru letters, written in the time of Abdi-Ashirta and in the early days of Aziru, came from two geographically close sites-the mountainous area east of Tripoli and the city of Ardata in its foothills. EA 60 and 157 originated in the mountainous area...
This seems to validate the notion that in its early history Amurru was a small highland chiefdom located on both banks of Nahr el-Kebir, on the slopes of Mount Lebanon, and inhabited by farmers, pastoral groups and elements that had been uprooted from the urban and rural sector (Liverani 1965; Klengel 1969: 245-53; Mendenhall 1973: 130-35). To date, no significant Late Bronze Age site has been recorded here.

Neogene marl typifies EA 61, 62, 156 and 159. This marl, which dates to the Miocene or the Pliocene era, is limited primarily to exposures east and south of Tripoli (Dubertret 1951). Noteworthy among them is the exposure of Nahr el-Awdeh, including the site of Tell Arde (ancient Ardata), which is the only mound of significance in the area of these exposures. It is possible to conclude, therefore, that these letters were sent from Ardata, which was located in the foothills, not too far from the Egyptian harbor-center of Ullasa (probably modern Tripoli). We suggest that Ardata was the capital of Amurru during the later years of Abdi-Ashirta and the early years of Aziru (for the site of Arde/Ardata, see Salame-Sarkis 1973).

Another group of Amurru tablets (EA 161, 164, 169-171) ... This lithological combination is limited to the inland part of the Akkar Plain, where Pliocene marine deposits and volcanics appear jointly, specifically near Halba in the south and to the north of Nahr el-Kebir. Tell Arqa (ancient Irqata) is the only significant site in this area. After Aziru consolidated his reign, it appears that he relocated his capital to this city.

...the coastal area of the Akkar Plain (Sanlaville 1977). The mafic minerals were probably transported there from the basalts of Nahr el-Kebir. In this general area Tell Kazel, an eight hectare mound, is the only significant Late Bronze Age site (Badre et al. 1994). It is generally identified with Sumur, an Egyptian administrative center on the northern coast of Canaan, which was captured and held by Aziru (Klengel 1992: 160-74). Evidently, Aziru sent the three letters after he had captured the town, located not too far west of Irqata (contra Singer 1990: 138; 1991: 152, who proposed that they were sent from Tunip).

In sum, the petrographic analysis enables us to establish the development of Amurru from a small entity centered in the mountainous area east of Tripoli to a large territorial kingdom with a capital near the coast.

A cardinal problem related to the correspondence of Amurru is the identification of the city of Tunip mentioned in four letters sent by Aziru (EA 161, 165-167), in a letter sent by the citizens of Tunip (EA 59), and in other second millennium BCE documents (see Astour 1969: 390-98; 1977; Klengel 1969: 75-95). Aziru's letters indicate that Tunip was annexed to his territory during his reign. This important city was sought either in northern Phoenicia (Helck 1973) or in the Middle Orontes. Two prominent sites have been suggested in the latter region: Tell Hama in the modern city of Hama (Astour 1977) and Tell Asharneh in the southern Ghab valley northwest of Hama (Klengel 1995).

EA 59, a letter sent by "the citizens of Tunip" to the Pharaoh, is made of foraminiferous marl dominated by abundant glauconite spheres, which were probably derived from the marl that appear with it. The palaeontological evidence links it to the Paleogene age. It is commonly accepted that glauconite is formed by marine diagenesis of materials in shallow water at a time of slow sedimentation. Although glauconite concentrations may be found as impurities in limestones and marls, when they appear in high proportions they form greensands, a term coined after the green color of the mineral. Since glauconite is a potential substance for assessing an age for geologic strata through potassium-argon dating, there is a rich body of data regarding its distribution in the Paleogene sequence of Syria (Krasheninnikov et al. 1996, with references). Glauconite sediments are found there in restricted areas, in the Palmyrids depression, the southern slopes of the Halab uplift, the western slopes of Jebel Anseriyeh, and much more seldom on the eastern slopes of the Anti-Lebanon. Yet, according to the textual evidence, these areas are irrelevant for the location of Tunip.

Redeposited Senonian and Paleogene glauconite beds are reported also from the Pliocene continental deposits that fill the Ghab basin and the margins of the Asharneh Valley (Shatsky et al. 1966: 54-56), an area which fits the textual references to the location of Tunip. The only prominent second millennium site in this area is Tell Asharneh, a seventy hectare site on the Orontes river (Courtois 1973: 63-65). Current petrographic study of pottery from Tell Asharneh (Cooper and Fortin in press) reveals that one of the main local petrofabrics is distinguished by the presence of glauconite in considerable quantities. We therefore support the identification of Tunip with Tell Asharneh.

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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
I thought that this letter was actually sometimes dated to the reign of Amenhotep III?


The latest thinking I've encoutered (Campbell, Moran, Petrie, Aldred and others) is thus:

The Amurru, the bad guys in the cited letter, were an ongoing problem for both AIII and Akhenaten. AIII 'dealt' with the troublesome chieftain Abdi-Asitra and after tolerating him far too long, he finally sent some marines to dispatch him. This happened at the very end of AIII's reign.

His sons, particularly and led by Aziru (mentioned in the letter), now backed by the Hitittes were even more troublesome for Akhenaten. Both Abdi-Asitra and Aziru played the Egyptian kingS, writing to them professing to be loyal and maligned. And IIRC, all of Abdi-Asitra are addressed to AIII and all of Aziru's to Akhenaten (where the adressee can be identified).

Based on refernces in the numerous letters of Rib-Adda, a clear progression of increased agression by Aziru can be seen. Since the letter cited notes a city under siege and another that has fallen, it seems relatively safe to place this latter in the period and at Akhenaten's doorstep.

I think it unlikely, but it is possible AIII was still king, or both were on the throne depending on the coregency. Most everything I've seen has Aziru as a contemporary of Akhenaten. Still, I think AIII deserves a fair share of the blame for his own indolence leading to the Great Unravelling that came about late in Akhenaten's reign; I also think he was a much larger influence in Atenism as well.
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