The location of Alashiya: new evidence from petrographic investigation of Alashiyan tablets from El-Amarna and Ugarit

  • Goren Y
  • Bunimovitz S
  • Finkelstein I
 et al. 
  • 17

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 34

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Ancient Near Eastern archives of cuneiform texts contain tablets whose origin is unknown. Letters often do not contain the name or address of the sender. Moreover, the locations of some ancient Near Eastern countries and cities have not yet been clearly established. Hence we perform a research program that intends to fill this gap through a systematic provenance study of the Amarna letters and other Near Eastern texts using petrographic and geochemical methods. So far, over 300 tablets have been analyzed. This paper presents the provenance of the Alashiya letters from Amarna and Ugarit as well as an assemblage of Cypro-Minoan texts from Cyprus. Petrographic and chemical examinations indicate that the Amarna letters from Alashiya originate from the area on the margin of the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Various lines of evidence make it clear that the raw material was collected by the scribes in their immediate vicinity and not transported over large distances. Within Cyprus, either Kalavasos-"Ayios Dhimitrios" or Alassa "Paliotaverna/ Pano Manadilaris" are identified as the source of official Alashiyan letters. Since the geopolitical configuration of Late Bronze Age Alashiya is still unclear, the implications of our conclusions for this vexed issue are discussed.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Yuval Goren

  • Shlomo Bunimovitz

  • Israel Finkelstein

  • Nadav Naʾaman

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free