Biblical Archaeology Review 20:1, January/February 1994

Books in Brief

The Amarna Letters

Edited and translated by William L. Moran (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1992) 448 pp., $68.00

With this monumental achievement, a fresh collation and translation of all the letters in the 14th-century B.C.E. Amarna archive,1 William L. Moran crowns his career as the unquestioned dean of Amarna studies. This is the English version of Moran’s work, which appeared in a French edition in 1987, just 100 years after the initial discovery of the Amarna tablets by a peasant woman digging at el-Amarna, Egypt, in the ruins of ancient Akhetaton, the capital of the “heretic” king, Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV, 1350–1334 B.C.E.).

BAR readers may be primarily interested in the Amarna tablets as historical documents. Moran’s lucid renderings of all the texts and some of the notes are historical as well as linguistic. It is now possible to reappraise the historical events reflected in this most significant archive.

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