The Shephelah According To The Amarna Letters-Books Pdf

The Shephelah according to the Amarna Letters
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282 NADAV NA AMAN, the documentary evidence for the Shephelah in the 14th century B C E Following. these discussions I will present an overall picture of the Shephelah in light of the. documentary and the archaeological evidence,The Network of City States in the Shephelah. according to the Amarna Letters, Contrary to the picture that emerges from the Egyptian sources the number of. letters sent to the pharaoh by rulers of Canaanite city states located in the Shephe. lah is remarkable 12 letters from the three rulers of Gezer EA 268 72 1 292 93. 297 300 378 11 letters from the two rulers of Gath Tell e fi EA 278 84 63. 65 335 366 6 letters from the three rulers of Lachish EA 329 330 32 311 2 2. or 3 letters from Ya zib Hadda EA 275 76 and possibly 277 2 letters from Belit. labi at 3 EA 273 74 one letter from A iruna EA 319 and one letter from Abdina. EA 229 Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004 284 85 286 Finally one tablet. was uncovered in the excavations at Tell el esi and was included in the corpus of. Amarna letters EA 333, What is the minimal number of Canaanite city states located in the Shephelah in. the Amarna period To establish this we must first set the criteria for estimation see. Na aman 1997 601 7 Only the Amarna letters are available for the investigation 4. The Egyptian administration treated the local rulers of Canaan as Egyptian mayors. and held them responsible for everything that happened in their cities Each vassal. was personally responsible to the pharaoh for the territory he held and in his let. ters he reported back to Egypt that he had fulfilled all the obligations imposed on. his domain Hence each person who wrote to the pharaoh or to his officials was a. city state ruler regardless of the scope of his territory or his political power. If the Amarna archive were complete the task of making a list of city states. would have been relatively easy Unfortunately this is not the case First an un. known number of tablets were either transferred from Akhetaten Amarna when. the royal court abandoned the place or destroyed when the archive was discov. ered and before the importance of the tablets was recognized Na aman 1997 602. 1 Rainey 2003 201 2 collated EA 272 and suggested deciphering the badly worn line 3 um. ma dI KUR DI KUD R ka, 2 For the origin of tablet EA 311 see Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004 289.
3 The name of the queen who sent EA 273 374 is written fNIN UR MAHme lady of the lion. ess see Bauer 1920 Formerly on the basis of two Ugaritic texts I suggested rendering the name. as B lit ne ti Na aman 1979 680 n 32 However recent collations of the two Ugaritic texts. have shown that the reading ne ti n t was mistaken see Singer 1999 697 98 Thus there is no. evidence for rendering the ideographic writing UR MAHme as ne ti As an alternative reading I. suggest rendering it labi at lioness The name bdlb t appears on arrowheads discovered at el. a r near Bethlehem and in Ugaritic texts bdlbit Labi at lioness was probably an epithet. of the goddess Ashtartu see Milik and Cross 1954 6 9 Gr ndahl 1967 154 Donner and R llig. 1968 29 See also the toponyms Lebaoth Beth Lebaoth mentioned in Josh 15 32 19 6 In light of. the textual evidence I suggest rendering fNIN UR MAHme as B lit labi at. 4 The Hieratic inscription written on a bowl that was discovered in Lachish was recently re. published by Sweeney 2004 1601 7 She deciphered its central part Ruler of Nentisha Ya. Nentisha if this is the correct rendering of the toponym was probably an unknown city state. located in the Shephelah in the 12th century B C E. The Shephelah according to the Amarna Letters 283, with earlier literature Second the seats of many rulers who corresponded with. the pharaoh remain unknown either because the names of their towns were not. mentioned or because the tablets they sent were broken and the town names are. missing The recent petrographic analysis helped to locate the region and even the. place from which some tablets were sent Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004. but the seats of some rulers are still unknown Third the cities of some rulers whose. letters have not come down to us but whose names are mentioned in the corre. spondence are not known, The Amarna archive covers about 25 years from ca the 30th year of Amenophis. III to Tutankhamun s third year How many kings might have ruled in each place in. the course of that quarter of a century The Phoenician coast is amply documented. and the number of kings in each place with the exception of Achshaph was two. Three successive kings are known from only Gezer and Lachish and in theory a. single long living ruler might have governed in some cities An average of two and. at most three kings may safely be assumed for the Shephelah during the archive s. quarter century Na aman 1997 604 5, With these criteria in mind let me try to establish the minimal number of city. state rulers in the Shephelah The most important kingdoms were Gezer Lachish. and Gath Tell e fi Three mayors ruled in Gezer Milki Ilu Yapa u Ba lu d nu 5. and Lachish Zimredda Ship i Ba lu Yabni Ilu and two in Gath Shuwardata and. Abdi Ashtarti 6 Shuwardata was in power in the days of Lab ayu and his sons and. Abdi Ashtarti his heir ruled in the late years of the archive Thus it is unlikely. that a third ruler governed the place Na aman 1979 676 84 We may conclude. that other rulers known to have ruled in the Shephelah during the Amarna period. should be sought in other cities in this region, Letters EA 273 74 were sent by B lit labi at a queen or queen mother who re. ports events that took place in Gezer s eastern territory for a detailed discussion. of the letters see below Her seat should be located in the eastern Shephelah near. the border of the kingdom of Gezer The best candidate is Tel Beth Shemesh Tell. er Rumeileh a relatively large mound about 4 ha located on Gezer s southeastern. border see Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004 276 77 7. Ya zib Hadda wrote letters EA 275 76 letter EA 277 whose writer s name is bro. ken has an identical text Petrographically EA 275 76 and 277 are identical The. similarity in clay and text suggests that the three letters were written in the same. place by the same writer The clay indicates that they were sent from the eastern. Shephelah possibly the longitudinal valley that separates the Higher Shephelah. from the Judean hill country Of the ancient mounds located along this line Tel. 5 For the transcription Ba lu d nu instead of Ba lu ip i see Van Soldt 2002. 6 The petrographic analysis suggests that two letters of the rulers of Gath EA 278 of Shuwar. data and EA 64 of Abdi Ashtarti are not made of clay from Tell e fi s immediate environment. They may have been sent from a town in the Upper Shephelah east of Gath such as Qiltu Khir. bet Q la Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004 283 85 286. 7 Tel Beth Shemesh was a relatively prosperous town in the Late Bronze II Stratum IV see. summary in Bunimovitz and Lederman 1993 250 with earlier literature. 284 NADAV NA AMAN, Beth Shemesh is the best candidate for Ya zib Hadda s city for a detailed discus.
sion see Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004 290 91. Letter EA 229 is badly broken and was probably sent by Abdina Moran 1992. 290 The petrographic analysis indicates that it was sent from the Upper Shephe. lah and its material is identical to EA 64 Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004. 286 His place might also be sought in one of the mounds located along the lon. gitudinal valley, Only one letter of ur Ashar ruler of A iruna 8 EA 319 is known from the. archive It was written in Gaza and belongs to the group of letters that Canaanite. rulers dispatched from the Egyptian center Goren Finkelstein and Na aman 2004. 302 3 Since the script formulae and vocabulary of EA 319 are typical of south. Canaan A iruna was probably a small city state in this region Its exact location. cannot be established, The writer of the Tell el esi letter who bears the Egyptian name Pa apu and was. possibly a low ranking Egyptian official reports to his superior the magnate about. a conspiracy of two mayors Ship i Ba lu and Zimredda Zimredda is identified with. the ruler of Lachish who was killed in a rebellion EA 288 43 44 335 10 Ship i. Ba lu was probably the ruler of a neighboring place. The murder of two other rulers Turbazu and Yapti Hadda is mentioned with. that of Zimredda in letters from Jerusalem EA 288 39 47 and Gath EA 335 8 18. Na aman 1997 607 8 That all three were mayors is indicated by Abdi eba s. words EA 288 39 40 not a single mayor remains to the king my lord all are. lost followed by a reference to the slaying of the three rulers Unlike Abdi eba. who described events that happened in places far from his city Abdi Ashtarti and. his predecessor Shuwardata describes only local affairs The fact that two rulers. Abdi eba and Abdi Ashtarti who lived in two different regions illustrate the. growing insecurity in south Canaan by the slaying of the three mayors indicates. that the seats of all three should be sought in the same region Zil was probably a. border town where the two rulers met and were killed. The final part of Letter EA 335 lines 14 18 goes as follows May the king my. lord be informed that the city of Lachish is hostile and the city of Mu rashti is. seized and the city of x x i ki is host ile 9 It seems that the writer reports first. about the slaying of the three mayors lines 8 10 then relates the consequences of. the murders in their respective cities, Scholars have identified Mu rashti biblical Moresheth gath at sites located near. Na al Guvrin but its exact place remains uncertain Jeremias 1933 Proksch 1943. Kallai 1962 Schmitt 1990 with earlier literature Levin 2002 One key to its loca. 8 The name A iruna is possibly derived from the verb r to surround plus the Semitic. suffix n i e A ir n similar to biblical Ataroth A r t crowns Names with the verb r were. probably allotted to places located on top of hills mounds. 9 Moran 1992 358 tentatively restored it uru ru sa lim ki and some scholars accepted the. restoration Na aman 1997 608 Liverani 1998 88 However the post determinative ki is miss. ing in the names of the other cities in this tablet The accord between the number of slain rulers. and cities might not be accidental line 18 might be read urux x i ki Provided that the ki sign is. post determinative the town s name may be restored uruNe en ti i ki and identified with the city. mentioned on the Lachish bowl see n 4 above,The Shephelah according to the Amarna Letters 285. tion is the biblical name Moresheth gath i e Moresheth of Gath which indicates. that it had previously been a secondary city within the territory of Philistine Gath. Tell e fi The city is missing from the list of Judahite towns in the Shephelah. Joshua 15 33 44 which is dated to the time of King Josiah Alt 1925 Na aman. 1991 5 33 with earlier literature Like Moresheth some other towns mentioned. in Micah s dirge on the impending doom of the Kingdom of Judah Micah 1 8 16. are missing from the town list of Joshua 15 33 44 Aphrah Shaphir Eriah and. Maroth see Na aman 1995 These towns were all conquered by Sennacherib dur. ing his 701 B C E campaign their inhabitants were deported and all remained de. serted during the 7th century In light of this analysis Moresheth must be sought. at a site located near Na al Guvrin not far from Gath that was settled in the 14th. and 8th centuries B C E and deserted in the 7th century Tel Zayit Khirbet Zeitan. el Kharab a site spread across nearly 30 dunams located on the western side of. Na al Guvrin about 13 km southeast of Tell e fi fits well all these requirements. The site recently excavated by Tappy 2000 28 32 Tappy et al 2006 7 9 was. settled in the Late Bronze II and Iron Age II and deserted in the 7th century and. may safely be identified with Amarna Mu rashti and biblical Moresheth gath 10. Tentatively I suggest that Ship i Ba lu mentioned in EA 333 and Turbazu were. mayors of this city The neighboring city xx shiki may have been the city of. Yapti Hadda, The following rulers are mentioned in reference to the rebellions in the She.
phelah in the late Amarna period Milki Ilu and Yapa u of Gezer Shuwardata and. Abdi Ashtarti of Gath Zimredda and Ship i Ba lu of Lachish Turbazu possibly of. Mu rashti and Yapti Hadda possibly of xx shiki Thus rulers of five different. city states are mentioned at one and the same time. Summing up the discussion it is clear that side by side with the three major. centers of Gezer Gath and Lachish there were several small city states located. near their borders Tel Beth Shemesh was probably the seat of B lit labi at and. Ya zib Hadda Mu rashti was possibly the seat of Ship i Ba lu and Turbazu and. xx shiki might have been the seat of Yapti Hadda The seat of Abdina should be. sought along the longitudinal valley The location of A iruna ur Ashar s seat is. unknown It is clear that about six seven different city states existed in the time. of the Amarna archive and that large mounds such as Tell Ai un and Tell Beit. Mirsim might have been the seats of city states rulers for the Late Bronze in the. Shephelah see Dagan 2000 150 71, It is remarkable that each of the identified city states stood near one of the main. rivers of the Shephelah Gezer is located near Na al Ayyalon W di Kabir Beth. Shemesh on Na al Sorek W di e arar Gath on Na al Elah W di Ajjur and. 281 The Shephelah according to the Amarna Letters Nadav Na aman Tel Aviv University An examination of the Egyptian sources of the New Kingdom reveals that the

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